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Another #myfirsthustledollar series post, my friends. In this series, I ask people how they made their first dollar independent of their full-time job.
Our mission here is to demystify the whole thing.
This week, we have superstar blogger Chonce Maddox of My Debt Epiphany. She’s a freelance writer that was able to jump her income from $0 to $3,000. She’s dishing all of her secrets! Take it away Chonce!
Personal finance freelance writing and blogging.
What’s the very first product/service you ever tried to sell in life?
I set up a ‘Hire Me’ page on my blog about four months after I started it in order to sell my article writing, copywriting, and VA services.
How did you market it?
The page itself was a great way to market my services and let people know I was looking for work but I also optimized the page for SEO and mentioned it in my blog posts.
Another thing I did was send pitches to potential clients and send them a link to that page. I included links to writing samples on that page along with testimonials.
What were the challenges you faced?
Finding someone to hire me was intimidating at first but I paid for a coach right off the bat to look over my resume, introduce me to the industry, help me with networking and teach me all the tricks of the trade. I didn’t want to make rookie mistakes and I wanted to earn money fast.
How much did you make from your first independent dollar?
My coach let me know about a paid guest post opportunity on AFineParent.com. I sent in an outline for approval and I was selected to write an in-depth post about teaching your kids about street smarts for $100. I was thrilled!
My first consistent client however, actually reached out to me and found my site Hire Me page somehow. I’m not sure how he found me, but I was happy he did and I started producing weekly posts for his site for $30 per post.
I pitched my second client and it seemed as if timing was on my side because they mentioned how they were considering taking on a staff writer. I am still working with that client and even secured a raise a few months ago.
Did you have trouble setting the price and asking for what you’re worth? Why or why not?
I still have trouble with this. At first, I was stuck in the mindset that I need to be flexible and not appear too greedy. I also have a tendency to quote rates based on how much I think the client can pay.
This way of thinking is flawed though. I should set my rates based on my experience, the complexity of the assignment, and what I believe I am truly worth.
I also feel like a common obstacle writers face is dealing with clients who don’t believe in paying writers an adequate wage (because they don’t understand how much goes into it) or even ones who expect free work. I’m still working on this though.
How did the first sale make you feel?
When I first got paid from freelance writing it felt awesome! Most of my life people told me writers can’t earn a decent wage and it felt so good to prove them wrong. I also earn an income from advertising on my blog and I hope to set up a few products to sell once I build up a bigger audience.
What advice do you have for budding side hustlers anxious to make the first sale?
Get a coach if you honestly feel you need one. I made back the investment from hiring my coach quickly and learned a ton of tips and strategies to help me catapult my income to go from $0 to at least a consistent $3,000 per month while only dedicating 15-20 hours per week aside from my full-time job.
That’s no chump change. And it’s helping me meet my goals so much quicker. It all started when I simply believed I could earn more money and took action.
Thanks Chonce for giving us the tea on your writing success! I can’t stress enough how much hiring a coach can help you learn quickly.
If you want to check Chonce out, be sure to visit her at Mydebtepiphany.com.
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