When *John Kariuki lost his corporate marketing job due to pandemic downsizing, he never expected freelance writing to become his full-time career.
However, within just 7 months of cold emailing companies, John was earning over Ksh113,000 per month as a freelance writer without any prior experience.
He managed to quickly land clients paying $50-200 per article by following a strategic process of positioning himself as an authority, demonstrating tremendous value, and over-delivering for clients.
For aspiring writers in Kenya looking to get started freelancing online, here is an inside look at the exact strategies John used to build a successful freelance writing business from scratch.
Table of Contents
Learning the Craft
After losing his job, John knew that freelance writing was in-demand, required just a computer, and offered flexible work. However, he had never written professionally before.
John first brushed up on writing skills, reading books and blogs on copywriting best practices. He studied how high-performing blogs structured articles to attract readers.
He also analyzed successful freelance writer websites to get ideas on how to position himself. He knew it was critical to stand out from the competition.
After sharpening his writing abilities for a few weeks, John was ready to start applying for gigs.
Building Credibility with a Portfolio
John’s first goal was demonstrating writing skill and experience to prospective clients. To do this, he created a portfolio website showcasing sample articles.
For topics, he chose trending keywords and current events that aligned with his interests like tech, business, and money tips.
The portfolio helped establish John’s credibility until he could obtain client testimonials and samples. This key step got his foot in the door with many clients.
Pitching Like a Pro
John researched heavily to find companies that hire freelance writers in Kenya and globally. He compiled a list of hundreds of promising leads.
He tailored each cold email pitch, highlighting why he was uniquely suited to provide value to that particular client based on their industry and target audience.
The goal was to grab attention and make connecting with him irresistibly enticing.
Here’s a sample pitch:
Your website on [topic] is amazing! As an avid [reader/user] myself, I know how invaluable this resource is.
I’m John, a freelance writer based in Nairobi who specializes in creatingwell-researched, insightful articles for [target audience].
I’d love to discuss if there are any content projects you need help with at the moment! I know I could provide tremendous value to your readers.
Let me know if you have some time in the next week to jump on a quick call?
Looking forward to learning more,
This personal, enthusiastic approach resulted in call backs more often than not.
Delivering Ten Times the Value
Once on a call, John focused intently on listening to the client’s needs and pain points.
He would dig deeper with strategic questions about goals, audience preferences, and topics that tend to resonate most.
Armed with this intel, John would go above and beyond on the initial test articles clients assigned, surprising them with tremendous value:
- Meticulously researched topics
- Crisp, compelling writing
- Creative title selection for engagement
- Excellent grammar and formatting
- Adherence to ALL guidelines
- Prompt turnaround time
This over-delivery strategy impressed clients and resulted in a high conversion from test assignments to ongoing work.
Expanding His Expertise
Within his first few months, John successfully landed gigs writing:
- Blog articles
- Email newsletters
- Social media captions
- Video scripts
- Website content
- Print magazine features
By diversifying his writing skills, John was able to grow his client base across different industries.
He became versatile writing on business, tech, healthcare, and more.
He soaked up insights from each niche that expanded his expertise. Soon he was able to charge higher rates for specialized knowledge.
Achieving Work-Life Freedom
Today John has grown his freelance writing from a part-time side hustle into a full-time, consistent Ksh113,000+ per month income working just 20 flexible hours per week.
“Making the transition to full-time freelance writing was the best career decision I ever made. The freedom to work from anywhere on my own schedule is priceless.”
John just returned from a 2-week vacation in Zanzibar paid for completely by his freelance writing earnings.
A far cry from the office grind!
His success shows that with strategic positioning, persistence, and providing insane value, you can build a thriving freelance writing business without any prior experience or credentials.
For aspiring writers in Kenya, John proves it’s possible to turn your skill with words into income stability and an adventurous lifestyle. The only limits are those we place on ourselves.