Looking for writing jobs? The easiest jobs are the ones right under your nose, close to home. Yet few writers go for them.
This is invariably because they’re looking for “writing” jobs, instead of thinking about what businesses need. Consider your local dentist, dry cleaning shop, gym and day spa … Better yet, go chat with the shop owners. Ask them what they need.
Several of my writing students make great money working with local businesses. You can do the same. Just stop thinking of yourself solely as a writer. Yes, you’ll be writing, but the your focus will be on getting traffic to your small businesses’ websites, so that they can make sales.
Does the Business Have a Website?
Many local businesses don’t have a website. The primary reason is that they’re too busy. The second reason is that they don’t have large advertising budgets, so advertising agencies and Web development companies don’t target them. Most of these businesses have between $200 and $300 a month to spend on promotional activities, so they’re not worth the trouble to big agencies.
On the other hand, as a freelance writer, you could do very well with 30 of these businesses on retainer. You’d make a nice monthly income.
What Do These Ultra-Small Businesses Need?
These businesses need to get customers, and keep their customers happy.
If a business already has a website, chances are that the site isn’t optimized for the Web. Their Web pages don’t have meta data, such H1 and H2 tags, page titles, and page descriptions. (Yes, common SEO stuff.) This means that they’re losing out — customers who try to find them on the Web without knowing the business’s name, won’t find them. Just adding meta data to their Web pages will make a difference.
The business may or may not need a social media presence. If they need it, you can arrange this for them. You can also set up a blog, providing editorial guidance, or write a new blog post for them once a week.
It’s unlikely that the business will have any links to their site. You can contact other businesses, to create local partnerships. Having relationships and links to and from other businesses will also increase their traffic.
On the other hand, if a business doesn’t have a website, that’s the first thing you can do for them. Get them a domain name, hosting (you can use your own hosting account if you have reseller account), and set up a WordPress blog.
Once you’ve created their website, you can create a couple of press releases, and can make sure that the business appears in local listings. If the company wants to put you on retainer, you can create an editorial calendar, and can create Web content for them regularly, on a schedule.
Freelance writers who work with local businesses never run out of writing jobs. Give it a try, and see.
Tip: if you’re not already a member of SYWON (Sell Your Writing Online Now), check it out. SYWON gives you complete Web writing training; you’ll know what businesses need, and you’ll be able to get great writing jobs.