In this Writing Wednesday episode, I go over how to make consistent money every month as a writer. I struggled with this at the beginning of my freelance content writing journey, and I want you to speed up your own success with these tips!
I believe the easiest and fastest way to make money online as a writer is to become a content writer. Here are four tips to make a dependable income as a freelance content writer:
1. Blog Writing
Blog clients usually follow a monthly posting schedule which means work will be consistent and dependable.
2. Clarify a Schedule with Clients
Knowing how to plan for your month, helps you execute on writing projects more efficiently and meet deadlines.
3. Have a Roster of Clients
Diversify your income and continually send out pitches!
4. Drop Loser Clients
If a client is making you frustrated, affecting your energy levels or your sanity, it’s time to drop them.
5. Raise Your Rates
If your a good writer and even better freelancer, people will pay a higher rate. Don’t be afraid to do this step!
Are You Ready to Start Your Freelance Writing Career?
If you are ready to take the next step and launch your freelance writing career, I would love to help you build momentum!
I still have a few spots left in my coaching program, fill out an application to learn more 1/1 coaching.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
You are listening to episode number 68 of inspire your success podcast. On today’s writing Wednesday edition, we’re going to talk about what it really takes to make consistent money every single month as a writer. That way you’re not heading into each month hoping, praying and guessing if you’re actually going to have money to pay the bills coming up.
Speaker 2 (00:24):
Speaker 1 (00:24):
All right. Welcome back to episode number 68. Here again, this is your host Michael Leonard. And uh, as always, just thank you for tuning in and being here. So, uh, love to just kind of share a few things that’s going on with inspire your success because a 2020 is really starting out, uh, incredibly strong for myself and the brand, the, and a lot of that is because of you. So again, I just want to say thank you marches on track to be the biggest month ever. Uh, February was the biggest month. January is the biggest month. So, uh, as you can tell trending up in 2020, so very happy. You guys are enjoying all the content that I’m producing. And then also the guest interviews that are coming out as well. So Lisa, uh, that I had on here on episode number 63 was so inspiring. Uh, again, so cool to see someone go from zero to six figures as a writer in their first year.
Speaker 1 (01:14):
So if you haven’t tuned in to that one, make sure you do that. And, uh, I just got back from San Diego, so I was at an event, uh, out there called screw the nine to five. So obviously I screwed the nine to five, uh, nearly three years ago, which is really, really hard to believe actually kind of looking back at it. Um, but it’s, it’s pretty cool because I got to go to this event where, uh, this couple, so Jill and Josh Stanton, uh, they actually started this brand, I think it was like seven, eight years ago. And, uh, they were just like so many people out there. They didn’t want to work, uh, the nine to five life. They wanted to make money online and they have just crushed it. I mean, they do affiliate launches, they’ve done their own courses, programs, masterminds. They’ve just really evolved in the space, but it was so cool to actually get to connect with them just because they were some of the first people that ever inspired me to actually make money online.
Speaker 1 (02:08):
So that was really cool. And uh, one of the speakers at the event, uh, was PatFlynn. So if you don’t know, Pat Flynn is a, the creator of smart passive income. He got laid off in 2009, right around the recession and uh, went on to just create an unbelievable brand. Uh, he has a couple of books out, uh, podcast with millions of downloads and again, one of my first people that ever taught me you could make money online. And it was really cool because he gave us a lot of podcasting tips and just online business success stuff. So one of the things that he recommended doing is just sharing a little bit more about myself on the show. And I think that’s something that I have had room to improve. For some reason I get on here and just think I have to deliver content value instantly and not really talk about life for some reason.
Speaker 1 (02:55):
So definitely gonna be more intentional about doing that. Love to give you guys just little bit more of my life and how I got started with all this and, and really what’s going on behind the scenes here because again, these podcasts are only 15, 20 minutes and uh, you know, I’ve usually batched them out each each month so that way, uh, the contents up and ready and I can send it over to an editing team and then to my virtual assistant and she can upload all the stuff. So yeah, I just want to share a little bit more and just kind of talk to you about the freelancing and entrepreneurship life. So one of the things that, uh, that I wanted to share is like each, each new episode. Now I’m going to just release a random fact on these, a solo episodes, uh, just so you can learn a little bit more about me and maybe we’ll have a few more things in common.
Speaker 1 (03:38):
So other than just writing and, and freelancing. So kind of funny off for the one I chose today, I just wanted to say that I’m just a huge movie and TV geek. Uh, it’s pretty funny because a lot of people know me and they know my schedule. I’m usually up between four 30 to five 30. Uh, I’m constantly an early bird. I’m always, uh, doing a lot of stuff and staying busy with the business and writing and golf and family and friends and everything else. But my guilty pleasure is Netflix and binge watching TV shows and series. And I mean, there are so many out there, like if you have a show, I’ve probably watched it. So it’s kind of funny because everyone thinks I’m just like hustler and always working all that, you know, I work hard and smart so that way I can have more time to, uh, to mindlessly check out and watch that stuff because I actually, I think it was about five, six years ago I even applied to Warner brothers.
Speaker 1 (04:35):
I wanted to go work in Hollywood. And, uh, it was actually for DC, it was for a position, uh, working with the comic book division. And so I never got the job. So that’s something I still hope will happen in the future. It’s like working in Hollywood in some capacity because that stuff amazes me and I just love the, um, the feelings and, uh, great things that you can get from TV shows and series and movies. And so that’s a, that’s my random fact for this episode. So if you, if you’re a Dexter or Californication or Entourage, sons of anarchy, uh, I mean all the old ones and, uh, some new ones I love and Narcos and I, what was the other one? I just finished? I think it was, uh, Oh, I’m really looking forward to Ozark season three. So if you’re a geek like me and love binge-watching because who doesn’t, let’s get real, uh, let me know.
Speaker 1 (05:25):
I always, always love to connect and talk about that great entertainment that we have out there for like $10 a month. It’s like stealing. So anyways, just wanted to share a little bit more about myself. And again, um, you know, just wanted to give you some updates on everything that’s going on here. So let’s jump into the episode content, which is again, how to make consistent money every single month as a writer. Cause this is something that I really struggled with at the beginning and I think a lot of people do because it’s, it’s, it’s kind of unpredictable at the beginning. You’re, you’re really trying to land clients, you’re trying to figure out like, Hey, how do I actually make this thing work? How do I get paid? Uh, and, and the biggest thing that I found is if you’re content writing, which is again, the primary focus of this podcast for now is really content writing.
Speaker 1 (06:14):
Cause that’s what I’ve done the last few years. And I think it’s the easiest and fastest way to make money online as a writer. And you don’t have to learn nearly as much as you do with copywriting and all the persuasive language and hypnotic language and things like that. That comes with copywriting. So with content writing, to me the biggest thing is to do a couple of different things when it comes to actually making consistent money as a writer. So the first thing is is to have blog writing. If you have blog writing clients, your income is going to be a lot more recurring. It’s going to be a lot more dependable. You’re not going to be like guessing and like going out of savings accounts and credit cards and all that stuff like I did at the beginning. Because if you have a blog client, they have a schedule.
Speaker 1 (06:57):
So most blog clients are either early in one post a week or two posts a week or one post every two weeks. Things like that. And so if, you know, going into the month that you have, you know, two clients or three clients and one of them has one blog post that’s a week, another one has three a month or whatever the schedule is, you can kind of go into the month and knowing that you’re going to make X amount because you know how much each blog posts roughly is, you know, what you charge, things like that. And that’s actually something that I’m making all my clients do moving forward just because I have grown so much on the writing side. And I really want to spend more time with, uh, inspire your success and, and just doing even more of the, uh, the podcasting and guest podcasting and coaching and, and the, uh, online courses to help more writers and write on medium as well.
Speaker 1 (07:47):
So that’s kind of where my focus is, is so I need to know in advance, heading into the month what my clients need from me, uh, because again, in the beginning I was just like, Hey, whatever. Like I’ll, I’ll literally take anything you want to give me here. Right? I mean, I literally had no money coming in a less than two years ago and scaled it into a five figure a month writing business, uh, working part time. So that’s really what can happen. And the reason I was able to do that is because I had blog writing clients. So you know, for example, like my golf client, one of my main golf clients, we’ve together grown his blog, I think it’s like roughly a hundred thousand page views a month, which is just crazy cause he’s very consistent. He has at least one blog post a week. And so heading into the month he will send me the topics, the keywords, how long it needs to be, all that stuff.
Speaker 1 (08:40):
Uh, so that way I can then work in, in batching because again, I don’t like to just write one blog post and then do a podcast episode and then get on social media and then go to the golf course and all that. Because I used to work like that and it’s extremely, uh, because you’re context switching. So it’s really tough to stay focused because each time you jumped from task to task, you are losing, uh, around 20% of productivity because it takes your brain a little while to get warmed up to the next task. So that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned from my mentor, James Wedmore and something that’s really transformed my business in the last six months is I, I constantly am refining myself so that way I can work strategically and not having to use mental energy for the wrong stuff. So you need to be up front with your clients about that.
Speaker 1 (09:30):
So that way you know, Hey, I have a, like for example, I have another client that has a weekly blog post and I make them send me the outlines beforehand, how long it needs to be, the keywords. I mean, they do everything on that side. They just send me the outline. They send four at the end of the month for the following month, and then I just spend one day, I write all those out. That’s like $2,000 or something like that. So it’s like a $2,000 day. I’ll do all the writing that day, the following day I’ll edit or the next day after that and then I’ll send it over. So instead of spending time like jumping around from task to task, I used to do, you know, again I’m going to talk about context switching a lot because this thing is just a productivity game changer once you really understand it. But one of the things there is having blog plans.
Speaker 1 (10:16):
So again, that’s one of the biggest things I can’t recommend enough is to have that every single month. If you don’t have blog clients and you have clients that maybe just need one off stuff like maybe lead magnets, maybe they need emails, uh, maybe you’re writing something else like content pages or stuff like that. You want to again, get very, very clear in advance with them. You’ve got to have good communication with clients. It’s like any other relationship but you for your sake, I mean you want to know what you’re going to be making roughly heading into the month. There’s, there’s nothing worse than heading into the month as a writer and being like, I have no idea where my income is coming from. Uh, I lived like that for a long time. And let me just tell you, I probably have some gray hairs coming out because it’s not a great way to manage your stress levels.
Speaker 1 (10:58):
And one of the things that my mentor James talked about, um, in one of the events that I went to, I think it was in December, uh, he talked about it. He’s like, if you don’t know where your money’s coming in each month, uh, you’re not being a responsible business owner. And that really hit me because honestly I was just kind of flying by the seat of my pants. I was just like, Hey, I’ll figure this out. I have some clients like, life’s good. Um, I really struggle sometimes with narrowing down and making my split self get specific cause I hate that controlling feeling that like a nine to five had of like, Oh, I need to do X, Y, Z. And so freedom is definitely high on my value, sharp, but it’s also being irresponsible if you don’t have a plan for your, for your business, that’s just not being a good business owner.
Speaker 1 (11:39):
And so understanding that your writing business is in fact that a business, uh, even if it’s a side side hustle or uh, a passion project, it really is a business at the end of the day. So that to me was big. So again, blog, writing, clarifying with clients. The next thing is to make consistent money. As a writer you need to have a roster of clients. Uh, I’ve had just one client before and that’s not really a good idea in my eyes because it’s just like having a job. If they let you go, your, your income goes to zero. And that’s why I hate the nine to five life is because you’re basically giving one person your, your entire like sanity. Like if you get fired or they get laid off, the company shuts down and there’s a lawsuit, whatever. Here, you’re just kind of stuck and you have to figure out what to do next.
Speaker 1 (12:27):
So that’s something that I’ve really focused on is diversifying my income. So if I lose a client, it really doesn’t matter. And again, guys, this took me a while to figure out, but that’s why I’m having this podcast. It’s because I want you to figure it out a lot faster so that way you’re not stressed out like me and spiraling downhill someday. And so, uh, I think it was January, I had like 11 sources of income. Like that’s crazy to me. Like if one income got like cut, like yeah, I had one that was like a half or like, Hmm, 35% of my income for that month, that would hurt if I lost that client. But at the same time it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I mean, I’d still have some money coming in and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Speaker 1 (13:06):
So that’s a big, big thing is if you want consistent money, you need to have like clients that you know, like, and trust as well and that you want to work with and that they actually are dependable. Because that again, will just give you some sanity heading into the month. So the biggest thing that I talk about for that is you got to pitch. I mean, you just have to pitch, uh, if you want to have consistent clients, you have to get yourself out there. You can’t just go through the motions and hope these people are going to find you because of the law of attraction or something. I mean, sure, you need to put your intentions out there and you can write about it in a journal, all that stuff. But you need to get out to job boards. You need to email people, you need to network, you need to just build relationships, guest post, all the things that I talk about in the show, because that is how you get clients.
Speaker 1 (13:49):
And then, you know, for me, I usually have between two to five clients, uh, at any given time when I was really in like the fulltime writing thing. Uh, and I still am doing that, but I’m phasing it out a little bit. I think moving forward just to test out some other projects that I’m working on, uh, which I’m really, really excited about. But I mean, when I’m, you know, doing five figures a month as a writer, I usually have between two and five much more than that is really tough to manage. Uh, especially if you’re doing it part time just because you have different people. There’ll be emailing you or you’ll be in the Asana a different project management software is all that stuff and that can get really hard to manage. So you gotta be super, super organized. Uh, but again, I think one of the biggest ways to have consistent income is just to have a good, uh, arrangement of clients and really, really good communication.
Speaker 1 (14:39):
So, one other thing too, speaking of that is to, you have to get rid of loser clients. Um, I know it’s probably scary, uh, when you’re first starting out to think about actually firing a client, but you need to do that sometimes because if a client’s making you frustrated, if they’re taking your sanity, if they’re affecting you outside of your writing, if they’re really messing with your energy levels, that’s not worth it. Even like, no matter how much money it is, it’s really not worth it because all that you’re projecting out into the universe, you’re not going to feel good and it’s just not gonna you’re not going to produce good work. Like it’s hard to like if you hate a client but you’re just taking it because you really need the money, you’re probably not going to really deliver your best work. I mean, would you agree?
Speaker 1 (15:22):
Look, I’ve been there like I needed the money when I first got started cause like I said, like constantly, my blog failed miserably and if I wasn’t making money I had to go back to the nine to five. So for awhile I like some of the clients, but I eventually became resentful. And that’s not fair to you. It’s not fair to the client. So I really encourage you to find people that you enjoy working with, that pay you on time, that treat you fair, that care about you and your life, and that you’re not just a cog in the machine. I think that’s really big. And I think the better communication that you have, the more likely you will find those clients. And again, you can use a journal and write about your ideal clients. You can do all that stuff, but at the end of the day, you still have to get out there and pitch him and put yourself out there, build your writing website, pitch on Upwork, whatever you want to do.
Speaker 1 (16:10):
But you need to get yourself out there. And then the last real tip I have to make consistent money each month is to raise your rates. And again, this is something that I learned from one of my mentors, Benjamin Hardy, who I just interviewed. Uh, unfortunately the episode doesn’t get to drop until July because his book is coming out. And so it aligns with that is, it’s such a good interview. And, uh, it was so much fun. But yeah, one of the things he told me, and uh, probably four or five months into my writing was like, Oh, just double your rates. And he just said it. No, she said it so nonchalantly. And I really did that. I went from like 10 cents a word to 20 cents a word. And instantly I started having obviously a lot more money coming in. I pitch new clients the new rate and they didn’t even think twice about it.
Speaker 1 (16:54):
So if you deliver the work and if you’re a quality writer and a good freelancer and you have good communication, you hit deadlines, people will pay you your rate, but you have to actually ask for it. You’re not going to, you can’t just assume they’re going to give you that increased rate. So those are hopefully some tips. And again, just a quick recap to make consistent money each month as a writer, you want to find blog writing clients if you can. That way you know that they need X amount of posts each month and you’ll have more consistent or guaranteed revenue. Uh, you want to clarify with clients before heading into the month. Like, you know, maybe the last week of the month you have a time that you add in your calendar where you just send them an email like, Hey, just getting game plan for the following month. I just want to have confirmation.
Speaker 1 (17:36):
Do we need X, Y,Z ? Is there any other projects you need help with? Things like that. So that way you can schedule your time because again, you have to guard your time like your life depends on it because ultimately it does. If you don’t have enough time booked out for clients, you’re going to do a real mediocre work. They might not like it, you might not get paid if you have to do more edits and you have to wait longer for payment, things like that. So you really want to clarify in advance. You also want to get a roster. Like I said, guys, two to five clients, if you can get that, I think that’s a sweet spot for me. Maybe you want more, maybe you want less. Um, but yeah, for me that is a really, really important because if one client does stop needing content or you just, you know, have a strain in the relationship, things like that, it’s not going to be the end of the world for you.
Speaker 1 (18:21):
And then again, if you, speaking of clients, if you have clients that make you miserable, don’t be afraid to drop them. Like it’s not worth your time. You’re doing yourself a disservice and you’re doing the clients of this service and finally raise your rates if you’re a good writer. Again, good if you, you don’t have to be the best writer ever want to be a New York times bestselling author. But if you’re a good writer and a even better freelancer, people will pay you your rates, but you have to ask for it. So hopefully those five tips will help you make consistent money each month as a writer because that is one of the hardest things as an entrepreneur, not just as a writer, is to like be like going into the month or the quarter and be like, where’s my money coming from? What am I, what am I doing here?
Speaker 1 (19:01):
And so the sooner you can get that, the more peace of mind you’ll have a, I bet less stress you’ll have. And again, he’ll probably just show up more confidently in your life and in your business. So have that stuff. Take these steps and take action because again, you have to pitch clients. I just want to reinforce that. Again, you can’t just expect them to find you all the time. That can happen as you develop and get into bigger publications and things like that. But you need to be relentless about getting clients so that way you can make consistent money each month as a writer. So thank you again, uh, really appreciate you listening here on writing Wednesday. If you have any questions, you can always email [email protected] and again, if you have any like specific questions on writing, please send those in. Because I am using stuff like this for future episodes.
Speaker 1 (19:54):
I have endless content that I want to give you guys, but I also want to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for. So if there’s something that I get into the inbox and my team and I look at and we’ll figure out if that’s a good episode, just please send it over. And, uh, again, just appreciate all the support and seeing the podcast grow makes me more motivated to do these. Uh, and I just love sharing all this stuff with you guys. So thank you again for being here. And as always, I hope you have an Epic day.
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- Episode 68: How to Make Consistent Money as a Writer - March 17, 2020
- Episode 62: 5 Best Strategies to Price Yourself (Freelance Writing Rates) - March 2, 2020