The simple answer to the question, “can you make money freelance writing?” is a HUGE Resounding YES!!!!!
I am living proof! Yes, you can make money freelance writing and it’s much easier than you might imagine.
Do you need to be a skilled writer already? NO.
Do you need any professional writing experience? NO.
Will you need a few things to be successful? Yes, but none are that hard to attain.
When trying to answer the question, “can you make money freelance writing?” there are few things you should know. Let me introduce you to my story and how I started making money with freelance writing without any professional writing experience.
Where My Freelance Writing Career Started
I was in my late 20s and trying to figure out what I really wanted out of life. I knew I wanted to work from home, but I didn’t know how to replace my current income.
At the time, I had created a few simple websites with ads on them and was making about $1,000 per month. However, the method I was using got slapped down by Google and became something of the past.
My sites went from making me $1,000 a month to about $100 a month if that. The method was dead and it was time to find something else.
The method I was using involved writing very short articles stuffed with keywords. Believe it or not, that used to work very well when combined with EzineArticles.com and other article directories. Try it today, and you’ll be wasting your time.
I decided to go to a school for golf course management, but my dream of writing and working from home wasn’t dead. I put myself through school with loans, grants, and the income I earned from my websites (before Google killed them).
After school, I ended up going back to the job I was trying to avoid, bartending and waiting tables. I have nothing against the service industry, but after more than 10 years, I wanted to make more money.
I saw a way out when I first discovered I could write for other people. After countless hours searching around the Warrior Forum, I finally dipped my toe in the water.
Cutting back from five to seven serving/bartending shifts per week to three was a huge leap, but I had to do it. It was time to become a freelance writer and finally answer the question, “Can you make money freelance writing?” for myself.
Going from Bartender to Freelance Writer in Two Months
Granted, a bartending income isn’t much to replace and I didn’t have a huge pile of bills to deal with. I was also put in the perfect situation to finally leave bartending and serving behind.
I needed to make about $20 per hour to make the move, which meant I needed to write my behind off, back then.
When I started freelance writing, I charged a penny per word and typed about 2,000 words per hour. Yes, that equals $20 per hour and my fingers were moving so fast they nearly flew away!
A penny per word meant I was competing with writers that spoke a different language and English was their second language. It wasn’t really any type of competition, but I had to work way too hard to make my money.
Going from a Penny per Word to Triple, and then More
After about a year of writing for clients willing to pay a penny per word or slightly more, I made a huge change to my business. I tripled my rate!
I knew I would likely lose most of my current clients and I did keep a few at a penny per word while making the transition. It took about a month to replace all my lower-paying clients and start making triple what I was making before.
I GAVE MYSELF A HUGE RAISE!
Seriously, go ask your boss to triple your salary and see what he/she says.
This was a huge, defining moment and I realized there were a ton of clients willing to pay three cents per word, which meant, I could write less, make more, and live a happier life.
Of course, higher-paying clients meant I had to deliver better work. I spend more time editing and was probably making around $35 per hour with a rate of three cents per word.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking you’d love to make $20 per hour or $35 per hour. If so, read to the very end and I will give you my top five tips to get you there and finally answer the question, “can you make money freelance writing?” for yourself.
Making triple my original rate was great, but I knew there were clients out the willing to may even more. However, I also knew I had to change the way I marketed myself if I was going to find them.
The current way I was marketing didn’t work at a rate higher than three cents per word, no matter how many times I paid for the advertising.
About three years later, it was time for another big change.
Client Issues, Getting Married, and Making a Huge Business Change
When one door closes, usually a bigger door opens, if we know where to look.
Right before my wife and I got married, which we were footing the bill for a big portion of; I had a huge client start to become very slow with payments.
This client made up about 80% of my income at the time and it was a huge problem to see the invoices get paid very slowly. It’s a part of the business, but not one I enjoy, at all.
Luckily, enough invoices were paid right in time to finish footing the bill for our wedding, thank the good Lord above!
A few months after getting married, however, this same client stiffed me on about $2K worth of invoices putting us in a less than desirable position.
At this point, I had been writing for what I would refer to as a “middleman” for several years. It was time to make a change.
I found a way to market directly to the end-user of my content and upped my rate again. While I didn’t triple my rate this time, I did give myself another raise and learned I could make even more money from freelance writing.
My rate went from three cents per word to 4 to 6 cents per word and I started requiring at least a 50% deposit upfront. Most of my new clients paid in full upfront for a month, a quarter, or a year of content.
Today, I charge even more and write for only the highest paying clients I can find. I make more money, working less, and it’s a lifestyle I thoroughly enjoy.
It’s important to note, freelance writing wasn’t just about making money for me. It was always about the freedom gained and not working for someone else.
My commute is less than 25 steps. I get to spend all day with my wife (she works from home, too). I choose when I work, how I work, and where I work.
It’s a lifestyle I was drawn to a very long time ago and have enjoyed for more than 10 years now.
Can You Make Money Freelance Writing?
I did, so why can’t you? You can make money freelance writing and here are a few quick tips to help you get there.
1. Learn to Type Fast
I took a keyboarding class in high school, which helped, but I developed my speed by chatting online with friends. Yes, that used to be a huge deal when I was a teenager and in my early 20s.
2. Use Grammarly for Editing
I believe in a three-prong approach to editing. First, I use Microsoft Word’s Spelling and Grammar check. Second, I use Grammarly to catch even more errors. Finally, I give the content a read.
While you won’t catch every single mistake in the world, you will catch about 99% of the errors, which will impress your clients. Get Grammarly here.
3. Choose A Few Niches
Many freelance writing coaches will tell you to choose one niche and specialize. Yes, that strategy works, but when you’re first starting out and you want to answer the question, “can you make money freelance writing?” you need to choose a few niches.
Heck, when I started, I wrote about everything. If someone would pay me to write it, I would do the work.
4. Develop Incredible Research Skills
The key to writing well on any topic is research. I am an expert researcher and a very good writer. My research skills allow me to write about anything.
The best way to develop great research skills is to learn how Google works. It’s really pretty simple if a client wants to gain traffic from the search engines, do your research with the search engines.
5. Learn the Basics of SEO for Content
Many clients want you to provide better SEO (search engine optimization) for their websites. Your content should be well crafted to do so, which means you should learn the basics of SEO for content.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Freelance Writer?
You will read all types of stats out there, but they really aren’t the truth. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says writers and authors make an average of $61,820 annually.
PayScale.com says the range goes from $24,000 to $115,000, which is quite a range really.
Glassdoor has an actual category for freelance writers and puts the salary at $52,807.
These numbers may excite you or may discourage you, but they are not the most accurate numbers in the world.
When it comes to how much money you can make as a freelance writer, it’s really up to you. Yes, there is a cap because you’re still trading your time for money, but I have had clients pay me as much as 30 cents per word (about $300 per hour)!
Don’t believe me…CopyBlogger put out an article titled, How to Earn $250 Per Hour As a Freelance Writer.
It’s certainly possible to make $50, $100, $250, even $300 per hour as a freelance writer! Even if you work just 30 hours per week and make $50 per hour, you’ll make $1,500 per week or $72K per year. That’s not bad for working 10 hours less than a full-time employee each week and working from home!
If you want to finally answer the question, “can you make money freelance writing?” my list of 100+ Websites that Pay Writers is perfect for you. It will help you find the best websites willing to pay you as much as $1,000 per article! Get it for free by going here now!