Make a Living as a Freelance Writer: 12 Powerful Strategies to Financial Success:

What you need to do to be a professional freelance writer

Full-Time Commitment: Your Ticket to Thriving as a Freelance Writer

Did you know you can make a living as a freelance writer?

Make a Living as a Freelance Writer
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For many, freelance writing is considered a hobby, something to be done during spare moments. But if you’re looking to make money as a freelance writer, it’s essential to shift this mindset. You need to embrace it as your full-time job and give it the attention it deserves.

Freelance writing is an enterprise like any other. It demands unwavering commitment, and the willingness to invest time and effort to make it a lucrative endeavor. Treating it as a sideline or something you do during your “free time” won’t suffice. The majority of successful freelance writers will tell you that they spend at least 40 hours a week – if not more – honing their craft, pitching clients, and delivering high-quality work.

Creating a work schedule and sticking to it is a crucial part of this commitment. The discipline of ‘clocking in’ every day helps reinforce your commitment and build momentum in your freelance writing career. It also enables you to structure your day effectively, ensuring you have ample time to meet your writing goals, while also addressing administrative tasks such as pitching, invoicing, and interacting with clients.

Speedy Writing: A Key Skill to Make Money as a Freelance Writer

When you’re trying to make money as a freelance writer, your writing speed becomes a crucial factor. This isn’t about cutting corners or sacrificing quality; it’s about efficiency. To make a comfortable living, you need to be able to write at least 2,000 publishable words per day. These are words that you can sell or publish – not personal journal entries, first drafts, emails, or social media posts.

Writing quickly is something that often comes with time and practice. It’s about finding your rhythm and being able to maintain it over extended periods. However, speed is only beneficial when paired with quality. Writing 2,000 words a day won’t get you far if those words don’t meet your clients’ standards. So, while striving for speed, make sure you’re also constantly improving your writing skills.

Boosting your writing speed also involves managing your time effectively. This might include setting specific writing hours, limiting distractions during these hours, and using tools or methods that help you write faster. Whatever techniques you choose, remember that consistency is key.

The Quest for Quality: The Cornerstone of a Freelance Writing Career

The adage ‘quality over quantity’ holds especially true when you aim to make money as a freelance writer. While writing quickly is crucial for productivity, delivering high-quality content is what sets successful freelance writers apart. Your writing should not only be grammatically correct but also engaging, well-structured, and tailored to the target audience.

Improving your writing quality often involves ongoing learning and practice. This could mean taking writing courses, reading widely to understand different writing styles and techniques, or joining writing critique groups for constructive feedback. The journey to becoming a high-quality writer is often a long one, filled with continual learning and improvement. But rest assured, the reward is worth the effort.

Equally important is staying updated with current writing trends and industry standards. With content marketing becoming a crucial strategy for businesses, understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to craft SEO-friendly content is a valuable skill. This not only improves the visibility of your writing but also makes you more marketable as a freelance writer.

Spelling: An Indispensable Skill in Freelance Writing

Good spelling is non-negotiable in professional writing. Misspellings, even minor ones, can tarnish your reputation as a writer. They suggest carelessness and a lack of professionalism, which might make clients hesitant to hire you. Even with the best ideas and the most eloquent prose, a spelling error can significantly undermine your work’s credibility.

Thankfully, there are numerous tools available to help writers with spelling. Programs like Grammarly or Microsoft Word’s built-in spell-check can catch most errors. However, these tools aren’t infallible. They might miss homophones or words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly. Therefore, it’s essential to proofread your work carefully, ideally multiple times, before sending it to a client.

Moreover, improving your spelling isn’t just about avoiding errors; it also enhances your overall writing skills. A rich vocabulary and the ability to use words accurately can make your writing more engaging and effective. So, make it a habit to learn new words regularly and understand their correct usage. In freelance writing, spelling isn’t just about getting the words right; it’s about using the right words to make your writing stand out.

Mastering Grammar: The Unspoken Requirement in Freelance Writing

Having a solid grasp of grammar is an essential tool for any freelance writer. Good grammar isn’t about sticking to a set of rigid rules; it’s about clarity and coherence. It ensures that your writing is easily understood and correctly interprets your intended meaning.

To make money as a freelance writer, you need to master not just the basic grammar rules but also the nuances and exceptions. This involves understanding different writing styles and knowing when to apply which rules. A good resource for this is style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Stylebook. These guides offer comprehensive guidelines on grammar, punctuation, syntax, and style, making them invaluable resources for writers.

Improving your grammar isn’t a one-time process; it’s an ongoing journey. Make it a point to learn something new about grammar every day. Whether it’s a new rule, an exception, or a better way to structure a sentence, every little bit helps. And remember, the best way to improve your grammar is by writing regularly. The more you write, the better you’ll get at applying the rules correctly and crafting clear, effective prose.

Confidence: The Fuel to Your Freelance Writing Success

Confidence might not seem like a tangible skill, but it’s incredibly important in freelance writing. It’s what drives you to pitch to new clients, negotiate fair rates, and stand by your work when faced with criticism. Without confidence, you might find yourself settling for low-paying jobs or second-guessing your writing abilities.

Building confidence often starts with acknowledging your skills and accomplishments. Take pride in the progress you’ve made, the clients you’ve worked with, and the work you’ve produced. Remember, every piece of writing, whether it’s a 500-word blog post or a comprehensive e-book, is a testament to your skills and hard work.

Also, surround yourself with supportive people who believe in your abilities. This could be fellow writers, mentors, or even friends and family. Their encouragement can bolster your confidence and help you navigate the challenging world of freelance writing.

Finally, always remember that confidence comes with experience. The more you write, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities. So keep writing, keep learning, and keep pushing your boundaries. Your confidence will grow as you see yourself evolving and succeeding as a freelance writer.

Self-Promotion: The Pillar of a Profitable Freelance Writing Career

Being a successful freelance writer isn’t just about writing well; it’s also about marketing yourself effectively. You need to convince potential clients that you’re the right person for their writing needs. This involves showcasing your skills, demonstrating your expertise, and establishing your unique selling proposition.

One way to do this is by maintaining a professional portfolio. This portfolio should showcase your best work and demonstrate your ability to write in various styles and for different industries. It should also highlight any specialties you might have, such as SEO writing, technical writing, or blog writing.

Networking is another important aspect of self-promotion. This involves connecting with potential clients, fellow writers, and industry influencers. Networking not only helps you get new clients but also allows you to learn from others and stay updated with industry trends.

Ultimately, self-promotion is about positioning yourself as a valuable asset in the content market. The more effectively you can demonstrate your value, the more successful you’ll be in making money as a freelance writer.

Exploring Different Writing Niches

As you aspire to make money as a freelance writer, one of the key strategies to employ is exploring different writing niches. What does this mean? Well, a writing niche is essentially a specialized segment of the broader writing market that you are proficient in and enjoy writing about. This can range from something as specific as ‘eco-friendly travel blogging’ to broader areas such as ‘business and finance’.

The beauty of freelance writing is its sheer diversity. Whether you’re interested in technology, fashion, politics, sports, or a mix of everything, there’s likely a niche for you. By specializing, you create a unique brand that sets you apart and enables you to charge higher rates.

Networking and Building Connections

As a freelancer aiming to make money as a freelance writer, you need to network actively. Networking might feel daunting initially, but it’s a fundamental part of being a successful freelancer. Why? Because the more people know about your skills, the more likely you are to land lucrative projects.

Networking can be as straightforward as joining online communities of writers and potential clients, attending industry events, or interacting with other professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. By having more connections, you increase the chances of being recommended or referred, which often leads to more work.

Enhancing Your Skills

Lastly, never underestimate the power of continuous learning. Even if you’re already making money as a freelance writer, there’s always room for growth and improvement. The writing industry is continually evolving, with new styles, platforms, and techniques emerging all the time. Staying current with these changes is essential for maintaining your competitive edge.

Part of this involves understanding SEO and the use of keywords. Also, consider expanding your skills in related areas such as copy editing, social media management, or graphic design. The broader your skill set, the more attractive you’ll be to clients.

Real Life Examples of How to Make a Living as a Freelance Writer

In the world of freelance writing, opportunities to make money abound – it’s all about knowing where to look and how to leverage your skills effectively. The stories of real-life individuals who’ve navigated this landscape successfully serve as rich sources of inspiration and practical advice. Each example you’re about to read illuminates a different aspect of freelance writing, from using a book as a portfolio for consulting to seizing the opportunities offered by ghostwriting.

  1. Offering Paid Workshops or Seminars. Consider the case of Neil Patel, a prominent figure in the marketing sector. Patel is renowned for his astute and well-articulated blog posts that offer a wealth of information to anyone looking to delve into the depths of marketing. But beyond these freely available resources, Patel also offers paid webinars and workshops. He uses his freely available blog posts as stepping stones, establishing his authority and expertise. As readers gain value from his blogs, they naturally develop a curiosity for a deeper understanding, leading them to his paid resources.
  2. Self-Publishing and Sales: To illustrate the potential of self-publishing, one need not look further than Amanda Hocking, an American writer. She chose to self-publish her novels, a route less traveled by many authors, primarily due to the daunting task of marketing and distribution. However, Hocking’s determination paid off when she managed to sell over a million copies of her books, carving a niche for herself in the literary world and proving that self-publishing could indeed be a profitable venture.
  3. Using Your Book as a Portfolio for Consulting: The example of Tim Ferriss aptly demonstrates this point. Ferriss is the author of the bestselling book “The 4-Hour Workweek”. Leveraging the success and authority the book accorded him, Ferriss launched a career in consulting. He started coaching CEOs, entrepreneurs, and even athletes, applying the principles he had laid out in his book. His book essentially became his portfolio, providing potential clients with an in-depth view of his expertise and methodology.
  4. Creating an Online Course: Joanna Penn, another successful independent author, showcases the potential of this revenue stream. Apart from being an author, Penn has also forayed into creating online courses. These courses offer structured and in-depth knowledge on various topics related to writing and publishing, areas where Penn has a demonstrated expertise. Thus, her income streams extend beyond her books, tapping into the growing demand for online learning.
  5. Speaking Engagements: Brene Brown’s career beautifully encapsulates the potential of speaking engagements as a revenue source for authors. A research professor at the University of Houston, Brown gained fame with her TED Talk on vulnerability. This exposure catapulted her book sales and established her as a thought leader, leading to numerous paid speaking engagements around the world. Today, she’s one of the most sought-after speakers globally, and her books continue to reach a wider audience.

The examples outlined in this piece demonstrate the vast possibilities in the realm of freelance writing. Each individual’s story underlines the importance of creativity, persistence, and adaptability in monetizing one’s writing skills. It’s clear that there isn’t a single “right” way to make a living as a freelance writer – the pathways are as diverse as the writers themselves. As you venture into the world of freelance writing, may these examples inspire you, guide your decisions, and fuel your determination to carve your own unique path to success.

Books to Read to Learn About How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer

Embarking on a freelance writing career can be a daunting endeavor. Having a comprehensive set of resources to guide you on this journey is an indispensable asset. Among the many resources available, books written by experienced professionals can provide invaluable insights and practical advice. The following six books are outstanding guides that can help illuminate the path towards a successful freelance writing career.

Please be aware that if you decide to click on any of the links provided for these books, I will earn a modest commission. This does not affect the cost of the books for you but assists me in maintaining this resourceful platform.

  1. The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. A comprehensive guide that reveals how to build a lucrative freelance writing career in the commercial writing field.
  2. The Freelancer’s Bible by Sara Horowitz and Toni Sciarra Poynter. A go-to guide for every independent worker — freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps, part-timers, and anyone considering this career path.
  3. Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and More by Entrepreneur Press. This book is a detailed roadmap to starting, managing, and growing a freelance writing venture.
  4. The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms by Zachary Petit. This book gives a great introduction to the world of freelance writing, with a focus on writing for magazines.
  5. Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger. Offers strategies and tips for building a successful freelance career.
  6. My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman. This book is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality.

In conclusion, these books serve as practical guides on the road to becoming a successful freelance writer. They cover various aspects of the freelance writing business, from getting started, to improving your skills, to maintaining a thriving and profitable practice. Reading these books could make the difference between struggling to find your way and building a prosperous freelance writing career. It is my hope that they will prove as useful to you as they have been to many others in the field.


The journey to make money as a freelance writer is as exciting as it is challenging. The versatility of the writing industry allows freelancers to explore various niches and diversify their portfolios, all while honing their unique voice and style. It’s a path that calls for constant growth and adaptation, leveraging skills and experiences, and converting them into unique selling propositions.

In this digital age, writers are not just storytellers but also entrepreneurs in their own right. Being a freelance writer means running your own business and handling all aspects, from networking and marketing to bookkeeping. But remember, with every challenge faced, there is an equivalent opportunity for growth and learning. Embracing this entrepreneurial spirit can undoubtedly elevate your career, increase your value in the market, and lead you to a path of financial success and fulfillment.

Moreover, constant skill enhancement is crucial. From mastering grammar and style guides to learning new digital tools, expanding your skill set gives you a competitive edge in this bustling marketplace. As you continue to polish your skills, opportunities will naturally come your way, bringing you closer to your goal to make money as a freelance writer.

Finally, it’s important to note that success as a freelance writer doesn’t come overnight. It’s the result of hard work, patience, and persistence. It’s about picking yourself up after every rejection, learning from your mistakes, and persisting, because the world needs your unique voice and perspective. In the words of Stephen King, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” So, keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, keep writing.

By implementing these strategies and dedicating yourself to continuous improvement, you’ll be well on your way to achieving financial success as a freelance writer. It’s a journey of commitment, discipline, and resilience – but the rewards are undoubtedly worth it.

Please note, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the book links provided in this article.

Richard Lowe
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