I get emails from aspiring writers, mom bloggers and those that have been freelance writing for a while.
They ask questions like what a good rate is to start off, if I could help them with a niche and where to find better freelance writing jobs.
All of these questions are dancing around an even bigger question. Because, if you’re on the other side of this – someone who has a full-time job and is only thinking about freelancing – then the biggest myth that you believe is that it’s impossible to make a living from this.
Maybe you don’t think it’s a myth; you think it’s fact. You just can’t make a sustainable income as a freelance writer. I’m here to tell you that it is possible to live off your freelance writing income alone.
A lot of my course students in Write Your Way to Your First $1k quit their full-time job and now do this full-time.
So, let’s tackle the reasons why you may believe that you can’t make a living as a freelance writer.
1. You Need to Be a Journalist
Maybe you think that if you had a journalism degree then it’s possible to make a living as a writer. Let me be clear here, you don’t need a degree to be a freelance writer AND make a living from it.
In fact, you don’t need to be the greatest writer out there either. I make a lot of grammar mistakes, but that’s why I have a copy editor 🙂
Remember, anyone can start a business online. It’s what you do with it that will make you stand out and be successful at it.
While a degree may make you feel like your are qualified to write, if you love to write, know how to write engaging copy, then you can write for small businesses, magazines, publications or for solopreneurs.
2. You Just Make Pennies for Your Writing
I thought this too for a while. All I ever saw were cheap writing projects and no prospect ever cared about the value I had as a writer.
But, for a lot of writers, this is where they are stuck. One course student was writing for content mills for 5 years before she switched it all and decided to change it.
It’s hard once you’re in it. How do you break free from content mills?
What I did, was start a website. I decided not to look at freelance writing marketplaces like UpWork for freelance writing jobs.
I made my own path and I’m glad I did! I was able to land my real first client at $400/month about a month after starting my website and pitching. Soon after, I made my first $1k and it got better and better after that!
So you see, it is possible to have clients value your worth as a writer. I have clients that want to only work with me and I have others that don’t bat at my rates.
3. You Have to Write 10,000 Words a Day
So, maybe you think, well in order to make a living as a writer, you need to write hella lot!
Not the case. There’s no need to churn out 5,000 words a day just to make a living. For me, my average project is between 1500-2000 words.
I do have some clients that want long form projects of up to 4k words, but that might be once a month. Since I do this part-time, and I have other blogs I write for and manage, I don’t have a lot of time to sit and write 10k words a day!
What did I do?
- Learned to type faster
- Batch my tasks
- Raised my rate more
- Chose which projects I wanted to do
That’s basically it. I learned to type faster so I can whip out these posts quickly and kept raising my rate so that the time I put in equated to a full-time income.
4. There’s Too Much Competition
You know what? There are a lot of freelance writers out there! I mean, in my free course on Getting Paid to Write Online, I have over 4,000 hopeful writers rearing to get paid for their writing!
That’s a lot.
So, how can you still get projects? How can you compete with all that competition? Easy….just carve your own space online.
This is called your writer platform and that’s what I had to do to break free from content mills. I had to create a brand and presence online so prospects could pay attention to me and only me.
(Psst….I have an entire module on that too!)
You Can Make a Living From Writing
I know you have a passion to be a writer. I know that.
But, you’re finding it challenging to connect the dots and profit from your writing. Now, while I’m not an author and I’m not a fiction writer, I can point you to start writing for small businesses. This is what I do. I write in the B2B space and it’s lucrative.
One thing I forgot to tackle in this post is that for some people, they may not succeed because they feel they picked the wrong niche.
There are profitable niches out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn your niche into a profitable niche. By narrowing down your niche and putting your own stamp on that niche, you can make a living from it.
Here are some of the niches of my Writeto1k course students:
- gaming/pop culture industry
- sound engineering
- social media
- pet industry
- medical writing
- healthy aging
- personal finance
- tech writing
- digital marketing
- small business finance
- corporate wellness
So, you see, there are varied writers in my course! But, they are working hard, pitching harder and landing gigs left and right!
It’s your turn – what’s holding you back from making a living from writing?