6 Ways to Land Better Freelance Writing Jobs and Make More Money

6 Ways to Land Better Freelance Writing Jobs and Make More Money

While there’s certainly money to be made as a freelance writer, not every freelance writer is making good money. In fact, many have been stuck at the same pay rate for years. They’re stuck. They want to stop accepting low-paying gigs and make decent money doing what they love to do.

Sound familiar? But how do you break free from the bidding sites that pay pennies for quality writing to land private clients that pay $50, $100 or more for rock-solid articles?

It’s time to move past your “stuckness,” and start earning what you’re really worth. Here’s your game plan to leveling up in your business.

1. Use bidding sites as a starting point, then move on

Sure, Elance and Guru are great freelance portals, but if you’re relying on bidding sites to help you nab your high salary, you’re probably going to stay stuck. You might score a job that pays well here or there, but most of the time you’re up against writers who are willing to write for pennies, and we’ve already established that you want more.

Make a decision to break out of your comfort zone and create a plan to approach other writing avenues like magazines and companies.

2. Become an expert

What do you love to write about? What is your expertise? Do you have a target subject area? Take some time to think about what you’d like to specialize in and begin marketing yourself in that niche.

Do you excel in personal development writing? and write killer articles for your portfolio. Then target self-help blogs and other publications.

Do resumes excite you? Master them. Use your creativity and mad skills to create resumes that “wow.” Once you do, you’ll find clients willing to pay you top dollar to help them craft this crucial document.

Writing jobs on The Write Life

3. Build your writing skills

We can all become better writers. If you’re feeling stuck because your writing is just so-so or you think you’ve reached your potential, take a leap of faith and sign up for a writing course that stretches you.

From cultivating your creativity to becoming an epic editor, you have hundreds of writing classes to choose from. Check out free classes on or this list of . If you’d rather learn in person, investigate options at your local university or community college. Investing in your career will pay off!

4. Dig deep and recognize your worth

Can you feel good about telling a potential client that you want $200 for an article? Or does it feel safer to say $40? What do your rates say about your self-worth and your confidence in your writing?

Dig deep and ask yourself such questions when you are deciding how much money you’d like to make per article or gig. Sure, a $200 article needs to be extraordinarily well-written and original, but if you’ve got the skills, you ought to be able to confidently ask for the amount that your work is worth.

5. Revamp your website

As a freelance writer, you want to showcase your best work to potential clients, and one way to do this is to have an excellent website.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a site for it to look professional. In fact, the WordPress platform is easy enough to manage on your own, should you have a little bit of tech blood in you. If that’s not the case, consider using a portfolio site that does the technical work for you, or hiring a freelancer to help you set up your website.

Consider what you need on your site to showcase your work. You’ll definitely want to include some kind of portfolio to highlight your skills, but consider what else you need — will you want to update a blog? Do you need to integrate your social media feeds? Think about what makes sense for you and your target audience.

6. Put in the hours and effort

How much time are you really putting into your freelance writing business? It’s hard to face, but one reason you could be feeling stuck is that you’re not putting in as much time as you think you are.

As with any business, growing a freelance writing venture requires a solid work ethic, discipline and time. How many hours are you dedicating to your writing each day? Do you have any sort of marketing plan? To get to the next level, you will have to take inventory of your time and make adjustments where necessary.

[bctt tweet=”Growing a freelance writing venture requires a solid work ethic, discipline and time.”]

However, if you’re putting in a crazy number of hours and not getting anywhere, perhaps it’s time to hire a writing or business mentor who can help you move past these hurdles. Sometimes, just having someone else’s perspective is enough to help us realize we can delegate certain tasks or drop a demanding, underpaying client.

Ready to get past your “stuckness” and move toward making more money as a freelance writer? Remember, writing is a business, and you’ll need to focus on both the writing end and the business end. Here’s to you building that business — and making more money.

What’s your biggest tip for new freelance writers? How do you step up your game when you’re feeling stuck?

Filed Under: Freelancing

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  • Daryl says:

    What’s my biggest tip?

    Select the right clients.

    Something that Carol of Make a Living Writing has taught me is to select clients whose needs fit what you can offer AND have the budget to pay you what you deserve.

    A fledgling web design company made up of one man and his dog isn’t very likely to pay you the $50 minimum per article that you SHOULD be demanding – they simply don’t have the budget to do so.

    However, a 15-20 person small business that generates +$2 million per year in revenue (just an example number) is more likely to be able to afford the marketing budget to pay you enough to make it worth your while.

    The problem with many of the online marketplaces like Elance and Odesk is that the vast majority of clients are tiny content firms or individuals who simply don’t have the budget to match the cost of the quality services we provide.

    That’s why figuring out your client targeting and acquisition method is crucial in becoming a successful freelance writer.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for the reassurance! I often think that I am stuck when, in fact I am moving slowly but surely through the steps you speak of in this post. It seems I am finding the specific boards and connections at new levels right on time as I seek more clarity and focus in my focus. At the time a freelance writer has identified their niche, should they abandon all other avenues at that time and direct razor sharp focus to identifying avenues within the niche?

    • Great question, Amanda. There’s a lot of discussion about niche vs. general writing, but if you’ve chosen a specific niche, I think it makes the most sense to focus all your energy on opportunities in that niche. Best of luck!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Farah says:

    I just registered for the on-line writing course. I’ve been writing for my blog for almost a year when I realize I could make money through writing. Though I have some interesting ideas I often get stuck with what appropriate words should I use and some feedback on my blog is that I need to improve my grammar. So here I am looking forward to my writing course.

    Thank you Allison!

  • Susan Smeder says:

    I have to admit I gave in and paid to have my business page done even though I knew that I could have written the content better myself! The relief to my mind was amazing and it freed me up to continue writing about my area of interest “travel”. The marketing part of writing is the hardest for me!


  • This is exactly the kind of article I needed to read. I feel as though I have been at a stand-still, and I finally have figured out exactly what Darryl said. The private clients I have been getting have all been from, essentially, one-man operations and start-ups. I have advertised on Craigslist and gotten some jobs that way, but most can’t afford to pay a decent amount of money. I need to work on my finding my niches and expand from there.

    In addition to the great tips offered here, I’d also recommend reading as much as you can on the topic of making money as a freelance writer. Books like The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman and Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Anderson Allen have both been very useful to me. I’ve also used Twitter as a great resource. There are many different businesses out there that frequently offer information and blog posts on how to improve yourself as a writer.

    As a last suggestion, I’d also recommend using LinkedIn to your advantage. Make as many connections as you can and use it as a platform to present your services and pitch those who you think may be in need.

    Thanks again to the Write Life for this article. It’s very informative. I hope I was able to add a little to it.

  • Sam Edge says:

    I’ve been freelancing and blogging since 2012 – my biggest challenge is staying focused on one opportunity long enough for it to start paying. There is so much information out there that you really have to be focused and strategic – and not get pulled off course when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like – or something new and shiny comes along.

    I really appreciate this site and the help it provides.

    • Great point, Sam — it can be challenging to stay focused on your goal long enough for your work to pay off!

      I’m glad you like the site; let me know if you have specific questions we can help answer.

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Shawna Ross says:

    I believe in today’s society, religion is a battle between Christianity and Atheism. Most Americans either believe in God or do not believe in a higher power at all.


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