Are you interested in learning about how to make money freelance writing?
I’ve been a freelance writer for five years and can live off of the earnings from my clients.
I also know that many of my course students quit their job and are now making a full-time income from freelance writing.
Is that the dream for you?
To be able to stay home with your little one, have the flexibility to go to the park with your little one on a Tuesday afternoon or have no problem buying that Coach bag you always wanted?
Or, how about saving enough to buy your first house?
All of these are dreams that can come true as a freelance writer. You don’t need to suffer from the feast and famine cycle you may hear from others.
There are other ways to have recurring freelance writing jobs and never have to worry about paying your bills.
So, if you want to make $4,000 a month from freelance writing – or much more – pay attention to these 12 tips I’m about to share.
You may know all of them or some of them, but you may not be doing all of them.
1. Improve Your Blog Writing
If you’ve been freelance writing for a while and only making $50 a post or even $100 a post, you’re going to have to write a lot of blog posts to make $4,000 a month.
There are freelance writers out there – including me – that make a minimum of $600 a blog post. Many of my clients pay me over $1,000 for one blog post.
How did that happen?
I didn’t start out charging $1,000 for blog writing.
But, what ended up happening was that I improved my blog writing skills and learned the proven formula that clients crave and will pay big bucks for.
Clients want long-form content.
Clients seek conversational writing.
Clients demand SEO writing that will help them rank in Google.
When you supply these features to your writing, you bet businesses won’t bat an eyelash to your freelance writing rates.
If you need more help, make sure to check out Freelance Blogging in Weekend, where I teach you step-by-step how to write these pieces as well as how to flip that to make money with your own blog.
2. Build Up Your Portfolio
If you have never published anything, then I strongly encourage you to pitch guest submissions to get your name out there.
This is absolutely the best way to build up your portfolio when you’re brand new.
There are many magazines that pay writers for their submissions, and you don’t necessarily need a lot of experience, just a great, unique pitch.
To start looking for guest sites that pay, just run a search in Google – your writing niche + pay for writing. Here are the results for wellness blogs:
Once you have a few bylines under your belt, you can add them to your writer website and your pitches.
This will help prospects figure out if you’re the best writer for them and subsequently hire you.
And, once you have a few pieces in your portfolio, you can start looking for freelance writing jobs work more successfully.
3. Narrow Your Focus
A lot of new writers lose focus quickly when they start.
They try to grab any an all jobs that come available.
While this is a good strategy when you have no freelance writing clients, you can’t stay in this place month after month.
Here is what one freelance writer said about this cycle:
I use to write for any job I could get when I first started my freelance writing career. I was working all over the map and only averaging $12-20 an hour. It was mentally exhausting because I felt like I had to constantly learn new topics. I accidentally stumbled into finance writing because I have a passion for personal finance topics. Narrowing my field allowed me to move up the chart to make $100-150 per hour. I also was able to get featured on big websites, like Time, Forbes, Fidelity, Yahoo, and more.
Also, since she narrowed her focus, she had better success of getting finance writing gigs. Since writing only in that niche topic, she’s considered an expert in her field, which allows her to set premium rates.
This is similar to how I figured out my writing niche and narrowed to digital marketing.
4. Keep Hustling
For the past five years as a freelance writer, I’ve had consistent – or too much – work about 80% of the time.
My secret to consistent work is the hustle. Even though I am comfortable with my workload as is, I still apply for new positions, if I find a position in my field (but it’s not required for me to make a steady income anymore).
This has been extremely helpful in my line of work because publications switch editors and paths often.
As proof, I lost a huge contract with a company last year because they changed their editorial direction. Thankfully the hit is not too great since I had plenty of other work to keep me busy and provide the income.
5. Keep Pitching
I try not to leave any lull time in between my conversations with my editors/clients. If I pitch an article and they like it, I try to get that article in as quickly as possible and have a new pitch for them the next day. Pretty soon, your editor might start asking you to take on assignments.
Having this relationship with editors is key to wow them and get them on your good side.
But don’t get complacent with your jobs. Keep pitching to job ads and keep on looking out for places that are hiring freelancers.
Every month I spend time finding these places and pitch my services to see if they need another writer.
And, don’t make these pitching mistakes either!
6. Set the Time
I was very resistant to getting my mother-in-law to watch my toddler twins for 10-12 hours a week because I felt guilty.
My main goal was to be a stay at home mom. I should be able to do it all. Wrong!
Having my MIL take the twins to the park or stroller walk them every day for a few hours allowed me almost to double my freelance writing income and made me such a better mom.
I was able to get that mental break that I needed, and my kids got a break from me too. Now that my twins are in school, I really need to hone down and focus on the six hours I get to work on my business, keep the house clutter-free, do my daily chores and exercise.
As you can see, the six hours isn’t enough, but I make it work for me.
7. Create Your Own Jobs
Stop waiting for the right listing to pop up.
Many of the freelance positions I have worked over the years have been self-created.
This means that I networked and reached out to a local business owner or a site I was interested in and asked if they were looking to hire a freelance writer.
Out of around 100 emails, about 80% went ignored, but the other 20% were the gold nuggets I had been looking for.
I also asked my current clients if they knew someone that needed a writer or if they needed more writing from me.
8. Follow Your Favorite Writer
Another way I made a path for myself in writing was to look towards other freelance writers.
I looked at a few freelancers that were about a step or two ahead of me. I looked at which sites they wrote at, and I just contacted the blog owner there. This also lead to me getting quite a few jobs.
If you need help finding other freelance writers, check out my post on writing websites that attract jobs.
9. Apply for In-House Positions
I have even applied for in-house writing positions asking them to consider using me as a freelancer.
This has been only successful in one case, but I know other writers who have done this successfully for several companies.
Think about it – a great freelancer could save the company a lot of money.
So, don’t be afraid if you see job ads for in-house writers. Go ahead and pitch your freelance writing service to them and give them a better reason to hire you over an in-house writer.
10. The Flow Will Come
When I first started writing, I would become victim to writer’s block and write slowly.
I don’t have time for writer’s block or writing slowly these days, but that’s not to say that I don’t still get writer’s block occasionally.
If my life is stressful – twins are sick, husband is sick, and the house is a wreck – then my creativity dwindles, and I can’t write.
I’ve learned, however, that this can’t happen if you want to make big bucks as a freelance writer. Usually, the more I write, the better I get at my flow.
If you feel clumsy or insecure writing for clients, don’t worry, things will get better. You have to just keep practicing or invest in the Speedy Freelancer Course to help avoid writer’s block completely.
11. Don’t Quit Your Day Job for Freelance Writing
If you are currently employed, don’t quit your job to pursue writing until you have established a healthy flow of clients.
You want to pick up recurring gigs rather than ad-hoc gigs or project gigs. The last two often have a deadline, and once they get their work form you, they move on.
With recurring gigs, like blog writing or email writing, you are needed every week, bi-weekly or monthly for content.
So, if most of your gigs are pitches to magazines or submission pieces, this won’t help you quit your job. Instead, you need to develop a relationship with editors and clients, and over time, they can refer work to you.
12. Track Your Time
If you are serious about making money writing online, then you need to know how much time you are writing vs how much you are making.
You could win an assignment for $300, but if it takes you 20 hours to write, then you just worked for below minimum wage! The Productivity Planner for Freelance Writers has an invoice tracker page that you can also use to track your time for each project if need be.
For me, I have to make sure that my typing is fast for my long-form writing. I won’t make money if I have to write a 7,000-word blog post, and it takes me over 30 hours to write.
I can write 1,000 words in under an hour, and the more I write these types of posts, the quicker I become at researching and writing them.
In the beginning, you will be a slow typer. That’s okay. Take typing tests like the ones on KeyHero and try to write every day.
Make $4,000 or More As a Freelance Writer
All of this to say that if you love writing or are passionate about a certain topic, then try freelance writing.
I absolutely love my job, but I have known I wanted to be a writer since I was five or six.
And remember, you don’t need to be a great writer to be a successful (and profitable) freelance writer. Trust me!
I know I’m not the best writer. I’m not that great with mistakes in my writing, but this hasn’t hurt me at all with my clients or on my own personal blogs.
As long as you enjoy writing and you write well, then you can become a freelance writer and make money with your words! What are you waiting for?
Share with me in the comments which tactic you’re going to try and remember to pin me!