There’s a basic freelancing question that mystifies many writers: “How do I get paid, exactly?”
When you’re used to an employer handing you a paycheck every week or two, it can be intimidating to realize that as a freelancer, you’ll only get paid if you figure out a method — and make it happen.
That’s probably why many writers gravitate to content mills and mass platforms that act as intermediary. Then, you know your payment will come from the platform.
Of course, once you see how tiny that payment is after the platform takes its cut, you’ll likely be looking to cut out the middleman.
Fortunately, there are several reliable ways to get paid directly by your freelance clients.
First, I’ll go over payment methods — and then, I’ve got a few quick tips on how to structure your contract to ensure you don’t get stiffed.
Note: Ever wonder what the difference is between writing an article and writing a blog post? It’s a topic that comes up a lot. Besides style and research, you might be surprised by one of the key differences between blogs and articles. And it’s why I decided to share this post again. Enjoy! —Carol.
There’s a lot of confusion out there in the freelance-writing world today about blog posts and articles. Also, about what each of those types of writing should pay.
Recently, I got a lot of response to my call for freelance writers to stop writing blog posts. Many writers were confused about just what the difference is.
So let’s discuss. Because things are changing. And understanding the differences between these two writing forms will help you earn more.
For years, blog posts and nonfiction articles were distinctly different:
Are you looking to find some great-paying blogging clients? Join the club! Business blogging is one of the best entry-level types of writing to get you started as a freelancer. When I got back into freelancing in late 2005, paid blog writing caught my eye right away.
As someone coming off 12 years as a staff-writing journalist, I was fascinated by the breezy, casual, short blog-post format. So I dove in.
Soon I was earning quite a lot blogging for clients. I documented what I was doing, and the post How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger became one of the all-time most popular posts here at Make a Living Writing.
Recently, I got to wondering what I’d do if I wanted that level of monthly income from blog writing clients now.
My approach would be completely different, because the world of blogging has changed so much. Also, the way I did it a decade ago was a recipe for burnout. I had to churn out nearly 60 blog posts per month to make that money! That’s not sustainable.
Here are the strategies I recommend now, for becoming a well-paid freelance blogger:
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.
“It’s a real hustle, you sure you want to quit your job at Harvard?”
That’s the response I usually got from family and friends when I talked about leaving my day job to become a full-time freelancer. So I put it off.
But after thee years as a smoking cessation counselor and researcher at Harvard Medical Center, I knew I needed to leave academia. The work was boring. The people were toxic. The egos were huge. And it never seemed like any of my patients ever quit smoking.
Ever wonder if you can make it as a full-time freelancer, find your niche, and make good money?
I did. So I started freelancing on the side. Within a year I took the leap and quit my day job. I’ve been freelancing full time for seven months, and I can’t imagine going back to a J-O-B.
Trying to find your niche? Some writers seem to have that dialed in from day one. It took me a little longer to figure out where to find good-paying clients. But what I’ve been able to accomplish as an LGBTQ writer in a short amount of time is proof that you can be a successful freelance writer in just about any niche.
Here’s the basics about how I found my niche, along with 18 LGBTQ sites (+1 bonus) that pay writers $50 or more per article.
There’s nothing quite as exciting as landing your first freelance writing client. At last — someone who wants to pay you for your writing services!
Some writers are lucky enough to find clients who pay reasonably well from the get-go, and can give them ongoing work.
I was not one of those lucky ones.
I know I’m not the only freelance writer whose first clients paid peanuts. Despite that, it can be hard to let them go. You can feel sort of loyal to that first client, who helped you break into freelancing, and the security of that client you know can make you complacent.
But sooner or later, it’s time to let that low-paying first client go and move on to better gigs.
Here’s the story of my first freelance writing client — and why I dropped him.