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How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?

How much do freelance writers make? You’re probably asking yourself “How much do freelance writers make?” because you’re thinking of becoming a freelance writer or you are already a freelance writer and you think you should be making more money than you already are.

I don’t think there is any particular amount that all freelance writers make – and even if all freelance writers charged the exact same fees for their freelance writing services, that still wouldn’t mean they always have the same amount of writing work to do.

Your question should perhaps rather be something else other than “How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?” – perhaps rather ask a question like:

Do all freelance writers make the same amount of money each month?
– the answer to that is no, of course


How much should I charge for my freelance writing services?
– and for that you’d need to see what other freelance writers are charging for their services – how many words they’ll write for a specific fee, or how long they’ll take to write a specific amount of words in an hour, and what their hourly rate is

Sorry to perhaps disappoint you, but if you’re going to ask the question “How much do freelance writers make?” perhaps freelance writing isn’t even the best thing for you to consider trying. I would even be so bold as to say you probably still have a lot to learn about freelance writing and about how much freelance writers may earn.

You’ve probably asked “How much do freelance writers make?” because you’re hoping it’s a lot – or else why bother to even try make money from freelance writing, right?

If I was asking the question “How much do freelance writers make?” I’d be a bit disappointed if I was struggling to find the answer, but the mere fact that I was struggling to find the answer may tell me something: there’s more to freelance writing and to how much money freelance writers make than meets the eye. I may explore further before attempting to make money from freelance writing. I have written and published a post giving some examples of how much money freelance writers make from their writing, but if you’re passionate about wanting to make money from freelance writing, then see if you can resist visiting that page until after you’ve read the rest of the content in this blog post you’re reading now.

Let’s see if I can maybe give you an idea of what goes into freelance writing, so that you’ll hopefully have a better idea about if freelance writing is for you or not. I just hope I don’t make you frightened to even try to make money as a freelance writer. I don’t really want to do that or mean to do that. People who have a dream to make a success of their writing should try and follow that dream. If they’re passionate about their writing, and determined to do well, they stand more of a chance of making a decent income as a freelance writer than the next “writer” who is running around asking “How much do freelance writers make?” instead of simply getting started at working towards their own decent freelance writing income.

Besides being passionate about writing, speed is important too. How fast can you type? What are the topics you are going to write about? Can you write quite a bit about things you already know, or do you have to spend a lot of time researching a topic? Researching a topic for a client can indeed be interesting, but how much time does it take away from the actual writing? Remember to include the time you may spend on research when quoting a potential client for your freelance writing service.

Are you good at writing? You may be passionate about writing but how is your grammar, your spelling, and your style of writing?

Can you give a client what he or she wants or will you lose potential clients because you want to write your way and only your way?

Do you have examples of your writing online somewhere that the potential client can view? Do you have your own professional website advertising your freelance writing services? Do you have testimonials from your clients or are you writing only as a ghost writer not ever receiving any credit for your writing?

Perhaps I sound a bit harsh, but freelance work can be very harsh indeed. It’s not “I enjoy writing so much, so surely I can make money from it.”

You may have to start really small. Are you prepared to get paid next to nothing for your writing efforts while you grow your portfolio and gain experience? As your portfolio grows and as you gain more experience, your reputation of being a good freelance writer also improves – but are you prepared to wait until that happens?

If you continued reading this far after everything I said to put you off, it’s likely you really are a passionate writer who is determined to be successful. Good for you! Go for it! Follow that dream!

If you don’t have a clue where or how to start offering your writing services, spend some time (quite a bit of time) browsing through a freelance job site or two, like oDesk. Have a look at the hourly rates of other freelance writers on these freelance job sites. Have a look at some of the writing job postings, and at the payment amounts being offered. Have a look at what sort of writing styles or topics people are needing freelance writers for.

Then consider joining a freelance job site or two, like oDesk, and get stuck in making your profile look good. Do a few skills tests available on sites like oDesk and display the badges that you earn (if you do well) on your own site. Also allow the results of the ones you do well at to display on your freelance job site profile page.

Make sure you know your way around the freelance job site and what you need to do with regards to communications with potential clients, then start applying for the writing jobs you are confident you could do well at.

During the process of dealing with clients all over the world, you grow too. You learn about websites, (SEO) Search Engine Optimization, website content writing, and more. You get to grow and learn for free, while you earn a little bit from your writing efforts. Sooner of later a light comes on in your head, and you learn how to make your writing work for you in more than just one or two ways.

Besides applying for freelance writing jobs on freelance job sites like oDesk, you can also start your own site and offer your writing services there, or you could sell your articles on sites like Constant Content, or you could blog – on online writing sites or on your own blog.

Remember that writers should try to read as much as they write. Spend a lot of time going through any site you join, before diving in and applying for freelance writing jobs, or adding articles to the site.

So, how much do freelance writers make?

If you ask freelance writers themselves how much money they’ve made each month over the past 12 months, they will very likely have a different answer for each month. Making money as a freelancer (as a freelancer anything, not just as a freelancer writer) depends on so many things. How much money freelancers might make depends on many things too.

In other words, it’s up to you. How much time do you have to spend on researching topics and on writing? What if you don’t get many clients? How much time do you have to spend on advertising your writing services? How good is your writing? If your writing is excellent you can charge more than freelance writers who don’t have such excellent writing skills. Can you write Search Engine Optimized website content or blog posts? Then you can charge more than those writers who don’t know anything about SEO.

Again, how much do freelance writers make?

A little, or a lot, or somewhere in between. It’s up to you.

© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2014

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