How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer

How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer.

Having a consistent cash flow is the ultimate goal for every freelance writer. Whether you are doing freelance writing part-time or you decided to quit your 9-5 job to do freelancing full time.

In 2020, the freelance writing market is oversaturated with writers and clients as well. Making money from freelance writing has never been easier and tougher at the same time as it is now.

Gone are the days when clients would settle for mediocre content. These days, clients will not compromise on the quality of work. This is because they are well aware that there are a ton of experienced writers who can do a good job and will gladly take up their projects.

So, whether you are starting on making money as a freelance writer or have been in the industry for a while, you need to continually prove yourself to your clients if you want to keep making money from freelance writing.

Below are a few tips on how to make money as a freelance writer;

Start a Blog

Every writer needs to have a personal blog. This is admittedly not the easiest way to make money as a freelance writer. You will need to work on getting good traffic to your blog before it can be eligible for some monetization options. However, having a blog will help you to continually improve on your writing skills as well as help you to make money as a freelance writer in several ways such as;

1.    Affiliate marketing

This is a natural fit for many bloggers. It involves writing honest reviews with tracked affiliate links to the products. Once a reader clicks on the link and purchases something, you are paid a commission. Many online stores such as Amazon, Asos, Apple, Aliexpress, and Rakuten have affiliate programs suitable for bloggers.

 The key to affiliate marketing is to be honest with your reviews.

2.    Banner Adverts

This is visual advertising on your blog whereby banners are placed on your blog and you can make money in either two ways. Cost per click or Cost per thousand. Cost per click is where you are paid for every click the banner gets. Cost per thousand is whereby you are paid for every 1000 impressions your ad gets. A good way to start on this is by signing up with Google Adsense.

3.    Paid partnerships

This is where having a niche becomes important. With this option, companies that can relate to your content will pay you to write about them/ to advertise them.  Brands are always on the lookout for content creators with a huge following to work with. For example; if you are a blogger that specializes in women’s fashion. A brand like Pretty Little Things could pay you to write an article about them and their products.

4.    Sponsored Content

Some freelance writers make their money solely with this method. If you are a freelance writer with a huge following, brands will pay you to advertise their products. They aim to get their products known to many people and possibly drive up sales.

5.    Online Portfolio

Your blog is the best place to host and show off your best writing to your readers as well as your potential clients. Naturally, clients will want to get a gist of your writing skills before they can hire you. A portfolio is where they will find this.  Don’t forget to add a ‘HIRE ME’ link on your website to enable clients to hire your writing services.

6.    Offer other services on your blog

With a website, the possibilities of making money from it are endless. Additional services that could help you make money as a freelance writer from your blog include; writing and selling your eBooks. With amazon kindle, it is easy for a freelance writer to write, publish, and sell their eBooks.

Another option is to offer training services. As a freelance writer, you could offer training to aspiring freelancers to help them kick start their journey of making money from freelance writing.

Guest Posting

Guest posting involves having your article published on someone else’s blog or website. Most websites that do accept guest posts usually pay however some do not pay for guest posts. This makes it a good way to make money as a freelance writer. For those that do not pay, they still have their advantages such as;

  • Adding value to someone else’s blog leads to the development of good friendships among bloggers.
  • Helps to drive traffic to your blog. Always ensure that your guest posts contain links to your blog.
  •  If you are new to freelancing. Guest posting is a great way to get your name out there.

Start Cold-pitching

The ultimate goal is to get clients coming to you. However, sometimes, you will need to do the work and approach clients for a possible partnership. This is what is referred to as cold-pitching.

Since these emails are unsolicited, it is important to;

  • Introduce yourself and get straight to the point. Nobody likes to read long emails.
  • Show proof of work. Remember that portfolio you created? Send them a link to that. Let them see samples of your work so that they can decide if you are a good addition to their team.
  • Be confident in yourself.

Make money as a freelance writer from Job Boards

This is a sure way to make money as a freelance writer. The way here is to keep refreshing your page and applying to jobs that you feel you can take on. When making your pitch, ensure to include your skills and experience. This will help you gain more trust from the client.

Avoid copying and pasting pitches. Writing a customized pitch for every job you apply to can be quite tasking. However, this is a sure way to make your pitch stand out hence you stand a better chance of getting a job offer.

Lastly, to increase your chances of making good money as a freelance writer, you should sign up on several job boards. This increases your chances of landing a job. There are several job boards available online that are easy to join. They include; ProBlogger, Contena, All Indie Writers, and BloggingPro amongst others. A quick ‘job board’ search on google will provide you with a list of the many available job boards.

Writing Competitions

As a freelance writer, you need to continually put your writing skills to the test. This is one very good way to do this.

The advantage of taking part in writing contests is that they are open to all; new and experienced writers. Some great places to find writing contests includes;

  • Freedom with Writing: Once you subscribe to their email, you will always be getting email updates on writing competitions available
  • Redessy: They have writing prompts every week. The winner of each prompt receives $50 paid to their PayPal account.
  • The Write Life: they have a compilation of writing competitions available with cash prizes to be won.

Make money writing articles online

Online magazines require a constant flow of content on their website. From this, freelancer writers are out here making a killing writing for these websites and blogs. It does not matter what you want to write about travel, parenting, web designing, or even religion. There is something for everyone here.  This option is a great opportunity for writers who wish to publish their articles online. The categories can be classified to either be;

•    Short stories and poetry

•    Personal essays

•    Fiction and non-fiction

A few good examples to get you started include Chicken soup for the soul, Just parenting, Write naked, B. Michelle Pippin, Make a Living Writing, The Sun Magazine,, Better Humans, and Funds for Writers just to mention a few.

For most of these online publications, they usually have submission guidelines. Ensure to go through these guidelines before submitting your work.  Also, for some, submissions are based on themes. Ensure you go through the themes and submit work relevant to the current theme. Failure to which all your work will just be null and void.

Although some people might not like the idea of writing for others, this is particularly a good alternative to making money as a freelance writer. With some sites paying as much as $200 for accepted articles, you could easily turn freelance writing into your full-time job.  

Start Transcribing

Transcribing involves listening to audios and converting them into written texts. I bet you have at some point watched a movie with subtitles. Yes? Well, someone was paid to do that work and you could too. All you need is a computer, a good quality headset, a transcription software such as Express Scribe, time tracking software, and high-speed internet connection.  With transcribing, you earn by the hour and pay may range anywhere from $15/hour. Earning depends on the company you are working for.

There are many transcribing sites to choose from depending on your level as a freelance writer. If you are a beginner, sites such as TranscribeMe, Quicktate, Transcribe Anywhere, Rev and Crowdsurf are a good place to start. If you have experience transcribing, some good sites that pay well include, SpeakWrite, Transcript Divas, 3Play Media, Ubiqus amongst others.

The time you spend transcribing an audio file will depend on many factors such as the quality of the audio file, your hearing skills as well as your typing speed. However, generally, an hour of good quality audio can be properly transcribed within 4 -6 hours. Like any other form of writing, there are several niches you can choose from with transcribing. From travel, speeches, movies, medical to legal.

Become a Copywriter

Copywriting involves writing marketing materials. In most cases, it is promotional content seeking to drive sales for sales pages, websites, advertisements, or even press releases.

Compared to other ways of making money as a freelance writer, copywriting has been established to be a good way to make money from freelancing, good enough to make it your full-time job. Again, the money freelance writers make from this form of writing varies. It all depends on the company you are working for. To get you landing the good-paying copywriting jobs here is what you need to do.

Pick your niche

Writing about everything might seem like a good way to better your chance of landing a job but it is not sustainable in the long run. Find an area that you are good at and you have probably worked in before.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Your skills and prowess define what you earn. Make it your habit to continue practicing and improving your skills in your chosen niche and in time you will be landing the good-paying jobs.

Grow your Social Media Presence

Companies might not exactly tell you this but they are looking into your socials to determine if you will be a valuable addition to their company. They will want to check your following and the content you post. Naturally, they will be more inclined to people with a huge following. A huge following means the possibility of being able to reach many people through you.

To do this, you can create social media profiles on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This will help you to get your name out there by marketing your services and it will probably help you land your next client. Social media profiles are also great to help you network with other freelance writers. Your networks are a great way for you to land clients through referrals.

Bottom Line

Recently, anyone who feels like they need to make money instantly usually opts for freelance writing. However, contrary to popular belief, making money from freelance writing is not easy.

You need to be prepared to send tons of pitches. Some will get rejected but do not give up. Be willing to write for others bearing in mind the needs of their audience. Be prepared to do extensive research. As opposed to writing content for your blog, professional writing needs to be backed up with facts, and to get the real facts you need to do thorough research.

Lastly, you need to believe in your skills and worth. You can’t expect other people to believe in you when you are downplaying yourself.

When done correctly, you can make good money doing freelance writing. Many have done it before and are still doing it. Others start freelancing as a part-time job but end up quitting their day jobs to do freelancing full time. You too can do it.

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