Three years ago, I made the decision to become a freelance writer – it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That’s not to say it’s been easy. There’s a lot of hustlin’ and business analysis that’s gone on behind the scenes but if it wasn’t for my blog, I wouldn’t have the job that I do now.
Today, I thought I’d give you an insight into how I made my first 1K online. Making my first £1000 wasn’t just from freelance writing – I definitely recommend that anyone looking to make money online or by working from home doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket. It certainly pays off to be focusing on more than one income stream.
So, how did I manage to make my first 1k online in 45 days?
Around 70% of my first 1k came from freelance writing projects. I had zero experience in writing for clients when I started applying for jobs and I managed to land a couple of small gigs in my first 45 days. Here’s the strategy I used at the time to gain my first gig;
The only published work I had at the time was my own blog posts and a couple of guest posts on beauty blogs. Before I applied for any writing jobs, I searched through my blog to find my best work and 2-3 posts I could use as writing samples to put forward in job applications.
I then crafted a draft application which I could send to prospective clients – view my post on 5 actionable steps to become a freelance writer to see the structure I use when writing about myself.
Armed with samples and an application template, I then searched for freelance writing jobs – the two sites I used were People Per Hour and Pro Blogger Jobs. I still used these boards today and would rank them as two of my favourite sites for job leads. You can also find some more good freelance writing boards here.
I landed a couple of small jobs on these sites – writing blogs for a language learning company and writing articles for a range of websites in entertainment, health and fashion. I won’t lie, the pay was shitty because, at the time, I didn’t realise that my writing was worth more. However, despite the pay covering my outgoings, I decided to add another string to my bow.
To supplement my freelance writing income, I opened an Etsy shop selling blog designs. This made up around 20% of my first 1k. I’m not a web designer but I learnt how to code blogger templates via google and would tweak my own blog a lot. At the time, I saw a gap in the market for affordable blog designs so I sold them fairly cheaply but still made a profit as once I had created a template, I could sell it more than once.
I was pretty lucky that I could write about the products on my blog and link to my shop. At its peak, my blog was receiving almost 100,000 hits per month which meant a good amount of traffic to my Etsy shop.
As my freelance writing career took off, I decided to close the shop as I didn’t have enough time to promote the products, answer queries or make any new templates. However, it was a good extra source of income at the time.
If you’re thinking of setting up an additional source of income, Etsy is a great platform as it already has an audience of its own. But, if you have creative talents, you could also use Society 6 to sell your own products.
The final 10% of my first 1k came from my blog in the form of advertising, Google Analytics and sponsored posts. I used to offer small adverts on my blog for other bloggers and small businesses. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular method of making money from your blog anymore. These days, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts seem to be the way forward. Whenever I’ve written a sponsored post, I’ve been asked via email but if you’re in the UK, the UK bloggers Facebook group is a good source of sponsored post opportunities.
Google analytics isn’t something I would recommend. It took me around 6 months to earn £60 with a small advert. You could probably earn much more with another company. However, it was still a lil’ bit of passive income and it was an unobtrusive way of making money.
Remember, if you’re making extra money online, you need to declare your income for tax purposes. If you’re in the UK, you can find out more here.