Start Earning a 'Good' Living Writing Articles Online
We are living in a world where it is common to stumble upon freelance writing gigs that pay peanuts. There are writers out there who are willing to settle for less - just to make ends meet. With rates as low as $3, $5 and $10 per article, it’s amazing how anyone can find the ends to meet.
Like I should talk. Back in the mid- 2000s, I remember sitting in bed with my laptop struggling to write a 500 word article for $3 an article. It took me all day long to write a single article. I was happy (not really) for someone to finally hire me as a writer.
Higher paying clients would not hire me back then because I wasn’t an experienced writer. My articles were crapola – to say the least. I remember trying to write an SEO article on a low-paying freelance job website. I got a bad review. The client wrote: “Don’t hire this writer - the writer doesn’t know how to write SEO articles.”
I thought she wanted an article written about SEO. I didn’t realize that she wanted an ‘optimized’ article. That’s life for you. You live and you learn.
At the time, I didn’t have the skills to earn a decent living as a successful freelance writer. Fast forward 8 years later, I’m earning $250 per article from a small business owner in New York. In the past, if I wanted to earn $250 from article writing, I would have to write 83/500 word articles. That’s CRAZY. I am so glad those dreadful days are long gone.
Tip: Imagine writing 83 articles per month at $250 per article? That’s a whopping $20,750 per month! You have got to think big if you want to make a successful living.
Check out the photo below of a $250 payment I recently received from one of my clients. I charged a $75 fee to begin the project and $175 once the article was written. By the way, it only took me 2 hours to research and write the article. I spread my time out over a 2 day period because I was working on other freelance writing projects.
Anyway, enough about me. In this article, I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions on how you can earn $250 (or more) per article. I must admit, it sure wasn’t easy. It took me 8 long years (and a bundle of prayer) to get to this point. Finally, here are a few tips on how you can start earning a good living as a freelance writer in less time.
Learn the Skill of Article Writing
The key to attracting higher paying clients is to improve your writing skills. There are many free online course you can take to learn the art of freelance writing. There are a few good paid courses you can take as well. Sandi Krawkowski from ArealChange.com offers affordable online writing courses. She even offers a free 30-day blogging course.
There are many clients out there who are willing to pay decent rates for high-quality writing. In addition, make sure you are always reading. Spend at least 40 minutes a day reading high-caliber books, magazines and blog articles. You can find well written articles in Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and INC. When I started reading - I noticed my writing improved. Therefore, I was able to eventually charge higher rates.
Write 5 Well Written Writing Samples
If you’re trying to attract small business owners, you can write articles that would interest your target audience. Make sure your articles are search engine friendly, high-quality and in-depth. They should interest your readers and compel them to take action (contact you for writing services).
Consider having someone to proofread your writing samples before you begin to share them with potential clients.
Tip: You can find proofreaders and editors at affordable rates on sites like Guru.com.
Post Your Samples on A Website
The best place to post your samples is on your own website. If you build a website, make sure that you invest in a custom domain name. For example, www.yourwebsite.com and not a free based website like: www.yourwebsite/freewebsite.com. Your future customers will take you more seriously with a custom URL.
You can get a custom domain name and hosting for as low as $9.99 per month through GoDaddy or a similar hosting website. Plus, with a custom domain, you can often get a free custom email address. A custom email is more professional than using a free GMAIL or AOL email.
You can hire someone to build a website for you or you can build a WordPress site and upload a free or premium template. GoDaddy has a free plugin that you can use to launch your Wordpress site.
If you can’t afford a custom domain yet, find a good social networking site to post your writing samples. Hubpages.com is the perfect place to begin. The advantage of posting on Hubpages is that if people like your articles, they will share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Plus, you can attract clients from the search engines and other sources.
Make sure you fill out your profile properly. Include a strong call-to-action at the bottom of your article, such as: “To hire me as a writer, contact me at: ________.”
Tip: Make sure you format your article properly so it is readable. Break up your paragraphs (like in this article) and include high-quality images.
Register for a ‘Business’ Facebook Page
Make sure you create a separate Facebook page for your Freelance Writing business. Avoid using your personal page. Facebook tends to frown upon users who use their personal page to market a business. Once your page is built and it looks professional, you can include a link to your new page on your personal page. To attract people to your Facebook page, you can include a link on your website and Hubpages profile. It's a great way to drive traffic to your page.
Open Up a PayPal Account
Obviously, you will need a reliable payment system for your new clients. Most business owners are very familiar with PayPal’s system. After you sign up for PayPal, consider signing up for their free Debit Card. That way, when you get paid, you will have instant access to your money. If you have a Smartphone, PayPal accepts personal and business checks. All you have to do is download the app to your phone.
Then scan the front and back of the check. It automatically gets deposited into your Paypal account after it clears. It takes a few days for checks to clear. eChecks also takes a few days. The best method of payment are credit cards because they get processed into your account instantly.
Finding High-Paying Clients
This is the part where many freelance writers get stuck. If you want to attract clients that are willing to pay $250+ per article, you have to find and attract higher paying clients. One way to get started is to start in cities where the majority of wealthy business owners hangout. The cities that I find the highest paying clients are in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, Georgia.
There are a two effective ways of attracting high-paying clients: free based marketing and paid marketing which includes:
- Social Media Marketing
- Article Marketing
- Cold Calling
- Guest Blogging, etc.
- Paid Social Media Advertising (Facebook & Twitter)
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Direct Mail
- Magazine Ad Placement
You can even do a mixture of both. I personally have only done free-based marketing. There are many freelance writers who have done paid online marketing and it has worked out well for them. Obviously, paid advertising will attract clients faster. However, I have gotten great results with free marketing and referrals from clients. Approximately, 90 percent of my clients are from referrals.
Tip: You don’t have to just write articles for $250 each. You can write press releases, Web content pages and eNewsletters.
Deliver High-Quality Work & Gain Loyal Customers
Make sure that every article you write for a client is high-quality. The key is to not to just get a client to pay you top dollar for writing articles one time. To earn a good living, you will want to earn residual income.
Let’s Do Some Fun Math:
If you gain only 5 clients that pay you $250 to write 1 Press Release, 2 Blog articles and 1 Newsletter every month. That’s a total of $5,000 per month and $60,000 per year.
Let’s Bump it Up a Notch:
Let’s say that you write 83 articles per month (approximately 2-3 per day) – that’s a total of $249,000 per year. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s possible.
Tip: Make sure you write out a solid plan. Remember, most people fail at writing and settle for low paying rates because they don’t have a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I hope these tips will help you start earning $250+ writing articles. There is much more that I want to say, but I have to get back to earning a good living freelance writing.
Tammy Winters from Oregon on October 11, 2020:
Even though this hub is years old, it has great writing tips. Thanks for sharing.
Zaher Talab on August 10, 2019:
Thanks for sharing this amazing story.
Onya Stephen Toochukwu from Afikpo North on August 10, 2019:
Al Shikuts from Republic of Belarus on February 14, 2017:
I live in Belarus. I am a writer. My books are banned in Belarus and Russia. Especially for Americans, I wrote a book "Cosmic laws and world domination." Belarusian freelancers translated the book into English. I could not sell the e-book in America (on website Smashwords). Now I want to give this book to the Americans. Maybe you know a website for it?
L M Reid from Ireland on November 17, 2015:
Very interesting article thanks for sharing.
Doris H. Dancy from Yorktown, Virginia on January 06, 2015:
I love to write and spend a lot of time writing just for fun. I would definitely like to make more money doing what I enjoy the most. I believe that speaking and writing are two of God's purposes for me. I speak a lot and write novels, but would love to add professional article writing to all of this. Thank you for your helpful tips. If you have the time, stop by my hub pages and see if I even stand a chance.
Prayer Power (author) from Long Island, New York on November 11, 2014:
This is my testimony of my experience. I can only share what I know. There is one ingredient that I didn't include that I notice that many people lack and that is having a positive attitude. If you want to succeed in writing or any career, you MUST have a positive attitude. You can't expect to attract high-paying clients with negative thinking and a negative attitude.
Prayer Power (author) from Long Island, New York on November 11, 2014:
Thank you, I pray that it works out for you.
Tom from Inverness, Florida on October 20, 2014:
A very nice article. I am wanting to get rid of my 12 to 13 hour a day job that sucks the life out of me and start writing for a living. I am not out to make a million dollars, I am just looking to replace the income that my stressful job pays me. I have been praying that writing can afford me to get rid of my job so I can spend more quality time with my family.
Thank you for the encouraging article, keep up the good work.
New Web Writer on August 18, 2014:
The main advice always given to new writers is to "write high quality articles" however, that rarely leads to clients that will pay $250+ each.
In the example you give you stated "I charged a $75 fee to begin the project and $175 once the article was written."
How is this possible? This article doesn't explain HOW TO DO THIS, it only tells me what every other article about freelance writing states.
Please understand I'm not trying to get you to reveal your clients or interfere with your business in any way, but with an article claiming this title I expected to be told HOW to go about achieving what it claims.
Is there some way I can pay you for an hour consultation or something likewise? I'm very serious about this. I really want to stop slumming away bidding for low paying jobs that demand "high quality" work. Thanks for any help you can offer. If you respond, I'll leave my email address for any help you offer. Thanks again.
Prayer Power (author) from Long Island, New York on August 17, 2014:
There are High paying clients actually willing to pay $250+ per article. When it comes to marketing, you have to target clients who actually have the budget to pay higher amounts. There are many people willing to pay more for articles, but the articles must be high-quality.
New Web Writer on August 16, 2014:
I'm sorry, I have a hard time believing that even "high paying" clients are paying you $250 per article. How exactly are you marketing for these jobs? Are you literally being paid $250 for A SINGLE ARTICLE, or are you being paid for the article AND OTHER TYPES of writing as a package deal for $250? If it's the latter, this article is terribly misleading.
Prayer Power (author) from Long Island, New York on June 30, 2014:
@Leslie - you're welcome!
Leslie A. Shields from Georgia on June 26, 2014:
Thank you PrayerPower... I will take you advice and keep you posted on my results... Prayer truly works.. I came upon this article after asking the Lord to guide me regarding freelance writing... God is wonderful...
Prayer Power (author) from Long Island, New York on April 16, 2014:
Thank you for your comments. I will be posting more articles.