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How to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer

People always say no one goes into freelance writing for the money. But there are plenty of writers out there earning a good living from the written word — and they’re not just famous novelists. If you’d like to increase your writing income, spend some time evaluating your business model and make a few adjustments to increase your bottom line. Read on to learn how to begin the process and boost your freelance income. 1. Learn about your income The first step to making more money is learning more about the money you already bring in. Many writers find an end-of-year review to be very helpful in terms of evaluating your income, business model, clients and setting goals for the year ahead. But you don’t have to wait for the end of the year to conduct a review. Any time you’re looking to make a big change in your business plan — like increasing your income — is a great time for a review. Evaluate your clients To evaluate your business, evaluate each of your clients and income sources. To do this, ask yourself the following questions: How often do you write for each client? What types of materials do you write? What is the word count and pay like? On average, how long does each project take? How much do you earn a year from this client? What is your “pitch to acceptance” ratio? If you have to pitch 150 times for every accepted story, it may be time to reevaluate working with this client or consider pitching differently to boost your acceptance rate. What’s the revision process like? Endless rounds of edits can be frustrating and reduce your earnings on the project. Do you enjoy working with the client? It’s okay to cut ties with a client who makes you miserable. Figure out your current rates After you’ve evaluated your general impressions of each client and the projects you do for them, calculate how much money you earn on average from each client. This could be per word, per hour or per project. Many writers find calculating their…

How to Become a Freelance Writer: A Newbie’s Guide to Earn Money Writing

“Trying to make it as a freelance writer is scary AF.” With a subject line that bold (and accurate), I wasted no time in opening the email. It was from a young woman who’d recently graduated with a dual degree in English and journalism, asking me how, how, how in the world do I make a living this way? It wasn’t the first time I’d received an email to this effect, which feels patently insane. If you’d told me just two years ago I’d be earning my keep as a full-time freelancer — let alone giving advice on the subject — I’d likely have laughed in your face. I was working a staff writing gig at the time, and had never so much as drafted a pitch to an outside publication. I only got brave enough to start submitting ideas after lots of encouragement from my good friend (and fellow TWL writer!) Susan Shain. Thanks again, Susan. Now, I’ve got over a year of working for myself under my belt — a year in which I actually earned more than I did as a staffer. I enjoy location independence and a workday uniform of yoga pants and tee-shirts, so it’s no surprise that fielding the how do you do it? question has become a common conversation. But it’s never easy to answer. So really though — how do you do become a full-time freelance writer? Here’s the thing. There’s no guaranteed, step-by-step process that will land you the freelance writing career of your dreams. Ask 10 different writers, and you’ll get 10 different how-I-made-it stories — or, more accurately, how-I’m-making-it-up-as-I-go-along stories. The actual mechanics of the thing are pretty simple, though not easy: Have good ideas, be good at explicating them clearly, and spend lots of time and energy on the Sisyphean footwork of finding publications that will pay you to publish them. (And convincing them to do so.) As you’ve likely already discovered, this blog is a great resource for figuring out these logistics and improving your skills at each level. Check out, for instance, our posts on writing…

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