Make money freelance writing

I started making extra money on the side by babysitting and freelance writing after college. I was always good with kids and I heard about freelance writing online, so both were a natural fit for me.

The money I made freelance writing helped me pay for blog expenses before I made money from my blog and it was much faster than making money blogging. I also didn’t have any experience writing, but did have a college degree and felt comfortable researching and learning how to do it along the way.

One of the most well-respected freelance writers I know, Holly Johnson, has turned her freelance writing career into a course called Earn More Writing, where she teaches people how to make money freelance writing from home.

I interviewed Ben, Lindsay, and Sandy about their experiences making money freelance writing and with the course. They’re all making money freelance writing at different levels, yet share the commonality of making a living by writing from home.

Here are their inspiring stories!

 

Ben

Quick Intro: Ben makes $6k per month writing while working full time and saved $25,000 in 6 months for a down payment on our house with his freelance writing money.

  1. Why did you decide to start freelance writing? Do you have a background in writing?

After I graduated from college with a degree in finance, I couldn’t find a job. After six months, I settled on a job as a bank teller, which paid less than $10 per hour. I was desperate to find a way to earn money on the side so I started writing about one of my passions: money. I didn’t have any formal writing experience, but I wanted to at least try. My wife and I were living with her parents at the time because we couldn’t afford rent on our own, so I felt desperate.

  1. How much money do you make freelance writing every month?

I’ve averaged $6,000 per month over the past six months. Some months are better than others, though. For example, I invoiced just under $10,000 for the month of October.

  1. What’s a typical day like freelance writing (how do you make time for it)?

I still have a full-time job, so I write around that. I usually get up at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. and write for a few hours. I also spend two to three hours on Saturdays and Sundays if I need to.

  1. How did you get started freelance writing? I heard you took Earn More Writing. Why did you decide to do that?

I had the experience necessary to freelance write, but I wanted to learn more about the freelancing business in general. Holly Johnson (the creator of Earn More Writing) started writing not too long before I did but she’s been insanely successful since then, making over six figures a year. I took her course because I wanted to figure out what I was missing.

  1. Do you think you needed to take the course to reach your current level of success?

Yes. The big thing for me was the little tricks to building a business. The module on making editors happy helped me learn to try to anticipate the editors’ needs better. I also learned some great tips on asking for more and improving the quality of my clients.

  1. What is the best part of the course that you can’t learn anywhere else?

My favorite part of Earn More Writing is the Facebook group that’s attached to it. I can ask any question imaginable and get help from Holly Johnson, the creator, and other seasoned freelance writers.

  1. What were your specific results from the course? 

Since taking Earn More Writing, I’ve consistently earned more every month. Most importantly, I’ve gotten rid of some low-paying clients and replaced them with high-paying ones.

Also, my “hourly rate” for the articles I write now is higher than the amount I paid for the course. If you invest in yourself by taking the course then follow it up with hard work and perseverance, you’ll more than make up for the cost in a short period.

  1. Do you think anyone can make money freelance writing? 

Absolutely. I was a terrible writer when I first started. The key is to ask for honest feedback from editors and fellow writers and implement it immediately. It’s that relentless self-improvement that makes it possible for anyone to do it.

  1. What do you do with your freelance writing money?

My wife and I were able to save roughly $25,000 in just six months for a down payment on our house. That extra cash will save us a lot down the road in interest. Now, we put it toward our different savings goals: our emergency fund, vacations, saving for our kids’ education, and more.

You can find Ben on his freelance site.

 

Lindsay

Quick Intro: Lindsay recently became a full time freelance writer, making anywhere from ~$2k-$9k per month. Her freelance writing allows her to support her husband financially, while he is in school to become a software engineer.

  1. Why did you decide to start freelance writing? Do you have a background in writing?

I’d just graduated with my master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I was studying Wildlife Biology and Conservation. The only job I could find was as a lab animal caretaker – it sucked, it definitely did not pay the bills, and I didn’t manage my money well. So I started listening to money-management podcasts while at work. I decided to try freelance writing on the side, and personal finance is a very lucrative niche. That gave me the confidence and financial ability to quit my current job and move to a temporary wildlife job with the government. That also ended and they were unable to hire me back on due to the new administration, and so I found myself unexpectedly unemployed. Luckily I’d been freelancing on the side for a year, so I just decided to take it full-time from there.

 

  1. How much money do you make freelance writing every month?

It varies. I started freelance writing full-time in December 2016, and since then, I’ve earned as low as $1,740.24 in one month, although my lowest-earning months were right when I was starting out. It’s been picking up since then, and last month was my biggest month yet: $9,249.30!

  1. What’s a typical day like freelance writing (how do you make time for it)?

I found out pretty quickly that I need to schedule out my entire day! I have a schedule hung up on the wall next to me that details me entire day. It helps me stay focused and on track.

  1. How did you get started freelance writing? I heard you took Earn More Writing. Why did you decide to do that?

I started writing some in grad school, then that led to freelance writing on the side part-time for about a year, and now I’ve been full-time for about six months.

I took Earn More Writing because…well…I wanted to earn more writing. 😉 I’d heard good things about it from other people, and of course Holly, the creator, makes an insane amount of money. If anyone knows how to make a lot of money writing, it’s her!

  1. Do you think you needed to take the course to reach your current level of success?

I learned simple tricks that I could do to ramp up my writing opportunities. For example, finding ways to make editor’s lives easier was a big one. I also learned the importance of setting income goals and creating strategies to meet them, and how to be more productive as a writer.

  1. What is the best part of the course that you can’t learn anywhere else?

My favorite thing about the course is that Holly Johnson shows real examples of letters and correspondences with editors. The editors are the gatekeepers to you getting a paycheck, so it’s important to know how to interact with them and how to make them happy. I’ve taken a lot of freelance writing courses and I haven’t seen this information presented anywhere else.

  1. What were your specific results from the course? 

I more than doubled my income, so that’s a good thing! Some of it was luck because a few of my clients’ budgets increased drastically, and they were able to boost my pay as well. I also worked my a$$ off – no one handed it to me on a platter. But, I wouldn’t have been able to take full advantage of that luck and the opportunity to work hard without the knowledge from Earn More Writing.

  1. Do you think anyone can make money freelance writing? 

Yes. If you really want to be a freelance writer, you can do it. That said, everyone starts out in a different place, and if you’re not the type of person who’s even interested in writing or learning to write better, then there are probably better income-earning opportunities out there for you. But, I think anyone can do this with enough commitment and humility (we all suck as writers at first – it’s only in pushing past the embarrassment and suckiness that we get better).

  1. What do you do with your freelance writing money?

I’m supporting my husband in school right now. He is studying on his own to be a software engineer while also finishing up a degree in construction management (he decided recently not to pursue that career path, but he is already almost finished with the degree). Without me being his sugar momma, he wouldn’t be able to pursue his dream career of being a software engineer. 😉

You can find Lindsay on her blog, www.notoriousDEBT.com.

 

Sandy

Quick Intro: Sandy left her job to stay home with her son, who has a rare medical condition. Freelance writing brought a second income back into her household that her family needs to pay medical bills.

  1. Why did you decide to start freelance writing? Do you have a background in writing?

I am a former Park Ranger with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and had put my heart into my career, including a Master’s degree in Resource Communications. I left my position in 2014 when my young son was diagnosed with a rare medical condition. When my son was diagnosed, we suddenly went from two salaries down to one, plus medical bills for his treatments. We were quickly spiraling into major debt, despite heavy savings accounts. When my son’s condition became more stable, I began to look for ways to go back to work, but I needed flexibility for his care. My career as a Park Ranger involved a myriad of writing tasks including press releases, long-range plans, briefings for elected officials, education curriculum, brochures, web copy and other outreach materials, so my background and interests aligned well with freelance writing. Freelance writing also allowed me to feel like my old self and re-connected me with former colleagues and friends, many whom I hadn’t spoken to since I’d left in 2014. That was also very important to me.

  1. How much money do you make freelance writing every month?

I’ve only been freelancing for about six months, but my income steadily increases and I’m now making about $1,200/mo. I expect that to grow quite a bit in 2018. My goal at my one-year mark is for a monthly income of $3,000, which I’m on the way to achieving.

  1. What’s a typical day like freelance writing (how do you make time for it)?

Both of my kids are now in school, and I have an office in town near them. I generally get in around 9am and leave about 4pm. I spend my whole day writing, pitching, marketing, blogging, taking classes, etc. But the great thing about freelancing is I can do it from anywhere – at home with a sick kid or in the hospital waiting room during one of Jack’s surgeries (which keeps me distracted!). On average, I work about 20 hours a week.

  1. How did you get started freelance writing? I heard you took Earn More Writing. Why did you decide to do that?

While I had a strong background in writing, I had no experience with it outside of government. I wanted to start writing and get paid for it, but I knew I needed help with finding my niche, pitching to publications, and organizing my workday. The topics outlined in Earn More Writing were exactly what I needed, from a professional who had been freelance writing for years and was earning a fantastic salary. It was refreshing to see someone earning money from something other than solely blogging. Plus, I knew of Holly Johnson’s career from my hometown newspaper, which she had a column in at the time. I had also followed her blog, Club Thrifty, for a while, so I trusted her.

  1. Do you think you needed to take the course to reach your current level of success?

Yes. While I felt I was a good writer, I did not have experience starting a business, promoting myself, or interacting with editors. In fact, the course is the only reason I had the confidence to reach out to former colleagues for work, which has proven lucrative to me.

  1. What is the best part of the course that you can’t learn anywhere else?

Holly Johnson has been earning money solely from freelancing for many years, and I felt no one could compare to her experience (once I did some research, many others had either never freelanced or only been doing it for a year or less). Holly is honest about which approaches work and why, and how to make yourself indispensable to editors.

What you don’t learn in the class is answered in her private Facebook group. It is definitely the most well-rounded class I’ve taken, and Holly is tremendously supportive and active in her group.

  1. What were your specific results from the course? 

Earn More Writing gave me the confidence and resources to reach out to a former colleague and pitch myself for a project they had. A few days later in a phone call, I was able to perfectly lay out the benefits of hiring me as a freelancer and ask for the money I knew I was worth. They offered me the project at the end of the call! Just two weeks ago I asked for an extension and got that too, with a raise!

  1. Do you think anyone can make money freelance writing? 

I certainly think you need to have quality writing skills and an interest in it. You need to know grammar, sentence structure, and language nuances. I think it’s a specific skill like anything else. You also need to be bold about promoting yourself and pitching. If you feel you are good at writing and have that entrepreneurial spirit, then I think anyone can make money freelance writing.

  1. What do you do with your freelance writing money?

The money I make from freelance writing helps pay our medical debt for our son, as well as keep us from going into more debt. The money I’ve earned has literally taken stress and anxiety away from our family and given us space to breath and enjoy what we have.

You can find Sandy on her new blog, www.NatureGirlTechnicalWorld.com.

 

A Final Note!

I’m so inspired by Ben’s, Lindsay’s, and Sandy’s stories because each of them is making money freelance writing online.

Freelance writing is one way of making money that I love because it helped me so much before I made money blogging. I was able to make extra money to go toward my student loans and help fund my new blog. I can’t recommend it highly enough as a side hustle!

If you want to start freelance writing, here’s the link to Earn More Writing to get started.

Cheers to making money writing! 🙂