How to 5x Your Freelance Writing Income

This post comes on a very special day!

Sally Miller (today’s guest) and I co-authored MY FIRST BOOK, Make Money as a Freelance Writer, which launches via Amazon today! (It’s FREE for 48 hours, so go snag your copy! <–affiliate link) I might need to say that again:

I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

For some reason that’s different than writing and launching multiple online courses? Or hundreds of paid pieces across the web? Super weird, I know…

Enough about me and the whole published author thing though. I’m so excited to share this post with you – parents of young kids especially. I’m sure you (or someone you’re close to) has felt just like Sally. I know I have! So, without further ado…

In February 2011, my daughter was born. I couldn’t have been happier. Yet there was a cloud on the horizon.

Eventually, I would have to return to work.

After 18 years in the corporate world, I was ready to embrace my new role as a mom. Nevertheless, three months later I did what was expected of me. I went back to my nine-to-five job.

It was tough. I longed to be home with my new baby. I wanted to witness her first giggles, the early attempts to crawl. I wanted to be there to comfort her when she was upset.

Which is why I did something unexpected. I quit my corporate job.

I was ready to become a full-time mom.

If only it were so simple. Once the initial euphoria wore off, I became bored. I missed the satisfaction (and income) that came from working.

That was when I started exploring ways to make money from home.

How to 5X Your Freelance Writing IncomeToo Little Time

I didn’t have much free time and couldn’t afford a babysitter. I could only work during the baby’s nap times.

I tried many things. I started a kids’ consignment business. I offered consultancy services. I created several websites.

None of these offered the right mix of income and job satisfaction.

Eventually I stumbled across the world of freelance writing. It instantly made sense. I loved to write… I had already self-published two books on Amazon. I could also fit freelance writing into the pockets of free time I had.

By this time, I had two kids at home. Finding time to work was a real challenge. I knew I wouldn’t earn enough money writing $10, or even $50 articles.

From the start, I searched for ways to maximize my hourly rate.

The Key to Maximizing Your Rate

I spent weeks reading blogs, asking in forums and researching different types of writing. Eventually I discovered the key to earning more…

… you have to target the higher paying clients.

I know, it sound obvious. But it took me time to figure out who these clients were and where to find them.

The first group of high paying clients I identified were B2B companies. These are businesses that sell to other businesses. They typically have a larger budget. And they don’t hesitate to pay four figures for small writing projects.

The Steps I Took to Boost My Freelance Income

I now had a high level plan – sell my services to B2B clients.

Next I needed to figure out how to go about doing this. With little freelance writing experience, how could I attract these higher paying clients?

I came up with a strategy, based on the approach Gina teaches in her freelance writing course. My idea was to focus on what I did have to offer in order to minimize what I lacked.

Here are the exact steps I followed:

1. Identify a niche within B2B.

I focused on technology and data services. I’d previously worked in IT and could use my corporate background to strengthen my pitch.

2. Decide on what to write.

I wanted to specialize in case studies. During my corporate career, I read a lot of business reports. I understood what B2B clients looked for in a case study. I figured this gave me a unique insight into how to write case studies that get results.

I pitched one existing client on doing a case study. He liked the idea and offered to pay me $800. I also did one unpaid case study. This gave me two relevant samples for my portfolio.

3. Make a HUGE list of companies to pitch.

Mine was a mix of contacts from my corporate days, mid-sized tech companies and startups that had venture capital.

4. Start pitching.

Enough said!

The Results

In my first three months as a freelancer I increased my rate by 5x. Below is a breakdown of the numbers:

  • My first gig was a 1,000 word blog post for $100 => $0.10/word
  • My next gig was another 1,000 word blog post for $200 => $0.20/word
  • My first case study was 1,500 words for $800 => $0.50/word

In fact, my rates are on the low side for this market. It’s quite common for B2B clients to pay $1/word or more.

If you’re interested in writing for B2B companies, I encourage you to give it a go. You don’t have to have a corporate background, like I do. There are other ways to break into this lucrative market. In this post, Sarah Greesonbach discusses how to get started as a B2B writer.

Final Thoughts

B2B companies aren’t the only higher paying clients.

Recently I started ghostwriting books. I’m following the same strategy I described above. I’m offering my services at a lower rate in order to gather the first few testimonials. Once I have some experience under my belt, I plan to increase my rates.

Professional ghostwriters charge between $12,000 and $60,000. Now that’s something to aim for!

So how about you? Where do you think you can find higher paying clients? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Sally Ann MillerSally is a freelance writer and Amazon best-selling author. But more than that, she is a mom on a mission. She is passionate about answering the question, “Can modern moms have it all?” Sally’s search for joy and meaning led her to discover the magic of a simple life.

You can find out more by visiting Magic Of Simple where she talks about making space in your life for what matters.

21 thoughts on “How to 5x Your Freelance Writing Income”

  1. Hi Sally!!!

    I first have to say I totally read the book and wrote my review!! Whoo hoo!!

    Even though I don’t have any children, i have 3 nephews with one on the way. And my sister has M.S. as well…been a tough ride. So I definitely have a feel in wanting to maximize my time and gain time freedom to spend more time with what matter most. I definitely don’t feel i’m the technical writer at all so I’m working on a list in niches I would enjoy that would also be profitable (mainly for me family, sibling of someone with medical conditions, dating advice and I have worked in customer service for some time now). Just wrapping my head around what those could stem into.

    Thank you ladies for showing me what is possible!

    • Hi Danielle,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed our book! I’m sorry to hear about your sister… that’s an incredibly tough situation. Sometimes when times get hard, we become the most resourceful. You CAN do this. From my own experience (and what I’ve heard from others) the best way to find your profitable niche(s) is to dive straight in. Try a few things out and don’t give up. Eventually you’ll discover what works for you. Best of luck,
      Sally

  2. I’ve “purchased” the book and can’t wait to read it! I recently left my decade-long teaching career to pursue (for the second time) a career as a freelance writer. I am gaining momentum but want to be more focused and post like this, along with Gina’s website, are so helpful. There is so much information out there to read, download, and sign up for that I feel the need to put my blinders on and my head down and just get down to the business of writing…well, pitching, and writing, and pitching…;-)

    Thank you for your inspiration and direction.

    All the best to you!

  3. Wow! This is fantastic. Many stay at home mum need to see this. My wife is not around now but i believed this page is worth been save and show her when she comes back. I don’t know the reason why women should go and work for someone outside. Instead of working at home and take care of the children.

    Thanks for this Gina

    • It’s tough being a stay-at-home/ work-from-home parent but (in my experience) well worth the effort! More time with your kids and the opportunity to earn money doing something you love can be so rewarding.

  4. Congratulations on the book launch Sally and Gina! For the record, I did download, read and review your excellent book.

    Sally, you may recall me from when we were both involved with the SPS writing programme. It was at that time that I published my first book (Stand Out Cover Letters) so I know only too well the wonderful buzz that comes from doing this the first time Gina!

    As a result of being on one of your email lists Sally, I was introduced to you Gina and have now signed up for your freelancer’s course! Woosh.. don’t you just love how the works these days! Anyway, I loved this post, Sally. Thanks for sharing this info.

    My aim is to write more books under my own name, dabble with writing some fiction under a pen name for fun and also to generate income as a freelance writer. I just didn’t know how to go about this without having to become a ‘slave writer’ for pennies. Now thanks to you I think I may have a plan. When I worked in the corporate world I worked in training and development so will see whether there are opportunities in this B2B niche for starters.

  5. So she worked in IT and in tech? She already had a bit of an advantage, didn’t she, especially leveraging former corporate contacts. Nice story, but those of us with no affinity or knowledge of that world can’t necessarily follow in her footsteps and expect the same results.

    I’d be more interested in the story of a new freelancer who wasn’t already part of a network of big money IT corporate types. A real creative? Someone in healthcare? A secretary with a dream? A cashier in a store? A grandmother?

  6. Many congratulations on the book Gina and Sally! I’m really looking forward to reading it…thanks for such a great deal! And I always appreciate your spirited advice and optimism. So encouraging!

  7. This is just great, Sally 🙂

    Isn’t it the best when you find something that’s lucrative AND you’re also passionate about it?

    You could have easily given up midway through your research, but you kept pushing until finally realizing the power of working with B2B clients. Now you’re spending time with family, doing something you love, and earning a very nice income.

    Congrats, and keep inspiring!

    Elvis

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