Freelance writing has quickly become one of the best ways to make a living online. Especially for moms who want to stay home with their children, but still be able to provide for them. Today, I have a very special post for you guys. I interviewed a freelance writer named Elna Cain, who started making a full-time income in only 6 months of starting freelance writing. And she did this while only working part-time! Two years ago she was exactly like you, desperate to find a way to make a living online and no bloody clue where to start. Today, she writes for several quite impressive websites and continues to earn a full-time income over two years later. She also owns two blogs. And of course, she does all of this while raising her twins.
Her story is truly inspiring.
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1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Elna Cain and I’m a mom to four-year-old twins and a freelance writer. Most of my clients are in the digital marketing industry and you can find my posts on OptinMonster, Blogging Wizard, Pagewiz and more.
2) How and why did you first get into freelance writing?
I had finished my maternity leave and was trying to find a way to contribute to our finances. Since my background is in helping children with autism I decided to help families locally.
But, this proved to be difficult since I had to leave my home at all hours of the day, leaving my twins behind. I’d often stay away for hours and then come home to a messy house where I would have to fix dinner or try to put the twins down for their nap.
I decided I wanted to stay home.
I knew that if I ended up working out of the home, I’d have to put my twins into daycare. This alone would eat up any earnings I had from my job.
Since my husband works online, he suggested I’d do the same. I started looking at my options and learned that a lot of mom bloggers were also freelance writing on the side.
It was the perfect gig. I could write a blog post and get paid! Sign me up!
3) Where did you find writing gigs when you started? And how did that change as your business grew?
When I realized I wanted to freelance writer, I had no clue where to start. So, as most new writers did, I went to a content mill.
These are sites that pay pennies for bulk content.
My first writing project earned me $1.62 – and it took me 3 hours to write! I almost threw in the towel right there.
But, then I tried Upwork, and I still had no luck there either. Clients were only hiring the cheapest writers.
I decided I’d do this on my own. I’d start a website, market my services and find job ad sites.
Within two months I had my first freelance writing gig at $100 a post.
I found that job on the Freelance Writing job board.
4) How long did it take you to earn your first $1k, and how long did it take you to start earning a full-time income at home?
I earned my first $1k when I landed my second gig, which was a month after landing my first gig.
I’m sure I could’ve have done it sooner because I was doing this all part time. Every day when my twins took their daily nap I’d pitch and write content. That was 2 hours or a bit less. Then I’d write when my twins went to bed for the night for another two hours.
I was able to make a full-time living within 6 months of starting.
5) I know you have a course that teaches aspiring freelance writers + bloggers how to earn their first 1k in seven weeks; can you tell us about your course Write Your Way To $1k?
Write Your Way to Your First $1k is a self-paced course for bloggers and aspiring writers. I recently revamped the course with new lessons and bonus material. There’s also a private Facebook group where you can network and even find work.
I walk you through setting up your business, finding your profitable niche, marketing strategies, pitch development and I mention over 95+ ways to find a freelance writing job. I have an entire module dedicated on cold pitching, using social media to find a client, job boards, marketing locally and using high-paying agencies.
But, I also offer lessons on developing high-paying writing skills and how to wow your clients so work comes to you.
6) Is there anything you wish you did differently when you started freelance writing?
Personally, I wish I didn’t spend time writing for content mills or trying desperately on Upwork to find a gig.
Those are dead ends and there’s no way you can make a living like that.
7) You have been very successful with your freelance writing business and your blogs -Would you say that any blogger could be a successful freelancer and earn a full-time income at home?
I strongly believe that anyone can become a freelance writer, but not everyone can make a living from it.
You do need a strong motivator and you also need to know how to market yourself effectively. I don’t teach the former skill, but my course does teach you the latter skill!
8) And finally, what advice would you give to someone trying to get into freelance writing?
If you want to try freelance writing yourself, I have a free course to help you land your first client.
It’s a 6-day email course! You can also visit my blog where I write help new freelance writers!
Well, there you have it. Thank you, Elna – for taking the time to do this interview with me.
If you’re an aspiring freelance writer or blogger wanting to break into a freelance writing career – I highly recommend Elna’s course Write Your Way To 1K. In this course, she shares all of her tips and tricks that have made her the successful freelancer she is today.
Before I started this blog, I was under the impression that nobody actually made a living freelance writing. But after starting this blog I have found SO many freelancers who are doing just that. I was absolutely blown away at how many bloggers and stay at home moms were kicking ass at freelancing. So if you’re doubting yourself or your ability – I say, take the leap.
That’s what I’m doing. It’s never too late to follow your dreams.
It’s imperative to have a blog to showcase your work if you’re serious about freelance writing. If you haven’t started one yet, no worries. I have put together a comprehensive guide to help you start a self-hosted blog on WordPress. You can check out that post here.
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