I have not been able to completely transition to freelance writing as a full-time gig, so maybe lucrative was not the most accurate word for this post. I do, however, have 3 regular and repeat clients who I do projects for, and these jobs help pay the bills, and keep me writing and editing. I am pleased that I only began freelance writing this year, and I am already so successful.
It seems to me that the art of obtaining and maintaining repeat clients is five fold: Specialization, consistent quality work, ability to meet deadlines, reasonable rates and a “large” enough client to need repeat work.
Specialization is the first aspect. What are you an expert, or semi-expert in? As a nurse who has also worked in other aspects of healthcare, my clients trust my qualifications to write and comment on healthcare related topics.
Consistent quality work is also vital. Take pride in your work. Even if it is just a small, $30 blog piece, own it and enjoy it. Some of my best work was written for myself, for free, and later repurposed for a tidy profit. The ability to do this within a deadline is very important, and sticking to the client’s schedule only increases their rate of return work.
Reasonable rates are important. Do not low or high ball, but quote something you will be satisfied receiving and that is reasonable for the industry.
Finally, most repeat clients are going to be “large” clients i.e. people or companies who maintain blogs, create websites or release monthly magazines or publications. Pay special attention to these clients, as they often have ongoing work.
With a few repeat clients, you will soon find yourself with loads of writing work!