Ever wonder what smart freelancers are doing when it comes to writing for money?
I did. I thought about it a lot when I was working in retail.
You know, minimum wage, run the cashier, stock shelves, talk to customers. Same shift, different day.
When I finally decided to quit, I thought I had freelancing figured out.
But it didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t keep going without good pay from writing for money to cover my bills.
I expected an immediate, steady income. I’d heard some really great stories about successful writers and thought I could be one of them.
So imagine my surprise when the new clients I desperately needed didn’t magically appear at my door with handfuls of cash.
It was frustrating. And I knew I had to do something about it if I wanted to stick with freelancing.
Frustrated with your efforts to find freelance writing jobs? It’s a common problem that plagues a lot of writers who are in denial about what’s really happening.
You tell yourself you’re doing every kind of marketing your fertile imagination can come up with to get more clients.
Just in the last month, in fact, you:
- Sent a query letter
- Called a prospect
- Contacted a potential client on LinkedIn
- Sent a direct message to another one via Twitter
- Created a helpful email newsletter for people in the industry you’re targeting
- Had a coffee meeting with a local editor
And still…crickets in your inbox.
When you can’t seem to get freelance writing jobs…
You cry. You complain. You eat more ice cream and binge-watch YouTube videos. And you keep asking yourself: “Why do I suck at getting more 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.
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.
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?