Are you tired of the low-paying gigs that you seem to end up with all the time? Well, you’re not the only one. There is an endless number of freelance writers out there who are facing the exact same situation right now. You thought you could quit your 9 to 5 job and make a decent living from freelance writing. The idea of working on your own terms, at your own time and from the comfort of your couch made life seem so much better. But three years down the road and it is still not quite working out that way, is it? I feel you. In this article, I am going to tell you exactly what to avoid doing and what to go for to make the dream come true.


1. Dig jobs on freelance platforms


Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and Truelancer are all great places to start with your freelancing business. These freelance platforms make it so easy for freelancers to choose from hundreds and thousands of jobs to apply to. However, this approach is very unlikely going to land you a high-paying gig! When the employer has the choice to choose from 50 applicants with impressive resumes, he is likely to pick the one with a relatively low bid. Unless you are an absolute beginner, do not settle for this. Value your time and work enough to walk away from such low-paying gigs.

2. Start work without an upfront payment


How are you going to make a living from freelance writing if you are never getting paid? Don’t be surprised. This happens all the time! Just take a look online at freelancers complaining about their clients not paying up. Some of them are owed payment for 30+ hours of work a week. One freelance designer is still waiting for her payment of $2800 and it’s been over a year now. Shocking! Do you want to end up in the pile? I bet no.


So, how do you earn more as a freelance writer then?

1. Pitch your ideas to magazines


I know it’s scary but hold on for a second and read on. It is a huge step, I get it. However, nothing worth having comes easy. How else are you going to make it in the world of freelancing if you do not have the guts and confidence to speak out? You are a creative person. You know that but the world does not. All those magazines editors who are on the lookout for new talents do not know that either. You have to approach them, pitch your ideas and negotiate your terms. This is a real game changer for most writers. Matador Travel, for instance, pays $40 and some stories receive even more. For Slate, the pay ranges from $250 to $500. There are many other magazines accepting submissions from freelancers. You just have to give it a try.

2. Draft up contracts and agreements


No, you do not need to go to law school or pay an expensive lawyer to do this. With resources such as RocketLawyer and AgreementsOnline, it is easier than ever to write up a contract and make your client sign it online. This provides security and guarantees that the client will not run off as soon as you hand over the final work. If, however, you feel that the client may still vanish into thin air despite the agreement, then ask for an upfront payment. You may, for instance, ask the client to pay 50% upfront and the remaining amount after completion of the work. As an experienced writer, you shouldn’t have to prove anything to the client to get him to trust your work. If he refuses to cover the upfront payment, chances are he was never going to pay you anyway and you just saved yourself a lot of frustration.

3. Calculate your fees per hour


Very often, freelance writers find it more convenient to quote a fixed rate for a job, for example, $25 for a 500-words article. And the client is happy. But what happens when one 500-words article takes 30 minutes and another such article takes 2 hours? Is half an hour and two hours worth the same? I don’t think so. Some articles are simple and easily drafted. Others require extensive research. Let me give you a concrete example. Recently, I wrote “Are Children of Overachieving Parents More Likely to Underachieve?” and that took me barely 20 minutes. It was all from my mind. A day later, I wrote “A.M. Exercise vs P.M. Exercise- Best Time to Work Out” and that took me over an hour. Why? The second article has science-backed facts and mentions a few studies that I had to first research on. Although both articles have approximately the same number of words, could I charge the same price? Not a single chance!

Dream Big- Up Your Writing Game!


You started out small and now you have the writing experience. You should be valued for your work, for your skills and for your time. After a few years of being a freelance writer, you should also widen your horizons. Instead of thinking blog posts, think e-books. Are you passionate about fitness? Have you written an endless number of articles for an endless number of sites about that niche? Why not come up with your own e-book now? The great thing about having your e-book on sale is that it generates a passive income stream. You write the book only once and readers buy it hundreds of times. How does that sound?

P.S. If you have more tips to share with other freelance writers, please feel free to leave a comment below. Like and Share this article to encourage other freelancers to up their writing game. Nobody should have to end up with low-paying gigs. We all deserve respect and value for our work. Do you agree?