– Hey guys, what’s up?So, another day and anothergood content is here. Well, guess what, todayI’m with a freelance writerChintan, and Chintan hasworked with ShoutMeLoudand he has also workedwith many brand like Foundrand what else? – Native Ads. – Native Ads. And, he also worked–– Neil Patel. – Neil Patel. So, he has been, like, intothe freelance writing businessfor quite a long time,and today, you know, weare going to pick his brainto understand about how you can alsostart freelance writing businessor become a freelance writer. If you are already a freelance writer,you can learn how you canactually grow your businessto, you know, four figure, five figure,or six figure, in fact. And if you’re somebody who’s actuallysitting on the sideline thinking,what are the online businessopportunity you have,freelance writing isone of the opportunitythat can open a lot of doors for you. So, we are going to look intoall those thing today with Chintan. So, straight away,let’s go to the Chintan. – Hello, people, what’s up?It’s Chintan here. I am a writer and content-marketer. I started my writing journeyas a freelance writerin 2014 after passingon from BITS Pilani, Goaas an engineer. Before that, as well, I was writing forvarious media publicationsand I was workingas a technology blogger,as a sports blogger,and engineering didn’tmake much sense to me,so I thought, “Okay, let’s givethis writing thing a shot. “It started with writinggigs at iwriter. com. Iwriter. com is a content millwhereby you can write articlesfor clients at like $5, $3. I remember my first articlewas at thesportsmirror. comand for that I was paid,almost like, 50 cents,a dollar, and from then on,then I have built my profileand I have worked my way up to easily getmore than 100 to $200 per article. So, it’s been a journey for meand I have thoroughly enjoyed it. – In which year did you start?- Writing?- Yes. – So, I started my writing thing,I think in 2010 as a sports blogger,and that time I was justlike exploring things,it was an internship. I didn’t have anything in mind thatI want to do thisand this is going to besomething that I’ll pursue,but it got me interested in writing,and from then on, I hadvarious gigs as a writerwith various companiesand various media houses. – Okay, thanks foryour introduction, Chintan. And now, let’s bring theconversation to our audience,who are thriving to find anonline business opportunity. So, my first question to you ishow can somebody who has zero experience,who is probably okay atwriting or good at writing,how can they start making thisas a money-making business for that?- Alright, so practically, what you can dois start with applying at job boards. The best job board, I think,is jobs. problogger. net,where you will find decentearning opportunities. Besides that, you can go to websites likeelance. com or iwriter. com. These are all content mills. You won’t get paid much,but you will get the idea ofhow freelance writing works,how to deal with clients. And, from then on, youcan gradually start intobuilding your own brand,building your own profile,and for that, I would recommendguest posting at websites. So, you can decide on a particularniche, like say suppose, ifI’m interested in lifestyle,then I’ll target publicationsthat are well-knownin the lifestyle niche. If suppose if I’m interested in marketing,then I’ll target websites like ShoutMeLoudfor getting my name up on their blogs,like, getting my articlesup on their blogsand proving my credibility. So, once you get your name,it’s all about thefirst major publication. So if you get into one publication,from then on, it becomes much easier. Getting that firstpublication is, I think,the major challenge,and for that you’ll needgood ideas and good writingskills and some luckto work in your field. – Okay, so, yousaid, like, number one,go to the content mill,find freelancing gigs. Second, get yourself publishedon the top media houses. Anything else, like,what about the website?Or, what about having a blog or a websiteor a page where people can contact you?- Correct. So, I think, manywriters, what I’ve found,many writers when they’re starting out,they’re not verywell-equipped with WordPress,although WordPress is not as difficult,but it depends on the person,so if you are more of a creative bent,then I don’t think technology might,it might seem a little daunting. So, what you can do is simplycreate your portfolio pagewith something as simple as Contently. So, Contently allows youto create a page likeI have my own page atchintanzalani. contently. com. So, there you can add your own articlesand build a portfolioand you can share that with clients. And you can also create an about me pageand there, you can alsomention the same thingthat you can hire me by doing this. So, that is a quicker way to,if you have the goal clear thatyou want to become a writerand you want to offer your services,then I think that is aquicker way to go about it. Obviously, having a writer’s websiteand building your ownaudience really helps,but, for your first few weeksmaybe you can just go aheadwith building your profileon about me or contentand from then on, youcan build on your websiteand that can come in the third monthor the second month, then on. – Oh, solid stuff. Okay. Now, next question is so, of course,I believe, like, youknow, there is of course,money doesn’t come easyand freelance writing isnot just another thing,it’s a serious stuff. The question is how muchmoney one can expect,like none the lower andthe higher to make fromfreelance writing in a dayor in a month per article?Whatever way you want to add. – Okay. So, I think for making,if you talk in terms of making money,I think content marketingis a really great way toget some nice extra income. When you think of yourself as a writerand when you just startwith the love for writing,it’s a great place to start atand you can get paid $50 perarticle at decent publications,$100 per article, as well. That is a great way to start. But, if you want to increase your income,then, building your own audienceand understanding content marketingand how the writing that you’re doingis going to affect thebusiness which is hiring you,that will really help. And, that is what contentmarketing is all about. So, I think it really helps to understandthe business angle of writing. – And, how much time does it taketo understand that, like, ifsomebody is starting today,like in months or in years?- I think it’s really subjective. I cannot say that it will takeyou this much amount of time,but, if you put in the effortand if you keep it very simpleand if you refer the right sources,like say, if we want tounderstand content marketing,then, maybe you can go toContent Marketing Instituteor if you refer a good guideor a course like Shout Universityfor understanding blogging, for strategy,then I think a couple ofmonths to three monthsis a good space. And, it is something thatyou can do on the side. Invest some time everyweek in understanding it,as well as time in writingand pitching publicationsas well as. . . Pitching is the main thing,so, you cannot stop cold pitching,you cannot stop marketing yourself. That is the main thing as a writer. That is the main thingas a service provider. So, unless you’re puttingyourself out there, it’s nothing. Nobody knows what you knowand what is your writing skillset, right?So, you can do the content marketing,understanding thing, on the side. Take two months, threemonths, maybe six months,but meanwhile, you haveto keep cold pitchingand keep targeting publicationsand keep reaching outto clients, prospects,that, okay, I’m offering content services,I’m offering writing and thisis what I have done so far,so, if you’re looking for someone,then I would love to come aboard. – Okay. Thank you for addingall the value, Chintan. And, I believe thisquestion, a lot of bloggersand lot of writers or aspiring writersor aspiring freelance,people who want to get intofreelance writing can connect to. How do one go about improvingtheir writing skillsand I’m not talking aboutjust, you know, getting onlineand writing, I’m talking about, like,becoming a prolific writer just like you. – I’m not that prolific, by the way,but yes, to improve your writing skillset,I think a great way to go about it isstarting with reading books. One book which will reallyhelp you is “On Writing”and maybe you can do a course at Udemy. So, I started with a course by Shani Raja,who’s a Wall Street editor. So, that really helped meunderstand the nuances of writing. So, everybody says that they are a writer,and everybody is a writer,everybody can be a writer,but understanding that whatare the subtle nuances,like, the simplicity of writing,the elegance of writing,the flow in writing,how you can put together yourideas in a coherent mannerand form a compelling narrative,that is something whichwill come with practice,but at the same time, you willfirst have to have the lensto view that in your writing. So, I think a course willreally help you to get startedand then, it’s the generic advice,which you must avert everywhere,that you have to read more,and you have to, you know, write more. That you have to do it consistently,but, if you have thelens to understand thatokay, this is how good writing looks like,then, I think you’ll bein a much better placeto get started. – Cool. So, at this question, what are the thingsthat you do everyday to, you know,keep honing your writing skills?- Alright. So, on a daily basis, thefirst thing is I write. I write for clients, I write for myself,I journal, and I think writing morereally helps you toget your ideas on paperand it improves your writing skill. So, writing is essentiallygetting your ideasin a good, compellingnarrative format, right?So, it can be non-fiction,it can be fiction,it can be journaling, it can be anything. So, writing more is onesimple thing that I rely onand the second thing is, I think, ideas. So, I rely a lot onsomething which is called isassociative thinking,forming associations. So, it’s really subjective. Creativity is a lot of typesand for me, what comes naturallyis when I use a conceptfrom a different industry in my industry. So suppose if, say, there’sa concept in psychology. Then, maybe I can use that in my writing,in my marketing writingand make the argument more compelling. If there’s, say, anexercise in method acting,and I’m exploring method acting,then I can use that in myarticle on self-improvement,because that is something which is coming,which I formed an association with,and which is coming to me. So, basically, learning moreand learning diverse thingsis also what really contributesto my writing skill. That’s what I feel. – And how doyou go about improvingyour word dictionary?Like, you know, insteadof using general word,how do you start making those power wordsa natural part of your writing?- Alright, so, I think the first pointthat I really want to make issimple writing is the most difficultand simple writing is somethingwhich is for the masses. So, unless you’re reallywriting for a niche audience,say, if you’re writing forHarvard Business Review,or a very niche audience of, say,artificial intelligence technocrats,you don’t need to be very technical. And essentially, injournalism, and even the novelsthat are bestsellers,generally tend to contain,and this is research-proven,this is data-backed that,you need to keep your writing very simpleand it’s not reallyabout having a better. . . It’s not about word play,it’s about having more compelling ideas. So, that is first thingthat I really want to clear. But still, it reallyhelps to have diversity inthe words that you use andbeing very specific with,maybe, your emotional vocabulary or. . . So, if you’re writing fora very particular audience,then obviously, having thetechnical understandingof the terms is really helpfuland using that is somethingthat will come by reading more. So, say, suppose ifI’m writing on bloggingthen, content strategy,conversions, email marketing,these are things that shouldbe a part of our vocabularyand I should understand them in-depthand I should read about them. At the same time, if I’mwriting for a general audienceand if I’m, say, targetinga very beginner audienceon these subjects, then, I’llkeep it very simple, as well. Now, if I want to create avocabulary, one actionable tip,use all of this thing thatI’ve talked about is, like,negating building a vocabulary. But say, if you wantto build a vocabulary,something that I have personally tried,so I hired a intern to work with meand I gave her, from whateverliterature I was reading,like, maybe it was at The Economistor maybe it was a novel. So, if I found some words,then I just noted downthose words in WorkFlowy,which is a free tool, and from there onI sent that to my intern andshe prepared some questionsto go about learning it in Anki. So, Anki is a app whichhelps in active learningand it’s something which you can usefor learning words with contextand then, they can naturallyflow into your writing as well. – Cool. Okay. So, alright, so, you know,you have given some tipswhich personally, I think I’malso going to pick them up,but, here’s a question. So, these are the things thatyou already did to reach here. Now, what are the things, whatare the writing techniquesor the things that you arelooking forward to integrateinto your writing, moving forward?- Alright, so the thing thatI struggle with right now isI genuinely, like, each day, sometimes,there’s always this underlyingfeeling like an imposter,like I’m not really a writer,I’m not really writing well,because what I tend to do, my writing,obviously it’s a creativeprocess and it’s very subjective,but my writing processhas been very haphazardand it’s more like Icollect a lot of informationand then I try to make sense of itand put it in a compelling narrative. So, that is what I do,but that is not how writing generally is. What writing processlooks like for most peopleis when they create an outline,which is something which I also do,but after creating that outline,they just shut down the Internetor shut down the external thingsand just let it flow. So, that flow thing comes to me,but then, it’s not as compellingas my research-backed writingwhich I do with the Internet on. The Internet is in the on mode. So, that is somethingwhich I am struggling withand that is something whichI really want to work on. So even you recently tried an experimentto go on a metro linewhere there’s no Internet,and I’ll just sit with my laptopand I’ll have an article with meand for that period of two to three hours,I’ll just sit and write. Nothing else. So, that is somethingwhich I’m working on,and that is what I really,the place that I want to be in,that, then when the writing just flows. – Yeah. I believe, you know, for you,since you write a lotof technical articlesand stuff where youdefinitely need to researchon every single thing,so, for those kind of article, yes,that kind of flow willtake a lot of time to come,but, I understand what you mean,and yes, that’s a nice place to be. Okay, so, what are the writing toolsthat you use day-to-day?- Writing tools, I would say,Grammarly is somethingwhich I absolutely loveand it’s responsible forfixing all my grammar mistakes. I commit a lot of them. And it even helps with writing’s clarity,simplicity, and elegance. It offers really great suggestionsand I recommend people whichare struggling with writingto definitely give itspremium version a shot. It’ll really help. And, the second tool is Google Docs. So, I keep it very simple,I don’t really create anoutline in a different tool,and something like that. I have a very simple way to go about it. I use Google Docs for my writing bitand then, I use Grammarly for editing. That’s it. – Okay. Do you use Hemingway Editor?- Yeah, I have usedHemingway Editor in the past,but I think a lot of the legworkthat Hemingway does isalready done by Grammarlyand now, if you are at a placewhereby you use really longsentences or complex words,then you should really use Hemingway. But, now I think I’m ina place whereby mostly,my writing is at theplace where I don’t needHemingway’s functionalities. – Okay. Alright, Chintan, it’sthe last three question. And the first one, like,you already mentionedabout the website, like,iWriter and two more,where one can find the writing gig. What are the some ofthe unconventional waysof finding the writingopportunity which actually pays?- Alright, so, one thing I really feel isthe best way to go about this,maybe it’s on your ownblog if you have a website,maybe it’s for a client. I did this for a client. You do an influencer roundup. So, what is an influencer roundup?It’s essentially an article which listspeople in your industrywho are thought leaders,like, Harsh Agrawal is a thought leaderin the Internet marketing industry. So, if, say, suppose you’rewriting in the lifestyle niche,maybe you can target companiesand you can target the marketing managersof lifestyle brands. Or, if suppose you are in theartificial intelligence nicheor if you are in the lawyer niche,then you can target companiesthat are doing contentmarketing for lawyersor you can target lawyers directlyand you can get relevant piecesof value-adding advice for themand compile that in anarticle and do a roundup. So, my article that I did was35 blogging thoughts leadersthat you should follow forthe best blogging advice,and it compiled resources fromall of these thought leaders. And through that, I didn’teven have this in mindwhen I was doing this,but, as soon as I did that,I got, like, four to fiveinquiries on my writing services,just because I had alreadyshown my credibilitythat I can do this thingand I’m good at writing. And, there was a proof ofthat writing piece that was,that just knocked it out ofthe park for most people,because it was a veryintensive, extensive, sorry,an extensive resourcewhich I had put togetherwith a lot of hard work. And, I had mentioned thisin my email signaturethat I’m a copywriter, so I got inquiriesand even Harsh contactedme after that articleon inquiring me about my writing services,and from them on, I thinkit was a snowball effectthat started from, allbecause of that articleis why my writing career kind of began,because, from then on I got to know to,I got a few clients, a coupleof them were consistent. Then from there, Harsh hired me. Harsh referred me to my other clients. And so, the referralengine sort of started. So, I think influencer roundupis a thing which is usedrepetitively by many service providersand it is something that you shoulddefinitely give it a shot. – Oh, fantastic. I mean, that’s a veryunconventional way, Chintan. Now, let’s say, somebodyis doing freelance writingfor two, three years, andthey have a consistent rate. Now, how do one go aboutincreasing their rate?What is the approach thatthey don’t end up losingtheir existing client or new clients?What is that you would recommend?- Got it. So, as I have already mentioned,you need to understand content marketing. Content marketing is howcan you drive revenuefor the business through your services,through your writing. In this particular case,it’s writing, right?So, you need to understandthat at the end of the day,the person who is paying youshould not look at you as an expense. If you are an expense, then,you’re not an headache,but you are somebody who is replaceable,who is a commodity. So, you have to come acrossas someone who is valuable,who can give a return to the client. So, if you can understand the businessthat you’re working forand how your writing isadding value to them,and you can always attach numbers to this. So, I’ve personally donethis with a couple of people. I think I remember doingthis for Harsh, as well,and I have done this formy other clients, as well,and I always try to gothrough that approach ofokay, how do I calculate that my writingis generating revenue for themand how much of revenue will it generate?And, from then on, youcan anchor your priceaccording to the revenuethat you’re generating. So, obviously, thiswill require a clienteleor a pool of clients whichhave that mindset, as well. But, those are the clientsyou should be working forin the first place, right?They have the growth mindset. They are the people whoare wanting to invest. They’re not just looking atit as a one-off commodity gig. So, you have to be in that mindset. And, as for your existing clients,so, it cannot be a jump of 100% directly. Obviously, it cannot be a jumpof 50% also, in some cases. But, it’s all about performing well. So, if you’ve performed well for a whileand suppose, if you’re hiredjust right now by someone,then, maybe you have nothad that conversationbecause you didn’t havewriting inks in your beltto have that negotiation dialogue. But, now you are in theplace that you want toincrease your rates andyou want to justify itto your client. So, it’s somethingwhich is really natural. You have to understand it’sa business relationship,first of all, and youhave to treat it as that,and then, the way to goabout it is by telling them,giving them a timeframe, of say,suppose three months to six monthsthat hey, if suppose if it’s Harsh, then,”Hey Harsh, my rates are goingto increase in three months”and you have been a consistent client”and I really value that,and in three months,”this is going to be my rateand I’m informing you right now”so, if you can please accommodate that”then I’ll be gratefulfor your partnership. “This is one way to go about it. Another way, if you are with a new clientand maybe he’s not paying you your rate,then you can tell me, okay then,can we please re-discuss the ratesat the end of three monthsor at the end of six monthsand let’s keep some performance metrics,like, suppose say, the numberof shares on your articleor the number of leadsthat you’ve generatedor the amount of trafficthat your articlesare getting on the website,and the number of backlinks. Many of these are vanity metrics,but if you can attach it to the metricthat really relevant to the businessand that will help their bottom line,then it can be a conversationthat you’re havingas a consultant and not just as a writer. So, that is what I recommend. – That was prettyawesome because I don’t thinka lot of people actually think that way. They just think this asone-off opportunity that,okay, I’m getting paid $100and $50, that’s all good. But, yeah, I really likethe way if you actually,not think just as awriter but as a, you know,like, what’s a value thatyou’re adding to the business. – Yeah. Yeah. – And yes, so, youbasically get paid for the valueand not just for the writing, which is,I think a very unique way of thinkingand probably, that’s why,I think I kind of likeyour way of doing things. Alright. – Thank you. – So, now the last one,and I think, like, thisis something, you know,will come from your own experience. Is freelance writing jobor, you know, businessor the laptop lifestyle that you live,is it glamorous?- It definitely looks so from the outside. That is the first thingthat comes to my mind. So, yes, I think, like, as you yourselfhave been traveling around the world,I have had month-long staysin Bhagsu in Himachal Pradeshand in Kausani in Himachal Pradesh. So, I have, I can keep on traveling. I have tried other careeravenues like method acting,music, and all of that has been possiblebecause of having thislaptop freelance lifestyle. I’ve moved across cities. I’ve never been in one city. I’ve lived in Bangalore,I’ve lived in Mumbai,I’ve lived in Delhi and various places. So, yes, obviously ithas both pros and cons,so that is something, if travelingand meeting new people andthis is something that you likeand even the solitary lifestyle, like,because you will mostly be on your laptop. That is something that people miss. And, you might be mostlikely working alone. And even if you have a team,it might be very remote. Like, they’ll be in a different cityand you’ll be conversingmaybe on a phone callor something like that, right?Or maybe on a Skype call ormaybe chat or maybe email. So, in that sense, it’snot very glamorous. For me, as a person, I havea strong foundation of,I have friends in most citiesbecause they are software engineers,so they are everywhere,scattered across the country. And then, my family is,I have a strong support systemin the form of my familyand friends, as well. So, that is why it’s okay,but definitely, I think the con of it isthat most people don’t realize,they just see that it’s not time-boundand you get to have allthe fun, you get to travel. It’s also sometimes very lonely. And for someone like me, itcan also become a routine,so, beyond a point,everything is a routine,and beyond a point, it can be interestingand you can have the sugarrush kind of that feelingin the initial bit, but Ithink pros and cons to it. It’s glamorous, but it hasit’s own drawbacks, as well. – Okay, so yeah, I believe, like,what you mean to say isyes, there’s bright sideof doing your own business,but then the discipline is the keyand understanding how we workand finding the right wayof doing thing is the key. – Definitely. – Alright, so, I thinkthat was freaking awesomeand Chintan, you addeda lot of value here. You added, I believe, like,lot of you who actually wantedto get to know about freelancewriting or already therehave got a lot of meat here. Meat is actually, you know, the real stuffwhich actually help you to grow. Now, if you have any other question,feel free to ask in thecomment section belowand Chintan will comeand, like, will you reply?- Yes, definitely, man. Please, I would love to. – Cool. Do that, like, this isyour time to actually learnfrom somebody who’sactually doing something,so, please go ahead,and if you know somebodywho’s into freelance writingor planning to start an online businesson becoming a freelance writer,send them this video, letthem know about, you know,what they can do, whatare the possibilities,all the challenges, and Ibelieve all this questionhas covered that. So, with that, I will seeyou in the next video. Thank you, Chintan, for for this. And– Buh-bye. – Buh-bye.