Digital marketing, social media and branded content are some of the more lucrative fields available to freelance writers and other online workers right now. Writers specifically can excel in this field: who better to massage words and produce the best and most nuanced content that gets attention and clicks than an experienced wordsmith like you and I? Everyone seems to need some kind of digital- or social media-based service these days, so writers really must be onboard if they’re looking to make a decent living!
Working with social media is a special challenge, with each different platform presenting its own set of hurdles for writers. For example, working with Pinterest means you've got to be savvy enough to pair the right words with the best images, whereas Twitter challenges you to get the point across in just a few lines of text. But, when you can manipulate words and have access to the “right” vocabulary like working writers do, you’re well set up to excel in this particular genre.
But, the question is always how?
Your Social Media Followers
Well, the answer is found in your following. As a freelance writer who spends a lot of time on the web, you should have cultivated a decent social media following of your own after a year or two in this business. For example, most of the community on my Facebook page is likely readers of About.com, just like you are (seriously, you should join us!). I've managed close to 3,000 followers on Twitter, too (well, you could be my 3,000th, if you want!). You've probably picked up a few followers of your own from guest blog posts, or by interacting with other writers on forums or in online classes.
This happens naturally and organically, and presents you with an audience of people who mirror your interests.
Now, this takes time, that’s for sure, but it’s a necessary component of your own marketing of your freelance services. It’s well worth your time to work on, and if you need help building up your following, this article has a lot of great tips and tricks.
Now, once you've established some decent numbers, it’s time to get in on that social media manna! One of the best ways to do this is through affiliate product reviews and associated earnings. Many companies will pay you or give you free products if you've got a sizeable audience and can turn a phrase in a decent way. One example is Boost Insider, who I’ve found to be a decent and easy company to work with. Boost Insider assigns me products, such as apps or etc. to review, and I post and tweet about those products, and am paid to do so.
Be Genuine, Be Careful
Now, I am always careful to choose products that my audience may actually be interested in, and I am always honest and direct about my opinion. This is important to your followers: be genuine. Boost Insider assigns me a lot of fitness and beauty products, so I’m quite happy to write a little about my interests and hobbies. Sometimes this presents a nice break from my more heavy niche areas, such as immigration reform and cultural relations. It works out well for me, and provides a nice trickle of (somewhat) passive income.
Making the most of this career entails mining all the potential income streams you can handle. Social media entails using your communication skills for your clients and for yourself, to garner the hits, sales, clicks and shares needed. Sometimes the mode of actually making money from social media is a bit convoluted; I hope this particular practice is clarified for other writers, and that you've discovered another (lucrative) way to use your writing skills. I did!