Today we interview Nicholas Godwin, a freelance writer and technology enthusiast from Nigeria. He has worked on projects with top tech corporations and Fortune 500 companies.
What really stood out for me is how meticulous Nicholas is in everything he does. He follows the best, studies what they do, and implements those strategies. This, no doubt, translates into delivering only the best quality work for his clients.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the interview.
Hi Nicholas, please introduce yourself to the WriteWorldwide readers.
Hello! I’m Nicholas Godwin. I’m a freelance writer and technology researcher and enthusiast. I’ve enjoyed working on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell and AT&T.
I have a deep competence in building and managing websites using WordPress. As a writer I’ve also covered hundreds of topics around technology, especially cyber security, the internet, machine learning, artificial intelligence, IoT, virtual private networks, mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain and more.
I help technology companies and web developers tell stories that engage their audiences, and grow their profits. I’ve made a lifelong commitment to using scientifically proven techniques to iterating and improving my storytelling skills.
Why did you choose to become a writer?
I always felt that I expressed myself better in writing than speaking. Writing was a way of exploring my thoughts, expanding my knowledge (since I get to learn new things when I write), and was always an activity I enjoyed.
I chose to become a writer because I actually get paid to make mistakes, learn new things, and in the process, get to earn capital to build my business.
The financial cost of becoming a writer is next to nothing – anyone with commitment can succeed. Writing is low-risk – failing isn’t expensive or life threatening.
Writing offers me the opportunity to become an entrepreneur without most of the headaches. I can learn and earn while building real business equity, skills and relationships.
How did you break into freelance writing and have you experienced much success yet?
Freelance writing started years after I learned to build WordPress sites. I had learned web-writing from SiteSell’s Solo Build It (popularly known as SBI!).
I built my own websites and that of a few clients. I started following Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Bamidele Onibalusi and other top writers. I applied for and gained acceptance to write for an online magazine called Blueprint Entrepreneur Magazine. That was the start.
I eventually went on to gain acceptance to a platform that produces research and writing content for Fortune 500 companies and top global corporations. In following with Bamidele Onibalusi’s advice, I gained a few clients from Problogger, and that started me out.
I’ve enjoyed above-average success. Right now I’ve maintained an average charge per article of $220, with the upper limit being $650 and the lower limit at $125.
I’ve managed to keep a minimum of three clients (and multiple jobs from these clients) monthly. I get more than three clients at times, and five clients aren’t uncommon.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge is maintaining the balance between delivering on writing jobs, finding clients and improving my skills. I’ve continued to battle with this problem.
I’ve gained some control by setting realistic expectations for my clients, so I don’t make unrealistic promises or set deadlines just to impress my clients.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
To NEVER stop pitching clients. Make it a habit of finding new clients, even if you think you have more than enough.
What techniques do you use to grow your writing business?
Pitching prospective clients, daily. I always have a list of potential clients.
What’s the most effective method you’ve used to find new clients?
I do my best to focus on prospects who have expressed interest in what I can offer. This minimises the chance of rejection and makes my pitches more relevant.
I use Google and reliable job boards like Problogger to find clients who have expressed a need for a technology writer, especially a writer in my areas of competence or interest.
On Google, I’d find businesses who need WordPress experts (or experts in other areas I cover), and I reach out to them with my portfolio. This has been very effective.
What does your daily writing routine look like?
Since I have commitments outside of writing, I tend to make writing fit into my life regardless of what time of the day I choose to write. I know lots of gurus say to find a dedicated time and build a ritual (i.e. routine), but that’s practically impossible for me.
So, I write HABITUALLY. That makes it easy to complete jobs without breaking deadlines. I write up to 1000 to over 3000 words daily.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire in the freelance writing industry?
I admire writers across many fields, whether they are freelancers or not. I love Bamidele Onibalusi (of WritersInCharge.com), Neil Patel (of NeilPatel.com), Abdullahi Muhammed (of Oxygenmat.com), James Altucher (of TheAltucherReport.com), James Clear (of JamesClear.com), Simon Black (of Sovereignman.com), and Jon Morrow (of SmartBlogger.com), to name a few.
Name one book, one tool, and one article that have helped you in your writing career.
What would you say to writers who are struggling to pick a niche?
Make a list of topics or themes that interest you. Keep that list to three (at most five). Create epic content on each of these topics using Sonia Thompson’s advice, and then use those articles to try to win jobs on job boards like Problogger. The topic that wins the most jobs should be your niche. This was how I niched.
How do you keep your writing skills sharp?
I write daily. I use Grammarly premium when editing my posts and take its suggestions seriously. Of course, I may break grammar rules for effect, but that’s only when it’s helpful. I study excellent works from the likes of Simon Black, Neil Patel, Jon Morrow, Steve Pavlina, Bamidele Onibalusi, and others… I mean STUDY, not just read their articles.
What advice would you give other aspiring freelance writers who want to make money, freelance writing?
The first principle of freelance writing is helping businesses achieve business goals using your writing skills. Just like Accenture, Boston Consulting, PwC and other big consulting firms help businesses reach their goals and demand millions of US dollars for doing that job, freelancers are consultants who help businesses achieve their goals. You deserve, and should demand, a decent pay!
What limiting beliefs must ESL writers get rid of to achieve success?
ESL writers need to stop thinking that they are at a disadvantage over native writers. The field is big, and the ocean is deep. More clients are concerned about the quality of your work than the country you come from. Your job is to find those clients.
What are your future plans?
Keep writing. I may eventually build a product out of my work and experience, and then earn some passive income from it. But, for now, I keep writing. I enjoy it.