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The Fastest Way to Earn Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer

In today's modern world, it's difficult to be a successful freelance writer without a solid online presence. Sure, you may get one or two clients via in-person networking, but the vast majority of your work, as an online freelance writer, will come from the web, on places like your website, your social media platforms and even via Google search results.

So if you're just starting your freelancing journey, consider building your online presence as step number one. It will be the foundation for everything you do as a writer, and it will help you build the lucrative and successful career that you've been dreaming of. Don't know where to start?

Here are the four must-have essentials:

1. A Portfolio Site - Your portfolio site is the most important piece of the puzzle. It's where potential clients can go to learn about you and your skills and read samples of your writing. It's also what will show up in Google search results if you practice search engine optimization techniques.

2. A LinkedIn Page - LinkedIn is a great place to find new clients and new projects. Upload samples of your work, get recommendations from colleagues and past employers, and create a profile to show off to potential clients.

3. A Twitter Account - With Twitter, you can establish yourself as a true expert in your niche and as a writer. Use this platform to share news and industry insights, and promote your work (and your client's!) whenever possible. Optimize your profile with the right terms and hashtags, and you may even snag a few new projects.

4. Your Own Blog - Starting a blog can help your career in numerous ways. First, it can display a great snapshot of your skills. If you don't have many samples yet, a blog also offers potential clients a way to evaluate your talents and see what you can really do. And it can help you establish yourself as an expert in a specific niche or industry as well.

Be sure to tend to your blog and profiles regularly, update them with new skills and samples as you gain them, and use them to their fullest potential.

If you need advice on how to create a client-attracting online presence that will help you get more writing gigs and build your freelance writing career, then you should check out Maggie Linders' Freelance Profit Academy.

Maggie, a six-figure freelance writer, teaches writers exactly how to build full-fledged, successful freelance writing businesses while offering personal coaching and support as well as daily scam-free job opportunities.

The Fastest Way to Earn Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer

You know what feels great? Earning your first big chunk of cash as a professional freelance writer. It makes you feel like you made the right choice - like quitting your 9-to-5, branching out on your own and blazing your own path was the best thing you've ever done. But if you're just starting out, it can feel like that day is a long way away. If you're starting off with content mills and bidding sites, you may very well be working for pennies - and that can take a while to add up.

Fortunately, those aren't your only options. You can earn $1,000 as a freelance writer fast - long before your mortgage is due and the tax man comes calling.

Here's how to do it:

Find A Few Clients In Need - Scour your LinkedIn network and check out the websites of local businesses and companies. Is there any group with a less-than-stellar website? You could probably beef up their web content and make a big difference. Are any of your connections starting a new job? Find out if their company could use content help. Is someone in the market for employment? Offer to write copy for their personal portfolio site.

Request A "Per-Project" Rate - If you want to reach $1,000 fast, forget billing hourly. Instead, propose a flat, per-project rate for your clients. Factor in how much time the project will take you, as well as your experience and skills, and come up with a fee that's fair (but profitable!)

Exceed Your Deadlines - Sure, that new client might give you a month to complete their new website content, but do you really need that long? More importantly, do you want to wait that long for your payment? The quicker you get to work, the quicker you get paid!

Get Deposits And Ask For "Milestone" Payments - If you're working on a particularly large project, a great way to get your cash early is to ask for a deposit or collect milestone payments. With a deposit, you'll ask for a certain percentage of your total fee upfront. This is to reserve your time and protect you from getting stiffed. With milestone payments, you can have the client pay you for each chunk of content you turn in - maybe per webpage your write, per blog post or per eBook chapter.

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