When I became a professional writer 5 years ago, I had no idea what I should charge. I had an inkling that I needed to raise my rates, but how?
Then I joined Freelance Writers Den. I hadn’t been a member for a week before I realized that I was vastly under-charging. That was easy enough to fix for new clients – I would start quoting appropriately for new work.
But how could I apply what I’d learned about rates to existing clients who were paying me $45-$55/hour for ongoing work of varying types–emails, websites from scratch, blogs, newsletters and more?
I felt especially resentful of my $45 per hour client. I knew I needed to ask for more money, but I didn’t know how to ask for a raise.
Every time I tried to imagine how this conversation would go, it became an ultimatum, which I knew I wanted to avoid.
Then, I searched around the Den and found three key pieces of inspiration that enabled me to craft emails that got me the raises I wanted. Here’s what I did:
Stepped into my Wayback Machine and found this post from 2010 on productivity habits. And you know what? It’s still current. These habits have helped me and many other freelancers move up and earn more. Enjoy!–Carol
Time. We’ve only got so much of it each day. For freelance writers who are also parents, we’ve certainly never got enough of it. Or if you’re working a day job and freelancing on the side, you know you’ve got to use your time wisely.
Whether you have a wide-open schedule or just a few hours a day for freelancing, your productivity habits can have a huge impact on your writing career.
What’s the best way to spend your precious work hours? I’m often asked this question by writers during coaching calls. I had one say, “I wish I could follow you around all day and see how you do it!”
While I don’t think that would be pleasant for either of us (and might reveal an embarrassing amount of screwing off and/or snacking on my part!)…I realized that after a decade of freelancing, I have developed some strong opinions on productivity habits for freelance writers.
Here are what I consider to be the seven most important productivity habits a freelancer should spend their time on, in order of importance:
There comes a point in every freelance writer’s life when they get sick of writing for pennies. You look up one day, realizing you’re burning out fast, and that you need to be writing for money — real money. The kind that pays the mortgage.
Helping writers move up and earn more is my favorite pastime, so I love it when writers tell me they’ve hit this point.
I’ve written a ton on how to grow your writing income here on the blog. But over the years, with 900+ posts, it’s gotten harder to easily find my best tips for leaving the gerbil-wheel of lousy gigs behind.
So I’m happy to announce that I’ve now got my very best ‘earn more from writing’ material organized on a single page.
If you’re ready to earn a serious living at freelance writing, read on for details:
Do you ever wonder where the better-paying freelance writing gigs are hiding? It can be hard to believe a good income is even possible, especially if you’re trapped in low-pay assignments that don’t even earn you the minimum wage.
The good news is, there are plenty of niches that pay better than writing, say, a 300-word blog post or a 50-word online product description — to name just two classic bottom-of-the-barrel niches where pay is often miniscule.
The problem is, many writers aren’t aware of all the different types of freelance writing gigs that offer better pay.
Below is a list of writing niches that I can report writers are seeing strong rates for. I’ve noted rate ranges as I’m aware of them, from talking to thousands of writers through Freelance Writers Den and my coaching. I’ve also included tips on industries and approaches for connecting with these clients.
Data on how much freelance writers make can be tough to pin down. But it’s something every writer wants to know. I tackled this topic three years ago when I published this post. And it’s a topic that never gets old. Check out the updated resources. And be sure to ask yourself the two questions at the end to determine your earning potential. -Carol
It’s one of the most-asked questions I get: “Can you tell me how much freelance writers make?”
Let’s face it — we’ve all got mouths to feed. So it’s important to get a sense of whether freelance writing can yield you a real, bill-paying level of income. It’s a good question to ask.
There are two steps to figuring out the answer to this question.
The first is to find survey data on what freelancers make. That gives you a sense of what’s possible, and what’s typical.
The second step is a bit harder, so let’s start with data.
Do you think freelance writing is a sure thing?
If so, there’s a newly minted online writing ‘expert’ who’d love to take your money.
You may have heard that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
Well, if someone tells you that freelance writing is an activity even a “broke, jobless dummy” can for-sure earn a middle-class income with, because “anyone can write” and “earn a safe, secure income” from home (all quotes from this pitchster’s website)…please be wary.
Here’s what I recently learned about the wild promises being made to online writers about the easy riches that supposedly await them…