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.
Ask me anything about writing below.
How to Create Multiple Income Streams and 8 Income Stream Ideas
Life is no longer as easy as going to university, getting a job then retiring. Chances are, if you do go to university, you’ll leave with significant debt and it can be hard to get a job. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it simply means make sure you have other options too.
It’s becoming increasingly common for people to do university, trade or other career and have a business or side hustles at the same time. The cost of living has risen so much, that most people feel they have no choice but to have multiple streams of income.
In our view, having multiple streams of income helps buffer you against adversity. If one income drops or you lose your job or anything along those lines, the other incomes help pull you through. Plus, why not make extra money with little to no effort if you can?
Disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links for products and services we use.
How to Create Multiple Streams of Income
We jump on any opportunity that can make us extra money without taking time away from our family or using a lot of time. With a clear view of the life we want, it’s been easy to see what works for us and say yes to the right opportunities, as well as no to the ones that don’t match our lifestyle.
Decide what you want to do, be open to ideas and experiment. That’s how simple it can be. Always do your research though and know what you are getting into.
As an example, Mr Aspiring Millionaire wanted to be a commercial diver from the moment he started diving years ago. For many, commercial diving is not a career they would choose due to the hours and risk.
Currently, he has done his third certification and has to work in the industry for a while before he can move to saturation diving. Saturation diving is the offshore oil rig style work. 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off.
For us, that is great as the pay is high and when he has 4 weeks off, we can travel anywhere as a family.
I, (Ms Aspiring Millionaire) have multiple streams of income which are predominantly online. As such, we have great incomes, the flexibility we want and one parent available for the kids at all times. With 5 kids, that’s important to us.
Why Have Multiple Income Streams
Relying on one income means if you lose that income e.g. get fired, you have no other money coming it. Multiple streams of income protect you against this plus they help you save and invest faster. If you are aiming for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) like we are, multiple streams of income enable you to get there faster.
Wealthy people all have more than one income stream but they aren’t working for all of them. Owning businesses, investing, creating passive income streams is the aim. You can check out 10 passive income ideas here.
Income Stream Ideas
Here are some income streams you might want to include. Adding an income stream doesn’t always mean more time and effort put into something. Some of them can be pretty simple.
The first obvious income stream for most is your chosen career, occupation or any form of employment. When it comes to a career, those pursuing FIRE (financial independence, retire early) typically look for high-income options.
As mentioned, Mr Aspiring Millionaire is a commercial diver. This is what he chose when we came to Australia and within a few years, he will earn thousands a day. The 3 courses to get to his current level were $25,000 plus accommodation and other expenses.
Our outlay was $30,000 all up and a few months study. After some experience in the field, he can then do the final level at the same cost of $30,000 for course and accommodation etc. That is when he will do offshore work at a few thousand a day, month on month off.
For myself, Ms Aspiring Millionaire, I have stuck to more flexible career options including blogging, writing, marketing, CEO of a marketing company, speaking etc. All of it has been done at the same time and around my kids.
Even though many small businesses are done as side hustles, there are numerous entrepreneurs and business owners who focus solely on their business. My income has been from my own businesses instead of employment almost my entire working life.
If you choose to go the business path, ensure you are committed and set it up correctly. Get a lawyer and accountant so it is established legally. Read Profit First to learn a great way to set up your accounting.
Make sure you have insurance, know what you can and cannot claim on tax, your legal obligations and marketing.
Owning a business is not an easy taks but as you grow and outsource, it can be a great income. Once you can afford it, if the business is fully outsourced and managed by others, you will have an income stream rather than a job.
With all our businesses and endeavours, the aim is for them to be fully outsourced and we simply collect money. Currently, we have a few small businesses we are growing. We saw some opportunities and took them.
One of our recent businesses has been quite different for us as it relies so heavily on others from the beginning. Usually, our businesses have been developed by us then outsourced. This one, we couldn’t do without others.
We have more businesses we want in the future and are currently restructing some of them to free up more of our time and money to invest elsewhere.
Aside from a career and a business, there are numerous things you can do to make money on the side. Part of my challenge to double $2 until it is over $1,000,000 shows what I have done or am doing. Below are a selection of my favourite side hustles that are easy.
You don’t need thousands to set it up and you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing them.
There is more to blogging than most assume but it is a business that can be done from anywhere and outsourced quickly if you know what you are doing. I’ve bought and sold websites over the years as well as created then sold my own and still have a portfolio of sites I make money from.
Read how to make money building and selling websites for more on this.
Paula Pant is one of many who use Airbnb with their rentals and make good money. We’ve used Airbnb both as guests and hosts. Being a guest gave us great ideas to improve ourselves as hosts.
How much you can make from Airbnb depends on the location, condition, what you include and local events. Check out this guide on how to make money with Airbnb.
My $2 to $1,000,000 started with buying things to resell. It’s been easy to find items under $5 I can resell for $10, $20 or even $100. When I focus on reselling, I can make over $10,000 in a month.
How to Make Over $10,000 a Month Buying Things to Resell covers what to buy and resell, where to get it, how to photography and list it, postage and other tips. Only $9.95AUD.
More of a long term income plan than a current income option, investing is essential in our view. It requires minimal effort unless you want to research it all. Most choose to invest in indexed funds or similar which is pretty much set and forget instead of investing in individual companies.
It is lower risk and proivided you don’t freak out when the market ebbs and flows and you are doing it long term, statistically you’ll make money. Get professional advice and learn about your own risk tolerance as well as the risks involved with various investments.
We have a selection of investments for income in the future and to continue after we pass as well as side hustles for income now.
Once written, if you outsource marketing, books can be a great side hustle. Authors don’t typically generate huge income from the book sales themselves, they do provide some income though.
I get royalties from a book I wrote 10 years ago, as well as income every month from eBooks I’ve written. Audiobooks are another great option. Essentially, you write one book, provide it in a variety of formats and you have 3 income streams from one piece of work.
How to create eBooks shares my experience and tips.
Other Side Hustles
There are so many side hustles available. I wanted to focus on ones that don’t require much effort. However, if you want to check out more side hustles, even if they require your time and effort, there are some great ones in the eBook 99 Side Hustles for Aussies plus most can be done by anyone, not just Aussies. Only $9.95.
What are you doing to have multiple income streams?
How to get into Commercial Diving and Career Options
Our aim is financial independence, retire early (FIRE). As such, it makes sense to go into an occupation you can earn a lot in so you can invest fast and have more options. It helps if you love it, which we do.
Mr Aspiring Millionaire trained to be a commercial diver last year. He has previous experience diving, although that is not necessary to do this career. Growing up in Vanuatu, then working in the Solomon Islands, commercial diving was not an option for him even though he wanted to do it for years.
Once we got Australian residency sorted for him, commercial diving was the next step. Last year, we did both residency and his course, which wasn’t cheap but both were worth it.
Commercial diving is a high-risk occupation, especially if you work on offshore oil rigs. However, the pay for those jobs is high ($3,000+ per day) as well. It doesn’t require a university degree and pays well from the start. In fact, you can do it at 18 after a few months of doing a course and go straight into a job at $100,000.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we use.
What is Commercial Diving?
Commercial diving covers jobs from working in fisheries repairing nets, getting abalone and similar through to offshore saturation diving, where you live in a chamber under the water for a month at a time. It is in high demand, pays well and you can start young.
How Much Can You Make as a Commercial Diver?
The lowest-paid are those working in fisheries at around $80,000 a year and only requires ADAS 1 and ADAS 2 ($7,000 each course). If you want to earn more, you need to do ADAS 3 and you will work in construction commercial diving repairing dams, wharves, bridges and other underwater construction essentials. This is around $100,000 and is a great step towards saturation diving.
Saturation diving, offshore on oil rigs is the highest paying but also the most dangerous. Typically, you will work for 4 weeks then have 4 weeks off but make $3,000+ per day.
Read how much a commercial diver makes for more specifics.
What Prerequisites Are There?
Aside from passing a commercial diving medical, and having a current advanced first aid certificate including CPR, oxygen etc, there aren’t any. You need to be fit, able to handle enclosed spaces and other skills do come in handy but realistically you can get that training after.
What do you need to do to Become Qualified as a Commercial Diver?
Within a few months, you can be earning over $100,000 after completing your course and getting a job. Mr Aspiring Millionaire studied at Commercial Dive Academy in Tasmania, Australia. He did ADAS 1, 2 and 3 at the same time for about 3 months.
They have a discount if you do all 3 at once and there is a house students can pay to stay at since it is away from everything.
Certificate III in Maritime Operations can be extremely useful depending on the area and job you go into. Any construction experience, forklift licence and similar are also great to have or may be required to secure a job.
Mr Aspiring Millionaire needed his dive certifications, first aid certifications, a white card (construction card) and drivers licence. Within 2 months they arranged a few construction qualifications and his forklift licence as well. These would cost thousands but since he is a good worker and will be with them for years, it is a good investment for them.
Some commercial divers are happy to do fisheries and nothing else. Those who do the construction style commercial diving often have a desire to do saturation diving. Saturation diving is the most dangerous and although the wages are high, works often blow through their money as they are bored being offshore.
Since they can be qualified to do saturation within a few years of starting as a commercial diver and you can start as young as 18 in commercial diving, it is huge money for such a young age.
Any area of commercial diving you choose to go into has options for progression. After years of diving, you can move into supervision roles, training and similar. It’s up to you and the higher you go, the higher the income as the knowledge and experience is unique.
Commercial Diving Risks
If something goes wrong, you could easily die. It’s that simple. Of course, the safety checks and procedures are there to protect you and are extremely strict in Australia, it is a risky occupation though.
Offshore diving is even riskier because if you line gets cut or anything goes wrong, you cannot get to the surface. There are also issues such as decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, delta P, currents, sharks etc. The list is long and all of it requires divers to keep extremely calm under immense pressure.
Find out more about the risks of commercial diving.
Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s Diving Background and Plan
Before commerical diving, Mr Aspiring Millionaire did tec and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands, PNG and parts of Micronesia. He was crew for the expedition to find Amelia Earhart’s plane, had worked on boats his whole adult life doing everything from engineering and repairs through to learning to be a captain.
Having this experience, working in extreme conditions including being at sea through cyclones and having to repair boats in the least developed countries, he can clearly work well under pressure and problem solve. These are essential traits for a commercial diver.
When it came to securing a job, his previous work experienced helped immensely. It took a month from graduation to secure the job he has although he was offered other work before then. The other jobs were casual, lower rates and nowhere near as much diving.
Since he wants to go through to saturation diving, he needs to get his diving experience up quickly.
His plan is to work for a few years where he is, do the saturation diving course then work offshore on oil rigs at the highest rate. With a month on then a month off, we will be able to travel on his month off.
We will be investing his income heavily to enable him to retire early if he wants. However, he is interested in going right through to the supervisor roles.
If you have an questions, leave a comment and Mr Aspiring Millionaire can respond.
How we Increased our Net Worth by $166,000 PLUS got Permanent Residency and new Qualifications, Jobs and Another Baby
A year ago, we started this site as a hobby. At the time, we had just applied for a residency visa for Mr Aspiring Millionaire, we had 4 kids (teens, a primary schooler and a 3 month old). Mr Aspiring Millionaire had not been working for 2 years as he was on a tourist visa and Ms Aspiring Millionaire had health issues through the pregnancy causing a drop in income.
We’d seen some extreme expenses including repatriation after getting lockdown in the Solomon Islands. For 2020 it felt like we were bleeding money, so once we did the residency visa and knew we’d be based in Australia for a while, we regrouped and focused on our finances.
So in April 2021, we sat down and worked out where we were at financially, our goals and what we wanted to do.
What did we Achieve in a Year?
With the visa approved, we were able to get clear on our goals and also fell pregnant with a daughter who was born in February. With our son turning 1 in January, this meant by February 2022 we had two teens, an 8-year-old, a 1-year-old and a newborn.
A baby, a residency visa, a $30K course, cleared some debt, 2 trips (a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne then a trip to Tasmania for 3 weeks), a new job and started another business.
For 1 year, and 1 sporadic income, that is a lot to achieve. Many aiming for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) would baulk at some of these expenses and choices. Our aim is to enjoy life, create great memories and do what we want while also working towards financial freedom.
A note on our income, Ms Aspiring Millionaire is the main income earner and due to health complications, her income dropped below 6 figures so we are not using a high income to achieve this either.
$30,000 Course: Commercial Diving
Our first goal was to save for a commercial diving course for Mr Aspiring Millionaire at a cost of $30,000 with 3 courses, flights, accommodation and some gear. In December 2021, he became an ADAS 3 Commercial Diver.
August to December, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was based in Tasmania while Ms Aspiring Millionaire was in Noosa with the kids. As the only income earner for the past few years, it was a little daunting to aim for $30,000 for the course.
Things fell into place in July, so we quickly booked him in the last spot available for the August course. If he didn’t do the course then, it couldn’t be done until early 2022, when Ms Aspiring Millionaire was due with a baby.
So for us, the only option was to find the money asap and we did. Getting the money as well as him getting qualified was a huge achievement.
The teenagers are just over a year apart, they are best friends and are from Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage. The 8-year-old is from Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage and she currently lives in the Solomon Islands. Together, we had our son in January 2021 and before we had him, we had decided to have another close in age, the same as the teenagers are.
In February 2022, our youngest daughter was born. Mr Aspiring Millionaire was doing work in another state so flew back for the birth and has visited twice in the 2 months since her birth.
Despite being experienced, her birth had complications and it was an extremely traumatic birth, requiring surgery and extra care for Ms Aspiring Millionaire after birth. Not at all what we planned or expected but 2 months on, things are going much better.
Our daughter is easygoing, much like our other kids and our older children simply adore her. All of the kids get along well and the teens love teaching their younger siblings everything.
In April 2021 we did a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne. For the most part, it wasn’t that expensive as we had a lot of free accommodation with family and friends. The purpose of the trip was to see friends and family as well as collect our belongings that had been stored in Melbourne since early 2019 when we went travelling.
In the September/October school holidays Ms Aspiring Millionaire flew with the teens and baby, while pregnant, down to Tassie while Mr Aspiring Millionaire studied. Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s uncle lent us one of his spare cars for the trip and we stayed with family in some places and paid for accommodation elsewhere.
The Tassie trip was a combination of seeing each other during the course, showing the kids and Mr Aspiring Millionaire where Ms Aspiring Millionaire grew up, seeing family and some travel writing work.
New Job and New Business
In January 2022, Mr Aspiring Millionaire started work as a commercial diver and loves it. His previous career was in diving as a guide and tec diver including doing the trip to find Amelia Earhart’s Plane with National Geographic. Commercial diving was a goal of his since he started diving but wasn’t achievable in the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu.
As for the new business, many of our businesses are small at the moment with room to grow. Focusing on the babies and studies meant we didn’t spend a lot of time on the businesses. However, we had the opportunity to get involved with one this month. Right now, it’s not worth a lot but there is huge potential for growth across the 3 countries we are based in.
Plus the new business requires minimal work (less than 1 day a month) from us as most of the work is done elsewhere.
How Our Net Worth Grew
We are ecstatic to look at what we have achieved in the past year, especially since we know the obstacles we faced that we aren’t sharing here. Doing all of that predominantly on one income was amazing so we know now that we are both working and have the capacity to expand the businesses that our net worth will grow faster.
Here is where we were and where we are now.
Our Assets April 2021
April 2021 I was only able to list out our properties from Vanuatu so below is more specifics from May 2021 after the little businesses were valued. Retirement funds aren’t listed fully but we also plan to retire well before we access them so won’t really include them. In April 2021, we were having issues getting the amounts from the islands so couldn’t list them.
Business 1: $70,000
Business 2: ?
Business 3: $3,000
Our Liabilities April 2021
Combined, our debt is not great. We have a few separate loans and are focusing on one at a time while maintaining minimum repayments on them all.
Custody debt $9,000
Visa debt $6,000
Personal loan $12,000
Cash debt $600
Cash debt $500
School debt $900
Net Worth $571,000 April 2021
Once we remove the liabilities from our assets, our net worth isn’t terrible. We have a positive net worth which is the main thing! Our net worth is roughly $571,000AUD. This will be different once the businesses and retirement are sorted.
Assets April 2022
Business 1: $120,000
Business 2: $20,000
Business 3: $5,000
Business 4: $10,000
Business 5: $0
Total Assets: $755,901
As you can see, we haven’t invested a lot anywhere but the businesses have increased in value due to marketing. The value of the businesses is based mainly on the annual income since most of them don’t have tangible assets.
We would have invested more in shares and crypto but the course was our main focus, along with clearing debt. This coming year, we will invest more.
Liabilities April 2022
Custody debt $5,000
Visa debt $5,000
Personal loan $8,434
Cash debt $0
Cash debt $0
School debt $0
We are quite happy with how much debt we’ve cleared here on top of everything else. Our assumption is this debt will be all gone within a few months.
Net Worth April 2022: $737,467
Considering our expenses, the health issues with pregnancy reducing income and working predominantly with 1 income, we are pretty happy with this.
Knowing how much we achieved is empowering and motivating for this coming year. With Mr Aspiring Millionaire now working on a good wage and the world opening up again so Ms Aspiring Millionaire can do more travel writing again, we anticipate the next year to be even better.
Plans for the Upcoming Year
Rather than sharing plans, we will continue to share what we have done, as it is done. Ms Aspiring Millionaire will continue with the $2 to $1,000,000 challenge. We will continue to grow our businesses and Mr Aspiring Millionaire will work full time as a commercial diver.
As for large expenses, this year we plan to buy a 7 seater car. Debt will be cleared soon and we have a few purchases to make for the home.