Being a freelance writer means you get to do what you love every day. The downside is you can have a hard time making a living at it. Even if you write for popular brands and you negotiate big cheques, the odds are you’ll still struggle to make ends meet. That’s what prompted me to investigate the matter and figure out just how much money a freelance writer actually makes. Turns out, it’s not as much as you’d think.
Average Annual Salary
First off, you need to decide how many hours per week you want to work. For the sake of this experiment, let’s say you want to work five hours per week. That’s fifty hours per month. Round that up to sixty and you have a guideline for how much you should be earning. Now, you’ll want to work out how much you need to earn per hour to make ends meet. It’s a good idea to look at what others are earning in your field to get a sense of what you should be targeting. You can also use online tools to search for jobs and compare your desired salary to what others are getting paid.
The Bad News
You need to remember the bad news before we get to the good news. As a freelance writer, you’ll find there’s plenty of competition for your talent. So, if you aim for the low-end of the scale, you’ll find it tough to make ends meet. Even if you manage to get a few more hours per week, you’re still going to struggle to make enough money to justify your time. It’s a numbers game. The more you charge, the more you’ll make. However, if you’re targeting a lower salary, the amount of work you’ll get will be lower.
The Good News
On the plus side, you have the option of changing gears and moving to a higher gear. If you aim for the higher-end of the scale, you’ll find there are more opportunities for you to make good money. That’s because fewer people are doing it. The result is there’s less competition. You’ll also have the opportunity to negotiate bigger cheques because the brands you work for are more likely to agree to pay you more. If an editor wants to pay you £25 per article, they’ll have to negotiate it with their account manager before they can make the payment. It’s all about profit and loss. The more you charge, the more you’ll make, but the higher your rate, the more you’ll lose.
How Much Does a Freelance Writer Make?
Now that you have a better idea of how much money a freelance writer makes, let’s take a look at how much you might actually get paid. To find this information, I did some research into what others are earning in my field and looked at the median salary. Median is the middle number in a set of numbers. Half the people are making more than the average, and half are making less. In this case, the average is £16,640 per year. You’ll want to work out how much you need to earn per hour to make ends meet. For the sake of this example, let’s call it £18 an hour as your target rate. If you can negotiate a big enough cheque, you’ll have more money in your pocket than you know what to do with. That’s what makes being a freelance writer so attractive. You get to choose your own hours, so if you manage to charge more, you’ll be able to make more money. It’s really that simple. The secret is to find the right people to work for you and be selective about the clients you take on. If you want to make a lot of money, you need to be picky about the projects you accept. Another good idea is to look for online communities who can connect you with other freelancers. Being able to compare what others are earning and learning from their experiences is a good way to determine how much you should be charging. Don’t be afraid to ask for more. Being a freelancer is a competitive world and it’s all about who can charge the most and be selective about the projects they take on. The more you make, the easier it will be to justify the time invested in learning how to be a successful freelance writer.