I became a full-time freelance writing on Jan. 1, 2017 after less than a year pursuing freelance writing. What I love about freelance writing is the control it offers you, not just in how much you make, but also on your schedule and what you want your life to look like. So the short answer to, “Can you really make a living freelance writing?” is yes. You can more than make a living you can make a life.
It Takes Time to go from Surviving to Thriving
Just like any endeavor, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. You’ll start out just making a bit of extra money, you may make the leap and be surviving with freelance writing while you work to move towards the thriving end of the spectrum.
Remember, everyone’s definition of success is different. Currently, I’m making enough money to get by, but I definitely want to earn more. On the other hand, my lifestyle and mental health have vastly improved. While I’m still not making what I made at my old 9-5, I’m 10x happier than I was working at my old job. So to me, that is pretty successful.
If you are just starting out with freelance writing or just starting to consider freelance writing, keep in mind it takes time to make real money. How much time, will depend on how much work you put into growing your business. I could definitely put more work into growing my freelance writing business, but I’ve instead been working on diversifying my income.
How I Got Started Freelance Writing & You Can Too
I played around with the idea of freelance writing for a while, but for someone who was a math major in college, the idea of making a living writing seemed kind of ludacris. However, I also really liked the idea of setting my own rate and controlling my schedule. I knew there was real money to be made with freelance writing, thanks to others, like Gina Horkey, that published their income reports.
In April 2016, I signed up and within a month had a freelance site up (this one) and my first client. Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing SuccessIn April 2016, I realized that I had no clue what I was doing and pulled the trigger on a freelance writing course. Gina Horkey’s course walked through step by step everything I needed to embark on my freelance writing journey.
See before I took the course, every time I saw a freelance writing job posted it seemed like sooo much work to pitch it because I had to gather and put together a bunch of stuff that I didn’t already have, like my resume and writing portfolio. Gina’s course helped me to create both which made pitching quick and (mostly) painless.
Information about Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success Course
If you are interested in checking out the course I wrote an in depth review. The basic information is that the course comes in at $147 or two payments of $79. You get access to the course and can move through it at your own pace (meaning it doesn’t have to actually take 30 days).
Keep in mind that while the course is extremely helpful you will likely need to spend money on a few other things, like setting up a website and if you are pressed for time a freelance writing job board such as Contena.
My Income Reports
Admittedly, I didn’t start pulling together income reports until summer of 2016, but to give you an idea of what I was earning here is information on my income, you can view all of my income reports here.
July 2016 = $250
Aug. 2016 = $560
Sept. 2016 = $271
Oct. 2016 = $196
Nov. 2016 =$844
Dec. 2016 =$866
Jan. 2017 = $2,262
April 2017 = $4,125
Related: How to Set and Negotiate Rates
Income Reports of Others
Writing Revolt Income Report
You have to work at it, you shouldn’t expect to make enough overnight to quit your job. Additionally, even after you start making decent money, remember it takes consistency in pitching to avoid the feast or famine cycle.
Related: Do You Even Pitch, Bro?