Note from Bamidele: Hassan Ud-deen is one hell of a driven and talented blogger. He first got on my radar when he purchased coaching from me in 2014; he was 18 then. I mean, when most adults were dilly-dallying and pinching-pennying, here’s an 18-year-old who was willing to invest in himself! That, coupled with his writing talent — and Hassan is one talented writer! — and I knew he was going places. Honestly, I’m not surprised with Hassan’s achievement, and I’m very confident that he’ll double and triple his income once he finally graduates from college and can focus on freelance writing full-time.
Enjoy our interview with him!
University students are often on a tight budget and could use a bit of extra cash, but when they look around their job prospects seem grim. Is slaving away for minimum wage really the only option available to these young people?
Hassan started freelancing at age 17, and now, at age 20, makes $2500 per month from his writing business, which is plenty of money for a university student. How did he do it?
“I should be able to do it as well”
Hassan has always liked writing. “Everyone would complain about English lessons, but I always enjoyed them and was excited about my assignments.” He had never considered it a viable career option, though.
That changed when he got older and wanted to make some extra cash. “I quickly realized that working for other people wasn’t for me, so I started researching ways to make money online, something that would allow me to be my own boss.” Once he saw that other people were able to support themselves with writing, it seemed like the obvious choice.
“Actually, I got one of my first few glimpses into freelance writing from Bamidele. I remember stumbling onto his blog and reading how a teenager from Nigeria was making decent money. I thought, you know what, I should be able to do it as well.”
How Hassan used guest posting to get his business off the ground
Hassan admits that it took him a long time to get started. “I think I just wasn’t sure what to do.” Things started moving when he joined Jon Morrow’s guest blogging course which helped him land a bunch of guest posts, build a portfolio, and get clients.
In fact, he got his first client from his first ever guest post titled, “17 Ways to Explode Your Audience Based Business.”
“The first ever guest post I wrote was a 5,000-word article which had to be split into three parts. I made sure to offer my services in the byline, and three days after it went live someone contacted me asking about my rates. That’s how I got my first client.”
Hassan then continued to build his portfolio via guest posting. Once he had a few quality posts under his belt, he started replying to ads on job boards — mostly on ProBlogger. He’d also ask his clients for referrals. “Over time, I built a solid client base, and I now have 2-3 clients who give me work every month, plus a few others who occasionally send work my way as well.”
“You need to have your own back”
Hassan charged that first client somewhere between $60 – $80 per article. He has increased his rates quite a bit since then. “I don’t go below $150 per post now,” he says. Most of his clients pay him $200 – $250 per article.
“I think it’s important to have the confidence to reject low paying gigs. And where do you get that confidence from? You get it from having your own back.
“Look, growing your freelance writing business is a serious commitment, and an unstable financial situation will only make it harder for you to get your business off the ground.
“So if your income is shaky, get a job that pays the bills (it can be a minimum wage job, doesn’t matter, as long as it gives you some stability), so you are not desperate for money. That way you’ll be able to reject low paying work and focus on getting high paying clients.”
Hassan’s Top Three Tips for Writers in Charge Audience
What is Hassan’s advice to other young people who want to make money writing?
- Build your portfolio: “Clients want to hire people that have a track record of producing high quality content. Don’t have any writing samples? Use guest posting to build your portfolio. It will be much easier to get clients once you have some high quality content under your name.”
- Learn from your mistakes: “Something isn’t working? Press pause and analyze the situation. What are you doing wrong? For example, if you have sent out a bunch of pitches, but didn’t get any replies, then obviously you need to reevaluate your approach. Maybe your writing samples are weak, maybe your value proposition is unclear, maybe you are going after the wrong type of clients… Whatever it is, if you are not getting the results you want, you need to ask yourself why. You need to be able to learn from your mistakes if you want to advance in your career.”
- Learn from other people: “There are a lot of people who have built successful writing businesses. Paying for their expertise can drastically speed up your progress. And what if you can’t afford it? Then try to learn as much as you can from the free material that they publish. Why waste time reinventing the wheel when you could learn from those who have come before you?
What’s next for Hassan?
“Well, in terms of foreseeable future, I have one month left of college, and then plan to go on a guest posting rampage with an intention of driving traffic to my website F-Bomb Marketing (I want to build it up to a point where I regularly get clients from it).
And in terms of the big picture, I’m serious about growing my freelance writing business, it’s here to stay!”
PS (from Bamidele). Before you ask, I’m currently not offering coaching services. I get requests to coach or mentor pretty much every day, but I barely have enough hours in a day to focus on work at hand. So, unfortunately, coaching isn’t something I offer at the moment. Take lessons from Hassan’s case study, purchase one or all of my guides that can be found on the site, and you’d be surprised by how much you can achieve.