Although freelance writing can be a lucrative business on its own, I believe it’s important to diversify your income. Even if your freelance writing clients are keeping you busy, it’s great to have other income to fall back on just in case. Not to mention, exploring new money-making ideas can help take your business to the next level!
There are any number of services and strategies you can use to help diversify your income, but some are better-suited to writers than others.
Here we’ll look at the best five services to offer that compliment your freelance writing skills:
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1. Virtual Assistant
The number of Virtual Assistants out there is definitely on the rise. Although it’s hard to say exactly how many VAs there are currently, the US reported a 79.7% spike in the number of people who telecommute from home, and outsourcing websites like Fiverr and Upwork have never been busier.
VAs are attractive to small companies because it helps keep business costs low. There’s no office or equipment to pay for, and they also save money on taxes by paying you as a contractor instead of an employee.
Not only that, many businesses are only looking for part-time capacity which is easier to do on a contract-basis. According to longerdays.com, 70% of businesses are looking for a VA to work 10 hours or less per week.
So what does a VA actually do? Traditionally, these are administrative tasks like email management, social media management, and book keeping. But these days, a VA can cover a much broader scope of services. To give you an idea of just how broad, check out Horkey Handbook’s extensive list of 150+ services you can offer as a VA.
(I also took Horkey Handbooks 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success and found it to be an invaluable resource when just getting started!)
Proofreading is another lucrative side-hustle that is perfect for writers. As a proofreader, you are the client’s final pair of eyes on a document. Your job is to catch any errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation.
Like freelance writing, it’s important to choose a niche to specialize in, as different types of documents need to be proofed in different ways. For example, transcript proofreading is different than novel proofreading. But if you’ve got the skills, you can make anywhere from $100-$500 per project!
That being said, there does tend to be a learning curve to professionally proofread a document. This comprehensive course from Proofread Anywhere will give you all the tools you need to launch a successful proofreading business.
Often confused with proofreading, copyediting involves actually making changes to a document. This includes moving paragraphs around, rephrasing, and making other suggestions, depending on the type of document.
Editing generally requires more experience and skill than proofreading. Make sure you do your homework before offering these services!
The editorial freelancers association offers courses and numerous resources for aspiring editors.
Blogging is a great way to make passive income, and a very natural companion to freelance writing. But keep in mind that unless you’re very experienced or very lucky, it takes months of dedicated blogging to build up the audience you need to make money from it.
But if you already have a website, it’s a good idea to blog regularly anyway to get more traffic to your site and more eyeballs on your services.
Not only that, you’re continuing to build up your portfolio since each new blog post is a potential writing sample you can use to pitch a client.
There are many ways to make money from blogging, but in my opinion the two easiest ways are through ads and affiliate marketing:
Using Google Adsense or Media.net is a great way to start monetizing your website. It’s not likely to pay the bills on its own but can bring in a few extra bucks without much effort on your part. Once your traffic grows large enough (25k user sessions a month and above), you can look into more lucrative options through companies like Mediavine, Ezoic, or Adthrive.
Affiliate marketing involves partnering with certain websites or companies and promoting their products. You link to products on your website and make a commission off the sales made from people clinking on those links.
Amazon Associates is a great one to start with because anyone can sign up, and they sell such a large variety of products that you’re bound to find something related to your niche.
You can also look into sites like ShareASale to find other companies in your niche to partner with.
5. Pinterest Services
Pinterest is huge right now, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. It’s one of the number one tools that’s being used to drive web traffic by businesses and bloggers alike. What makes Pinterest so attractive to businesses is that it can start generating traffic really quickly, whereas SEO is a slow burn.
But it’s not just as simple as uploading a picture with a link to your website. Pinterest is a powerful tool, but like any tool you need to know how to use it in order for it to be effective. And even if you know what you’re doing, there’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining a business Pinterest account, such as:
- Sourcing or creating images
- Creating pins
- Scheduling pins
- Keyword/niche research
- Creating and curating boards
- Writing effective, click-worthy pin descriptions
Many small businesses don’t have the time needed to make the most of Pinterest. So why not offer your services to manage their Pinterest account for them? (Or start one for them if they don’t have it already.) You likely already have many of the needed skills from freelancing/blogging, and being able to write killer descriptions is what will set you apart from the competition.
If this is a service you’re interested in offering (or using to drive traffic to your own website), you’re definitely going to want to get familiar with Tailwind.
Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler that you can use to create an effective pinning strategy while saving yourself a ton of time.
If you’re new to Pinterest marketing, I can’t say enough good things about Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies course. This one was a TOTAL game changer for me – I took this course a few months ago and my website traffic has been growing exponentially ever since!
Expanding to diversify your income
Expanding the list of services you offer can help generate extra income as a freelancer, while blogging can help build revenue over time. You likely already have many warm leads in your contacts from freelance writing, and can get started by offering these services to your existing clients.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Although it can be uncomfortable to try something new, it’s the only way to push the envelope and take your online business to new heights.
How do you diversify your income as a freelancer? Shout out in the comments!