Freelancing for a Living

Earn Six Figure Income Part 2

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Freelance writing can yield very good returns for someone who enjoys writing and is good at it. However, there are many good freelance writers who work very hard, yet have little to show for it. How can you earn a six-figure salary as a freelance writer?

Making a six-figure income is an attainable goal even for an average freelance writer.

Earn Six Figure Income Part Two

The following are ideas that can help you reach and surpass the $100,000 a year mark.

Sales, mark-ups and royalties

There are three options of escaping the limitations of hourly payment.

Sales – You could create and sell your own products such as e-books, newsletters, subscription websites, videos, and special reports.

Mark-ups – Writers can make money by buying services or products, marking them up, and then reselling them. For example, if you supervise the printing of a brochure for a client, mark up the actual cost by 20 percent to compensate for your project management services.

Royalties – When you write a book, you get a royalty for every copy sold. This means you can make hundreds of extra dollars per month without doing any additional work.


Specializing ensures a full writing schedule and minimizes downtime. You can specialize in subjects such as content management, gardening, interpersonal skills, investments, health and fitness or wastewater management. You could also specialize in a medium or format such as websites, direct mail, annual reports, speeches, email marketing or multimedia presentations. Do you have to specialize? No. But in most cases, specialists make more than generalists, have an easier time finding work and are more in demand.

Being a generalist and a specialist are not mutually exclusive. You can have a specialty and still take on random general assignments. The more focused your specialty, the higher your value to editors and clients who need someone to write pieces on those subjects. Having a specialty which is not common with other writers gives you a greater competitive edge. If you are among a few experts on a subject, the demand for your writing services will be very high.

Repeat business

Repeat assignments from current and former clients are the most lucrative assignments in freelance writing. Since you are familiar with the client and their firm, there is less to learn with each new assignment. You could charge the same price for each job, or even more if they value your work. And you can also complete these jobs faster because of your accumulated knowledge.

How do you get these repeat assignments? Make sure you give each new assignment your best effort. If the client is satisfied, they are likely to give you another job. Provide good customer service. Clients don't like working with demanding or difficult writers. Ask the client or editor for another project. At times, you will not get work until you ask.

Target high-paying markets

If you want to make big bucks from your writing, don't bargain over nickels and dimes. Instead, focus on high-paying assignments and markets, such as Fortune 500 companies, mid-size businesses and large-circulation consumer magazines. These are companies used to paying good money, so you don't have to beg to get the amount you deserve.

It is much easier to attain your goal of $400 per day when you are paid $2,000 per project rather than $200. When evaluating the profitability of assignments, compute your earnings per hour instead of per word or per project. For example, if it takes you 80 hours to write a $2,000 article, you are making $25 an hour.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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