…and More Importantly, How Much?
I occasionally get asked how much money a freelance writer can make, especially when they are just getting started.
The good news is that the amount earned depends solely on you. The bad news, sadly, is that many writers create boundaries where none should exist. This often leads to disappointment, hopelessness, and failure – which we wrongfully blame on the market rather than taking a long, hard look at ourselves.
So, can you actually make money freelance writing? How much should you be satisfied with? First, there are a few things we need to cover.
Are You an Expert?
Freelance writers don’t normally get paid as much if they don’t specialize in a particular field. Sooner or later their client realizes that most articles are of sub-par quality.
Note, though, that you can still get paid good money by being a jack of all trades (after all, anything is possible with some research). However, you risk lowering your articles’ quality over time and/or not getting paid much more than you would by focusing on specific subjects.
I currently have a client that pays me over $140 per 400-word article, while another pays me over $70 for a similar length. I truly value these, and I wouldn’t have them if I wasn’t already highly knowledgeable in their fields.
So, even if you aren’t yet an expert on any given subject, analyze your potential passions and match them to one of thousands (millions?) of topics clients are generally interested in.
Are You Selling Yourself Short?
Thinking that you’re not good enough for a client is actually a common feeling, and it’s a sin that I occasionally fall victim to as well. Giving in to this mentality will surely impact your ability to make money freelance writing.
In truth, you don’t need to have a long and robust portfolio to impress those high-paying brands. A few well-written articles, combined with a great resume and (possibly) some testimonials can grant more than enough strength to get the ball rolling.
Wish to write for big brands like Colgate and other products generally found at your local convenience store? Don’t be afraid to pitch your expertise and knowledge to them; the worst that could happen is receiving a quick rejection email from some of them. When you put it into perspective, this is much better than not reaching out to anyone in the first place, considering they would never seek you directly and you wouldn’t benefit from their feedback.
Are You Afraid to Ask for More?
Assuming you have the above two already covered, never hesitate to ask for the amount of money you feel is appropriate for your services. Do you think your articles on psychology deserve you $200 per post? Ask for it, provided that you have the knowledge and necessary sources to back you up.
As Linda Formichelli once said, you are providing much more than mere words to your client. Your time, education, intimate knowledge, and up-to-date skills will ultimately help the client succeed.
So, How Much Can You Earn as a Freelance Writer?
The answer is simple: You can make as much as you want. Nothing is stopping you.
Whether you are writing for a fixed rate or per word, calculate how much you are making per hour and take into account your monthly needs and expenses. If it takes you two hours to publish a $40 article, for example, you are effectively making $20 per hour.
From here, it’s only a matter of landing the amount of clients you believe will cover your routine expenses, in addition to your “luxury spending” and your eventual taxes.
Remember, obtaining high-paying clients becomes relatively easy once you land the first one – all thanks to the added experience on your portfolio, much like a domino effect.
Before you start reconsidering the 9-to-5 work routine, look at your current weaknesses, your full potential, and make the scary (but very rewarding) decision to take action today.
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Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.