Make Money Writing; How To Improve Your Freelance Writing Salary

Make money writing.
Ready to make MORE money writing? YEAH YOU ARE!. yuoak / Getty Images

Making money writing is no longer a pipe dream! As evidenced on this site, and through the careers of countless freelance writers, you can indeed build a thriving business by providing freelance writing and freelance editing services.

Now, many of my readers start out just fine by onboarding with a content mill or securing a blogging job found through a friend or colleague. But, once they figure out that this career is quite doable, they're ready for more.

And who can blame them?

So, for all those ready to leave their beginning freelance writer shell, here are the top 8 ways to make more money as a writer and improve your freelance writer salary.

Make More Money With More Jobs

Ok, obviously I'm starting with the basics: Simply, take on more freelance writing jobs or projects. If you've got an extra hour or two a week, you can probably fit in another client. Consider short term projects, but be careful of the administrative costs; setting up and communicating with a new client involves unpaid, non-billable hours. So, make sure any new freelance writing jobs you take on are really worth it. 

Get Better Quality Jobs to Improve Your Writer's Salary

Perhaps that cheap client has run their course, and it's time to ditch their high-need, low-pay work for someone who offers more money or better exposure. Don't be wishy-washy about firing clients--this is your family's wellbeing, and that's ok.

Make room in your schedule to insert a better paying project by (kindly and professionally) telling your lowest-paying client that it's time to move on.

Get a Writing Degree to Make More Money Writing

One way to secure better quality clients, such as big corporations or well-known publishers, is to get a writing degree.

Often, this quality of clientele require a Bachelor's degree as a minimum. Interested? Check out this article for some great programs: Top 20 College Majors for Writers.

Know Freelance Writing Market Rates 

A good freelance writer will know what rate levels the market will accept by undertaking occasional research of typical freelance writing rates. This makes you ready to support an increased writing job rate quote. It will also help you to re-negotiate rates for existing clients who (perhaps) should be paying more.

Understand How To Set Freelance Writing Rates

Along these same lines, you should start developing good strategies for pricing. For example, it's generally better to quote by the project, as opposed to an hourly rate or a per-word rate, especially when we're talking about ongoing, committed clients. This is because, with time, you'll eventually get better and better at that work (especially if it's repetitive). You'll start to spend fewer hours completing it, meaning you actually bill less with experience!

Another way to set solid rates is to track every single hour you spend on freelance writing work. This collected data will give you an accurate picture of how much time different projects or tasks take you, specifically.

Then, when you're asked to give a price quote, you're ready, and you're accurate. Trust me, many a new freelance writer has low-balled a project price by making the mistake of thinking the work will be "fast and easy." Nope. 

Make More Freelance Writing Cash: Learn To Write Fast

Even if you're not charging by the hour, you still only have limited time to give to your work. There are only a finite amount of work hours in a week. Learning to write fast will enable you to serve more clients in your allotted time.

The typical roadblocks to rapid text production for a freelance work-at-home writer are 1) distraction and 2) over-research. I see both of these again and again (in myself, sometimes!).

Working within your own house presents way too many potential distractions, such as dogs, mail carriers or children.

This can be avoided with a dedicated home office and a set writing schedule.

Over-research is the bane of the chronically curious. Most writing presents the need for some internet research, but my goodness are there ever some interesting things online! So, how does one solve this barrier to quick writing? I don't know. You let me know, OK? It's still one of my weaknesses! What can I say? I love to read, anything.

Earn Freelance Writing Income in the Right Genres and Industries

One way to make sure you're getting max freelance writing income is to understand two things:  the variety of genres in which you can write, and the many options of niche industries/areas of expertise. Some areas are in constant growth, while others are shrinking (and therefore have shrunken budgets, too).

A good resource to use in this instance is the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. For example, while researching on the BLS site for another article, I noticed that the market for technical writers and scientific writers was forecast to grow exponentially in the next 10 years.

Check Your Expenses

Ok, so I admit this is not a way to earn more money, per se, but saving money on all the expenses inherent in the freelance writing career will impact your freelance writing profit. Make sure you're taking all your allowed tax deductions; check out this article listing some typical writing expenses. And, again, I urge you to keep immaculate records so that you never miss a deduction.

One way that I've saved money is by purchasing Freshbooks for accounting purposes. It's true that I resisted this option for a long time because I loved my Excel-based system, and I hate learning new software. But, when I found out that a Freshbooks membership means that your Paypal fees are only 50 cents per transaction, I realized I could save a whole lotta dough

For example, one of my monthly payments through Paypal is $800 bucks, meaning I lost close to $40 a month in fees. Ridiculous! A Freshbooks subscription is only $10 to $40 a month. I could potentially save myself $360 a year with the subscription, and that's for only one client! You can get in on this by trying it out free here: Try FreshBooks Free for 30 Days

So, is it time to for you to thrive? I think so. Now, get to work, freelance writer. You've got bills to pay!