Diana Kelly Levey

5 Tips to Make More Money Freelance Writing

A woman counting cash at her desk

January 13, 2023

If you’re a freelance writer, making more money freelancing is probably top of mind for you. Whether you’re a full-time freelance writer, a small business owner, a stay-at-home mom (or dad) who wants to make additional money working from home while the kids are sleeping or at work, or you simply want to make more money freelance writing than your salary allows for so you’re trying to earn money with a side hustle—this blog post is for you.

In order to have more money in the bank at the end of the year, follow these tips to build up your savings and reach your income goals and make more money from home. (For more tips on how to set and meet your freelance goals, check out this blog post.)

5 Pro Tips to Earn More Money Freelance Writing

1. Cut your business expenses.

Are there places in your freelance writing business where you could buy in bulk and save money? I recommend subscribing to one year of subscription services and these apps for freelancers so you can get a discount on the costs of programs you use often.  Are you a member of a lot of professional organizations you’re not using but paying an annual fee? Are you buying products and services you see on social media because you think they will catapult your business?

Look closely at what you’re actually using on a daily basis and how much money you’re spending that you are telling yourself it’s justified because it’s a business expense. Do a self-audit of places in your budget where you can save $10 a month here and there. (Try this 1 change to improve your freelance business.)

> Quick tips:

  • I canceled my online New York Times subscription because I honestly wasn’t reading more than the free articles offered monthly. I’m reading a number of sources online to get my information.
    • Savings: $15/month.
  • Look at your cell phone plan to see how much data you’re using monthly and if you could trim back to a lower data plan.
    • Savings: $10-20/month.
  • Use the library or buy used books. I’m a big advocate for working in the library (it also saves me money instead of going to a coffee shop), but my local library has a wide variety of magazines I can borrow and I put in an online request for books I want.
    • Savings: $10-30/month.

Note here: As a journalist and freelance writer, I’m not saying ‘Don’t buy newspapers, books, or magazines ever!’ I’m encouraging you to look for places where you could save money. Find that you love reading Real Simple at the library and want to refer to those tips later and tear out pages? Then subscribe to the magazine! Read a book at the library and want to keep it on your shelf for future reference? Buy it! Just look for places where you can trim the fat and spend money on what you really want to use in your life. My library (and Amazon Prime) offer magazine subscriptions I can browse each month.

Fewer business expenses means more money in your pocket can you can keep the freelance money you earned

2. Manage your time better.

Learn your most productive work style in order to make more money freelancing. I realize that if I get up a little bit earlier, finish my deadline that’s due that day first, and then start perusing social media and replying to emails, I am more efficient the rest of the day. When you want to make more money freelance writing at the end of the year (like earning a six-figure freelance income) and you don’t want to sacrifice your free time or sleep, becoming more efficient will equal money later. Getting my toughest assignments done earlier helps me juggle multiple clients better. Your most efficient time might be at night after your kids have gone to sleep, or if it’s quiet at home during your workday. Identify a few hours during the week that you have the energy and motivation to crank out work and consistently utilize those. Freelancers share the BEST time to write.

3. Offer different services to clients

It’s good to have a few freelance skills that you are well-versed in and freelance clients know you’re one of their top freelancers to go to for these services. For me, that tends to be article writing, SEO writing, magazine writing, and blog writing for content marketing clients. But lately, I also offer content strategy, copywriting and newsletter writing to clients. Expanding the services I offer into different types of freelance writing helps me make more money freelance writing every year. Think about the other freelance writing skills you could offer your clients. If there are skills you don’t have right now but want to learn, take a course online.

4. Secure repeat freelance clients.

Many freelance writers and freelancers in general that I know have had plenty of clients come and go. It’s the nature of the business. But if you can get a contract with a client for ongoing work, you’ll make earn more money freelance writing in less time. That’s why securing some freelance anchor clients should be a goal of yours as a freelancer. I love working with new clients, but getting set up with the paperwork, investing time to learn what they want, nailing their tone and voice, and getting paid in the beginning takes hours. Do that for 20 clients a month and you’ll be spending a lot of time on research and administrative work and not as much on writing or turning in assignments. I think it’s great if you have a “reach” client, high-paying freelance niche, or an outlet that you want to write for and getting published by them or working together is one of your goals. But remember to look at the clients who are giving you steady, repeat work for a solid pay rate and see if there are more assignments you could be doing with them. Here’s how to find better-paying freelance clients this year.

5. Pay people to help you.

When I decided to create my own Freelance Writing Online Course on Teachable, I enrolled in Inkwell Editorial’s course on how to create an online course. She already did a lot of the hard work with research into processes that help launch a course and ones that don’t work. Course instructor Yuwanda Black also had valuable marketing tips and customer service advice I hadn’t considered until I read it in her course materials. It was worth paying for this advice rather than making mistakes on my own. I also tried to make some updates to my website over the years and then realized I needed someone who knew Wordpress and design better than I did, so I paid a freelancer an hourly rate to help out. (During that time, I was working on assignments and generating income.)  I’ve hired several virtual editorial assistants to help with different freelance tasks, like research, social media strategy, LinkedIn strategy help, copyediting, and more. This helps me spend that valuable time doing things that only I can do. (P.S. This is how many hours freelancers work each week.)

What steps will you take to earn more money freelance writing this year and have more money in the bank at the end of the year?

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Diana can help with:

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