10 Tips for Making 6 Figures as a Freelance Writer
Our goal is financial independence and to retire early (FIRE). For years, I (Ms Aspiring Millionaire), have done freelance writing which has provided both a great income and incredible experiences. Because of writing, I have been paid to travel, get my diving certifications, do cool experiences with my kids, and publish books and all of it was done around the kids.
On the site, we will be covering both what we do to make money and other high-income career suggestions to help you achieve financial independence quicker.
I do a few different things and will cover each in a different article. Mr Aspiring Millionaire recently started working as a commercial diver with a starting wage of $100,000 per year that will go to $3,000+ per day when he does saturation diving.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we use.
What is a Freelance Writer?
A freelance writer is a self-employed writer who writes things such as articles, social media content, website content and similar. Basically, anything you see written can be done by either an employed content producer or a freelance writer.
Freelance writers need to register their business, invoice, and manage their accounting, tax, insurance, and everything as it is a business.
How much do Freelance Writers Make?
The income varies greatly depending on the writer’s experience, qualifications, who they are writing for, what they are writing about and where they are from.
Many in developing countries charge significantly less than those in Australia, the UK and USA. However, since they are not typically native English speakers, the writing is not of the same quality or usability as native English speakers.
Those in the UK, USA, Australia and similar countries charge more. Any content (articles etc) that are research-heavy or requires skills such as SEO or qualifications such as legal or medical writing will all attract a higher rate too.
Making 6 figures as a writer is doable and common among the writers I know. When you start out you might not make that but as you build your portfolio and network, it becomes easier.
My usual income per article is anywhere from $250 for an article I can quickly write without research through to over $1,000 for research-heavy articles. Clients on retainer or who batch purchase articles get a discount.
Most work I see on other sites, Facebook and similar is 10c a word or more. Anything below that is not worth it at all.
How do you Become a Freelance Writer?
If you have great English skills and an eye for detail, you can do it. Writing takes practice and I recommend everyone do a writing course. Writing courses such as Earn More Writing help you become a freelance writer and teach you all about the marketing and business side of it all to get you to 6 figures too.
For me, I started with blogging, landed a book contract with Wiley within a year then immediately had websites pitching to me to write for them. As such, even now, I don’t pitch much. Magazines and websites usually come to me.
I am in writing groups, am a member of some writing associations and have a portfolio to as all of these places provide opportunities.
How do I get Paid to Travel as a Freelance Writer?
I started with blogging and writing about finance then tourism boards asked me to do trips and write content for other websites and magazines. Instead of being a journalist for one magazine or an influencer with a travel website, I had writing and marketing to provide.
My trips usually resulted in fully paid trips, articles I was paid to write, and sometimes being paid to do marketing strategies or the content for websites as well. Plus I often picked up more clients on those trips.
As such, I wasn’t solely a freelance writer, I was a tourism marketer and could offer complete packages. Especially when Mr Aspiring Millionaire and I did things together as he is a photographer. We share our travels and work for this on Blended Nomads and on my site Kylie Travers.
Top Tips for Freelance Writers
I’ve been paid to write for over 10 years now and love that it is so flexible. The opportunities as well as the income as been great. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer but was advised not to as you can’t make money. How times have changed! Writing is a viable career now, especially if you know what you are doing.
Do A Course
If you are serious about making a career in writing and earning 6 figures, do a course. As mentioned, Earn More Writing is the course I recommend for freelance writers.
There is so much more to this career than just writing. You need to know about marketing, networking, where to get work, how much to charge, how to increase your rates and more. Invest in yourself by investing in Earn More Writing.
Submit Ahead of Deadlines
When you get a gig, complete it with plenty of time to spare. Submitting something right on the deadline is allowed but also cuts it fine for everyone. Every editor I have worked with loves it when I submit my work early.
It gives them time to look it over, edit if necessary or ask me to make changes (rare) so they can send it off to be published on time.
When you are submitting your work right on the deadline, while technically you are withing the guidelines the editor wanted, it makes you the same as everyone. Submitting early is one way to be easier to work with and get offered more work.
Learn About Where you are Pitching
Before pitching an article anywhere, check the place you are pitching. Make sure they haven’t done something on that exact topic already, have a point of difference but ensure it matches the place you are pitching and follow their procedures.
With a little research, you can find out the best way to pitch according to their guidelines instead of pitching blindly. Adhering to their guidelines increases your chances of success with placing the article.
All occupations require networking. New gigs, meeting the right people, being recommended to others and all sorts of opportunities come from networking.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to networking events specifically, although they can be great. It includes Facebook groups, Twitter chats and similar as well as carrying cards everywhere you go and not being afraid to let people know what you do.
Have a Contract
When you do start working, always have a contract. This is covered in the courses usually as it is essential to protect you and them. Know exactly what you are writing, how long it needs to be, how many edits are allowed, when it is due and payment terms.
Include a kill fee, meaning a fee you will be paid even if they choose not to publish. Know when payment will be made and how so you can plan accordingly as well as follow it up if you’re not paid. Have clear terms and conditions for everything, including a deposit of 50% of full payment upfront and consequences for non-payment if you choose not to have it paid in full upfront.
Read and Write
The more you read and write the better you get. I aim to read at least one book a week and I am writing every day for work. When I look back at the early articles I wrote for various places I cringe.
Firstly, it was different back then and secondly because it seems so immature compared to my writing now.
The more I write, the faster I get and the easier it is. Practice as often as you can, and write about topics that interest you even before having somewhere to place them. Get involved in language through reading and writing to improve your skills.
When you are constantly working on your skills, you get better and can charge a higher rate as well as get more work because of the quality of your work.