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.
Are you worried about ageism in freelancing? It’s a concern I hear from a lot of writers.
It’s not uncommon for writers to finally embark on their dream career after retiring or being laid off from a longtime job, or after several different corporate jobs. I also hear from journalists who’ve taken 10-20 years off to raise kids, and now they want to start getting assignments again.
But you worry that you’re “too old.” It’s too late for you. You’re obsolete. No one’s going to hire you.
If ageism in freelancing is your worry, I want to tell you it’s all lies.
I’ve been freelancing since late 2005, have owned an AARP card for several years now, and I’ve never been offered more lucrative projects than I’m seeing right now.
>p>Want to know how to beat ageism in freelancing?
I wasn’t always a freelance writer. In fact, I used to be a brainy corporate accountant who made a six-figure income. But I wanted out in a bad way. And I made up my mind that I could earn a decent living by booking well-paying freelance writing jobs.
Here’s how it all went down. I raided my 401(k), a very un-CPA-like thing to do, bought a townhouse, renovated it and flipped it. Pretty smart, right? But I still needed freelance writing jobs lined up before I could quit my day job. And not the content-mill kind.
So I joined the Freelance Writers Den and went through the bootcamp, “Learn to Write White Papers,” by Steve Slaunwhite. That was my light-bulb moment. Writing white papers was the perfect match for my skills and goals to get freelance writing jobs that paid pro rates. Without hesitation, I named my new business and launched my site, “Savvy White Papers.”
With that done I busted my butt until I had a $250/hr contract in my hand and a check in the bank. Want to know how to land freelance writing jobs that pay top dollar? Here’s how I did it:
Why do so many writers have a hard time with self-promotion? Think about it for a second. You know you should promote your writing to grow your freelancing business.
But if you’re totally honest, fear, doubt, or shyness sometimes gets in the way. Sound familiar?
That was one of my biggest stumbling blocks when I first started writing for a living. Fortunately, I learned to change my way of thinking to overcome marketing shyness. And so can you.
My own journey as a freelance writer and career coach helped me figure out how to help others overcome fear, develop confidence, and learn effective marketing skills.
Being an introvert, too humble, or having no confidence in your skills are a few factors that can impede your efforts to promote your writing, land more gigs, and earn well as a freelancer. Too many writers think the whole idea of self-promotion is arrogant and boastful. When I was starting out, I had somehow convinced myself that tooting my own horn was breaking some sacred social law. And that’s not the case at all.
Want to learn how to overcome marketing shyness to land better clients and earn more?
Need to find prospects that can turn into well-paying clients? Don’t we all. But too often, writers hit all the wrong places hoping to land a gig. You’re not likely to find good clients on job boards, content mills, Craigslist, and bidding sites. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.
In fact, if you use the right strategy, you can tap into a massive list of potential prospects in your niche using LinkedIn Premium. (Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? I’ll explain.) But I didn’t know that when I got serious about freelancing. I used to troll job boards and send LOIs to people I wasn’t always sure were the decision makers. I had some success with this approach. But I struggled to find the right clients. Sound familiar?
I needed a better way to zero-in on my niche (FinTech), find the right people to pitch and land better-paying clients. But how? I stumbled across the answer when I signed up for Lynda.com. And by chance, I scored a one-year subscription to LinkedIn Premium along with it (LinkedIn Premium now costs $29.99 to $79.99 a month).
I had heard plenty of buzz about LinkedIn Premium. But I was on the fence. I had the same question as a lot of freelancers, is LinkedIn Premium worth it? With a free subscription, I decided to jump in and see what I could do with it to grow my freelancing business. It didn’t take long to get results. I found a $1/word client and developed a strategy to use LinkedIn to move up and earn more. Here’s how I did it: