I don’t know about you, but I love a Freelance success story about as much as I love binging on “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix (trust me, that’s a lot).
And Elna Cain’s story is truly motivational. She succeeded quickly in the freelance writing field and agreed to let me interview her to see how she did it.
Let’s get to it!
Elna, Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Elna Cain and I’m a freelance writer. I’m also a mother to twin toddlers. I’ve been a freelancer for a little over a year and in that time I’ve been able to replace my full-time income as a teacher by only working part-time as a writer.
I mostly provide blog writing services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. I also ghostwrite for some highly influential bloggers and recently started to dip my toes into copywriting.
I have read on your blog that one of the reasons you decided to pursue freelance writing was so that you could stay home with your twins. Were there any other major factors that affected your decision?
I actually just stumbled onto this lucrative career. Because I was staying home with my twin children I knew that once my maternity leave ended, I didn’t want to go back to work as a teacher.
I also knew when I went back to my old job, the day care costs alone would eat up a huge chunk of my paycheck.
We are a dual-income family, so I knew I had to generate income somehow if I was to stay home.
But, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I thought I would run a day care. I figured I already had two children to take care of, one or two more would be a piece of cake. As my twins got older, though, I realized it was a lot of hard work just taking care of two toddlers by myself.
Eventually, my husband – who is also an entrepreneur and works online – told me to find “something” online.
I wasn’t sure what I could do, so I started exploring work from home opportunities and found mommy bloggers who also did freelance writing.
This interested me as I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. I learned everything I could about freelance writing, set up my writer website and started getting out there!
Did you try any other side hustles before you settled on writing?
Actually, I didn’t. Writing comes naturally to me so the thought of being a freelance writer appealed to me. But, after I officially became a freelance writer, I also included other services such as social media marketing and eBook graphic designing.
Fear seems to be pretty common among writers and often keeps them from getting very far. Did you experience that, and if so, what did you do to move past it and land your first gigs?
Early on in my career I experienced some self-doubt and apprehension. I don’t have a journalism background and I’m not the best with grammar (that’s why I love Grammarly!) either. But, this never stopped me from pitching or landing gigs.
What did was a rude comment from someone regarding a blog post I had written. This person called my writing, “junk food writing.”
I froze. I couldn’t believe a fellow writer was calling me this. I almost quit freelance writing right then and there.
But, my husband helped me realize that I am a great writer and to not worry about what others think. If clients hire you and you get paid to write, that’s all that counts.
And he’s right. Clients come to me because they like the way I write.
How long did it take you to earn your first $1,000 as a freelance writer? And how long did it take you to earn what you would consider a full time salary?
For me, because I’m doing this part-time it took me around two months to go from $0 to $1k. I worked hard, guest posted, built up my presence and pitched like mad.
Speaking of your first $1,000, you have a course coming out that teaches writers how to get there. Can you give us one small sentence or excerpt from the course that will give us an idea of what we can expect?
My new course is called Write Your Way to Your First $1k, for bloggers and new writers.
My comprehensive course provides the exact steps – and pitches – that I used to become a sought after freelance writer and went on to replace my full-time salary in as little as 6 months – and I’m doing this part-time.
And, you know what? My story isn’t unusual. Any new writer or blogger can achieve this and more.
My course will teach you how to develop a killer pitch, but more importantly, how to build a solid foundation to help you attract high-paying clients.
There are seven modules and a total of 41 lessons. As a course participant you will also get templates, email swipe copy and a free pitching guide.
Here is an excerpt from Lesson 16 – Maximizing Your Unique Selling Point:
Do you know why certain freelance writers don’t have any problems landing profitable writing gigs?
Sure, they may have an optimized writer website, or have guest posts on several blogs, but the one thing that sets them apart from all the other writers out there is their unique selling point.
Part of being a freelance writer is having a strong marketing strategy. That’s why I’m talking a lot about building your writer platform and brand.
It’s essentially these three things: your unique selling point, your writer platform and your brand that will not only help you attract clients, but it will also help you stay in business a long time.
This creates an opportunity to generate a liveable income from writing and eventually other sources of online income.
If you could give an emerging freelance writer one tip to get started, what would it be?
If you’re a new freelance writer, my number one tip would be to take action. Don’t mull over your pitch letter or think your writer website isn’t perfect; seek out writing opportunities and pitch.
By consistently putting yourself out there, you will land a writing gig! The first step is the hardest, but I promise, once you take it, the rest is a piece of cake!
Thanks, Elna! I know anyone who reads this will be inspired to take action!
What questions are you burning to ask Elna today?
Elna Cain is a freelance writer and coach. She writes for Blogging Wizard, PageWiz, WPKube and more. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing blog writing, ghostwriting and copywriting services. Not quite sure freelance writing is for you? Why not try her totally free course, Get Paid to Write Online!