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Monetizing Your Time as a Freelance Writer

Updated: Mar 23

The freelance writing journey can seem daunting during those seasons where work is slow, but it is undeniably rewarding. For those who have dedicated years to the healthcare field, the transition into freelance writing offers an exciting avenue to blend your unique experiences and expertise with your love for storytelling and education. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Institute of Independent Journalists’ online conference for freelance writers. It was a reminder of the power of community and the myriad ways to navigate and thrive in this space. In this blog I want to highlight the session about monetizing your time as a freelance writer.


As a new writer, you may find your time is split in many directions: creating sample pieces, building a network, creating a website, marketing yourself as the new freelancer on the block, pitching, investigating how others are getting clients, etc. As that list grows a bit before things start to stabilize you may begin thinking if starting this new venture is worth your time. The short answer is: yes it is! While it may take a little longer than anticipated to get off the ground, you can expect that other freelance writers will give you ideas on ways to monetize your time, especially during those times when you’re looking for clients or more steady income. I’m going to share a few ways to monetize your time that were shared at a conference recently.


Newsletters

Newsletters offer a canvas for personal stories, niche insights, and direct engagement with an audience. The transition from free to paid subscriptions can mark a significant step in a freelance career, turning loyal readers into a sustainable source of income. To make this transition successful, the content offered must go beyond the ordinary. It should not only inform but also inspire, educate, and connect with your readers on a personal level. This means delivering content that is not readily available elsewhere, packed with insights, actionable tips, and stories that speak directly to your audience's desires and challenges. Whether it's through exclusive articles, behind-the-scenes looks, or advanced tips and strategies, what is being offered should make your readers feel they're getting something worth paying for.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking engagements can sometimes be paid opportunities for individuals to share their knowledge and experiences with an audience, typically at conferences, workshops, seminars, or within academic and professional settings. As a freelance writer with a background in healthcare, these opportunities offer a platform to position yourself as experts in your niche, and discuss topics relevant to your audience. To secure speaking opportunities, writers may first leverage their networks, including professional associations, alumni groups, and contacts within healthcare institutions. Engaging with online communities and platforms dedicated to healthcare and writing, like LinkedIn or specialized forums, can also uncover opportunities. Additionally, proposing topics or offering to speak at local events, healthcare conferences, and educational institutions can serve as a valuable entry point.


Hosting Paid Workshops

Offering workshops related to writing or a specific skill that others may want to enhance can also be a way to monetize your time. Freelance writers looking to offer workshops for a fee on a specific skill related to their expertise can start by identifying their selling proposition—what makes your knowledge or skillset in demand and how it can benefit others? This could be anything from specialized writing techniques, content marketing strategies, to storytelling in healthcare. Once identified, you should develop a detailed workshop outline that includes learning objectives, interactive elements, and exercises that ensure attendees are engaged and can also apply what they've learned. Marketing the workshop is also something to consider.


You may need to leverage social media platforms, email newsletters, and professional networks to reach potential participants. Platforms like LinkedIn, Eventbrite, and even personal websites can serve as registration hubs. Pricing should reflect the value of the workshop, taking into consideration the depth of the content, the exclusivity of the knowledge shared, and the potential return on investment for attendees. Additionally, offering a mix of live and recorded sessions can cater to different preferences and time zones, expanding the workshop's reach. Engaging with participants before and after the workshop through Q&A sessions, feedback surveys, and follow-up resources can further enhance the learning experience and establish you as an authority in your field.


Diversify Your Services

Lastly, conference speakers shed light on the importance of diversifying services, such as editing and reviewing. By branching out into these specialized areas, freelance writers can unlock new avenues for revenue. Providing these services allows writers to refine their craft, offering a deeper understanding of language and storytelling nuances. This expertise elevates your work and may bolster your reputation and credibility within your niche. As writers become adept at identifying and correcting a range of writing issues, their value in the marketplace increases, making them more attractive to clients seeking high-quality, versatile writing professionals.


Black woman freelance writer holding money in her right hand while sitting in front of her computer.
Joy

In Summary

In the early stages of your freelance writing career, it’s necessary to focus on building connections, sharing your unique perspectives as a healthcare professional, and continuously learning and adapting. The conference reminded me of the importance of embracing every opportunity to grow, not only financially but also professionally and personally. I encourage you to take some time to network with others in the freelance writing space. By engaging in networking, you'll undoubtedly encounter individuals with whom you can share and refine ideas, be introduced to potential clients, develop fresh strategies for your enterprise, or at the very least, secure a supportive ally in the freelance community.


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