For quite some time now one of my annual goals has been to earn more than $1,000 a month writing from home. It has been a long journey, but I’m happy to report that I finally accomplished that goal.
I began my writing career in 1999, and until last month, the highest my income has been is around $600 a month. I realize I probably could have met this goal a lot sooner, but it takes time to learn the business, build an attractive portfolio and market your writing services. Furthermore, with the way things change in regards to SEO and social networking, it also takes time to learn effective marketing techniques to keep up with all the changes.
Tips to Help You Earn More Than $1,000 a Month Writing From Home
There are many things I could’ve done differently to reach my goal sooner, and today I’ll share some tips, so you won’t make the same mistakes I did. Hopefully, you’ll learn enough that it won’t take you over 10 years to earn $1,000 a month or more as a freelance writer. So without further ado, here’s some advice that I pray will help you.
Stick to Your Guns
Yes, I know it’s cliché, but it is VERY important that you follow this advice. Are you wondering what it means? It means that you shouldn’t lower your rates just to get a client. Yes, even if you’re desperate for work. Just hang in there and a gig paying your going rates or possibly more will come along.
If I hadn’t been so desperate when I first started writing from home full-time, it may not have taken me this long to earn more than $1,000 a month. However, now that I’ve been sticking to my guns, I’ve met this goal with ease and am quickly approaching the $2,000 a month salary range.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t lower your rates at all, but don’t resort to accepting an unfair rate. In fact, it’s best to set your rates high enough that you can negotiate to meet the client’s budget and still earn a fair rate for your time and hard work.
Don’t Rely on Content Mills
Okay, I’ll admit I’m a bit embarrassed to confess this, but I will in order to keep you from making the same mistake. Confession: I use to think that if I wrote for a few content mills that paid a flat rate of at least $10.00 an article, as well as pay-per-view royalties, I could earn a good living writing from home and still have plenty of time left to write my Christian fiction novels and work on other personal projects.
Boy, was I ever WRONG! Truth is, even at those rates I was struggling to pay the bills. As for extra time, I didn’t have that either, because I was so busy writing tons of articles on a daily basis just to make ends meet. Furthermore, once I sat down to calculate just how much time I was spending researching and writing the articles (not including the revisions), my actual hourly rate was less than the minimum wage in my state (currently, $8.00 per hour).
Writing for content mills is okay if you want to earn a little extra spending money, but please, friends, don’t rely on it for the bulk of your writing income. Believe me, it’s not worth the hassle. In fact, your time would be better spent sending query letters to trade magazines and online publications within your areas of expertise. Despite what you may think, there are trade magazines and online publications that do pay a rather fair rate for quality articles, and they pay you far more than a content mill will.
Include Your Best Writing Clips in Your Portfolio
Even if you submit your very best articles to content mills, these aren’t the best writing clips to include in your portfolio. The best way to gain writing clips to include in your portfolio is by following the aforementioned advice on sending query letters to trade magazines and online publications.
Once I removed the links to the articles I submitted to content mills from my writing portfolio, my clientele really increased. The best part: editors, business owners, SEO companies and others were contacting me!
Network With Others in the Writing and Publishing Industry
The best way to gain clients and build great relationships with existing clients is through social networking. The best social network for business is LinkedIn, so if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, sign up today. In addition to LinkedIn, create a Facebook page and join Twitter.
Once you’ve joined all three networks, start connecting with others in the writing and publishing industry. Just remember not to spam them. Share relevant advice and links, and you should do just fine.
Are you already earning more than $1,000 a month writing from home? Share your tips and/or feedback in the comments area below. Questions are welcome too.