How I Made $3,500 On My First Content Strategy Client

By Hana Larock

After six years of working as a writer, I’d gotten to the point in my career where I felt that I really had this thing down pat. I had worked in many different niches, written all different types of content, and acquired many skills – such as WordPress, SEO, writing ad copy, etc. – along the way. I loved my job, but I was exhausted.

I loved my job, but I was exhausted. How could I stay in this industry and use my experience as a writer to scale to something bigger? Something that essentially paid more, but required me to work much less, so that I could focus on other aspects of writing that I truly enjoyed?

This is what drove me to transition into becoming a content strategist. Though I’m still working on clearly defining exactly what it is that I do, I basically help small businesses with their inbound marketing by taking control of all their content, whether it’s their web copy, their blog articles, their email campaigns, etc. My audience are people who know that they need (written) content, but they aren’t really sure how to implement it themselves.

When I felt ready, I just dove right in. But, how to get clients? The first thing I did was go back and re-organized EVERYTHING. I redid my website from scratch, updated my portfolio, hired someone to do my social media on Facebook, and changed my approach. To do this, it was important for me to still make sure my past articles were being shared and read, because that’s one of the ways people were finding me. For example, I write for two real estate websites that have a rather large following. To leverage that, I make sure I am sharing the articles frequently on social media so more eyes can see them. This brings more clients in this industry to me; they see that I authored an article they liked, and they want to work together.

My hard work paid off when shortly after, a man contacted me asking if I could help him get his website noticed, using my connections as a writer. I get these type of emails a lot, but with this man, I felt that I could direct the conversation to content strategy and why he needed it. After a brief phone call, I summarized our conversation and presented him with packages. I’ve always been told to shoot high, so that’s what I did!:


It was great talking to you today! So, I’m writing to you now because it’s fresh in my mind. Also, although I’d like to think that I’m a good speaker, I think I’m much better at getting my thoughts out by writing them down! Haha. So, I’ll summarize what we discussed, what my ideas are and how much they would cost.

As you told me, you’re looking to gain traffic to the website, ultimately by utilizing my connections to get backlinks. While this is possible, it’s not really tangible in terms of putting a price on it, because I do not necessarily have the authority to do that. That’s why I’m thinking that working backwards as a strategy is the best way to go. But, I will present you with different ideas that I think are best, and then you can let me know what you think:


Idea #1: Using blog posts to gain traffic

I will create blog posts that are interesting to read and thus valuable to readers. Each blog post will be about a different topic, that will link back to several of the converters and/or calculators on your site. The blog page would need to be a separate page on your website, and there will be a lot of backlinking to different pages on the site altogether.

Here’s an example: I would write a blog post like, “5 Calculators You Need if You’re in Your Early Twenties.” I’d write interesting content and link back to those five calculators throughout the post. The more backlinks we can have per post, the better. Likewise, I can do reverse linking. So, I’d go to the calculator pages themselves, and link back to the articles. I hope that makes sense!

Working Process: All I would need you to do is set up the blog page. I know how to use WordPress for this. Then, I’d create a ton of posts to get us started. I do have a team already that can help me, as I do this several of my other clients. This team can also help promote the blog posts on social media if that’s something you’d like to do. (I think it’s a good idea.)

Package: I’d say let’s get started with three months worth of content development. You can leave this entirely to me, however, your input is always welcome. For instance, if you’d like to throw out any topic ideas or tell me about any calculators and converters that really need more exposure, that would be very helpful. At the end of the three months, we’d have 30 articles. For this, I’d charge $3,000 for the three months. This would include everything from coming up with topics to writing the articles to including all the necessary links and sharing them, etc.

If after three months you want to continue, I’m happy to do so on a monthly basis. Or, you’re free to go out and hire other writers. =) I’m just giving you the foundation to build on, and I really feel that with three months of content development, you will see results.

My thoughts: You’re a marketing guy, so you already know. But, IMO, content is truly king, and it’s the best way to use an easy inbound marketing technique to drive traffic to the site. Each blog post is essentially its own landing page. People may not find your website through a simple search, but they are much more likely to find a blog article on your website, which will lead them to the calculator or converter that they may not realize they need. And, since I see you are using something like AdSense (I assume this is how you plan to make money off the site, but let me know), this would make a lot of sense. You’re basically killing two birds with one stone.

I am also happy to use the other websites that I am currently writing for to backlink to one of these blog posts as much as possible. I cannot backlink straight to Gigacalculator’s home page because it would dilute the article and be obvious product placement. But, I can backlink to a valuable blog post. For instance, if I’m writing a real estate article for Lab Coat Agents, something I do 4x a month, then I can be creative and find a way to internally link back to a blog post on your website that’s relevant. I would do this free of charge and whenever the opportunity presents itself because it’s beneficial to both of us. But, we really need the posts there, first.

Idea #2: Pitching a profile piece to different outlets

You already know about this. I’d pitch to different outlets that are known to publish profile pieces like this, and that can help gain exposure.

Working Process: I’d work with you to come up with a list of potential outlets. We’d create a pitching template as well as a document that features the list of potential outlets.

Package: This can be more flexible. I can pitch on a weekly basis or a monthly basis. Realistically, I could pitch about four places a week, so 16 outlets a month. I can do this for $200 a week, so $800 a month.

My thoughts: With this route, there are absolutely no guarantees. Yes, I do have the contacts and the connections. But, it’s not up to me whether or not an editor wants to commission the piece, and honestly, I’d feel bad if you paid for this and we don’t receive many “yes’s.” You have a website, yes, but this is much easier to do with a specific physical product or service. For instance, I am doing right now for my client’s product. That being said, we can try!

Idea #3: A mixture of both

This would basically be both #1 and #2 together. Therefore, I’d charge you for both packages, but give you a discount for doing both. So, let’s say we do three months for the blog posts and one month for the pitching, it’d be $3,800. But, I’ll give it to you for $3,500.


Okay, phew! Now that’s all done, I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Take your time, and let me know what you want to do when you’re ready. I’m also happy to send you some examples of work I’ve done, things I’m working on, etc.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


As this was my first step into content strategy, I felt as though I had nothing to lose with this client. So, I just gave it my all and didn’t hold back. That’s the price I wanted, and I felt that the worst thing that would happen would be that he took the cheaper option or he decided it wasn’t a good fit. Then, I would have just moved onto pursuing more clients. But, to my surprise, he went for the “full package.” I am still working with him today, as he was very pleased with the first contract and wanted to continue!

Moral of the story – if you believe in yourself and your worth, you will find clients that want to work with you.

Hana LaRock is a freelance writer and content strategist. You can learn more about her on her website.


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