How I Made 6 Figures as a Freelance Writer in 2011

If you’re like me, shortly after 2011 ended you wondered: “How much did I earn from freelance writing this year?”

Last year I did a marketing analysis…and this year I wanted to take it a step further and do an income analysis.

Not because I dream of being inundated by people who’d like to sell me products and services because they think I’m rolling in dough (ha! three kids…college tuition…). No.

It’s because looking at where your writing income is coming from is a very important exercise.

You learn a lot about how to improve your business for the next year. I want you to do this math for your writing business, too, as it will help you make better use of your time and earn more in 2012.

I had a goal of cracking six figures because I had narrowly missed that level in 2010, and that pissed me off. I’m very self-competitive that way.

A quick glance at the reports in my handy Freshbooks invoicing system tells me this year I made it. Still a few small tinkerings to do to make sure every gig is included and everything’s in the right column, but as a rough estimate, I’m there.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about what I earned from freelance writing — not including income from my work here helping other writers earn more. (My net freelance income was also a bit smaller than my gross as I did some subcontracting to other writers.)

If you’re wanting to mention to me that the economy kept right on sucking in 2011…yes, I noticed. Still, the freelance-writing market is so large that if you really go after it, you can still find plenty of business and earn well.

How’d I do it? Freshbooks has this great feature where I can instantly view revenue by client, so I have a ready breakdown for you.

Here’s a description of each major client I had in 2011, roughly what percentage of my income came from each client, and how I found them.

Client type % of income Type How I found
1. Business magazine website 23% Blog posts + a few online features Interviewed publisher; then asked if they hired freelancers
2. Financial services co #1 15% In-depth feature articles Heard of project through grapevine; reached out to editor on Twitter
3. State government agency 14% Annual report writing Saw me on LinkedIn
4. Financial services website 7% Articles Saw me on Linkedin
5. Major media co. website 6% Interview-based blog posts Ad in Gorkana alerts
6. Business book publisher 6% Book chapters Saw my magazine blog
7. Financial services co #2 5% Blog posts Referral
8. Business portal 5% Short how-to articles and reported features Had worked with the editor before – and stayed in touch
9. Small business blog 4% Blog posts, social-media consulting, and a special report Saw my magazine blog
10. Software-services co. 3% Articles Saw my Top 10 Blogs win
11. Local hospital 3% Recruiting package Referral
12. 2 small-biz blogs 3% Blog posts & social media consulting Saw my magazine blog
13. Fortune 500 co. 2% Articles for e-newsletter for business customers Found me on a Google search for ‘Seattle freelance writer’
14. Major publisher’s small-biz website 2% Blog posts Saw my magazine blog
15. Misc. 1-off/small projects 5% Articles for trade pubs, small-business blogging Various, including responding to a FT job ad on LinkedIn
TOTALS: 15 major clients 95% of total

Takeaways:

  • Social media is increasingly important. Without my LinkedIn and Twitter activity and working on my writer website SEO, I would have been out about one-third of my entire income.
  • Keep marketing. Even though I have a stable of great clients, you can’t ever get complacent and stop marketing. As I look down this list, more than half of this work came from new clients.
  • Ongoing contracts help create steady income. You want to target magazines and businesses that are big enough to send you a steady stream of work, rather than one-off projects. That really cuts down your marketing time, there’s less feast-or-famine cycle, and it gives you the peace of mind of starting each month with a good chunk of your revenue already booked.
  • Keep growing your network. You can never know enough editors and writers. I got a couple of key referrals that led to interesting, lucrative projects.
  • Blog in a high-profile place… I was surprised to see how many clients came from the visibility I get from one of my big blogging gigs. Any time you get a chance to write for a high-traffic website where you think prospects visit, you want to do it. Better yet, target this type of client as a goal for 2012. More than one-third of my clients called me after seeing my other work online.
  • But don’t blog too much. In 2010, I had more blogging work and earned less. Blogging isn’t the highest-paying form of writing out there, even if you’re getting $100 or so a post, which is my goal. Blogging is good for visibility and I find it fun (obviously!), but save some room for articles, white papers or other better-paying writing assignments.
  • Think recession-proof industries. I was also surprised to see how much of my income was focused in financial-services firms. Between them and hospital — another recession-proof area — that’s close to one-third of my total income.
  • Keep stretching. This was a year of breakthroughs for me. I did my first government contract, taking a leap into a writing type and client type I hadn’t done before. I also took on a chunk of a business book, writing 3,000-word chapters that each required piles of research. You have to be willing to take some risks and learn new things to move into new, high-paid areas and keep your income growing.
  • There’s lots of good business-writing gigs in articles and blogs. As my chart shows, you don’t have to know how to write longform direct-mail letters or ad copy to earn well as a commercial freelance writer. All my corporate work was articles and blog posts this year, plus an annual-report project.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of clients to earn a good living. I made three-quarters of my income off about six clients. If you target quality prospects, you don’t need a huge client list to earn well.
  • One-off projects suck. I think one of the reasons I earned more this year is I concentrated closely on driving more business through fewer large clients, rather than doing more small accounts. Each client takes administrative time, so fewer is better. I made a decision about mid-year to drop several small-business clients because I felt it was too inefficient to earn that way, and I think that instinct was dead on. As soon as I cleared those few small accounts out, I got huge new projects from better-quality clients.
  • Watch your fees. If your clients pay you via PayPal, you are paying as much as 3% in fees. I saw roughly $9,000 of payments come through on PayPal, but I paid almost nothing in fees, as Freshbooks offers a special deal where I only pay $.50 a transaction. I estimate that saved several hundred dollars of income that might otherwise have been sucked away in transaction fees.

I’m not expecting to earn as much from freelancing in 2012, as I’ll be concentrating more on writing my own ebooks, teaching, and creating useful content and live events for members of Freelance Writers Den. But it’s good to know that if I need to, I can earn a good living just from freelance writing.

  1. Frank H. Farmer says:

    Carol, thanks for sharing how this all breaks down for you. It really encouraging to see others that are making this happen.

    Frank

  2. Tom Ross says:

    Really interesting insight, I love checking out other’s income reports. I understand the importance of social media, but I love the example of your top writing job – reaching out following an interview. Great networking right there :).

  3. Amy Gutman says:

    This is an incredibly informative and–I sort of hate the word “inspiring” in such contexts but let’s say energizing–post. I will be sharing it.

    You also answer a question I’ve had about your terrific success. What would the picture look like if you took out the Writer’s Den, online workshops, etc? So many online successes strike me as slightly pyramid-scheme-ish. Almost all of the money is made not in doing the thing but in teaching others how to do it. So great to see that this isn’t always true–and isn’t the case with you.

    Many thanks!

    Amy Gutman
    Amy Gutman recently posted..The magic of cause & effect

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Amy –

      Thanks…as you can see here, I never started this blog or the Den or anything with the idea that it would replace freelance writing. I love writing! I’m happy to do a bit less of it and be able to be choosy about clients, but I’ve sworn never to be one of those people who’re teaching about something they don’t do anymore.

      The way media is changing, I think if I stopped freelancing, a year from now my information would be out of date.

      I always tell people when a teacher says, “When I used to do client work…” it’s time to run for the exits.

      My work helping writers earn more needs to pay SOMETHING, because it takes up a shocking amount of my time. But it’s definitely not one of those “Let me teach you how to freelance write…so I don’t have to” kind of situations.

  4. Hope says:

    Thanks for such an informative post! Enlightening.

  5. Josh Sarz says:

    This is an amazing post, Carol. I especially love where you included how you actually got those jobs. It really helps out the people who are new to freelancing.

    Thanks for sharing so much helpful advice, Carol.
    Josh Sarz recently posted..7 Golden Rules to Writing Marketable Content

    • Carol Tice says:

      The marketing side to me is the point of the whole post. People are always asking me, “Where are all the good clients hiding? I look and look at the ads, and I only see $10 an article jobs. That is all there is now.” As you can see, only one of these gigs came to me through an ad, and that was off a niche board.

      Job ads seem to be the main way writers look for gigs, but it isn’t a source of high-paying clients 99% of the time. That’s the big decision writers have to make — are they willing to proactively market their business? Work on SEO for their writer site and LInkedIn? If so, they can start finding better clients.

  6. Thanks so much for being willing to ‘open your books’ to us Carol, it makes for really interesting reading, especially the referrals part. It’s good to know that Linkedin does work – I’ll keep plugging away at it!
    Susan B. Bentley recently posted..The Shy Girl’s Guide to kicking ass at presentations

  7. Cathie Ericson says:

    Thank you for being so willing to share.

    2012 is my first year that I will be actively seeking new gigs after success doing that in 2011. Prior to that I had a handful of clients who would call me out of the blue and that was the work I would do. Now that my kids are older and I have more time to devote to work, I am taking more control of my juggling act.

    When work piles up, it’s hard to remember that you need to look for more projects when that is done but I am trying to be regimented about incorporating outreach…however big or small…into each day’s work. . Ongoing clients are fantastic, so you don’t contemplate each month going hmmm….what’s on the docket now? I was just thinking about Feb. last night as I sent out Jan. invoices. I have a couple of carryover projects and then some free time to fill!

    I also want to add that I agree that larger projects provide the economies of scale that are needed to really grow your business, vs. smaller clients. I also weigh how much ‘education’ will be needed, i.e. justification of fees, before I take on a certain project. Clients who get what I do remove a huge time barrier throughout the project…

    Thanks again for your willingness to be so open.

  8. Carol, from your post I get the impression that it is appropriate to reach out to an editor via twitter. Is this only for an editor you already knew, or could it be done with a complete stranger? If a stranger, how do you word your message so you don’t sound like a stalker, LOL!

    Thanks for all this valuable information you put out week after week.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Leslie –

      Great question! I did NOT know that editor. I did see a couple of points in common with her — we’d both written for the same magazine at one point. So that gave me an entree. But I would have reached out I think even without that.

      I like to begin with, “Hi –a freelance writer here. Are you the right person to pitch an idea about BLA topic for BLA publication?”

      That was the approach I used there. And she replied, “It’s me — but we’ve never accepted any pitches. It’s all assigned by us.”

      I saw that as a challenge, since I pride myself on my ability to come up with loads of story ideas, and with how well I can match ideas to markets. So I sent her one of my multipitch queries — 3 ideas in one letter. She assigned all three, and I ended up doing seven $2,000 articles for her in all. You can read that query here.

      I think success in freelance writing these days truly favors the bold. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, take some risks, and try to make the connections you need. Like when I interviewed a magazine editor and then asked if they used freelancers. Kind of brassy, eh? That turned out to be a huge, huge client for me that’s been going about 6 YEARS now.

  9. Jeanne says:

    Three kids in college? Think of all that money you’ll have extra when they’re done!

    Seriously, I love how you broke this all down by percentage. I’m still having a wee bit of a hard time believing that all this work is out there. But those doubts are being broken down steadily, and I’m convinced I can make a good go of it.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You’ve just identified the #1 reason that most writers don’t earn well.

      It’s the mentality. “Oh, I’m freelancing now, so that means I’ll be starving. I’ll earn a fraction of what I earned with a full-time job. Especially in this horrible economy. I’ll have to bid low rates…” and so on.

      It’s just a load.

      The freelance writing marketplace is HUGE and growing. Companies have downstaffed marketing departments and they’re not going back. They love freelancers! Same with publications. People who learn to freelance now will be way ahead in 5-10 years, when everyone else figures out that if they want to make a living as a writer, they need to know how to run a business, because staff jobs are disappearing…

      • Jeanne says:

        Holy Cow! You’ve got me ready to quit my 9-to-5 right now! However, I’ve got loose ends and things needing closure before I feel comfortable doing so. Rest assured, I’m laying the foundation to make the leap. So excited!

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well, that does sound exciting! Feel like I should say that this is year SIX of freelancing for me you’re looking at up there, not year one. And I came off 12 years of staff-writing jobs.

          As the automotive folks say, your mileage may vary. But it’s definitely doable to build a thriving freelance writing business.

  10. Josh Monen says:

    Hey Carol,

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve also been looking at where the bulk of my freelance income is coming from and it’s nice to have software to help track that (I use Kashoo).

    On Jan 1st I increased my standard rate for blog posts from $50/post to $75/post. My clients didn’t argue or complain either! They see the value in my service and are glad to continue the relationship!

    Thanks for your encouragement to charge “professional rates.”

    Josh
    Josh Monen recently posted..How Much Should I Charge for a Copywriting Project? Here are 5 Tips

  11. Terrific piece Carol!

    There are opportunities out there, and your stats confirmed what I’ve firmly believed and still do, the business won’t come to you! You have to be ready to go out and get it, and be prepared to jump when it comes knocking.

    Thanks for sharing your data!
    claudio alegre recently posted..SDL Acquires Alterian in an Effort to Match Content Management and Social Media Monitoring and Analytics.

  12. Thank You for sharing this! I started freelancing last year but have struggled to find steady work. To be honest – I didn’t put that much effort into marketing myself. I’m looking to change that this year. I’m bookmarking this post so I can refer back to it when I start thinking about giving up.
    Rebecca Marble recently posted..6 Suprising Freelance Writing Tools

  13. Maryalene says:

    Great post!

    If you don’t mind sharing, I am curious how many hours you put in on a typical week. Between pitching, writing and accounting, are you at or above 40 hours a week? Last year was my first freelancing full-time and am not entirely happy with my work/family balance. Wondering how my working hours stack up against other freelancers.

    Thanks!

    Maryalene

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Maryalene –

      That’s a great question, but I’d have to say I really don’t know!

      I worked a LOT of hours in 2011…probably 70 hours in a typical week. But much of that was spent building this blog and then launching Freelance Writers Den in July. I was essentially launching a whole new, second business, which as anyone who’s done a startup can tell you, is a HUGE time suck. And the ramp really hasn’t ended because there’s so much more content I want to create for the Den.

      I didn’t pay attention to what proportion of those hours came from freelance writing and how much was the writing-help business. I’d say certainly I put in 35 or so hours a week on the freelance side, sometimes more. I think a lot of writers have a fantasy in their heads that they’ll earn big money in the 15-20 hours a week they have free before the kids wake up from their naps or get home from school, but I know few people who’ve got that working. I think you need a real, 35-40 hour week available if you’re going to earn a pro-level income, especially when you’re starting out and need to do a lot of active marketing to grow and improve the quality of your client base.

      Maybe that’ll be my assignment for 2012, to figure out how many hours I spend on freelancing relative to income — thanks for a great suggestion.

      • Maryalene says:

        Thanks Carol!

        That’s what I thought. I have a two-year old running around the house and with him and school obligations for my other kids, I end up spending a lot of nights writing. It’s been an ongoing discussion in my house about how much I should be able to get done during the day and how many hours I need to work to make a living. My thinking was that for a full-time income, I need to put in full-time hours. Just needed someone else to valid that for me.

        Thanks again!

        Maryalene

        • Carol Tice says:

          Yeah, I know that 8-midnight shift well.

          The greatest myth in the world of stay-at-home moms is, “Wow, awesome you get to work at home and be with your kids!”

          No. Only people who’ve never tried it say that.

          You are either taking care of your kids and being focused on them, or you are writing. They almost never successfully happen at the same time…and I liken trying to do both as a feeling similar to what it would be like if a giant took hold of the two sides of your head and try to rip your brain in half.

          You have to decide if you can find a babysitting swap or childcare arrangement that works for you if you want more hours that will be productive. When I had babies I found another home-based business mom and we would swap out whole days…and got tons done, and our babies had a lot of fun. Other times my mom came.

          But don’t kid yourself that you can care for a toddler and earn alot from writing…don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who pulled that off.

          • Maryalene says:

            Yes, it definitely isn’t a ‘get rich working four hours a week’ type of job! I was very fortunate in finding a corporate client that provides me with a full-time workload. I was able to make more freelancing last year than I did in my previous office job. However, a big part of that is because I have been able to use my work time to write exclusively. If I had to pitch articles and track down leads, I think my hourly rate would fall through the floor.

  14. Julie says:

    Wow, thanks for the inspiration! I am no where near six figures, but I certainly appreciate you tips. I have not used Freshbooks yet, but great point on those PayPal transaction fees.
    Julie recently posted..Cons of Social Media for a Writer

    • Carol Tice says:

      Because of my background reporting on business, over the years I acquired a sharp awareness of the great evil of the world: It’s overhead. The more it costs you to operate your business, the more you have to make. The lower you can keep expenses, the less pressure you have to take gigs you don’t want. I’m constantly reviewing expenses — could we rebid insurance? The cell phone contract?

      Miscellaneous little fees really add up, so I try to cut them out.

  15. Tania Dakka says:

    Such a wonderful and informative post again, Carol! Congrats on the earnings and the wonderful job you are doing educating us! I’m learning so much from you. Thanks!!
    Tania Dakka recently posted..Accomplishing Goals

  16. Hi Carol,

    That’s a great income so very well done and lots of fab work which you deserved to be well paid for I’m sure.

    Thanks for including how you got the leads. Interested to see so many came from LinkedIn. I have a lot of contacts there but never use it at all so it looks like I should! I have had work come in via Twitter though which is my preferred social media hang out:)

    Anyway, maybe you should share your LinkedIn tips as you seem to be a real pro there. But you probably already have:) I’ll hunt around for them now!
    Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging recently posted..Will You Make this Blogging Mistake?

  17. Hi Carol.

    John here. I’m your new blog readers.

    It is very interesting to gain true information on how you succeed to make 6 figure income with freelance writing. I do love writing, and looking forward to learn more from your blog.

    Thank you. :)

  18. Michelle Jones says:

    Absolutely love this! Thank you so much for sharing. I actually doubled what I did in 2010 over to 2011. If I can do that again for 2012, then I’ll hit 6 figures! Wasn’t sure how I was going to do that until now. You always give such wonderful advice that I love passing links to your site on. Keep up the great work!
    Michelle Jones recently posted..Non-profit Organizations which Lost their Tax Exempt Status have until the End of 2012 to Get it Back

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Michelle — LOVE hearing that success story. I’ve had writers in my mentoring programs do that quite a lot, and it’s a great feeling, isn’t it? ]

      Few people with a regular job can make up their minds to double their income and then do it…but we can. That to me is the primary advantage of being a freelancer. Our income potential is unlimited.

      Thanks for sending my posts around!

      So…tell us how you grew the business. New clients? More work from the same clients? How did you find 100% more business in 2011?

  19. Conny Manero says:

    You made more than $100,000 with writing?
    That’s what the title of six figures implies, right?
    I don’t know any freelance writer who earns that kind of money.
    Most say it supplements their income, but they can’t live off their freelance work.
    I find your statement a little hard to believe.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, you know at least one now. I know Sean Platt at GhostwriterDad does too, and many, many others.

      I get that reaction a lot, though. Writers with a poverty mentality can’t visualize that there is a good living to be made with writing.

      If you hang around content-mill chat boards it would be hard to imagine that good pay exists. You may want to change who you hang out with. I think that may be one of the benefits people are seeing in Freelance Writers Den – they start seeing the success stories, that writers learn to market their business and then get those $1 a word and $100 an hour assignments, and see that it can happen to them, too.

      I’ve been supporting myself full-time from freelance writing since late 2005.

      If you have a mentality that it’s just a little side income, then it usually doesn’t become more than that. If you have the mentality that your income potential is unlimited and you are willing to aggressively market your writing business, you can earn a lot.

      See right up above here for another writer who doubled her income in a single year, and is clearly making enough to live on from writing alone. It can be done!

      Not sure what else to say. I’ve been pretty up-front about what I earn for a long while now — in my “How I Make $5K from blogging” post I mentioned that figure was half my income…so sort of not new news around here.

      • Conny Manero says:

        $25 to join the writing website … why?
        Other sites are free, they pay their writers.
        I would need more info on this.
        I’m going to share this with a few legitimate writing sites and get some opinions.

        • Conny Manero says:

          As for GhostwriterDad … what a bunch of baloney.
          Anyone who is trying as hard as he does on his website/blogpage is selling something.

          • Carol Tice says:

            Maybe you haven’t spent much time on Sean’s site, but he gives away boatloads of his stuff, and has so much freelance work he subs it out to other freelancers. I interviewed him on one of our weekly Den calls about how he finds clients…and my sense is he is a hardworking freelancer who’s sharing a lot with the community.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Please do.

          Speaking of legitimacy…I tried to go to your site and it appears to be malware. Froze my screen and I had to shut a lot of programs to get out, and it never did display. So you might want to look at that. Probably get more writing gigs if your site was self-hosted and looked more legit.

          I’ll let some of the 300+ Den members come on and describe why they join the site, or you can read the testimonials all over the home page for a sense of how and why it’s a worthwhile investment, for writers who’re serious about starting to earn more quickly. But I think it’s the 24/7 access to experts who answer your questions and help you get better gigs…in a nutshell.

          And in case you’re not aware, THIS blog pays writers for guest posts. $50 a post. And of course, this site is free to all.

          • Conny Manero says:

            I looked at one of your other pages “How to become an affiliate”.
            You are selling membership to “Freelance Writers Den” at $25 a pop.
            That’s how you make money, but luring writers into this.
            Hm, well, I strongly suspect that my posts will be removed.
            I’m on to you, because I did a little digging.
            I don’t fall for these scams anymore.
            As for my website … there’s nothing wrong with it, nobody else’s computer ever froze.
            Trap someone else girl, I’m reporting you as a scam artist.

            • Carol Tice says:

              Maybe you don’t know how affiliate sales work? I’m offering YOU the chance to earn money there.

              And yes, we already said Den membership is $25 a month. Kind of an affordable alternative to coaching programs I’ve seen at $1500 and up, hm? That’s why I created it. Because I knew more writers needed personalized help but couldn’t afford full-on mentoring.

              Wish I knew how to ‘lure’ people…but people mostly join to learn how to earn more from writing. Because they’ve been using my information to earn more from this blog, and want more one-on-one advice along the same lines. There’s sort of no smoke and mirrors to it.

              Let me know where you report scam artists…I’d love to have that info!

              • Hey Carol,

                Cool stuff you’re doing here!

                There are people who don’t understand how it works, so it’s best to ignore them; it’s all about lack of self-confidence in themselves and trust issues with others. I know I’m so direct here, but it’s because I’ve gotten my own fair share of such comments, so it’s better to let them be.

                You’re doing some great stuff so I wish you more success in 2012, especially in creating passive income streams :)
                Bamidele Onibalusi recently posted..The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Writers

            • Cathie Ericson says:

              Well, I know it’s best not to feed the trolls, but I can’t help myself. I will chime in that I know a number of well-paid professional writers. It’s not the people who hang around bidding on jobs or complaining “woe is me” on chat room boards.

              I found this blog purely by accident when I was on the Entrepreneur blog, reading entries and looking for a contact. I recognized Carol’s name from her time at the Puget Sound Business Journal and came on over to check it out. I have read lots of writing/freelancing blogs since I am moving from a pure PR play to more freelance writing and without a doubt this has been one of the most useful.

              The Den service she offers is obviously a very useful tool for a host of writers…whether they are just starting out or need a supportive community. You could buy one or two “how to freelance” books for the same amount of money and get static advice, vs. real time, interactive problem solving.

              And no I don’t work for her :) Carry on, Carol. We appreciate you!

  20. Joshua Monen says:

    Hey Conny,

    I don’t usually like getting in the middle of these “blog hate debates” but I feel like I need to share this since Carol has been a tremendous help in my writing career.

    I left my full-time job at Amica Insurance on May 26, 2011 and have been making a living as a copywriter since. This last month was my best month ever and I can see how next month may be even better.

    I joined the Freelance Writers Den several months ago and have benefited greatly from it. Carol posts a “Junk Free Job Board” where she has someone weed through the low paying gigs and only posts the good paying jobs on there. This alone is worth $25 a month…I would rather pay $25 for good leads than spend 8+ hours a month searching the internet for jobs.

    I have landed more than one client through her job board.

    One of the clients I got through Carol’s job board is now my BIGGEST paying client. They pay me $300 per email I compose for them. Just yesterday they agreed to give me another $1,800 worth of work which I should knock out in February.

    And the fact that Carol makes money by serving other writers is GREAT! I prefer to learn how to run a profitable business from other profitable business owners. And do you think 300 people would continue to pay $25/month if they didn’t see the value in this? There are no contracts so why wouldn’t they just cancel?

    I’m sorry you have the perception that this is a scam. If you have any questions feel free to call me at 360-852-2981 or email me at josh@joshuamonen.com.

    And no, Carol did not ask me to write this.

    Sincerely,
    Josh

    Joshua Monen
    Battle Ground, WA

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
    ― Henry Ford
    Joshua Monen recently posted..How Much Should I Charge for a Copywriting Project? Here are 5 Tips

  21. Conny Manero says:

    You didn’t answer my question … why do people have to pay $25?
    And please don’t say to become a member, that much is obvious.
    I am a member of five legitimate writing sites, including Reader’s Digest and never had to pay 1 cent.

    • Cynthia Rosi says:

      People pay the money because it’s worth it. That’s why. Carol gives immediate advice, and it’s always spot-on. She’s generous with her time. She sets up awesome conference calls to keep us on top of our industry. By following Carol’s advice we earn a decent living as freelance writers.

      When I attended ASJA there were plenty of 6-figure freelance writers. I’m glad Carol has opened her business to us, and private business information, in the spirit of raising the bar. I’ve learned too much to relate here from her mentoring and her calls, but all of it has been good, and all of it takes my career forward.

      If you’re not willing to invest $25 into your career for excellent training, good luck with that.

      • Conny Manero says:

        Cynthia, think about it for a moment. If every writer could earn a six figure salary, everybody would quite their job and there would be no more unemployment. Everybody would be rich.

        • Autumn says:

          Do you seriously value writing skills that little? Do you honestly think everyone can write? Most people either hate writing or simply don’t know where to begin, so no, I don’t think everyone would quit their jobs if they knew they could make $100k from writing. Freelance web developers frequently make at least that much, yet I don’t see people quitting their jobs to develop websites. The people who do are the people who give the freelance world a bad name, because they assume they can do it when they can’t. Those are the people who never make more than a few bucks.

          I find it sad that you don’t believe most writers can make a living freelancing. I am not earning anywhere close to $100k, but I most certainly live on my writing money alone. My goal is to make about $50k in the next couple of years, and I am positive it can be done because I’m not too far off now. Maybe one day when the kids are in school it will be much more than that, but my point is that I know several freelance writers earning a living at this career. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong.

        • Conny,

          I’m a member of Carol’s Freelance Writer’s Den and I wanted to jump in here and tell you what you get for $25 a month. You get a weekly teleclass where you learn skills that are valuable to a writer, such as how to design your writer’s website, how to email prospects, how to write a query letter, how to write a resume, etc. Sure, you could find similar information on the Web, but Carol saves you the time and hassle by doing the legwork, bringing the experts to you, and giving you an opportunity to ask questions. You also get resources, such as a junk-free job board, templates for legal forms, examples of successful marketing pieces, and dozens of helpful articles, webcasts and recordings that will help you grow your writing business. You also get a forum where you can ask questions and get immediate help.

          Can anyone become a six-figure freelance writer? Absolutely not. Only those who are disciplined enough to work their butts off. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not easy. Carol never said it was. She is the most dedicated writer I know. Her site is as far from a scam as you could get. And $25 is an extremely low price (I’d pay more).

          If you don’t see the value in it, it’s not for you.

        • Lara Stewart says:

          Conny, it’s not the best writers who earn the most money. There are plenty of perfectly capable writers who never make a dime. There are plenty of average writers who become wealthy. Are people who self-publish on Lulu going to make a regular living? Probably not.

          But, if you have the right sort of mind to do the writing that Carol talks about most on this blog, copywriting for businesses, you will find that there is plenty of high paying work available.

          It’s a matter of knowing how to market, and having the will to do it, which is a big part of what we discuss in the Writer’s Den. We’re members because the forum, the articles, and the hundreds of hours of podcasts in the library are worth it. Plus, we are in the company of serious business writers who write for a living full-time, which is something I have not seen in the free forums.
          Lara Stewart recently posted..Why fresh content is more important than ever

    • Amy says:

      It’s not just a writer’s site, Connie. It’s more like an ecourse. You just pay for it in monthly installments for as long as you want.

      Each week, Carol brings in a guest speaker. If den members have questions for that speaker, we post them in the forum prior to the webcast. Carol uses the questions to guide the guest speaker, ensuring we get the information we need to succeed.

      It’s far from a scam, but the freelance writing den can’t change your attitude. If you believe you will never make 100,000 a year from your writing, then you won’t.

    • Gail says:

      Hi Conny,
      I understand where you’re coming from: Why pay for an online writers’ community when there are so many out there for free, right? I thought the same thing.

      I was hesitant, too, when I first joined. But then I began to login and get involved, and saw the real *value* this site provides. I’ve learned a ton through their weekly Writer’s Den teleseminars, the very active Q&A on the site, and the writers on the site are serious about their careers.

      Personally, I landed a long-term, well-paying client in a field of writing that I didn’t know how to break into (and I’ve been a pro writer for 20 years) – but thanks to Carol’s step-by-step mentoring in the Den message boards, I succeeded.

      I truly was doubtful at the beginning – after all, there are so many scams out there – but the ROI (Return on Investment) for me has far exceeded anything I had initially expected.

      Best of luck to you, Conny -
      Gail

      • Carol Tice says:

        Thanks Gail — if I didn’t hear feedback like yours over and over, I’d just close the Den down. The point was for it to be a better value than one-on-one mentoring or group coaching or anything else.

        I didn’t think there was anything like it out there for freelance writers, that provided this much help at this low a rate. I felt sort of compelled to create it, because writers need to feed their families! Just heard too many sad stories about writers losing their homes or having to live off relatives’ goodwill because they didn’t know how to earn. It’s been exciting to see it working for so many members.

        And I know what you mean about the forum quality. I first experienced that on A-List Blogger club, and couldn’t believe how much more useful it was to spend time in a paid-member environment than the typical free LinkedIn group or somewhere. I wanted to create that same level of help on our Den forums, and I love that you get that feeling from it.

  22. Julie says:

    What an interesting debate! Carol, I have no doubt on your claims and I do know plenty of writers making that kind of money (just not me – lol)! Conny – not everyone can make 6 figures – no one said it was easy, and why are you so bitter?

    I have been working hard at it, but I just can’t seem to get past the $.04 – $.08 a word, sigh. I think it is my lack of marketing or not knowing where to find clients willing to pay that. With overseas outsourcing, it also seems a challenge to charge much more. I am guessing most six figure freelance writers are in niches like finance. Unfortunately, that is not my specialty or interest. Is it possible to make this kind of money without the staff writing experience or high paying topics? I mostly write in the travel, food, and some fitness areas. Are there ever clients in those fields? I would be interested in your Writer’s Den, but I don’t know if it would be worth it for me.
    Julie recently posted..Pros of Social Media for a Writer

    • Carol Tice says:

      You think correctly, Julie. It’s your lack of marketing.

      There are ways to get well-paid in nearly every niche topic. You think there are no luxury travel companies that need brochures written, and have money to spend? Or gourmet food companies? National, $1-a-word magazines in these niches?

      I see plenty of opportunity out there for you, and I’m sure we could help you out in the Den. I’ll make you a special offer — try it for a month and if you don’t get ideas on how to earn more that you can put right into practice, I’ll just refund your $25. I’m on record here.

      And no, I don’t think staff writing is a prerequisite. My partner in the Blast-Off class, Linda Formichelli, was never a staff writer and has written for a ton of $1-a-word mags.

  23. Frank H. Farmer says:

    Wow, this explosion of emotion (or misunderstanding by some) is interesting. With all of the info that Carol offers for us, $25 is nothing. As others have touched on, the time savings and quality, bulls-eye information is well worth the monthly membership fee.

    I need to say one other thing as well, particularly about Sean Platt and Ghostwriter Dad. Sean’s site is one of the most generous of them all for writers of all kinds. He could easily package up the info in many of his posts and articles and sell them in an eBook of some sort….but instead, chooses to freely give to all who will take the time to look through his site. He has also helped me personally in my efforts to get started in the writing biz and even let me work on some of the work he had to outsource.

    So, Conny, if you’re still reading these comments, please know that there are some great people here to learn from and to draw support from.

    Peace,
    Frank

  24. James Brown says:

    Well let me be blunt here. “If clues were shoes, Connie would be barefoot.”

    Truthfully though, she is probably trying hard to draw attention to herself as most people from Toronto do. I moved here from Nova Scotia 19 years ago and said to my who was a recent arrival from Vietnam, “Wow now I know what it’s like to immigrate, can I go home now.”

    For anyone who reads this and is not in the Den, let me tell you plan and simple. I have spent thousands of dollars learning copywriting and marketing. Most of the money I spent was wasted.

    The small sum of $25 gives me access to webinars that are mindblowing. I have been on a number of AWAI seminars and they are nothing but a pitchfest. I also have access to training materials that are top notch, a small but excellent job board and plenty of help when I need it and I don’t have to wait for days. If I have a question, it gets answered pronto.

    So Connie keep promoting yourself this way and it will come back to bite your butt.

    James from Mississauga…not far enough away from big old Toronto.

  25. Cesar says:

    Interesting post and gives me a lot of inspiration.
    I’m not ready to join the $25 board just yet (although it sounds like a great idea).
    I write for a few websites, but everything’s done for free.
    I’d like to be paid for the content I provide.

    Would anyone know a good book or point me somewhere that offers advice on this?
    Like, a good resource for the person just starting out?
    It all seems so overwhelming!

    Thanks!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Cesar –

      You mean, besides reading this blog? ;-) Or getting my ebook?

      You may want to stay tuned for the bootcamp I’m planning for March — it’s going to be on how to find good-paying blogging gigs. I did a previous bootcamp on How to Make Good Money Writing Online…your question makes me want to look into making that available as a one-off purchase — it’s currently only available to Den members.

      One more — writer Steph Auteri has created a Freelance Awesome Starter Kit that I think is going to become a free download for subscribing to her blog. Doesn’t look like it’s quite up yet — I’m having her as a Den podcast guest next week, so I think I got a preview. But you can check out her post about it here: http://www.freelancedom.com/2012/01/31/how-to-get-rid-of-query-fear-once-and-for-all/

    • Don says:

      Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Writer is essential reading for anyone who wants to break into full-time freelance writing, or anyone who’s already in it:

      http://www.wellfedwriter.com/

  26. Cesar says:

    I’m sorry, which ebook?
    Yes, make it a one-time purchase, so I can purchase it!
    Thanks for the reply and link! :)

    • Carol Tice says:

      Just click up there on ‘ebook.’

      I’ll have to look at whether I would sell the Den bootcamps separately after the fact. The thing is, it’d be cheaper to join the Den for a month and just access it all in there — it’d probably be a $97 product at least — it’s four hours of recordings plus a ton of resource handouts — vs $25 for a whole month in the Den. Which hopefully illuminates why I created the Den model. It offers way more help for way less.

  27. Wow, that was better than cage fighting.

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s a Texas Deathmatch! Loser leave town! And the one with control of the blacklist button I believe usually wins ;-)

      I encourage a diversity of opinions on my comments, but my ground rules are: keep it respectful. Conny went over that line, so some of her comments have been removed.

  28. Samantha says:

    Just popping in for another take on the Writer’s Den. I just joined this week, and do not sell anything related, including the affiliate program. I don’t know Carol, though I’ve followed her blog and enjoyed her posts. In other words, I have nothing to gain from posting,

    What I have gained from joining is information about marketing in new ways…I’ve been a freelancer for 16+ years, and found some great new ideas here. Most important to me, though is that the other writers here are professionals who want to earn a real, professional wage. Most other writing sites are packed with “artical riters” who want to move up to a penny or two a word. That type of work — and content mill writing– is being discussed pretty much everywhere, while freelancing with traditional rates is largely overlooked.

    For me, Carol’s site is a place to chat with other professionals with a mindset and goals similar to my own…and worth every dime.

    Samantha
    Samantha recently posted..Review of Heartsy — for Buyers

  29. Ro says:

    Hi Conny,

    I’m another writer from Carol’s Den. As someone on disability and on a limited income, I’ll tell you that I agonized over joining the Den and spending the (or really *any*) cash where I didn’t see an immediate, tangible result. But in the end I did, simply because I sat in on one of the free open house webinar’s and did some math. One webinar, no other benefits at $36 a pop or $25 a month for 4 webinars, plus access to the archives, plus the free bootcamp I participated in, plus a great forum, plus free website critique and feedback (both from Carol and other Den members), job referrals and postings. I got my first paid blogging gig from the Den’s forum. And raffles- I won a half hour phone consultation with Carol, who gave me some great feedback on two of my websites and my LinkedIn profile. And it’s not such a big group that I feel lost among the mass- everyone is very responsive and supportive.

    If the Den is a “scam”, then it’s probably the most transparent and just worst scam ever since I think I’ve gotten a good deal for my money!

    No, I’m not making 6 figures, but that’s not my immediate goal. My immediate goal is building a good foundation for smart marketing, building my portfolio, finding a niche I can kick ass in and I’m doing all that better with the resources I’ve gotten in the Den.

    Plus, nothing motivates me better to keep going then seeing that reminder each month that I’m paying for these resources – so I better make the most of them. ;)

  30. Joshua Monen says:

    It’s not the hand you’re dealt…it’s how you play it!

    I think this is a perfect example of winning after being dealt a bad hand…Maybe there’s a blog post idea here? “How Skeptics Can Increase Your Credibility”

    1. Carol gets accused of being a scammer by random blogger (bad hand).

    2. Carol leaves the potentially negative comment on her site and confronts it head one (playing it well!).

    3. The other writers counter the random blogger’s accusation and stand up for Carol resulting in 69 comments and 36 tweets (WIN!).

    Josh
    Joshua Monen recently posted..How Much Should I Charge for a Copywriting Project? Here are 5 Tips

    • Carol Tice says:

      I was thinking, “What I learned from my worst troll ever…” But yeah. It definitely started a dialogue about the value of paid community, and of using paid mentors to ramp your writing earnings faster. And let’s say I liked how that turned out.

      I’ve always left negative comments on — take a look at “Why I won’t write a $15 blog post” or that popular post on Demand Studios for more of same. You can disagree on here — but you can’t be nasty.

      But as they know on the TV soaps…conflict does get our attention!

  31. Cesar says:

    Hi Carol,
    One more question: Can your ebook be read on a Kindle?

    Thanks! Looks like I’ll be buying it soon!

  32. Rosa Lee Jude says:

    Why pay $25/month to have access to the Den when other sites are free? Well, why do you pay $50-100/month for cable or satellite service when you can put up an antenna on your roof and get three or four free channels? Because you want a variety of quality content that is accessible when you wish to view it. Why buy newspaper or magazine subscriptions? Why buy fiction or non-fiction books? Most professionals in any field want to learn and grow and seek educational and networking opportunities that help them reach those goals. I’ve been a professional writer for over 25 years, I’ve attended national writing conferences, taken classroom and online courses, subscribed to Writers Digest and The Writer (both great pubs) for over 20 years, bought a bookcase full of books on writing…and this $25/month that I spend on the Den is some of the best return on investment that I have ever made for my writing career. Learned a lot, made professional contents, and a few friends…Carol could charge $100/month (please don’t :) ) and I would pay it…sites like this are what help transition fledging freelancers to professional writers…and that has nothing to do with six figures.

  33. The Tech Guy says:

    Well, things are not easy when getting payment with paypal. it cut’s 8 to 9% in fee. So it has to bear by me or by the employee. Anyway the earning is good and I do not have to mind about that a lot.

    Major thing is it takes a long hurdle to reach this height you are now. encouraging post though. Thanks
    The Tech Guy recently posted..5 Top Nikon Cameras Under $200

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think Paypal usually just takes a bit under 3 percent, so you might want to look at your account and see if you can get on a better program.

      But remember, with that Freshbooks deal you can pay $.50 a transaction. I just collected more than $2K from one client and paid $.50. It’s the best deal I’ve seen for cutting your fees.

  34. Don says:

    Regarding your comment about the economy sucking, see this item in Peter Bowerman’s Feb e-pub about how the state of the broad economy or freelancing in general is irrelevant. As Carol notes, there’s so much business out there to be had (regardless of the economy) that no single freelancer’s income should be impacted by the economy in general. Peter elaborates on this even more:

    http://www.wellfedwriter.com/ezine/feb2012.html

  35. Matt says:

    Great stuff. I just forwarded the link to this post to a friend who is interested in becoming a freelance editor. It seems like some of the tips you have would be applicable to her situation.

    I was surprised to see how much business you get through LinkedIn. Pretty amazing stuff.

    Would you say it is easier to get work now, in the age of social media, than it was when you started as a freelancer? It seems like the answer is yes, but thought I’d ask anyway.
    Matt recently posted..Tools for Visualization: Google Street View

    • Carol Tice says:

      I continue to be blown away not just by the number but the QUALITY of leads I get through LinkedIn.

      Overall, don’t know if it’s easier to get a freelance gig today…especially in this economy. But it’s easier to get a gig without leaving your desk ;-)

  36. Great stuff here. I didn’t come close to this kind of writing income in 2011 but I made way more than the year before, just not enough to live on. It really does come down to marketing, which I’m bad at and avoid like the plague, but I’m working on my own psyche to get over it. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been paid $75 for blog posts, just not that often.

    Very inspiring; thanks for writing this.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Paying For Writing Services

  37. Adrian says:

    Thanks Carol, that’s a pretty inspiring and informative piece, especially for someone like myself who is currently trying to break into the field of online writing. At present, the problem is that there’s just so much information out there, and it’s difficult to know where to start. So far, I’ve received a few pennies for a couple of short articles, but I realised pretty quick that content mills aren’t going to pay the bills, so I’m trying to aim a bit higher. I’ll also have a look at the writers den as it seems to be a resource people have got a lot of help from.
    Adrian recently posted..Bob Dylan Original Mono Recordings

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Adrian –

      Now might be a good time to get on the Den waitlist — my next bootcamp is going to be a step by step on how to break into freelance writing!

  38. Marisa says:

    Thanks!

  39. Hi Carol!

    I’m a newbie to the freelance writer market where making an income is involved but I’ve been guest posting and article writing for many years. I used to sit around asking myself ‘gee, I’d love to make money doing this, how can I make that happen?’ and sure enough, ask and receive! Along comes your website, which I found through Tom Ewer, which I found through Pat Flynn. Now I spend each morning with an article or two from all of you, absorbing the basics and tips for how to launch a successful career as a freelance writer.

    Please let me take this moment to thank you times infinity! Your advice and encouragement here and in other places has shown me that doing this is possible as long as I dedicate myself to working smart. I look forward to getting it all reigned in over the next few weeks and starting up my pitching very soon! Thanks so much!

    – Jenn
    Jenn Flynn-Shon recently posted..Reckless Abandon is FREE for Kindle Download

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow — you’re welcome times infinity! Hopefully you subscribed to my blog on email so you’re getting the Marketing 101 class…that’ll give you a lot of the basics on how to put your career in motion.

      We also have a great bootcamp in Freelance Writers Den that’s the Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success…you might want to get on the waitlist to get in the door. We will have one more opening for new members before the end of the year.

  40. You are right about the “good for visibility” not so good for earnings part as a freelancer.

    Do you ever suffer from burnout? I know after spending around 10 hours writing my latest post on net worth allocation by age, I’m tired and don’t plan to publish again on FS even though I’ve got 35 more pending posts!

    The hope is to write an Evergreen post on my platform, and have it be found by search and generate passive income for years to come.

    How real is burnout in freelancing?

    thanks,

    Sam

    BTW, I’ll be writing more about this topic on Yakezie.com. It is the homebase of a network of over 100 personal finance and lifestyle bloggers.
    Financial Samurai recently posted..Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age And Work Experience

  41. Jacob Arvin says:

    Wow, congratulations! It seems that the conventional wisdom of the internet says that earning a living as a freelance writer is nearly impossible through article writing, so it’s refreshing to see some optimistic numbers for a change. I hope to be able to write such a post myself within a year!
    Jacob Arvin recently posted..Five Myths about Online Freelance Writing

    • Carol Tice says:

      I have a mix of article and business-writing clients, Jacob, as do most of the high-earning freelance writers I know.

      It’s funny to me, but I do keep getting this question. Sometimes at the end of mentoring sessions writers stop me to say, “But can you REALLY make a living as a freelance writer?”

      There’s so much negative b.s. out there it’s incredible. The freelance market is huge and only growing, as companies and magazines alike discover they love outsourcing.

      It may be nearly impossible through CONTENT MILL article writing, Jacob…but that’s not the type of writing I do. You’ve got to get off of there and find better quality clients to earn a living.

  42. Russ Crane says:

    Hi Carol,

    I am trying to get back into Freelance Writing. Recently, I was approached via my LinkedIn page by the owner of a Financial Services company that provides online market analytical tools, and publishes a good number of financial market articles daily and weekly. The owner of the web site asked me to send him a few clips and let him know what my rate is. To be honest, I chickened out because I didn’t know what rate to charge, and I was busy beginning a Masters program in Public Policy. I believe that I may still have the opportunity to research and write daily or weekly articles. How do I figure out a rate?

    I have 15+ years experience in Financial Services (viz., Private Banking, Asset Management, Stock Plan Administration, Mutual Funds). Prior to my career in Financial Services, I was a reporter and editor for about 5 years. Over the years, I have done odd freelance assignments, from newsletters to websites to articles to business plans. Writing has always been a subtext of my career, and I always had Senior Execs at my financial jobs coming to me for advice on correspondence.

    Due to layoffs, I have been un- or underemployed for the past 2+ years. I am really trying to figure out how to get back on my feet in this horrible economy. Nobody is hiring, so I will have to make my own way. I know business consulting and I know research and writing. I am pretty versatile on a wide range of topics. Any feedback would be enormously appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Russ Crane, MBA

    • Russ Crane says:

      Carol,

      Incidentally, he wants 1-3 articles per week for his web site. I think that would figure into a rate calculation. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Thanks,

      Russ

      • Carol Tice says:

        Usually when they want this much frequency, Russ, pay is low. In many cases, low as in $10 or something. Even for financial services, you can find crappy websites that try to get it for nothing.

        It may or may not be a viable client of a kind you could really live off…but financial services is a great niche if you have that expertise and there are plenty of good-paying opportunities out there.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Rusty — I’d have to know more about what sort of articles they have in mind. Is it quick stuff you could write in an hour off the top of your head, or the kind of article where you interview four sources, find two research statistics, and then write a reported story? One I like to see at least $100 for, the other I like $300-$800 or more.

      If you’d like to leave links on my blog comments, please use our CommentLuv tool — that’s what I allow.

  43. jackie says:

    If you have ever written for about.com, I’d like to know your experiences.
    I have found that it and some other content provider web sites do not tell persons up front the specific amounts they be paid, how they will pay, when they will pay and word counts. I have never worked that way and am reluctant to do so. I have been a journalist for more than 20 years. I have worked as a staffer and freelancer

    Do you work without first knowing about payment amounts/terms?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jackie, I haven’t written for About, but what I’m hearing is pay has been declining there. I think they do tell you a flat amount you’re guaranteed — used to be $800 a month but not sure what it is now…maybe others will weigh in.

      If you’re an experienced former staff journalist I don’t know why you would choose that route…there are plenty of better-paying markets out there for you.

  44. I am having absolutely no luck finding clients who will pay me for a blog post, an article or anything whatsoever to do with writing for them. Every day I try…and no luck. I am coming to believe every word you write is self serving. Rather than from gaining clients who pay you to write, I believe you get paid telling us poor schnooks that we’re doing it wrong and you’re doing it right. I have never been so disappointed in my life, not to mention poor. Sandy A.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I have a post coming up just for people like you, Sandy, who can’t seem to believe it’s possible to earn a living as a freelance writer, no matter how much evidence is stacked up in front of them.

      If you’ve decided I’m a fraud, there’s nothing I can do about it. I made a full-time living as a freelancer including the 2011 income described in this post, for six years in this stint (and another five years earlier on) before I made any substantial income as a writing coach and mentor.

      When you say you have “no luck” finding clients…it’s not a “luck” game. It’s a marketing activity you do, and you have to learn how to find legitimate clients. “Every day I try…” how, exactly? How are you trying to find clients? I’d be fascinated to know. Likely, there’s something missing from your marketing that causes you to fail to connect with good gigs.

      Just because you haven’t learned how to market your business doesn’t mean paid blogging work doesn’t exist…but I know once you’ve made up your mind I’m a scam, there won’t be a thing I can say to change it.

      I’ve helped so many writers to move up and earn more from their writing, and to break in and find first paying markets, and those writers all had something in common.

      First, they had to believe it was possible. As long as you don’t, it will definitely never happen for you.

      I absolutely do at this point have paid products that help writers who want in-depth assistance…but also 10 tons of absolutely free stuff right here on the blog. If I’m just out to rip you off, why the vast amount of freebies?

      • Matt Rowland says:

        Perhaps you could send a link on “how to market” your freelance writing? It sometimes isn’t enough to simply say “use LinkedIn and social media”. That really does make it seem like “luck” to the novice.

        :)

        • Carol Tice says:

          Hi Matt — I am definitely NOT a believer in the luck fairy bringing you gigs.

          If you look in the sidebar you can see a link to my Twitter training. Here’s a LinkedIn one: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/2011/05/02/ways-writers-find-gigs-linkedin/

          In Freelance Writers Den we’ve got 4 hours of training on how to use social media to get gigs, with a ton of precise strategies. There’s some in the Marketing 101 series as well.

          • Matt Rowland says:

            I’m brand new to your site, and find it extremely difficult to maneuver. I friend of mine sent me a link to one of your articles, so I thought I would check you out. It took me about 4 minutes of scrolling after I got the email link that you responded to my post. lol And have ignored the other “courses” and other tabs until I review some of the content in the articles. Perhaps that is what your other poster is doing as well. By embedding liks in your responses as you did above, this is more clear. I may check that out later. Thanks

            • Carol Tice says:

              Sorry, it does get disorganized when you’ve got 500+ useful posts hanging around…but that’s what’s great about Freelance Writer’s Den — the materials are organized under topics and you can quickly navigate to what you want to learn.

  45. Sofie says:

    In the hopes of still getting an answer:
    Carol, you mention combining paypal and Freshbooks, would you liked to explain that a bit please?
    I’m just starting out and I have my business paypal account, but everyone recomments Freshbooks.
    It it possible to invoice through paypal and then somehow incorporate the data in Freshbooks?
    Or do you have to invoice through Freshbooks?
    And is it possible to create a pro forma invoice in Freshbooks?
    I find that people sometimes already pay through paypal without having received an invoice first (trying to avoid this, but it happens).

    I just want to make sure I keep all the records I need in an orderly fashion…
    Sofie recently posted..Experiencing the city of Cambridge with a local

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Sofie –

      It’s a setup where you invoice through Freshbooks for a Paypal payment.

      Yes, if you’re an affiliate somewhere, they may just pay you, and then you can’t do it. If it’s your clients, hopefully you can train them to pay off your Freshbooks invoice.

      But you can read all the details about the Freshbooks Paypal Business Payments program on my Products I Love page — it’s just $.50 per transaction of any size. I’ve saved a FORTUNE billing through it.

      • Sofie says:

        Hey Carol, I’m hoping you’ll still get this:
        what I didn’t get from your Products I Love page and what I’m still wondering is what you do if a client decides to pay you through credit card?
        I’ve learned that you then do have to pay the regular paypal fees, but that they don’t show up in Freshbooks. Thus, Freshbooks things you’ve been paid the full amount, while you’ve actually lost a bunch of money to fees.

        Everybody recommends Freshbooks and it seems to have really nice features, but I find it a bit a bummer that I won’t be able to really do everything in it.
        Sofie recently posted..You don’t need to sell everything to travel the world

  1. [...] And for further more on this topic: Carol Tice’s “How I Made 6 Figures as a Freelance Writer in 2011.” [...]

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