Income on the Internet: How to Lay a Freelancing Foundation

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Everyone is making money on the Internet, right? Not really. There are few industries out there as hyped as the "online marketing" niche. Marketers would like you to believe that they have a system for making money online - that all you need to do is buy their system and follow a blueprint. The money will come rolling in, even if you have no previous freelancing experience. The truth is that it takes hard work, dedication, and skill to make money online.

Have a Marketable Skill

The first thing you need is a marketable skill. Without one, you won't make a dime. Whether you're a computer programmer, a writer, a web designer, or a photographer (or some other professional), you need to have something to sell. Even secondary skills can be marketable skills.

For example, if you don't have much experience as a technical writer, but you're good with blog-style posts, there's a market out there for you. Content is a big business on the Internet. Even large companies need blog posts written on a regular basis to attract and keep readers, for PR, and even for other marketing initiatives.

Create a Brand For Yourself

If you want to be a professional freelancer, you need a brand. People must like and trust you because they're buying you. They're not buying a faceless entity. You're a real person - show that to the world.

If you plan on succeeding in the world of freelancing, you'll need to create a really strong brand image to set yourself apart from the crowd. You have to have a value proposition that makes you very different from everyone else in your space - a unique "voice."

"Best customer service" just won't cut it. It has to be very specific. You'll necessarily have to delineate your market and cut out a lot of people. For example, if you work as a graphic designer, you might choose to do branding work for just online companies or you might choose to focus on a specific industry - like ice cream shops, coffee shops, or large retail operations.

You might specialize in female entrepreneurs, one-man corporations, or companies that align with your philosophical or religious beliefs.

Learn How To Write Ad Copy and Sell

Companies, such as, suggest that you not only create and host your own freelance website, but that you market yourself to your target market. To do that, you'll need to become a good copywriter. Ad copy is the way you reach out into the marketplace and advertise yourself to your target market.

Sound complicated? It's not, really. The best advertising books were written long ago - "Scientific Advertising," and "The First Hundred Million" are marketing classics. The principles are timeless, even if the marketing mediums have dramatically changed since the time of the first publishing of those books.

The two most important factors in your ad copy will be:

1) Your offer and;

2) Your headline

Without a good headline, you can't get people to read your offer. But without a good offer, your headline is worthless. Everything in-between the headline and the offer should get people excited about your offer.

The classic sales formula AIDA still works - use it. Grab the audience's attention with your headline. Get their interest by outlining a problem they have. Speak their language. Create desire by telling your target market that a solution exists and what that solution is - in principle (but don't offer your specific solution yet). Finally, ask them to take action by offering them your solution to their problem.

Linda Hunt is a freelance writer. She frequently shares her best tips for creating a living online on freelancer blogs.


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