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.
For many freelance writers, hitting six figures in income is the brass ring.
I’ve been privileged to grab the ring once in my career, but it can be a grueling effort to earn six figures. I learned I’m too lazy to do that year after year.
I decided to pursue the six-figure quest my own way: working part-time.
So far in 2015, I’m on track to do just that. I’m spending about 18 hours a week at my desk, and I’ve booked an average of $8,500 per month in assignments. Here’s how I’m doing it.
In 2014, I published roughly 100 new blog posts about the freelance writing and blogging game here at Make a Living Writing. Whew! No wonder I’m tired.
But enough about me — the important question is: Which of those many posts did you like best?
Here’s our annual list of the posts I published in 2014 that got the most traffic. This is essentially a readers’ choice ranking — you voted with your clicks on which posts were most interesting.
These are ranked with #1 representing the new post that got the most traffic in 2014:
You may think this is a funny piece of advice for me to write on my blog.
But if you care about earning more as a freelance writer, then you might want to stop writing blog posts.
Why do I say this?
There are four big reasons I want to steer you away from blogging: