I love the way freelance writers’ eyes glaze over when I tell them that they can make as much money as they want.
They don’t believe me.
And I get it. The stereotype surrounding writers and other artistic professionals is that by default, they’re broke. So, fully accepting the fact that this doesn’t have to be their reality can be really challenging.
Let’s start small, then.
Instead of talking about how you can make as much money as you want (you can), let’s shrink it down a little and talk about how you can make $5,000 a month as a beginner freelance writer.
Psst! If video is more your jam, give this one a watch.
How to: Make $5,000 a Month as a Freelance Writer
Tip 1: Aim for Several Smaller Clients, Not One BIG Client
Pop quiz: If you want to make $5,000 a month as a beginner freelance writer, what makes more sense:
Having five clients paying you $1,000 a month each…
… or having one client paying you $5,000 a month?
If you went with the former, ding ding ding! You’re right.
While it sounds nice to have one client forking over a huge chunk of cash each month, the problem with this approach is that it offers you zero stability. It’s no different from having a 9-5 with one paycheck. If you have one client, and you lose that client (which happens), you’re screwed. You just lost all of your income.
‘Scuse me while I go cry.
However, if you have five clients, and you lose one, you’re still fine. This is one of the benefits of being a client-based business — take advantage of it! Opt for stability, security, and predictability. This means having money coming in from different directions.
(P.S. You will lose clients. It happens. That’s business. And it’s not always going to be a reflection of you. In fact, it may never be a reflection of you.)
One way to dive a little deeper into this is to consider how much you want to make every month and how much you plan to charge each client. This will help you determine how many clients you’ll need to maintain on a regular basis, in order to have the total monthly income you’re looking for.
That’s what I’m doing, in the case of this blog.
$5,000/month at $1,000/client = 5 clients
From there, you can determine what kind of workload you’re willing to manage for each client, for that monthly rate. For instance, $1,000 a month might include four blogs of 800 words each.
You’ve noticed that we’re talking about monthly rates here, right? Not getting paid per word, or per blog. We’re not talking about one-off projects.
That brings us to our next tip.
Tip 2: Charge Your Clients a Flat Monthly Rate
I very commonly see freelance writers looking for blogs to write — not clients to work with. In other words, they approach people and essentially ask to write one guest blog, and then move on to looking for the next person to write for.
This is a complete waste of a client!
Even worse, some writers will first create a piece of content, and then try to tell it to someone.
Not only is this a waste of a client, but you’re spending time creating content that you have no way of knowing you’ll get paid for.
Why, why, why?!
If you want to make consistent money as a freelance writer — whether it’s $5,000 a month or $10,000 or $1,000 — then you need to be able to keep your income steady. If you work with a client once, for a one-off project, and then move on, this means that you’re constantly going to be hustling to find new clients, every week, every month.
How stable do you think your money will be? Not very. Your income is going to be in a constant up-and-down pattern, with exciting highs and depressing lows. Not good. You don’t need me to tell you what this is going to do to your stress levels and career fulfillment.
Instead, you should be looking for clients to work with on a month-to-month basis. You charge them a flat rate and deliver a set amount of work, every single month. This is for your benefit and theirs. You can have a much bigger impact on them when you’re consistently delivering high-quality work. It’s hard to move the needle with a single blog.
This makes it possible for you to predict your income and scale it more feasibly (if that’s what you want). Otherwise, your business is going to be a revolving door of clients and work. Avoid this approach at all costs.
Since you’ll need to be actively working to land new clients at least in the beginning, let’s spend a moment talking about how you can realistically do that.
Tip 3: Send 15 Cold or Warm Emails a Day
A lot of freelance writers mistakenly think, “Okay, I want to land five clients, so I’m going to email five leads.” And they stop there.
The problem here is that you’re going to reach out to people who ultimately ignore you, or people who tell you no. Both of these scenarios happen, so don’t panic.
What this means, though, is that you need to contact more people than you think you’ll need. This is why I recommend that if you’re actively trying to grow your clientele, you set a goal for yourself to send 15 emails a day. I’ve found that this is the sweet spot: It’s a low enough number to manage but high enough to start seeing results fast (as in, within a week or two).
One important note: If you plan to stick with traditional cold emailing, it’s more of a numbers game. This means it can take a little longer to see results, simply because you need to send more emails. BTW, if you need help with this approach, be sure to check out some of my [cold email examples] (/blog/proven-cold-email-templates-land-clients-fast/).
Warm emailing, on the other hand, allows you to focus on quality as much as quantity, meaning it’s less of a numbers game.
Whichever method you decide to roll with for client acquisition, the point is this: If you want your business to grow, then you need to prioritize growth. Putting it on the back burner and merely glancing at it every now and then won’t suffice. Sending a few emails here and there won’t cut it either. Stay consistent, and the results will come. As I always tell my students, if you do the work, it works.
If you want to learn my exact process for landing high-paying clients, step by step, be sure to check out my program, Revenue Spark.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a full-blown program and want to start with something smaller, check out The 7-Day Secret. This is my mini-course where you can learn a smaller portion of what I teach in Revenue Spark. It’s an excellent option if you’re just looking to get a little taste.
Lastly, don’t forget that you can copy my exact proven email templates, which are available on Gumroad. All of the emails are already built out. All you have to do is copy/paste, plug in your own details, and you’re ready to rock and roll.
Questions? Comments? Get in touch! I’d love to connect.