Do You Ever Feel Like Well-Paid Freelance Writing Ain’t For Real?

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Do you ever read about freelance writers earning $100 or even $300 for a blog post and wonder, Wow, what’s the catch? Do you hear about freelance writers selling white papers for thousands of dollars and say, “Well, they must have a journalism degree,” or “They must have decades of business experience.”?

I know I used to.

I’d piddle away my hours writing restaurant reviews for $5 a pop or, if I was really lucky, an 800-word article about car insurance rates for $25.

One time, while on vacation, I refused to check out of my hotel because a last-minute writing assignment about speed limits in different states came up for a whopping $20. The hotel staff kept knocking on my door, wondering why I wouldn’t leave my room (in my defense, I still had an entire hour to check out, damnit).

On the rare occasion that I would look up from my keyboard, I’d hear about some blogger or freelance writer who asked and received a ridiculous amount of money to write about subjects X, Y or Z- the same subjects I wrote about for a fraction of the price. I figured this person probably worked for a big corporation or agency- or had been writing for the last 30 years.

My writing buddies, who also received the same types of low-paid assignments, didn’t even try to understand how one could be paid a real, living wage through writing. Instead, they spent their time calculating how many articles per day they could produce in order to earn an extra $500 or even $1,000 a month. Some of these writers even set up formulae on how many words per hour or day one had to generate in order to “break even” and cover the bills.

When Google Animals Attack

While my fellow writers were patting themselves on the back for churning out 10 articles a day, something strange was happening in the land of Google. Various animals like Panda and Penguin started wrecking havoc on keyword- and/or link-stuffed content- the same content that most of us low-paid writers were producing.

Content mills like Examiner and Associated Content (now Yahoo! Voices) responded by gathering their writers together and saying “Hey, c’mon people. We know you can write better quality stuff that’s in line with Google’s new standards. Just don’t get it into your heads that we’re going to pay you more for that content. In fact, we’re dying out here- so expect to be paid even less. And, as always, keep up the good work!”

Quitting the mill

I’d had enough. I quit the content mills and bidding sites like oDesk and Elance and struck out on my own.

Yeah, it was scary. Potential clients asked me about my rates and whether I had samples for them and I just responded with a blank stare. One client had me create a bunch of marketing content for him at 5 cents a word, which I was ecstatic to produce at the time. Little did I know that such content could’ve made me at least five times the amount he was paying.

Looking back, I wish I’d had a teacher who would’ve advised me about writing rates in the real world. I wish I’d taken a freelance writing course or two on finding decent writing gigs and negotiating fair payment for my work. When I think of all the money I missed out on by happily accepting the first low-ball offer that came at me…

Of course, I also wish I hadn’t wasted all those years writing for content mills and bidding sites- places that not only paid slave-labor wages but also did nothing to enhance my reputation as a writer.

However, what’s in the past is past. And at this point in time, I’m resolved to keep increasing my earnings year-over-year and helping other freelance writers do likewise. In fact, in case you missed it, I’m currently offering a freelance writing course on I’ve Tried That for just $49. The course is called Jump Start Your Freelance Writing Career!

My course helps you get a jump on your freelance writing career and make good money right away. My course also saves you years of frustration with joker and no-pay clients- the kinds of clients that make you wonder if high-paying writing gigs even exist.

Most assuredly, they do. However, you have to know how to find good-quality and high-paying clients. You have to ask the right questions. And you have to know how to negotiate and then re-negotiate your rates. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on a lot of money and never be able to support yourself from your writing.

There’s just one hitch.

Registration for my freelance writing course is almost over.

That’s right- registration for Jump Start Your Freelance Writing Career! is about to close. The course starts this coming Monday, the 27th of January, at which time the doors will close to any new students trying to sign up. So, if you are hoping to take my freelance writing course and start earning big bucks in 2014, please do it soon.

Incidentally, you’ll be getting a lot of well-researched information for your money. I’m talking about job boards and lists of blogs/websites that pay a minimum of $50 a post. I’m talking about hidden writing jobs that clients don’t even list online (or offline). I’m talking about negotiation strategies. I’m talking about knowing what writing gigs typically pay- so you aren’t fooled by smooth-talking clients.

With all this information delivered to you on a weekly basis over the next four weeks, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate for higher rates and better writing gigs. You won’t have to worry about being without clients- because clients will start coming to you. And you’ll feel more confident and capable of taking on those big writing jobs that pay for months or even years. So don’t delay!

Photo credit by Invisible Lens Photography

25 Comments

  1. I can completely relate. I’ve been doing gigs for Fiverr for the last 6 months or so. I’ve made almost $200 but it is time consuming and I feel I deserve more pay. However it does add up over time. I do get jealous of those bloggers who get the high paying sponsored posts.

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  2. That was a great article! I do freelance but I definitely want to expand my writing and get more clients. Thank you so much for the advice. Are you going to offer your course again? I’d love to take it.

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  3. I have definitely been interested in learning more about freelancing. Would love to get more information.
    I like the idea of people getting paid for work done/valuing yourself.

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  4. I have been wanting to get into freelance writing. Thanks for the information!

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  5. I would have loved to take this course, too bad the registration is already closed. 100 dollars a day here and there is definitely nice but it isn’t getting me where I need to be in order to support my family from home. I will definitely be subscribing to your site!

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  6. Thank you for posting this! I do some freelance writing from time to time and I’ve gotten paid well, all because I charge what I feel my time and writing ability is worth. I’ve been lucky to have some great success!

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  7. Great post! You have to charge what you think you’re worth, whether you’re a freelance writer or a blogger writing sponsored posts. 🙂

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  8. Experience is the best teacher, isn’t it! It would be great to start out knowing everything to be successful from the get go. The adventure along the way, including the hard lessons are all part of life. Having said that, if we can enjoy an opportunity to cut short a bad part of the journey, we really ought to seriously consider doing that. Good luck with your course.

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  9. Are you ever going to offer/open this again? I would be most interested.
    I am currently trying to get myself onto my freelancing feet, and I think it would answer so many questions–especially about pitching and compliling clips.

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  10. Thank you for sharing – off to look at your blog in more detail. Love this info!

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  11. Great post. Yes sometimes we look back and think “If only.”

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  12. Good info. I have done a few small paid posts, but mostly stick with reviews and my own fun posts. Some of the reviews pay if done through a blogging PR company.

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  13. At the moment, I’m a blogger – but I’m definitely interested in freelance writing. Your post was very interesting and informative and now I definitely have more to think about. Thank you! 😀

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  14. Great post! I’d love to be able to earn at least a part time income from freelance writing.

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  15. I didn’t realize you could make a lot of money doing freelance either. I always wondered how someone could make a living doing it and thus decided it wasn’t for me. Good to know you can write and still pay the bills.

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  16. I’m not a freelance writer but sounds interesting for those who are. I agree that those who write well should be paid well for their time and effort.

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  17. I’m not a freelance writer, but I’ll keep this in mind for others. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Great post – sometimes it’s all about how you value yourself and what you will ask for – which is exactly why going out on your own is scary but can be so much more profitable. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Thanks for sharing the information and resources. It’s nothing I’ve ever really thought of before, but you never know.

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  20. I’m a new freelancer (I’ve been writing for Answers for 6 months) and although I do earn some nice paychecks they certainly aren’t enough to live on. I’m currently re-vamping my freelance strategy in hopes that it will help me. Thank you so much for sharing your post and your writing course!

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  21. I think one of the biggest challenges when you do something you enjoy is putting a monetary value on your time. I’m glad you finally realized what your work and time are worth.

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  22. The type of freelance writing you are talking about is usually advertised in tacky ads along with the ones claiming you can make $10k a month from home, or get paid to be a mystery shopper. But of course, there’s a lot of content online, and somebody has to be writing it! So it makes sense that it is a legitimate career.

    Like you, when I started out blogging there was a lot I didn’t know, and I didn’t realize exactly what the potential was. It would have been nice to have more easily accessible resources at the time to educate myself so I wasn’t taken advantage of.

    Your course sounds fantastic, and I am sure it will be a great success! Thanks for sharing. It’s something I will consider taking myself!

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  23. shhhh…don’t tell the correspondents who write for newspapers. They may demand a raise. I’m not a writer, never really wanted to be, but I know enough who are or are aspiring to be and shall send them on this way.

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  24. Wow I’ve never thought about how I could make money writing articles for others. And I surely didn’t realize that so much could be earned by doing so. It’s too late sadly to sign up for your course. But I’m going to do some research and check into all of this. Thanks for putting this idea into my head.

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  25. I had no idea freelance writing could be that lucrative. I’ve thought about it but never stepped out and tried it. Is there a company you’d recommend to get started with?

    Reply

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