The Freelance Writers Den is the online community where freelance writers learn how to grow their income — fast. Inside the community, there are two levels:
- The Freelance Writers Den is for freelancers who are just getting started, learning the basics, and giving this an old college try.
- The Den 2x Income Accelerator is for freelancers who are starting to get some traction, but not yet earning at the level they want. They have landed a few clients and writing gigs, but it’s inconsistent, unreliable, or unsustainable. If this is you, and you want to grow and take things to the next level, read on.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the second group, the Den 2x Success Stories. We’ll hear from people who dramatically increased their income in a short amount of time.
Before we dive in, let’s quickly cover what the Den 2x program is specifically designed to do. Den 2x helps freelance writers double their income over 6 to 12 months. Some writers hit that goal much faster, as you’ll see in today’s stories.
However, even if it takes you the full length of the course to hit your goal, that’s still a massive win. Imagine this time next year making double your income, or even more.
For some writers, it can be hard to imagine taking such a giant financial leap in such a short amount of time. That’s why having a roadmap to follow and steps to check off can help you from spinning your wheels.
Seeing other writers who were able to double their income and change their freelancing journey in such a short amount of time can be inspiring. It’s good to know that it’s possible and that it doesn’t require a ton of extra skills or hours upon hours of sending out pitches into the internet void.
You can make huge shifts from a few simple changes, each done with intention and focus.
Let’s dive into the Den 2x success stories.
Den 2x Success Stories: Neil Pope
Neil Pope is a freelance automotive writer and a star pupil in the Den 2x class. Within the second month of the program, Neil was able to double his income.
Where did you start?
“When I started, I had one big client. I’d been writing for about four years and I had really backed myself into a corner. My income was going down instead of up. I wasn’t pitching to new clients, I wasn’t doing any marketing, so there was a lot of big holes missing.”
He had a client who was eating up most of his time and he even was in charge of getting the images, formatting the posts, and uploading them on his own. As most writers know, those little tasks really add up over time and eat into your overall rate if it’s not factored in.
Even with four years of writing under his belt, it is a good reminder how easy it is to take a client because you need the income but then quickly realize it’s not a living wage. Plus, sometimes clients like that can take up so much time that you can’t find any time to hunt for more work.
It’s a spot that is easy to fall into for most writers, especially when they’re trying to make ends meet.
Where he was before joining Den 2x?
At the start of 2x, his income was $30 per day.
He wasn’t doing any pitching and he didn’t have time for marketing, which left some pretty obvious holes in his overall business building.
After getting set up in the program, by month two he was off to the races. After seeing some of his work on LinkedIn, a potential client asked for him to send in some ideas. The publication accepted 14 out of the 15 ideas he sent over.
That client immediately took his pay from $30 an article to $100 an article.
How has your hourly rate changed?
“My hourly rate went from $7 to $150 an hour. I’m writing articles for $600 now instead of $30.”
In just a few months, he went from no client leads to waking up to new client leads regularly. He hasn’t focused much on outbound marketing and already has more requests from his inbound methods than he could handle.
He also has been deeply studying storytelling and finding unique angles in his industry, which has been paying off in his overall writing.
Being able to take a step back
One of his favorite realizations was the ability to take a step back after so much success. When you’re worried about money it’s easy to just grind every day without taking a step back to strategize. Strategizing is how you break through the next level and start to push your freelance career ahead.
A great example of one of our Den success stories!
You can see more of Neil’s success in this article on creating recession proof writing.
Den 2x Success Stories: Celeste Ward Altus
At the time of joining Den 2x, Celeste was making about $300 or so per month as a writer.
The biggest change?
“What helped me most so far was optimizing my LinkedIn. I had no idea how well that could be a marketing machine.”
Before she could even get to the stage in the course where she’s sending out marketing material, she quickly received an inbound lead from a potential client. That’s the real power of LinkedIn and what happens when you fully optimize it to work for you.
After receiving her first inbound lead, Celeste was a little skeptical. Due to the encouragement of the group, she pitched a higher rate than usual and was elated when they accepted it. That turned into a two month retainer, which was a true game-changer for someone looking to create reliable-steady income as a writer.
Results from the first few months
That client then turned into a $2,500-per-month client. That’s a huge change in a short amount of time. She hadn’t even gotten through all of the steps in the course before getting to this point, but she took it seriously and implemented each step at a time.
Sometimes just simply following a system and improving what you already have can help give your writing brand a much-needed boost.
What she implemented on LinkedIn
One of the first things she did was include a “proof bar” where she included names of brands she’s worked with in the past. Then she changed her contact information and her bio to attract her ideal clients.
Most writers might be shocked at how much some simple tweaks can completely change your leads and overall marketing online. When most writers sign up for social media, especially LinkedIn, they just fill out the basics and move on.
Instead, what you want to do is to make sure you’re utilizing every single opportunity to attract your dream clients and using the right keywords to connect them.
More wins from the Den 2X group
While those are some of our most recent in-depth testimonials, we also have some wins that have been shared in the exclusive Den 2X Slack group.
Keep in mind, not only do writers help support each other in the group by giving feedback and encouraging each other when to stick to rates, they also help each other establish boundaries.
When you have boundaries as a writer, you’re able to say no to jobs that aren’t a right fit. When you’re able to say no to jobs that are not a right fit, you leave more room for clients that are a good fit.
Imagine doing a reflection on at the end of the quarter and being able to say this, “I have gotten so many inbound leads these past few months it’s insane. And many of them are companies that can actually afford my rates “
That’s what happened with Den 2X rockstar, Tolu Ajiboye
When asked what was working for her, she said, “I can’t say I’ve done anything differently since den2x, I thinks its just an accumulation of having worked with so many clients and asking for referrals from my Linkedin connections.”
This is the power of following a system and continuing to do what works. Den 2x gives you the framework to keep going, keep maximizing your connections, and turning your freelance life into a money-making system.
It’s not a one-and-done type of program, it’s a freelance lifestyle system you can increase or decrease as needed.
Just a few weeks later, she followed up with, “I’m soooo excited. My total income (paid and received) for this first quarter is $36,000 .I already have $25,000 certain for next quarter (part of this is for work already done this quarter but payment still in progress and others are projects booked). And I’m farrrrrr from booked, lots of space to take on more than double the work I already have booked.”
Georgie Smith is a rockstar that niched down and shares her wins in the group.
“I just got a new planner that is helping me organize my life (or so I hope! lol) and I figured out I’m booked with $11,500 worth of projects in April!”
Not only does Den 2x teach you how to pitch and create systems, but there’s a supportive community of people who stand beside you when you’re staying firm on your rate. Knowing your worth is a huge part of succeeding as a freelance writer.
Another win from her just a few weeks later, ” I have $8500 booked for May plus another $3000 work for my big prepaid in January client, so looking at an almost $12K month.”
Imagine being able to say this every week, “Monday morning 9 a.m. and already have 3 inbound leads (good ones!) in my email. Wow!”
Just take a moment to think about what it would be like to consistently get leads from clients you respect and want to work with in your inbox, repeatedly.
More wins from the group
While the tactics and strategies given by Den 2X are worth every penny of the cost, the price of a group of writers who support you and are there to back you up is priceless.
Let’s take a look at some other people’s wins and testimonials from the group.
- “I might have just been offered my biggest contract with my largest potential client ever.” – Annie Keller
- “The pricing sheet I shared on the proposals-negotiation channel was accepted and a $5k/month retainer contract based on that pricing was signed through the rest of the year.” … “Could NOT be more proud to count Adobe as one of my clients! Another published piece, this time with my byline! HolyCOW!!!”- Danyelle Overbo
- “Killing it this month, just picked up a $1500 white paper on top of the $8000 worth of work I already have booked. All because of this incredible community. Thanks to each and every one of you for daily support and motivation.” – Neil Pope
- “It’s not set in stone yet, but I’m on track to break $12K in writing gigs this year mostly due to a large, long-term contract I’ll be starting in October. My goal is to get to at least $15K. I’ve had 5 figure years in the past but most of it was not from writing. This is the most I’ve ever made writing since I started freelancing in 2012.” – Willi Morris
- “I got $1,750 for an 1,800-word blog post repurposing content from a presentation I wrote for the same client.” – Allen Taylor
- “Small brag – I’ve just calculated that I’ll clear $6k this month, working an average of around 3.5 days a week. That’s $429 a day or about $70/hr.” – Tracey Stepanchuk
- “Thanks to the tools I got in Den 2X to build a sustainable freelance career, I don’t have to worry about work. I only feel well enough to work about 2-4 hours most days, but I still make a consistent $7k a month, which blows my mind!” – Hailey Hudson
- “For the second month in a row, I’m having to book new clients 2-2.5 months out. Fully booked through January and into part of February. AND I’m planning on taking 10 days off around Christmas.” – Rodika Tollefson
- “I often don’t give myself enough credit for my successes, especially since I haven’t been doubling my income. Instead, I’ve actually almost halved my hours and still made the same money. In 2018 and 2019 I worked 2100 hours each year. In 2020 (when I joined 2X) I only worked 1700 hours but made more than in 2019. This year, I’m on track to work only about 1300 hours and will match my 2020 income. Looking in my bank account, I now have 6X the amount of money I initially invested in November of 2017 when I went full time. I’ve made it work. I’ve done a lot of scary things with this program. And I am actually pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished.” – Jeanette Smith
- “Hit this for the first time!! Just sent billing to push me over the $20k quarter for Q4, 2021 – first time ever- Yippee, Huzzah!! Hey Nonny Nonny!!” – Melinda Rizzo
- “Just got back my first signed 5-figure contract. ” – Carol Alexander
- “Gotta love working for the right companies. Got a rush assignment today. Short. No interview. Easy blog post. Normally I bid and they accept, but because of the rush, they set me an offer… more than $1 a word with a 20% rush fee.” – Molly Carter
- “I’m so sorry to drop in after a few months to brag but I HAVE to share. A longtime client of mine just asked me to write the report for their huge annual research study — the biggest and highest-impact piece of content marketing for the year. I wrote some executive summaries based on the report a few years ago, and remember thinking I wanted to write the full thing someday… that day is here!” – Sylvie Tremblay
Want More Proof?
This page is full of written testimonials, from more freelancers just like you.
This page is full of video testimonials, from more freelancers just like you.
What Den 2x Can Do for You
Freelance Writers Den 2X Income Accelerator is a 6-month, small-group mastermind that also gives you one-on-one coaching. The goal is to get you to double your income within one year, but as you can see from some past students, it’s possible to hit it even sooner.
Each month is designed to help you focus on different aspects of the income-growing journey.
- Month 1: Analyze your current client base and set your mind on your new goals
- Month 2: Set up your inbound funnels
- Month 3: Quickly find easy-to-land clients
- Month 4: Find your ideal client and start to market to them
- Month 5: Double-down on your best marketing tactic
- Month 6: Streamline your marketing efforts to make it as smooth as possible
If you’ve been looking for a group to hold you accountable and also get feedback on your marketing ideas, you’ve found the right place!