Top Things Freelance Writers Need to Start an Essay Editing and Proofreading Business
I launched the website offering essay editing and proofreading services to students back in 2008. At the time, I was still working as a Bank Attorney at a government financial institution. Despite having very little knowledge about websites and online marketing, I proceeded with my plan and offered these services to foreign students on my own. The plan was to work on the academic papers when I got home at night when everybody in the family was sleeping. Despite having big plans for the business, my priority was still my family so the time devoted to business was limited to around 10 p.m. to midnight.
The First Few Month of Operation
For the first few months when the website was launched, I patiently waited for students to place their orders. I remember constantly checking my emails to see if I got orders or not. Almost always, I get disappointed because the orders are so slow. When I started, I consider myself lucky when I receive 3 to 5 orders a month. There was even a time when I did not get a single order for 1 or 2 months.
As a solo entrepreneur, I worked on these papers, responded to customer queries, and revised the papers, on my own. For the first few years, the customers are not aware that there is a single person writing all their papers. Nevertheless, I made it a point to project to the client that I was operating a big business with customer support representatives with various writers all over the United States.
While waiting for the orders, I taught myself about online marketing and the different ways I could reach out to my target audience. I started reading online marketing books and followed several authors. After 2 to 3 years of continued operation, I noticed a slight increase in the average orders per month. I must admit, though, that I was still receiving very few orders every month. It can be disappointing when you don’t see any substantial reward in your efforts. There was even a time when I almost decided to quit the business and focus my energies on something else.
11 Years of Operation
Nevertheless, I decided to stick it out and remained patient. Eventually, clients who appreciate our work started to refer their friends. Their referrals started to refer their own friends. Slowly but surely the volume of orders began to increase. Now on its 11th year, the academic essay editing and proofreading business is relatively stable. The website receives several hundred orders a month. Every month there are new clients who register to the website. We also have more than a hundred freelancers writing on different projects and orders for a variety of clientele.
I want to stress that I did not spend anything for marketing and promotions. I did not do any Facebook advertising campaigns or on Google. Organic growth of the business was achieved mainly through referral of our satisfied and happy clients. So, how can other freelancers replicate our success? How does a freelancer start this business? What are the things you need to get started? Is it very costly?
For new freelancers, starting the academic essay editing and proofreading business is not easy. Currently, the number of websites offering their services online can be up to at least 10,000. It does not include the number of other freelancers who offer this service without a website. Nevertheless, having a website is essential especially if the freelancer intends to operate the service from a foreign location. For the new freelancers, it is completely possible to start on a very low budget at first. My suggestion is to wait for the business to grow organically before coming up with a sophisticated system to handle all orders. Below are some of the things freelancers need to get started.
You need to choose a domain name to get started. You are free to choose between a cool sounding name or a generic name that is descriptive with the word essay. For example, fantasticessay.com is somehow related to the service that you want to provide for your clients. It is also very helpful for SEO purposes. If you have not decided on a name yet for your website, try to find if there are available domain names for your website at www.namesilo.com
You need to find a hosting company for your website. There are a number of website developers who can help you choose the right domain name and hosting company for your website. When I started my website, I was not aware of domain names, hosting and how to make websites. We learned from Ferdy Korpershoek. You may find his informative tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZpkfpfGe2ZC3AIQ69ERCJw/videos
Before you get started on your business, you need to find a way so your clients can send their payment to you. Fortunately, PayPal is one of the most famous payment solutions. Once you signup for a PayPal account, you can start receiving funds right away. You need to contact somebody who has programming knowledge who can help you set up the payment system for your website.
When you have a website, clients think that there is a big team involved in the operations. A website helps create the impression that you have a professional team of writers who are interested in protecting the name of the website. At the same time, a website allows your clients to see the list of services you offer and the rates they need to pay for these services. Moreover, having a website is indispensable if your clients are in a foreign country because that is the only convenient way you can advertise about your services.
When start with your business, it is important to write several sample essays and post them on the website. Before placing an order, prospective clients want to see if you have written an essay or research paper at all. They want to see how to write essays and research papers and if you are familiar with the different citation styles. Posting sample essays can help remove all doubts. At the same time, some students are constantly looking online for sample essays about their own topics. It helps to post your own sample essays because they help students find out about your website.
When I started offering essay editing and proofreading services to students, I thought having a live chat support and a website email are sufficient to communicate with the clients. I decided to find a third way where I can connect with my clients. I wanted to give more options to talk to me should they have comments or suggestions. I came up with an FB account, in addition to the FB page, and asked them that they can connect with our FB account just in case they want to communicate with me faster. To my surprise, many of them invited me to connect with them. Because some clients want to communicate with me faster, I find the FB account to be very effective in communicating any issues to me.
It is never too late to start your own website. The key is to find a way to be connect with your clients and deliver quality service to them. Once you establish that you are reliable and trustworthy, you too can achieve success. Currently, I am still actively involved in the day to day operations of the business. While there are people who advise me to scale up and add employees to expand my operations, I am happy with managing this business on my own.