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:
It can seem like a great strategy, when you first start looking for writing jobs. If you simply charge a bit less than everyone else, you’ll get more clients.
You might. But sadly, undercutting market rates is a loser’s game.
I’ve coached thousands of writers at this point, and have yet to meet one who says they’re earning a great living by being the cheapest writer around.
The good news? There’s never been a better time to charge premium rates for your writing, as changes at Google have brought the rise of longer-form online content — and have helped a growing number of companies understand the high value of what we writers bring to the table.
It takes a major mindset change (and a little research) to go from low-price-leader to a writer who charges serious fees. But trust me — you’ll be ever so much happier and earn a crap-ton more if you stop undercharging. Let me help you make it happen.
True or false: It’s normal for a freelancer to have ‘down’ months with no money coming in. It’s feast or famine in the freelance life. Right?
Actually, no. Well, it’s not normal for me, anyway.
Don’t know if I’ve ever shared this before, but I never had a zero-income month, in over a decade of paying all my bills entirely from freelance writing gigs.
I didn’t have the option of having drought months, because for many years, I was the sole support of a family of five. Terror clawing at my gut at the idea that a month might come along with no money in it.
So I designed my freelance life so that I always had money coming in, every month. Because my mortgage was due every month, too. And my kids weren’t interested in taking a month off of eating.
How did I do it? Well, there are some fundamental steps that always-booked freelancers take that most writers don’t bother with. Now that I coach writers in my Den 2X Income Accelerator Program, I’ve seen how reliable and powerful these steps are for taking a writer from just scraping by to earning a major income.
If you’d like to banish ‘down’ months from your freelance life, here are the basic steps you need to take:
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.
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?”
Are you one of those freelance writers who can’t seem to win no matter how hard you try? All the freelance writing jobs you touch seem to turn to merde. Things may start out well, but then something often goes wrong.
You don’t get paid. Your client drops you. All your prospects just want to know how little you’d be willing to do a gig for. And you’re always struggling to book more freelance writing jobs.
If this is you, listen up.
I’m going to tell you exactly why that’s happening, and how to fix it.
How do I know what’s up? I recently added a free, 1-on-1 consulting perk for all Freelance Writers Den members who’ve been in the Den a year or more. That turned out to be…500 writers!
So I’ve been talking with many, many writers who’ve been working on their careers a long time, and learning what keeps them broke, and why it’s so hard for many to find and keep freelance writing jobs that pay well.
Turns out, it’s mostly themselves. Let me spotlight the major mindset problems that lead you to choose crummy clients — or screw up better gigs — over and over. See if you recognize yourself in any of these archetypes of the low-paid freelancer: