ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Freelance Writing Advice: How to Make Between $35,000 and $50,000 Your First Year

Updated on April 9, 2010

Freelance writing is a work-from-home career where you can easily earn between $35,000 to $50,000 your first year – with no experience. As a freelance writer since 1993, I’ve seen the market evolve to this point; it’s much easier to start making a full-time salary in this range now than it was when I first started.

If you’re shaking your head thinking, “That’s a crock; it’s not possible.” Then let me explain to you exactly how it is – in three simple steps.

1. Choose a Niche: In my opinion, this is the first key to making $35,000 to $50,000 your first year. To illustrate why, let me pull on past experience and tell you a little story.

I owned/operated an editorial staffing agency in New York City from 1996-2004. My firm recruited all kinds of editorial talent, eg, copy editors, editors, proofreaders, indexers (does anybody use these anymore?), illustrators, etc., for large companies like McGraw-Hill and Random House.

And you know what? When an editor or the HR department would call seeking talent, they always requested that the temp have experience in the discipline (the niche) they were hiring for. For example, if it was legal copy, they wanted a legal copy editor.

I recount this to highlight a belief I hold strongly – in order to succeed quickly as a freelance writer, you should specialize. Too many freelancers – especially newbies – make the mistake of trying to be a jack of all trades. And while you may get work – in my opinion it takes longer to become successful going this route.

Cultivating a specialty makes it easier to market for work as well, which brings us to the next point.

2. Market Consistently: Many freelancers – especially newbies – stop marketing once they get a job. Then, they start again once they complete a project and turn it in.

This is a mistake, because it sets you up for living a feast or famine existence. You should market all the time, not just when you need work. The easiest way to do this is to make it a habit. Set up a marketing calendar so that you make a certain number of contacts each day/week. For example, send out 10 emails to new prospects every day. Or, 5 to new prospects and 5 to clients you already have asking if they have additional work.

FYI, marketing experts estimate that it costs 7 times more to obtain a new client as to market to old ones. So, once you land a client, don’t forget to follow up with them on a regular schedule.

If you do this, before you know it, you will have clients coming out of your ears – and I speak from first-hand experience, of course.

One other thing, when you specialize, you find contacts easier (because you’re focusing on one type of client instead of “any client who may need writing work). When you land clients, it cuts down on research time as well, because you’re focusing on one type of content. So if you’re writing SEO content, for example, the research you do for Client A could very well be used for Client B.

This is what I mean when I say that cultivating a specialty makes it easier to market for work.

Crunching the Numbers: Here’s What It Takes to Make $50,000 Per Year as a Freelance Writer

Let’s crunchy some numbers for fun. To make $50,000 per year, you’d need to pull in $4,166 per month. If you work M-F each week, that’s 20 work days per month, or $208 per work day. This is relatively easy to achieve if you . . .

3. Price Your Services Right: This is one of the biggest mistakes most new freelance writers make . . . they charge too little for their services. And, this is why so many struggle to make a living wage.

Using my SEO writing company’s current pricing, let me illustrate how easy $208 per work day is to achieve.

New Media Words charges $25 to $35 for blog posts (250 words). We charge $35 to $60 per SEO article (350-500 words).

On any given day, we’re turning out copy for 3, 4 or five clients, which can be up to 20 pieces of content per day. On the low end (eg, 20 blog posts at $25, that’s $500 per day). On the high end, that’s $1,200 --- again, that’s per day.

And we charge a LOT less than many other SEO content firms.

One Final Tip for Making $35,000 to $50,000 Per Year

SEO writing is a fast-growing, well-paying freelance writing niche. And, there’s much less competition for this type of writing because many freelance writers haven’t taken the time to learn how to do this type of writing.

When I started providing SEO content to clients in 2007, I got so busy within a couple of months that I had to hire other SEO writers to help me meet deadlines. I’ve found this to be common for other SEO article writers as well.

Now that you see how easy it is to make $50,000 per year your first year as a freelance writer, what are you waiting for?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)