In this Writing Wednesday episode I talk about how I was able to make $20,000 in one single month as a writer and I give you some tangible steps to start making more money writing.
How I Had My Best Freelance Writing Month Ever
If you can cultivate and develop your writing skills, you can get paid very very well as a writer. When I quit my nine to five, I had a goal to make $11,000 in one month. I was able to surpass that goal in September of 2019, and make over $20,000 in a month. Here is how I did that:
1. Easy Webinar Client- $4,653
2. Golf Writing Client – $1,155
3. Golf Writing Client – $352
4. Financial Advisor Client – $320
5. Entrepreneur Client – $13,410
6. Affiliate Income on Medium– $160
What I Got Paid to Write
There is a variety of content that you can get paid to write! During my best month of freelance writing, it was all these pieces of content writing that led to success:
- Blog Post Writing
- Podcast Scripts
- Online Course Modules
- Website Copy
- Speech Writing
Where to Find New Writing Jobs
Freelance writing is easy to scale, but you must continually pitch new clients. Here are a variety of ways I have found writing clients:
2. Writing Job Boards (Pro Blogger, etc.)
3. Cold Pitching
There are a variety of ways to make money writing, a variety of topics that people will pay you to write about and multiple ways to find clients. Freelance writing is the best way to make money writing online.
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 (00:00):
You are listening to episode number 71 of inspire your success podcast. On today’s writing Wednesday episode, I want to talk about how I was able to make $20,000 in one single month as a writer and give you some tangible steps to start making more money writing coming up. All right, welcome back to the show. Again. This is your host, Michael Leonard, and as always, thank you for tuning in on writing Wednesday. And, uh, this episode is really special to me, uh, because it really represents a, just a massive accomplishment that I had in my life. And, uh, I’m gonna take you through all of it and, uh, again, just give you a behind the scenes look. I, I just want to be as transparent as I can, uh, with this whole online freelancing writing thing and, uh, just again show you how I was able to do it and how you can create similar results as well.
Speaker 1 (00:59):
So sticking with the theme and mentioned it a few episodes ago, I was in San Diego at the end of February for a, an event, and I was able to listen to Pat Flynn, one of the most successful podcasters online marketers out there. And he said that if you really want to grow your podcast, you need to connect with your audience more by sharing more about you. So, uh, the last few episodes I have, you probably noticed, I’ve been sharing a little tidbit, a little factor story, uh, before I get into the content. And, uh, today is going to be a kind of a funny one. So I talked about how, uh, last time I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, I had, uh, or moved to Arizona. I’m in Scottsdale now, but was in Chandler when I first moved, uh, right after college in 2010, uh, from Southern California. And I moved out here.
Speaker 1 (01:49):
I had $1,000 to my name. I had no job and a degree, and that was really about it. And, uh, so my whole thing was like, you know, I probably better start finding a job. This thousand dollars ain’t gonna work long. I had a just got a 0% interest credit card, thank you city. And uh, I was like trying to do this whole adult thing. I had my own one bedroom place and uh, man, I did some random little odd end jobs. And, uh, eventually though I got my first, I guess big kid job, we’ll say, uh, back in, I think it was like August or September. So I had a few months there where I wasn’t really working. So that was fun. And, uh, I got a job at PayPal, so that was actually my first real job. Uh, and I’ll tell you what, it really changed my perspective on how you treat customer service representatives because I was fielding 50 to 70 calls a day, sometimes more if I did over time of basically angry people.
Speaker 1 (02:53):
I mean, some people just had little things like resetting their password. Uh, but then you’d have some people call with just awful situations where they like gave their bank account information to a Nigerian scammer cause they thought it was a real email and then you got to deal with all this stuff. Um, I mean it was tough. I mean, you had people yelling at you, threatening you. We had to call the cops sometimes. Uh, cause people would get mad at us. Like I was the one holding their money in their PayPal account or something. Right. And a man that was really my first a true experience in a nine to five. I absolutely hated it. I mean it was just awful. Making $13 an hour. Um, I remember I had insurance so my parents told me that was a good thing. And uh, yeah, I worked there about six months.
Speaker 1 (03:39):
I’m not even sure how I did it. Uh, but I somehow became a top agent. I really guess the extroverted me came out and help people on the phone. Um, but yeah, I ended up working there for about six months before I started [email protected] and, and I was there for about six years, but just wanted to share my first job. I don’t know what yours was. Uh, if you, if you have one that’s interesting or you’ve worked in customer service and you know what it’s like to have people yell at you all day, uh, let me know because I’ve, I’ve definitely been there. Not to mention I was the, I think two o’clock in the afternoon to 11 o’clock at night shift, which was super weird. I’ve never had a swing shift like that. Uh, so yeah. Needless to say, I’m not yearning to go back.
Speaker 1 (04:22):
Um, I definitely, uh, build some character there, but uh, yeah, I think I’ll stick with this freelance writing thing. It’s a, it’s a little more my, my style, but yeah. Let’s get in to the episode today. Again, writing Wednesday, I like to talk all about what is really liked to make money writing and different strategies I’ve used my successes, my failures, all that stuff. Well today is just an all out success story because it was stuff like this that I read back three, four or five years ago and listened to and saw on YouTube that made me, that planted the seed inside my subconscious that said, wait a second, you can make money online. So I want to talk about how I made at $20,050 in 30 days. Uh, back in, that was my best month ever, uh, was in September of 2019 and I’m gonna cover how I got these clients, what I did, and a whole lot more.
Speaker 1 (05:20):
So that’s kinda what this episode is going to be about. So hopefully you can get some inspiration and realize that like anything is possible. And that’s the biggest thing I want to get out there is that most people think that you can’t make money writing or you have to be a broke, struggling writer or we have to be an artist. All this BS out there, that’s just not true. I mean, I literally, there’s so many beliefs and stories that we make up. And then if you tell yourself a belief enough, it just becomes, that’s just, that’s just what you, you’re, excuse me. If you tell yourself a story long enough, it becomes a belief and then you just carry these beliefs around subconsciously. You don’t really realize it. And so, so many people out there think that you really can’t make that much money writing.
Speaker 1 (05:58):
Like I’ll, I’ll literally have people, I’ll introduce myself to them at, Oh, you actually can make money doing that. And I’m like, yeah, actually made 20 thousands and my best month just from writing. And then you get a whole different response because they have this belief that you can’t make money. And that’s a, a widespread belief among a lot of people who are starting online, starting side hustles and really just, you know, think that yeah, to be a good writer, you can’t really make that much money. I’m here to shatter that belief. I’m here to tell you that’s completely BS and that you can and should make money writing. Because again, this is a skill that not many people have. So if you can cultivate it and develop it, it can change your life, it can help clients, it can impact people around the world and you can get paid very, very well.
Speaker 1 (06:41):
And that’s what I’m going to talk about here is how I landed each of these clients and what I really did in a, in that month. So actually publish this as a, a medium post as well. And uh, this is actually my highest and most successful a medium posts that I’ve ever published just because I think people want to know how I was able to do it. And even before I get into it, I think it’s important to know, like, was this a goal that was I think in like, Oh, I want to make 20,000 a month. Any of that. I’ll tell you what, my biggest goal when I quit my nine to five was to make $11,000 in a month. That would have been the most I’d ever earned and more than I ever earned in a nine to five. I remember right when I quit, I started reading a lot of personal development books.
Speaker 1 (07:27):
And the first one that I just couldn’t recommend enough for you. And really anyone out there that’s just is trying to take their life to the next level is called the success principles by Jack Canfield. That to me is like the Bible of personal development. I mean that, that thing just is ages very well. And uh, one of the things he talks about in there is how to set goals and he talks about the importance of putting a goal in your wallet or your purse and having it there and, and seeing it on a regular basis or feeling it in your wallet or things and thinking about what it would be like as if it’s already complete. And for me, I wrote that goal down. It was to make $11,000 in one month. And when I quit my job, I had made $200 ever. So I went basically eight months with like living off savings and credit cards and not getting anything to then making money as a writer.
Speaker 1 (08:20):
I scaled my income, I think I got to like 6,500 was the big biggest I did in the first year and then I had some higher months but I still wasn’t close. I mean I was close but I hadn’t cracked the 11,000 and then out of nowhere I just blow it up and go straight over 10,000 and go straight to $20,050 and that to me was amazing because it just, it shattered so many beliefs that like wait a second, I’m just an average average guy. I just really like writing. And I had, you know, a couple of clients and, and I literally got paid more than a lot of people will ever make in a ever. And I don’t say that to brag, I just want to show you what’s possible. I mean like who would think that you could get paid to write content online and make $20,000 now is this something I want to do every month?
Speaker 1 (09:06):
Absolutely not. I wrote so much this month. I mean it was insane. But at the end of the day it helped me pay off debt. It helped me get ready for taxes cause I wasn’t doing that right. Uh, and the biggest thing though in more importantly than the money is what it did to my identity and cause it shattered my belief system cause I always thought that like 10 K was a lot because like 10 K, 11 K that’s like six figures, you know, that’s like a comfortable living. Right? But then it’s like, wait a second, what if I made $20,000? I mean that’s almost a thousand dollars a day. Like that’s, that’s pretty much like what, $800 a week day if you’re not working weekends. And so that was like, that was big to me. So to make this transition and to see it through, uh, really changed everything for me. So it did shift my identity, but I want to point out one thing.
Speaker 1 (09:54):
When I made the money, I was like, Whoa, I did it. But I was the exact same person. Like a lot of people think that when you’re going to make it a lump sum of money, that like all of a sudden you’re going to change. The red carpet is going to roll out. You’re going to think about yourself differently. You’re going to feel differently. That’s just not true. Whatever you you think you want, whether you think money’s going to make you happy or fulfilled or any of that, you can feel that now without the money because let me tell you, money will not do that. It will just magnify more of who you are. If you’re a miserable, upset, angry person, you’re just going to be a miserable, upset, angry person with extra money in your account. If you’re an incredible person that’s giving and you’re positive and inspiring and helping the world, you’re going to just be more of that with money.
Speaker 1 (10:36):
Money magnifies. So don’t feel like money is going to be the void that you need. That’s like in a help you out. Sure, it will help you out of financial stress. No question. But at the end of the day, when I made that money, I was like, Whoa. I had to like force myself to celebrate, but I was like, nothing changed inside. Like someone didn’t like come out of my like head and be like, Hey Mike, you, you did it. You’re the man. Like none of that change. So I just want to stress that again, like money is important. It is a tool for good or for bad. If you’re, if you’re not a great person, it’s not going to help you. If you are a great person, it’s just going to help you spread your message and inspire and help the world and donate to charities or whatever you want to do with it.
Speaker 1 (11:13):
Right? But I just don’t want you to think that money will change you because that comes from inside. So now that I’m off my soapbox for personal development for ya and how the mind works, let’s talk about how this actually worked. Because again, I, I still kind of like, can’t believe it really happened. So here’s exactly how I got each client and how much I got paid and what I did. So the first client was, uh, working with easy webinar. I did some, uh, writing for them and I basically had this client at the end or at the beginning of 2018 we had a little break. Um, and then they came back, they had all these videos they needed, create it or videos turned into blog, all this stuff. And I’m, so I actually had the, the CEO of easy webinar, Casey Zeman on my podcast last year and a really, really successful guy.
Speaker 1 (12:03):
And I just again needed a writer. So he had this big project where they sent me 17 videos. They were between one to 12 minutes or so. And then it was up to me to create that and do a thousand to 3000 word blog posts and a, it was a lot. I mean it wasn’t like this, I mean 20 blog posts is, is a, is a lot. But again, I was like, all right man, I’m committed. I was making 20 cents a word on those and uh, excuse me, 17 blog posts at 20 cents a word. Um, they were between 950 to 2,500 words. Each total there was a Ford, I think it was like 4,000, 650, three bucks. Um, and again, a lot of them were on that shorter side, the 2,500 words, but those were every once in awhile while, um, most of them were about a thousand words.
Speaker 1 (12:49):
So that was pretty cool. I just watched the video and then I created a blog post and that’s something I’ve always been really good at with writing, is to take someone else’s voice and, and put it in the written word so I can watch videos or listen to podcasts. And that’s something I’ve just been able to do. Um, but yeah, so that’s, that’s what I did for the first client and I landed that client through Upwork back in September of 2018 so I applied for a job board and then I was writing for Casey and his personal site and then he loved my writing. So he invited me to write for his business, which is easy webinar. So again, the moral of the story here, blog writing, super profitable, um, you know, what you’re doing. It’s, it’s straight forward. And again, I got this client from Upwork, so don’t knock up work if you haven’t tried it.
Speaker 1 (13:34):
Again, I have it hold other spiel on Upwork, another episode about it. But a lot of ways you can get clients out there. Second client was my golf writing client and this one, I still can’t believe I’ve been writing for this guy for like two years almost. Um, it has been amazing. I think I’ve made like $40,000 from this writing client. And it’s from writing about golf. Like, so hopefully again, if you have a belief that like, Oh, my passion won’t allow me to make money. Let me tell you, I never thought I’d make $40,000 writing about golf. I mean, I’m talking about like instruction techniques, mental game tips, product reviews. Like this is a sport, right? This is like a hobby. You’re not even, a lot of people don’t consider it a sport, but let me tell you as a golfer, it definitely is.
Speaker 1 (14:15):
Um, but yeah, I mean that’s crazy to me. So I did eight blog posts. Uh, this is a client. It was 10 cents a word. They were between 600 to 2000 words and I made 1,155 bucks. And I landed this client originally in may of 2018 from a pro blogger job post. So you can tell the first one was Upwork, second one was pro blogger. And just again where where you can see the differences. There’s no one way to get clients. There’s no one rate you should charge and there’s more than one niche you can write about. So third client was another golf writing client. I landed this gig through Upwork as well. Um, I had just, I think I typed in golf writing cause I’m still fascinated. Like I said that people would pay me to write about golf and uh, yes. So I found this client, he needed help setting up his website.
Speaker 1 (15:00):
He needed an SEO plan. Uh, and so I basically did I think one post and yeah, one blog post at 15 cents a word and that was 352 bucks. So that was 15 cents a word there. Um, since then I’ve done all kinds of different stuff, blog posts, I’ve done lead magnets, all kinds of stuff. And uh, yeah, this was pretty cool because I think if I’m thinking correctly, this was a post that I got paid to write about that was just about my own experiences in the golf world. So yeah, 352 bucks. I know it sounds small, but all the things add up here. So, uh, so again, first client was, what was it, 4602nd client, 1103rd client, $352. A fourth client was a financial advisor, uh, here in Scottsdale, Arizona. I found this, this is like my first client even before, I think it was like the beginning of 2018, maybe even the end of 2017.
Speaker 1 (15:56):
And uh, I wrote these four really short blog posts. Uh, they were 10 cents a word. They were 500 to 600 words, a total of 320 bucks. Not a lot there. But it was at this point when I had realized that I could crack 20 K. and so they reached out. I hadn’t heard from this client like six months. And they reached out and they’re like, Hey, can you create these? And I was like doing the math in my head. I’m like, wait, yeah, this can get me over the 20 K Mark. I want to do it. So I pumped those out. I mean, that was really fast. And again, I don’t write about personal finance anymore, but I did an exception for this one because I really wanted to hit that 20 K Mark a the third client, or excuse me, the fifth client was my, uh, entrepreneur client.
Speaker 1 (16:36):
I do ghost writing for him. He found me through Instagram and then clicked on my bio. Uh, so yeah, I’m really, again, I found clients, Upwork, pro blogger, Instagram, cold pitching. There’s all kinds of ways to do it guys. So don’t feel like there’s one way. And this was the big one. So I wrote a ton for this guy. I wrote website copy. So I did different pages on his website. I wrote podcast scripts, uh, for his intro outro, um, different individual episodes. I did speech writing, he had a speech. So I developed a bunch of different speeches for him, uh, PowerPoints, things like that. Um, I actually didn’t do the PowerPoints. I just did the notes. I take that back. Um, but the big one was the ebook, so it’s actually going to be a physical book now, but it was 50,000 words. So that’s a lot of writing.
Speaker 1 (17:23):
Uh, and again, that’s why this was definitely a standout month. It was an exception to the rule, but I pumped out a 50,000 words of the ebook. I ended up being about 65,000, so the next month he wanted me to add to it, but I did about 50,000 words. Um, all these projects were different. Some of them were per word, some of them were flat rate. So I think the lowest was like 20 cents. A word highest was 25 cents. And then again, some projects were like, Hey, do this for 200 bucks or 500 bucks or whatever it was. So that client all out ended up being 13,000, $410. So again, a lot of writing. I’m not saying this is something I want to do all the time. I worked, I was a full time writer that month. I was definitely more than my normal 20 hours a week, probably 40 to 50, but again, did a lot, help me move forward and just did so much for my business.
Speaker 1 (18:14):
And then the final hundred and $60 came from medium affiliates. So, uh, they were old posts that I had published and uh, someone had clicked on the links and bought some blog hosting and I got commission affiliate income from it. So a total of $160. So as you can tell, there’s what, five clients? 20,050 bucks plus some affiliate income and a, yeah, 20 K in a month. That’s pretty crazy to me. Um, like I said, I haven’t made that much from writing since because I don’t want to that, that’s a lot of writing to me. Uh, and I, and I’m just more focused on the, the brand inspire your success. I love the coaching. Uh, I love just doing other stuff other than writing all the time because that, that is a ton of content and that’s why I’m posting more on medium and stuff like that.
Speaker 1 (19:03):
But let’s, let’s take away from this, because again, this isn’t like any success or failure aren’t big events, right? They’re all the little things that lead up to it. And the biggest thing I hope you can take away from this is that there’s tons of different types of content that you can write about. You don’t just need to write about blog posts, but as I talked about in the last episode number, or excuse me, number 68, a couple episodes back, it is a good idea to have blog wrote a blog post writing clients because you can’t have consistent revenue, right? You know exactly what they need. So that helps. But as you can tell, I got paid to write about lead magnets, website copy, uh, social media captions, blog posts, an ebook, like there’s a speech writing. I did so much stuff. And so don’t feel like you just are, if you’re a blog writer, right?
Speaker 1 (19:50):
If you can write content, you can do all kinds of stuff and uh, and even this month I got paid a lot of money to write a new course. So I did all the eBooks and all these course modules and lectures and things. So there’s a lot of ways to land clients or excuse me, there’s a lot of things you can write about. The second thing is there’s a lot of different ways to get clients. So there’s some writers out there that are telling you you can only get clients on up work or you can only get clients on job boards or you can only cold pitch. That’s just BS. I mean that’s just like, cause they’re trying to sell you something that’s specific to that platform. One of the biggest things I talk about inside freelance to 5k and with all my coaching students is that there’s no one way to do it.
Speaker 1 (20:30):
Like, like I said here, guys, Upwork, cold pitching, social media, job boards, LinkedIn, there’s no one method. It’s all about getting your name out there, building relationships so you can make money. I mean that’s, that’s simply it. Now some, some things are going to be usually higher paying, like cold emailing. That’s usually a better way to get clients that you really want to work with. But don’t knock job boards. Don’t knock up work. I mean, do what works for you. You have to get clients in your pipeline and in your book of business so that way you can actually make money. So again, don’t knock one way, try them out. Some of them will resonate a lot more with you than others. But again, that’s the whole thing is it’s kinda like a shotgun approach. You want to put yourself out there and see what sticks.
Speaker 1 (21:14):
Uh, the third thing is, is that there’s a lot of potential to scale fast. So like I’ve talked about in another episode, in my first 12 months, I scaled my writing business 10 X. So I went from 650 bucks to 6,500 bucks in 12 months, uh, working part time by my 20th month. This was this Epic month. Um, I made 20 K so very few online businesses yield those types of returns in less than two years. And again, I’m not saying that was a 20 K a recurring or easy. I mean I was behind the computer a lot, right? But I scaled really fast. I mean I worked at a Yelp for six and a half years and I never made 20 K right? And I did writing for 20 months and I made it to that amount. So that’s one of the biggest things. One of the best things about freelancing and writing and online businesses that you are your own boss.
Speaker 1 (22:06):
You get to scale at your pace. So really, really exciting there. Uh, the last second, the last thing is that you don’t have to be like an expert. You don’t have to have a degree in everything. Like I, I could talk about a lot, like while I know my niches, well I don’t have a formal degree in writing or I don’t have any like super specialist skills. I just have a passion for personal development, which is some of my clients. I have a passion for digital marketing, which is some of my clients. And obviously I have a passion for golf. So as long as you are knowledgeable and you like learning about it, maybe you’ve read books or you have personal experience or it’s just something you want to learn about. Like don’t feel like you need to be an expert. There’s, if you feel like you have to wait until the right time, there’s never going to be a right time.
Speaker 1 (22:50):
So if you have an interest in something and you can help someone get out there and put your name out there and finally people will pay you to write about pretty much anything like I talk about. I’m so grateful. Um, but I’m still shocked that people pay me to write about golf, personal development, entrepreneurship. Um, this is pretty, pretty crazy and it’s a, just shows the world we’re living in, right? So hopefully this month, uh, can just show you what’s possible because like I said, it was all this stuff that I read and watched and listened to four or five years ago that helped me quit my job. Learn how to make money online, start this podcast, start a YouTube channel, start writing on medium. It was all from learning from people that were willing to share this information out there, and again, I’m not here to tell you that you’re going to make 20 K overnight.
Speaker 1 (23:37):
I’m not here going to tell you. That’s going to be easy, that you’re going to have clients just instantly that know that everyone’s going to like your work. I’m not telling you that all, but again, the reason that I wrote this post and any of these types of posts is because they inspired me to quit my job and build an online business. So that is what I want from you is that to me, life is just too short to spend 40 to 60 hours of your life working at a job you hate. But again, please remember success or failure are not overnight things. They are all the little things that you do over time that will equate that. So again, hopefully this is inspiring to you. At the end of the day, don’t do what I did. Don’t quit your job. If you don’t have any money coming in, make a plan, start a side hustle, start your writing business scale it.
Speaker 1 (24:25):
Then you can quit. But guys, if I can do it, so can you. So again, I’m, I’m excited. This month changed my life. It helped me in so many ways and I’m excited for you to have your biggest month ever because if I can do it again, you can’t tell him no different than you are. So thank you. I know it got a little long, but again, I’m super passionate about this and I just want to show you what’s possible out there because we are living in the best time ever. But it’s up to you to get over that imposter syndrome, get over that fear and put yourself out there and see what’s possible. You never know you could change your life. All it takes is one client to really change everything for you. You get help, your family, your friends, uh, your, your just yourself.
Speaker 1 (25:05):
I mean, you can create that freedom and happiness that you want if you just stick with it and play the long game. So, thank you guys again for always listening. Uh, again, just a quick recap, a reminder that in April we’re doing that training to help you learn how to get clients. Because I know that’s the biggest thing that most people struggle with at the beginning. So we’re going to be doing that. It’s going to be the week of April 13th, I believe, through the 17th. So make sure to tune in, uh, for the exact process and then always again, follow me on Instagram at I am Michael Leonard. And that way you can make sure you don’t miss it. And thank you again for listening. And as always, I hope you have an Epic day.
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