What It's About
A freelance writer teaches what he knows and creates a tidy little side hustle.
Words of Wisdom
If you’re looking to start a similar business yourself, James recommend that you spend some time looking for your “x-factor.” This is the topic you spend the most time reading about, that your friends come to you for advice for, or where you have an above average set of skills. Everyone has something the can teach to someone else, and there is a market for almost everything. Whether you’re into baseball cards or pouring the perfect cup of tea, there is someone out there who is willing to buy an information product from you.
James decided to start his own freelance writing business after reading my 279 Days To Overnight Success. Since then he’s worked from over 30 countries on four continents and completed a pilgrimage across the north of Spain.
Notes from Chris
For freelance writer James Johnson, it was time to make a change in his business. Although he loves the freelance world and the flexible life it affords him, he felt the need to do some work that was more people-focused. He knew that writing articles, blog posts, and books were helping people in one way, but he wanted to do something a bit more hands on. For the first six months of 2017, James spent his days toying with different ideas of people-focused businesses he could start. He’d listen to podcasts—including Side Hustle School—and devour books to help him try and find his answer. But after months of false starts and bad ideas, he felt like he just couldn’t come up with anything that, well...fit. Then, one day, a Facebook friend got in contact to ask for advice on how to start his own freelance writing business. He’d been following James in the background for years and finally wanted to start doing it himself. Always happy to help a friend, James jumped on a Skype call and walked his friend through how he should get started. After he came off the call, James couldn’t help but feel he’d done this before. He checked his email and Facebook messages and saw that he’d helped people with the same problem lots of times since he’d first started out. He’d even been paid to write a few blog posts about it. That’s when the obvious idea dropped in his lap. If people were asking for this information, he thought, perhaps he could charge for it. James set about creating a website where he could begin to share advice to people. He called it the Freelance Writers School. Before creating any content for his website, James went out to research what people in his niche were talking about. He looked at blog posts and Facebook groups to see the specific topics they spoke about and made a Google Spreadsheet to record specific words and phrases they used. He then used his new database to create a homepage, an about page, and a welcome email series using terminology that would strike a chord with them. Most people responded best to his content about getting starting and taking your first steps as a freelance writer, so James decided he would create his first two products focused on this topic. James launched his PDF course to his email list. In his initial launch week, James made around $1,800 and continues to average $600 to $650/month through sales of his product!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Freelance Writers School: Class is in session, so don't be tardy! Head on over to James' website to learn how to fast-track your writing career
- Bluehost, Wordpress, Aweber: The trio that James used to launch his website and setup his email campaign
- Teachable: The educational teaching platform that James originally hosted his online courses on
- Teachable | How to Launch an Online Course: Interested in starting your own online course? Here's a step by step guide to help you get started
- Miserable Day Job Turns Into $100,000 Side Income: An education district employee follows her passion for writing and creates an online side hustle raking in over $100,000
- Published Author Adds Income Source; Makes Additional $21,000 Her First Year: A successful novelist teaches an online course about productivity for writers, reaching 3,700 students in year one
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