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Writing for Money: What It Takes to Succeed as a Freelancer in 2011 – and Beyond

If freelance writing is something you've always wanted to try, or if you're already a freelancer and are wondering how to take your career to the next level, following is some insight into what it takes to succeed in 2011 and beyond.

Writing for Money: What It Takes to Succeed as a Freelancer in 2011 – and Beyond

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If writing for money is something you’ve always wanted to try, or if you’re already a freelance writer and are wondering how to take your career to the next level, following is some insight into what it takes to succeed in 2011 and beyond.

Writing for Money in 2011: 3 Become a Social Media Expert

There’s no getting around it: social media is here to stay. It’s evolved beyond the “I’m having a latte at Starbucks” tweet stage, for example, into a bona fide marketing weapon that companies are investing heavily in. Proof?

US marketers will spend $3.08 billion to advertise on social networking sites this year, … Spending will be up 55% over the $1.99 billion advertisers devoted to social networks in 2010 and will rise by a further 27.7% next year to reach nearly $4 billion. … Worldwide, where social network ad spending will rise 71.6% to $5.97 billion … [Source: EMarketer, January 18, 2011, "Facebook Drives US Social Network Ad Spending Past $3 Billion in 2011"]

So if you want to make some serious dough as a freelance writer – this is one niche where you can make your mark.

Writing for Money in 2011: Learn SEO

Business are investing more and more of their ad budgets into online marketing. Proof?

Forrester Research, [a leading research firm] said marketers spent $26 billion in 2010 in Internet marketing, which rivals all spending on cable/satellite TV and radio. Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) said nearly half all companies have decreased spending on traditional areas and are investing more in online marketing.

And, to market effectively online, everything has to be done with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind.

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, but I didn’t provide SEO content services to clients until 2007. My freelance writing business more than doubled in 2008 as a result of offering services like SEO blogging, SEO press release writing, SEO articles, etc.

Nowadays, clients expect this. If you freelance and want to really make money writing, learning SEO is no longer optional; it’s critically necessary.

Writing for Money in 2011: Learn to Quantify Results

While you can rock on and make decent money as a freelance writer by just providing content, to make money writing and demand the big bucks, you’re going to have to start quantifying your results.

It is so easy for clients to quantify results in internet marketing. And, the freelance writers who can point to data that prove the value of their content (eg, we increased Client A’s blog readership by 41% in a 9-month period, and increased conversions by 16%). Now that’s value-driven data a client can sink their teeth into – and will pay you handsomely for.

Writing for Money in 2011: Charge Enough

This may seem obvious, but too many freelance writers don’t. Charge a decent wage for your services, or do something else. Otherwise, it’s not worth it because writing is hard work.

If you do these four things, 2011 could be the year that writing for money allows you to break away from a job you hate and start supporting yourself from your freelance earnings – and start enjoying life on your own terms – and that’s what it’s all about, no?

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