How to Grow Your Freelance Writing Earnings — Fast

Carol Tice

There are basically only two ways to build your career as a freelance writer.

There are many different kinds of freelance writing work you can do. But if you’re starting out as a freelancer — or trying to get your writing career to the next level — there are really only two approaches you can take.

You can figure it out on your own.

From my own experience, I’d say this is accomplished mostly through doing it wrong the first time. You learn the hard way that you don’t want to write without a contract, for instance.

You can scrabble around for years until you luck into one better-paying client. Get ripped off by scam websites. Get paid $5 an article, not realizing that’s not a fair wage. Get stuck with low-paying gigs where you can’t seem to raise rates.

Or do all your writing for one website, never realizing that one day that well could dry up, like we’re seeing right now with Demand Studios.

It can take years to find a good-paying niche or two, and start getting quality job leads.

Or you can pour accelerant on your career.

There is a shortcut to earning well as a freelancer.

You can get advice from somebody who’s already been there, who can point out the potholes and show you the roads that most likely will lead to better gigs.

How do you do that?

It takes a willingness to search for information. To find mentors. A willingness to listen and learn.

Here’s the reality: If you want to go faster, you’ll need to invest in your writing career.

As with any startup business, the initial phase of your freelance writing business will require spending some cash to ramp it up. But if you know you write well, you can be fairly confident that initial investment will pay off down the road in much higher earnings.

In college, when you wanted a fast way to get the gist of your 800-page assigned novel, what did you do? You bought the Cliff’s Notes version, right?

You spent money to get there faster.

It works the same way with mastering the freelance-writing game. You can buy a slice of knowledge that will jump you over a lot of hurdles and save you tons of time.

How much is your time worth to you? Personally, I consider mine terrifically precious. What would it be worth to you to earn well within the next year, instead of five years from now?

In my view, it’s really worth investing a little to get there faster.

But I know everyone doesn’t see it that way.

When I tell people they should buy The Writer’s Market to find more good-paying publication leads, I can almost see their eyes rolling over the Internet.

Spend $50 on my career? But I’m broke!

The problem is, with that attitude, you’re likely to stay broke, too.

If you want to ramp up your earnings quickly, you’ll need help. Otherwise, it’s the slow train to success for most freelancers.

Often, that train is so slow you have to throw in the towel and look for a day job instead. Wish I had a dime for every would-be writer I’ve met who started out wanting to write, but got scared and gave it up. Then, a decade or two later they’re back to try again, having concluded they were killing their souls by not going for it.

Why not go for it now, and live the life you really want?

My shortcut solution is the Freelance Writers Den.

It offers a boatload of accelerant for freelance writers for just $25 a month — no obligation, leave whenever you like.

I keep stuffing more learning in there, too — four new live events every month, for instance.

Oh yeah — and I added a new expert. Renegade Writer author and blogger Linda Formichelli is the new Other Den Mother, coming aboard in November.


  1. Laura R.

    Hi Carol,

    I just paid my $25 through paypal for the Writer’s Den, but the redirect to the register page was blank. I’ve been pretty excited about joining, but I have to admit I’m disappointed with such a glaring technical error, especially in light of my first blog post, regarding the Writer’s Den, at

    Hope your technical crew can get it fixed so I can log in. I’m anxious to report back on your project to my readers, and I’m hoping to be able to give them great feedback. Love your blog and never miss it since I discovered a couple of months ago. I’m hoping to love the Writer’s Den Even more!

    Laura Ratcliff

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Laura —

      Sorry about the white page of death! We are troubleshooting a problem related to people who pay on echeck or by credit card, which appears to be what you’ve done.

      What it means is you have technically NOT yet paid — Paypal says your payment will clear in 5 days. For some reason Paypal isn’t sending people the appropriate message about what happens next when they pay with the 5-day delay. We’ve got to wrangle it out with Paypal.

      As soon as it does, we’ll have you up and going in the Den! If it doesn’t automatically ding you to come set up your profile, I can register it on my end and then I’ll send you an email.

      The Den is strong on advice about freelance writing…slightly imperfect occasionally on the back-end. But I do have a webmaster and we are doing our best to fix what’s glitchy and keep everything working! We have definitely seen a few problems due to the stampede of new members in the past week.

      See you in the Den shortly —


    • Laura R.

      Hi Carol,

      I don’t have a delay set up on my Paypal, so I’m going to find out what’s up with that. It’s showing to me that the money is already out of my account, but I will check it out tomorrow to find out what the problem is – because I have my Paypal to come straight our of my checking account, not a credit card or echeck. 🙁

      In any event, if you can recommend a better way than Paypal, I’m happy to do it. I was looking forward to spending Sunday in the Writer’s Den.

      Thanks, Laura

    • Carol Tice

      I think unless the money is sitting in Paypal there is a delay, sorry to say, Laura.

    • Laura R.

      OK, thanks, Carol. I wish they didn’t delay the e-checks, but I guess that’s how they handle it. 🙁 Hope to see you in the Den in a day or two! Thanks for your help. Laura

  2. Krissy Brady, Writer

    I think purchasing the tools necessary is one of the best things you can do (please don’t use broke as an excuse! I’m broker than broke right now too, but you have to see that it’s an investment, not an expense). It’s similar to taking part in writing challenges, such as NaNoWriMo or Script Frenzy–the investment will give you that extra push to create the successful writing career you’ve always wanted, and it’s a push that you wouldn’t necessarily have had before.

    Also, I’m with Carol on purchasing a Writer’s Market online subscription–you can check out information from ALL of their market books, and they have a handy submission tracker you can use to keep track of your favorite markets and queries! So convenient!

    Plus, I’ve only been a member of the Den for 2 days, and I’ve already found a countless amount of writing opportunities that I know I wouldn’t have found otherwise, and the camaraderie alone is worth the monthly fee. Sell one article from a lead in the Den, and POOF you’re already profiting from your investment.

    • Carol Tice

      Glad you’re loving the resources in there — can’t wait to hear about how they’ve helped you earn more.

  3. James

    It’s an age-old mantra of successful business. You have to spend money to make money. I can personally attest to the fact that my freelance career didn’t take off until I decided to invest money in my business. The day I decided to do that, everything was different.

    You could name any of the features of the Freelance Writers Den by themselves and say they are worth the $25 per month. Answers from expert freelancers on the forum. A junk-free job board that weeds out the scam postings that are so prevalent out there. Free webinars. Access to past webinars. All of these by themselves are worth $25 a month. But you get them all. Definitely worth the price of admission.

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for the rave on the Den, James! Hey — can I put that on the home page?
      I love the community model, where everyone only has to pay a little, and I’m still able to deliver a lot. The Den is only going to keep getting more valuable from here, since we keep adding e-courses and events.

      Excited to put on the first $97 bootcamp that’s free to members starting in 2 weeks. Want to do those probably on a quarterly basis…but we’ll see how it goes.

    • James

      Of course, Carol. Any time.

  4. Heidi

    The 2012 Writer’s Market with 1 year subscription to WM online is only $30 on Amazon. And you can always see if it’s at your local library. So there’s not a large investment for this HUGE reference for writers.

    • Carol Tice

      Ooh, sounds like the price is coming down! That is awesome. I need to check that out and update my writer’s bookshelf, sounds like!

  5. Rebecca Mayglothling

    I just wanted to let you know that I purchased “The Writer’s Market” from Amazon for ten dollars. That’s the 2011 version. Just wanted to add that info to this post – because yes, when you said $50, I got scared too!!!!

    • Carol Tice

      Great discount tip! But I’m personally in favor of buying the online version, as it’s much easier to find the markets you want with their online search tools. Plus it updates in real time, they update it weekly, so the data’s much fresher.

      But if you’re on a budget hey — $10 gets you a lot of data that way. I think it’s cheap now because the 2012 version comes out soon.

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