1/10/09

$1,000 per Week From Freelance Writing Income

Sigh. I'm sitting here shaking my head in despair. Every time I reach one freelance writer and encourage them not to accept slave-labor pay, I'm stupid enough to visit a newbie site and meet two hundred more "freelancers" all undercutting each other for lower and lower incomes.

Today the price for writing 10 highly researched health related 500 word articles reached 50 cents per article.

Aaaaaaaarrrrggghhh.


It upsets me to see them do this to themselves. I need to learn to stop doing this to myself. So in response I'm going to post about ways to engineer your own freelance income.

That's right - I'm dumping the responsibility for your freelance income solely on YOUR shoulders.

Here we go...


Engineering Your Own Freelance Writing Income

So you've figured you want to create a full time income from your freelance writing efforts. Good for you. You've accepted as many article writing jobs as you can find and you're working like crazy.

After a hectic 60 hour week of creating unique content, you rub your swollen wrists in satisfaction and count out the $50 you earned.

This kind of story is not as exaggerated as you might think. I've seen it happen so many times now that it no longer scares me the way it used to. On a positive note, there's no reason to let this kind of thing happen to your freelance writing career.

Freelance writing is a business, like any other. You're selling a product (your writing) to customers. You can either sell more and more product for a small amount of profit each sale, or you can make a larger amount of profit per sale and not need to sell so many products.

Business people tend to make income forecasts and business plans that outline expected expenses in order to determine if their business will be profitable. By monitoring your business plan and income forecasts as your financial year progresses, you'll know what changes or adjustments need to be made before you get into any trouble.

If you take a little time to engineer your own success, you'll find your freelance income will increase quickly. With a little work and perseverance you'll be earning a real income before you know it.

Let's look at how to engineer your freelance income:

Freelance Income Requirement

Before you begin, write down exactly how much income you'd like to earn each week from your freelance writing efforts. It's fine to write down $1,000 per week or $2,500 per week or even $500 per week. Just remember that whatever you write down, your plan will revolve around reaching that target.

For the sake of this blog, I'm going with the nice round number of $1,000 per week. I'm also going to resurrect Mr. Writer to help us out (we met Mr. Writer back on an earlier post here: Create Full-Time Freelance Income)


Freelance Income Breakdown

In order to earn $1,000 per week from his writing efforts, Mr. Writer will need to break down how many working hours he has available.

Assuming he only wants to work 5 days per week and let's say 7 hours per day is comfortable for him, that gives him 35 hours in each week where he MUST work. No distractions, like email or FaceBook or whatever. WORK.

By working 35 hours every week on some writing related activity, he'll need to be sure each hour produces at least $28.58.

(yep - the math is easy. $1,000 divided by 35 hours = $28.58)

(try it with $500 per week. $500 divided by 35 hours = $14.28)

By accepting article-writing work at $2 per article, Mr. Writer will need to write a little more than 12 articles per HOUR for 7 hours of each working day, 5 days a week to make $1,000 in a week. That's 420 articles per week.

Or he could seek out slightly higher paying freelance work and make his life a little easier.


Ways to Reduce Your Hourly Freelance Requirement

In some cases, it is possible to reduce the amount of hourly income you need to produce by creating passive income.

Passive income is the income you generate by performing an action once, but reaping a reward from it over and over again. Book royalties are an example of passive income.

For example: To make $1,000 per week, Mr. Writer needs to work 35 hours earning at least $28.58 each hour, but he already earns $100 per week from advertising revenue and sponsors.

This means he now only needs to earn $900 from freelance writing because the other $100 is generated by other means.

So Mr. Writer needs to earn $25.71 per hour for 35 hours every week.

Snapshot of Current Freelance Income

If you've already begun to earn some money from your freelance writing, work out how much you earn each week and then figure out how many hours you spend earning that income. Then work out how much per hour you're earning right now.

The math is simple: Income divided by hours taken = hourly rate.

If your current hourly rate is lower than you would like, immediately find a new writing income source to replace the lowest paying source you have now.

Monitor Your Progress

Mr. Writer keeps his income on a spreadsheet, listed in individual columns so he can see how much each client is paying over each year. This spreadsheet also shows him which sources are no longer viable and which ones could easily be improved on.

As he begins to replace each low-paying income source with a higher income source, he decides there are some he'd like to keep simply for the community aspect of them. He's careful to be sure they don't take up his earning time, though.

Getting Discouraged

Mr. Writer decides it's impossible to earn $25.71 per hour from writing alone and gives up to find a menial day job he hates instead. He's allowed his negativity to get in the way of his freelance writing success. After all, every forum and newbie writer's sites he's visited is filled with people saying it just can't be done. He decides to believe them...

Then he realizes that everyone on the planet can be influenced by the people with whom they associate. By hanging out on the newbie boards and sites, he's becoming as negative as they are, falling for accepting the low paying jobs and believing it's fine to write for only the revenue-share pennies offered by some sites.

Instead he decides to hang out on some of the professional writing sites and forums and communities and he learns there are thousands and thousands of freelance writers all over the world happily earning six figure incomes from their writing.

He decides to go learn from them instead of giving in to newbie-negativity.

Finding Enough Freelance Work to Stay Busy

Everyone seems to have an assumption that freelance writing means writing articles online day in and day out. That's untrue. Online article writing is a handy extra income filler, but it shouldn't form your primary income. Don't ignore it though. Even a few smaller income-spinners add up over a year into a substantial amount of money. Incorporate them into your working week around other high paying activities.

If you've read my blog at all, you'll notice several posts about finding the higher paying freelance writing markets. I won't go through them all again here.


Here are some other blog posts related to this topic that might help:
- How To Start a Profitable Freelance Business
- Create Full-Time Freelance Income

8 comments:

2ThePoint said...

That was a FAB post, m'lady :-). Can't tell you how many of your blog posts I've bookmarked.

Have a good weekend.

take care...

Bianca Raven said...

Thank you 2thePoint. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

leo said...

thanks for your information. It is really good, especially for newbies like me.

parsibagan said...

Hello Bianca, First of all I'd like to congratulate you on the awesome work you're doing for freelancers all over the world.

In this post you mentioned:
"Today the price for writing 10 highly researched health related 500 word articles reached 50 cents per article."

I was amazed to see a particular offer on an auction site (no prizes for guessing which one) where the provider wanted 15 articles of 500 words each @ $1 per article.

To prove that they were capable, the bidders had to send 15 articles as per the keywords supplied by the provider.

If this is not painful enough, there were many who were bidding for this job. I have a doubt that many of them will be rejected.

Bianca Raven said...

Hi Parsibargan. That 'offer' you wrote about is a scam. Those 15 articles don't get returned to the writer. The scammer keeps them and doesn't pay for them.

I think it's sad that someone could be so low.

But for as long as freelancers are scrambling over themselves to give away their work there will be low-life scammers like this out there preying on them.

:(

parsibagan said...

You are right Bianca. I too meant the same, albeit indirectly, by stating that they will be rejected.

For the benefits of other readers over here, I have a simple solution. There are others who have suggested sending screen grabs of their articles to prevent them from being misused. This will not help, since there are many OCR programs that can extract the text from the screen shots.

The best option for new writers, submitting articles to unknown clients, is to password protect the word document. They should also embed their name and email address within the body of the text.

Tools>Protect Document :)

As far as writers undercutting and underbidding each other is concerned is concerned, I'm trying to assist writers from India using the valuable leads found in your blogs. Though we might not approach organizations that require U.S. based writers, I am sure there are many other avenues.

God Bless You for your work aimed at helping the writers' community.

parsibagan said...

HUH! this is a paid to click program.

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