How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Is a quote by Confucius that every one of us should ingrain in our heart and live by it? But not every one of us gets to enjoy our passions, and even less gets to convert our love into a living. However, imagine if that were the case. Wouldn’t the world have been a happy place?
However, let’s get down to why you are reading this article. Writing is a very rewarding passion should you choose to make a living out of it. However, if you do not know much about freelance writing, then one question will continue to bug you always- “How much money do freelance writers make?” Because let’s face it, passion or not, money is essential, we all need to eat and live.
Well, truth to be told, finding out how much freelance writers make can be a little hard to pin down, but through a broad google search, it is possible. The easiest way to find out how much freelance writes make is through surveys done on freelancers who are already on the market.
Table of Contents
- 1 Some Surveys
- 2 Your willingness to see things through
- 3 Your End Goal
- 4 New to freelancing? Start with a BOOM!
- 4.1 1. Start a Blog
- 4.2 2. Find your specialty (Make it so you can get profitable jobs)
- 4.3 3. Prove yourself to be a credible writer
- 4.4 4. Don’t be Choosy at First
- 4.5 5. Start Pitching for Jobs Straight Away
- 4.6 6. Your Destination
- 4.7 It is Time to stop being hesitant and Jump Straight into your Dream
- Data taken from The State of Freelancing 2015, showed that from the 643 freelancers that helped in the survey, 82 percent were freelance writers and the report indicates that around 24 percent of them earned an income of $50,000 annually. The report also reveals the connection between this significant income and marketing efforts. That means that the better your marketing strategy is, the higher the chance of a higher income.
- Ed Gandia’s 2012 Freelance Industry Report also sheds some light into the topic, around 40 percent of the freelancers in that report were writers in some way, and one-third of them earn approximately $70 an hour and roughly 23 percent made about $50 – $70 per hour. Now, these rates are very high, because most of these writers were in the world of freelancing for around three years only and that is a minimal amount of time. Surprised?
So, if you had any doubt whether freelance writing can help you earn a living, these should clear your uncertainty. If the book is your passion, then starting a career in freelance writing can take you a long way. That is if you have enough dedication to reach the end goal because you have to have an end goal as, without one, you would be lost.
Your willingness to see things through
Understand that a career in freelance writing will NOT be an easy one if you are just in it for the money because writing takes much time and some jobs will test your patience to the limit. If you break, then I do not need to tell you what would happen. So, before you head rush into a world you have never been in before, look deep within yourself if you have what it takes to become a freelance writer.
Now, why is that freelance writing would test your patience? A teacher of mine once said that there are things that you already know, he was there to make me realize those things. So, understand why writing would be stressful.
First off, as a freelancer, you will more often find clients that would not be completely satisfied with your work and would ask for a rework. This will fall upon you to edit what the client requires because you have to present the job as he sees fit. Sometimes, you may even be resentful if an editor tells you that you have to improve your articles if you are having a bad day.
Secondly, another factor that requires your tremendous self-discipline would be that continually find clients and of course deal with rejections. Consider Upwork, there many freelancers alongside you who would submit a petition for a job; it is very possible that you might not be the one who gets the job in the end.
Another instance is that you have to have the courage to tackle hard topics to earn a higher pay because let’s face it, it is the problematic topics that pay better, the issues that require hours and hours of research and on problems that you have no idea about.
Also, there is also the case that you may have to learn new skills to do a job. Like, most of us know how to use Word Document, but not many know how to use WordPress.
Your End Goal
Keep in mind that your end goal will dictate how much money you make in the days to come. As this is freelancing and not entrepreneurship, time will govern how much money you earn. Lower the number of hours you work, and your income will also lessen, but then again, the opposite is also exact.
If full-time freelancing is what you are after then you would want to earn at least a little more than what you would receive as an employee under someone else, be it $40,000 or maybe $60,000. However, would that be a case? Your drawing does not have a cap, there is no limit, and there is no promotion.
From looking for jobs in small ads or websites, you have to start looking at more significant prospects. You have to look for clients who would pay you higher proactively, and soon you can target big companies and national magazines for jobs, and you will find yourself in a place where you are cracking a six-figure salary per year.
New to freelancing? Start with a BOOM!
There are hundreds of strategy you can find that could start off your career in freelance writing, but here are a few ways in which I think is the Best way to do so.
1. Start a Blog
This is a MUST do. You will find almost no successful freelance writer who does not have a blog because all of them have a home for their business. A blog is so much more than just your identity. It will serve as a way for you to practice your writing techniques, and aside from that, you can post samples of your work on your blog for your prospective clients.
These are some of the reasons for you to start a blog:
- A platform for your business.
- Practice writing.
- This will build your credibility.
- A way for clients to hire you.
- Help build your confidence.
A blog is very good for finding clients; you can add a “Hire Me” button on your blog. You need to make it so that when they click on that Hire, they get an option to send you an email on the job that they need doing.
- About Yourself
You can also put have a page that describes your life, in short, do not put stuff that they do not need to learn, but put in things from your life so that clients can realize what type of a writer you are. A significant thing to note is that you must make yourself approachable, you can do this by creating a friendly “About me” description about yourself. Lastly, put in your email, skype or any business address so that clients can easily contact you should they decide that they want you.
- Your Display Picture
A profile picture will be an essential part of your blog when you create one. You will need to decide how you want your clients to see you. Do you want to be seen as a fun and creative artist? Alternatively, probably as someone dangerous, who takes care of the jobs he does? Because both types are okay as there are niches that have a significant affinity with the severe nature of the creative and fun class.
The thing that you must remember is to be professional in both the cases. Choose a picture that shows you clearly, and close enough so that the client can see your face, but not too close. I would not recommend a passport photo as a profile picture because that is way too mainstream.
- A way to side incomes
Making money aside from writing is also a plus side to having a blog. You will see that many writers have affiliate links, sponsored links, and ads on their website because that helps them have a side income. My advice would be to choose affiliate marketing because that would earn you the highest profit.
Once, you have completed creating your blog, you can advertise it on social media. Facebook and Twitter are brilliant platforms for advertisement, but the best way to do so would be to open an account on LinkedIn as this is a Business- and employment-oriented social networking site.
2. Find your specialty (Make it so you can get profitable jobs)
Every writer has a niche that he/she specializes in and can write on it better than average writers. This will attract a particular type of job towards you because clients will know that they will get their work done well. However, there is a catch here.
Not every niche out there is a good one, not every niche can earn you a good income. So, you need to find a niche that is not only profitable but a one that you excel at.
There are many profitable niches out there that are waiting for you to take a grab. So of these niches are:
- EBook and Short Report Writers
- Marketing Copywriters
- Researchers/Fact Checkers
- Political and blog writers
- Business or personal finance writers
- Health and fitness writers
- Content writers
These niches are amongst many out there that can earn you a right amount of money because the number of jobs available for these niches is abundant. People everywhere need their contents to be written, and with less competition solely for the reason that there are so many prospects out there, you will always find your hand at work.
However, there are also niches that are not so profitable. Consider religious writing or game reviews, both of these are not such a great niche for you to start with. There are plenty of religious pundits are there who will always gain more clients than you, and there are essential gaming review websites out there like Gamespot, IGN, Metacritic, Pcgamer who will still have the upper hand just because they are so well-established and therefore well-known.
Find out what niche you are right and keep practicing on it over and over again until you can confidently say that there are few people out there who are as good as you. If you do not have a niche you are good at and is not profitable, then you will soon find yourself to be frustrated and will start to feel whether the freelance writing was ever a good idea, to begin with.
3. Prove yourself to be a credible writer
If you want clients to hire you, then you need to show them that you can write. The best way to do this is to show your qualifications as a writer. Your requirement can come in many forms, the easiest way to explain them is to post your high school certificates or if you take a language as your major, then show them your accomplishments in your undergraduate or graduate studies.
Another way to show them what you are capable of is to display your awards, that is if you have won any competitions in writing. This is an excellent way to show your expertise, as your clients will know how well you face off against other writers on your skill level.
Last but not the least, you can also prove yourself to be credential by showing the results of your previous jobs. You can ask your former clients to leave a comment or rating on your blog to teach others how satisfied they were with your work.
Proving yourself as a qualified writer will take you a long way because think it through. Wouldn’t you, if you were a client, want a freelancer who was skilled enough to do the job that you want to be done?
4. Don’t be Choosy at First
If you are beginning your career is, then don’t be picky about what type of job you get, even if it is a low paying one. You must first show your clients that you have got what it takes to accomplish as a freelance writer. With enough dedication and time, you will eventually get to the point where you are earning $70 or $80 an hour, or even more as I have already said that there is no limit to what you can make as long as you do not set a limitation yourself.
5. Start Pitching for Jobs Straight Away
This is important because clients will not come to you when you are new to the market. It is you who must look for jobs in the beginning. The way to do this would be to go to freelance sites that clients pitch to. Remember to look for employment with relatively good pay; this will be the way to sell your niche as a writer. Sites like Upwork, People Per Hour, Freelancer are good sites to look for jobs.
The best site to find jobs for writing is ProBlogger; this is where you will find the best jobs for printing. The location is specially made for helping average new bloggers the art of blogging. The best way to prove this would be for you to go to all the sites yourself and see the average pay scale for each job and compare which is the best. However, since Problogger was made for such works, that would undoubtedly be the best.
6. Your Destination
A plan is a must when you take freelance writing as your source of income. You need to decide what niche you want to specialize in, and the amount of money you would want to profit in a given amount of time.
To specialize in a niche, practice will take you a long way. A bonus is that you can practice writing and put the best of your works on your blog and attract clients.
Once you get your first job, that is it. Your career as a freelance writer begins there, and your next post would be to gradually increase your rate of pay as you gain popularity amongst the best out there and grow your business.
It is Time to stop being hesitant and Jump Straight into your Dream
Starting a career as a freelance writer can be scary, but be motivated from the fact that there were lots of other writers like you who were hesitant at first but now are earning a six-figure income just from writing.
Fear will stop you from achieving your dream should you give into it. However, if you get over it, you will soon get to live a life you have dreamt of as a freelance writer. Ask yourself, is this what you truly desire or is writing something you only daydream about when you are bored with your regular lifestyle.
If you are serious, then get right into it, decide what you want to become.
Do you want to become a copywriter? An article writer? A content writer?
Alternatively, probably something else as there is not the limit to what is currently out there in the market.
Once all is said and done, and you get that first job, all your dream, in time, will come to fruition.
“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie.