How to Make $5,000 a Month With Freelance Blog Writing

Carol Tice

Are you looking to find some great-paying blogging clients? Join the club! Business blogging is one of the best entry-level types of writing when looking to become a freelance writer. When I got back into freelancing in late 2005, paid blog writing caught my eye right away.

As someone coming off 12 years as a staff-writing journalist, I was fascinated by the breezy, casual, short blog-post format. So I dove in.

Soon I was earning quite a lot blogging for clients. I documented what I was doing, and the post How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger became one of the all-time most popular posts here at Make a Living Writing.

Recently, I got to wondering what I’d do if I wanted that level of monthly income from blog writing clients now.

My approach would be completely different, because the world of blogging has changed so much. Also, the way I did it a decade ago was a recipe for burnout. I had to churn out nearly 60 blog posts per month to make that money! That’s not sustainable.

Here are the strategies I recommend now, for learning how to make money writing and becoming a well-paid freelance blogger:

Looking for ways to increase your freelance writing income? Become part of the Freelance Writer’s Den online community!

How to Make Money Blogging: 10 Tips to Up Your Freelance Game

how to make money blogging illustration

Quick blogging tip: don’t forget about multimedia options! Videos, podcasts, embedded whitepapers/PDFs, etc.

1. Document your blog writing wins

Better-paying blogging clients are actively seeking writers with a proven track record of getting a ton of comments, social shares, traffic, and clicks to opt-in pages.

If you have any blog posts online that fit this bill, start a link archive. These are what you’re going to send prospects, to impress them that you deserve top rates. For instance, if I’m going after a blogging gig now, I send them the stats on how much traffic I drove with my Forbes blog channel, with a relatively small number of posts:

Don’t have big wins yet? Start thinking about where you could guest, even for free, and get some. Increasingly, great blogging clients are actively approaching (and poaching) the writers they want, from wherever they’ve seen them driving tons of shares or massive traffic.

Even one post you wrote that got 1,000 or more shares or 100 comments is a good starting point for impressing prospects.

2. Seek better clients

There are blogging clients, and then there are good blogging clients. That first category of client wants you to write ‘a blog post’ for $50. The second wants you to write 4-8 a month or more, at $150-$300 per, and up.

Luckily, more and more companies are upping their game and paying more, as blog posts become more like articles.

If you’re getting low-paid blogging work, you’re probably looking for clients in all the wrong places — Craigslist, UpWork, and content mills.

Applying to mass online ‘opportunities’ in a race to the bottom on price is not the route to great pay. Instead, identify your own clients. Lists of successful public and private companies abound — check out the annual lists from Inc., your local business journal’s Book of Lists, or from trade publications in your chosen industries.

The ideal prospect has an abandoned blog — it’s up and running, but not getting updated — and is big enough to have a real marketing budget. Or they have a busy blog with multiple topics, authors, and channels, and may need additional assistance. Think companies with $10 million to $100 million in annual sales.

3. Write sponsored posts

Stop trying to talk small businesses into giving you professional rates for writing posts on their tiny little blog. Instead, tap into the booming market in writing advertorial-type sponsored posts on popular sites for major companies.

To begin, sleuth out the popular platforms that accept sponsored posts (which are also known as native advertising). Then, connect with the agencies or departments overseeing sponsored content development for that site.

For instance, Forbes BrandVoice oversees content creation for many big companies placing sponsored posts on — and writers report to me they’re booking tens of thousands in income per year, writing for top brands there.

Rates for sponsored posts should range from $200-$600 and up. Sponsored-post rates are better because it’s essentially advertising, though the post should still be focused on delivering useful content. Companies understand the connection between ads and revenue, so they pay appropriately.

4. Work a niche

I’ve never shared this little secret before…but for a while, I had several small-business finance blogging clients. And I wrote the exact same post topics for all of them, every month!

I would take the topics I’d blogged about for Entrepreneur, and write those topics again for my small-biz clients.

Completely different headline, post, and quotes. A total rewrite, usually with a slightly fresh slant on the topic, designed to appeal to their audience. But in essence, the same post idea.

If you gather blogging clients in a single niche that aren’t directly competitive with each other, you can retool the same ideas and save yourself a ton of time. Your clients will never be the wiser, while you can reuse links, experts, and tips.

My hourly rate on writing the second and third iterations of those topics was upwards of $150 an hour — sticking to my niche made earning well from blogging super-easy.

5. Think longform

The days of 300-word posts are over. Google now favors 1000-2000 word posts, and there’s a ton of demand for freelance writers to create these more sophisticated, high-value posts. You know the CEO doesn’t have time for this level of content development, and probably can’t write well enough to pull it off, anyway!

Look for good clients in this niche by studying popular platforms on topics that interest you. Look for site ranking charts for blogs in your niche — or hit your favorite analytics tool such as SEMRush to find the big players.

Subscribe, read, and see who’s featuring longform posts. You should be earning $300-$600 and up per post for these — or more, if the subject is particularly arcane or complex.

6. Connect with digital agencies

A number of digital agencies have sprung up in the past few years that specialize in better online content development — a recent guest post here profiled 4 emerging agencies. They’re serving as intermediaries between writers with a track record of driving engagement with blog posts and companies that need that help.

These agencies are a step beyond content mills, and don’t make you bid competitively against hundreds of others — prices are set, and they hand-cull who they invite to do each gig. I’ve gotten $300-$400 per post from one of these scenarios, and am hearing about $500 gigs, too.

Yes, these agencies don’t take all comers. If you don’t have the resume to get in with these yet, be working on building your track record so you can impress them soon.

7. Get a retainer — or three

Good blog clients are looking for an ongoing commitment from you. They understand building engagement on a blog takes time. I like to see a 90-day initial contract for 12 posts, or I’m not interested. Then, it’s renewable on an ongoing basis.

The other advantage of signing a retainer contract is that it should come with a 30-day notice clause if they want to drop you. This helps you avoid sudden drops in income and keeps your income more stable.

Most importantly, retainers help you avoid stress and start each month with a big chunk of your income already booked.

8. Grow the relationship

These days, many content creation companies oversee multiple platforms. Once you’re in at a site, start looking around.

Does this company run other blogs, too, for different target clients? Does this agency have other blog clients? Start asking for referrals and see if you can leverage that one blog writing gig into more.

9. Don’t forget to upsell

Once you’re writing blog posts for a client, it’s time to look at their marketing and see where else you could contribute. For instance, creating a free special report, white paper, or case study for their subscribers is a natural segue, once they already know and love your work.

Pitching additional projects that complement their content marketing strategy and take it beyond “just blog posts” can easily add $1,000 or more to your monthly income.

10. Anatomy of a $5,000 blog writing month

If you’re getting $300 a post, doing 4 posts a month, that’s $1,200 a month from one client. You can see that it’s not hard to build to $5K a month at this rate — and at this point, $300 a post is on the low end of what better blog writers are getting. It would only take 4 clients, maybe even less if you’re proactive at upselling.

At rates from $300 and up, it also means you’d only need to write 15-17 posts a month, to earn the pay that took me 60 posts to achieve a decade ago.

I feel thrilled to write that! I’ve been advocating for better writer pay rates and encouraging blog writers to ask for more for years. And remember — if you do an upsell and have a special report or short e-book in the mix, then you get there with even fewer posts.

Finally, professional pay for blogging is becoming a reality. Interested? The question of how to make money blogging is no longer as mysterious as it once was. Go out and get your share of it.

What’s the most you’ve been paid for blogging in a month? Share in the comments and tell us how you’re doing it.


  1. Jana Smith

    Thank you, Carol! You have such great tips, and it gives me direction. When will the Den be open for registration? I’m on the waiting list, but can’t wait to get started.

    • Carol Tice

      Jana, hopefully you’ve seen the note about our free ‘taste of the Den’ training on What to Charge coming up next week — be there for details on how you can join the Den this month!

  2. Sylvie Tremblay

    Great post, Carol! That $5k benchmark seems a lot easier now than when you had to churn out 60 posts a month. The other bonus is that these higher-quality posts are much more fun to write — it’s so much more rewarding to write a post that basically doubles as an article, vs 350 words that took a lot less research and time.

    • Carol Tice

      Well, *I* think so, because I love big projects vs tiny ones, Sylvie!

      And yes, thankfully, times HAVE changed in the world of blogging rates, which is why I wrote a new post instead of just republishing that popular classic one.

  3. Astralwolf37

    Good, actionable advice, but I really need to call bull on these $300-500 blog rates. I’ve been professionally blogging for several years and haven’t seen anything close to these rates. If I asked for that from my current clients, I’d get laughed all the way out the door. Telling people they can make this kind of money blogging for other people seems irresponsible. I’ve checked in periodically at this blog for years, and I’ve seen the advice go from professional and decent to oddly click-bait-esque and lording unreasonable, outlier earnings as the norm.

    • Jennifer Gregory

      I totally agree with Carol that there are many gigs out there paying $300 to $500 for blog posts. I currently have five projects paying in that realm, with two of them paying $500 for about 700 words. I know many other writers who are getting these rates as well. The key is having a niche where you have specialized expertise, such as I do B2B technology, which is something you have to have knowledge to write about.

      I totally agree with Carol’s suggestion to contact agencies. I have also had great luck with small to mid sized marketing agencies, which often have big corporate clients. There are hundreds and hundreds of agencies out there and many that specialize in different niches, such as I’m currently doing work for a PR agency that specializes in hospitality technology.

      • Kimberlee

        You can totally get $300+/per post for blogging! That’s my minimum these days, and I get more for longer posts. Carol’s advice is spot on. It’s all about finding the right clients. Thinking these rates are unrealistic is a self-imposed limitation. If you current clients won’t pay the higher rates, replace them with clients who will.

        • Astralwolf37

          Trust me, if I ever happen upon someone who wants to throw me a dollar per word for a blog post, I won’t say no. I send LOI’s, I pitch, I send sales letters, I answer some of the better job postings, I’ve contacted agencies and I use professional systems that match businesses to freelancers. It’s just not happening in my niche yet. I’ve gotten those rates for specialty magazines, but not blog posts.

        • Carol Tice

          Thanks for weighing in, Kimberlee! I generally start around $300-$400 as well.

          It’s hard to see writers who reject the idea that there is much better-paying work out there. Those are people I can’t help. You have to be open to the possibility that there are great clients to begin connecting with them, and asking them for appropriate rates!

          But, that’s what my whole What to Charge free Webinar is going to be all about!

          Writers tend to travel in circles of writers who write for similar types of markets at similar pay rates. Then, you begin to believe all writers get $25 a blog post. That’s your world, your reality. And you have no data on what others are earning. So excited to get this event on next week and blow the lid off that myth!

          • Astralwolf37

            Boy, you just LOVE us logical naysayers so you can use us to promote your info products, don’t you? I’ll let you go back to “helping” the people who are not so hard to watch.

          • Carol Tice

            Hey, you walked right into that. 😉

            But sure, avoid hard data that reveals marketplace realities…that way you can keep dismissing the idea that great pay and a great life are actually available to freelance writers with the hustle to make it happen. I watch it with the writers I coach in Freelance Writers Den, every day. It’s not a fluke. It’s not just something that happens to me. As these comments attest.

            I don’t know what’s logical about not taking in other writers’ reports of what they’re earning. That seems illogical to me.

      • Astralwolf37

        See, there’s the rub. You write for a very specialized, high-paying niche. Again, I’m sure there’s the outliers who make those rates. Especially people who write in the tech, finance, business and legal fields. I just take issue with acting like we should all be charging banana-bonkers money for all blog posts in all fields. And screaming headlines about how to make $5,000 per month blogging make it seem that way.

        • Carol Tice

          Wolfie, I was earning $5,000 a month as a freelance blogger back in 2009, at $50 a post, as that linked post at the top of this one testifies. It can be done at those rates, too — it’s just more exhausting!

          That is not ‘banana-bonkers’ money in my world, but the sort of living first-world writers need to make to live a middle-class life, who pay their own taxes, insurance, and all other business expenses out of pocket. And still want to have a retirement account! Back in 2010-11, when basically 100% of my income still came from freelance writing, I was billing $10-$14K a month pretty routinely (though not all in blogging).

          You can dismiss professional rates as an ‘outlier’ scene if you want, but I think if you come to my event, you’ll find out it’s less outlier than you think. Given that Google at this point is actively penalizing short, junk content, the wheel has turned, and more companies are gaining sophistication in their understanding of content marketing. And that means longer form content from truly knowledgeable writers who know how to create content that actually BUILDS their authority and gets them known, gets them leads and grows their sales. That is worth MONEY. Not peanuts.

          I think you’d be surprised how many of these specialized, great-paying niches there are out there. Hope you come and hear the real data!

          Also, there’s nothing ‘outlier’ about healthcare, finance, legal, insurance, manufacturing — these are huge, huge industries! Hardly a side note to the US economy.

          I’ll just say the last piece I did was for a chemical manufacturer and paid $1000 for 750 words. For context. They’re putting it up on LinkedIn. Brand-new industry to me, I knew nothing about their space and learned it from scratch when they recruited me.

          Probably one point I should have added to this post is that all blogging is NOT on the company website anymore! Companies are actively looking to post unique content on LI Pulse, on Medium, to do sponsored content…and that also means higher rates for ghostwriting. Because these aren’t ‘blog writing’ — they’re copywriting, really. Their business purpose I think is more direct and clear, and companies get that their business hinges on great content. THOSE are my clients…and they could be yours, too.

          • Jennifer Gregory

            Carol is a million percent right that there are plenty of specialties out there where you can earn a high rate. What is your niche? I’m happy to come up with some ideas for you for clients and topics that will pay professional rates.

            I really do think that having a good niche is the key to making high rates. And it doesn’t have to be tech, but I do think that these days almost any writer can add a tech niche if it’s an industry that they know about. Such as if you write about hospitality, you know about how hotels work so you can write for B2B hospitality tech companies because the audience isn’t overly techie and it’s an audience you know.

            I just did a similar post to Carol where I was paid $1000 for writing a 1000 word LinkedIn post for a a Verizon executive. It’s not an outlier. But you won’t find them if you don’t believe they are there.

          • Damilola

            I love to write short stories, book reviews and creative non-fiction. I write articles based on experience. (I’ve written tech articles and real estate articles in the past and just about everything else in between.)
            I’ve been to your site and like the way you market yourself.
            Question is, just what is my niche?

          • Carol Tice

            You have two halves to your business — a fiction side and a nonfiction one. Sadly, I find businesses DON’T like to hear you want to write short stories or a novel, it’s a real turnoff. Book reviews, I don’t really know much of anyone who pays for anymore, thanks to free reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Creative nonfiction — better known as memoir or personal essays — is also not really much a part of the freelance writing world. I mean, there are a few paying markets for personal essays, but not many, and most don’t pay much, so it’s not generally the basis for a full-time freelance career.

            The side where you write about tech and real estate would make for the basis of a solid writer website for freelancing, if you ask me. The creative writing stuff is like another planet.

          • Firth McQuilliam

            This bit caught my attention, Ms. Carol Tice! Is it ever safe to mention, for example, that writing a great sales pitch sometimes resembles telling a story? Would that be a giant no-no?

            I love the idea myself of writing science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been working on several short stories in addition to the beginnings of a novel, but I’m afraid now to even hint at that on my upcoming writer’s website. -_-

            “Danny Joy strode into the office. He beamed at Sherry and Mark. They smiled back. The open door to his boss’s office beckoned. Danny entered.”

            “Mr. Scowler looked up. He barked, ‘siddown! Danny’s light mood faltered slightly before quickly returning. Mr. Scowler was always grumpy. It meant nothing.”

            “Mr. Scowler glared at Danny for a long moment. Danny began to feel frightened. This was different. Mr. Scowler said, ‘Is it true that you’ve been writing stories?’ Danny’s heart jumped. How had Mr. Scowler known?”

            “‘Uh .. on my own time …. I, uh ….’ Mr. Scowler’s face grew dark. He stabbed a button on his intercom and howled, ‘Security! Get here on the double!’ Danny froze in shock for a moment. His peril dawning, he whirled to escape.”

            “It was too late. Company security guards were there already. Their shock batons sparked and hissed like angry snakes. Eternity passed by in a second. Then the screaming began.”

            My little vignette may be overwrought, though. Is the prejudice in business circles against fiction writing anywhere near that bad in reality? O_O

          • Carol Tice

            Firth, no lives are at risk in freelance writing. And certainly, everyone knows good business storytelling is essential. So it’s ‘safe’ to mention that.

            But when you start talking about your love of short story and sci-fi writing, they run for the hills. They just assume you’re too wrapped up in that to care about their low-glamour copywriting project. Seriously, I’ve coached something like 10,000 writers through the Den, and have yet to hear of a single writer site that plugs fiction that gets clients. Just doesn’t happen, sadly.

          • Firth McQuilliam

            Oogh. That’s good to know. I shall henceforth keep my purple prose hidden in the distant, dreaming hills of Faerie. Unicorns flash away into the concealing mist. All is silent.

            Suddenly, the roar of a rocket shatters the silence! Wait, no. This isn’t tomfoolery with ancient civilizations on Mars or space battles among the asteroids. This is a NASA mission. See, it’s all perfectly innocent. ^_^

            In contrast, my business writer’s website will boast a jut-jawed attitude of sheer competence. It will speak of SEO toolkits, email marketing, content strategies, discovery calls, pitch decks, and all that jazz. No nonsense here with fiction! O_O

            I sure do appreciate that gem of experience, Ms. Tice. You just saved me and perhaps other readers from making a boo-boo. No shock prods for us! -_-

    • Carol Tice

      I don’t usually allow patently fake identities on my blog comments, “Astralwolf,” but I’d really like to respond to your assertion.

      I’ve documented the rise of better-paid blogging extensively here on the blog, especially on these two posts:

      Yes, these are not the rates everyone is getting, and there is still a junk-content market out there paying $35 a post. It’s your choice which of these markets you want to be part of, and whether you make the effort to pursue the echelon of clients that truly gets our value as content marketers — and pays appropriately. I’m here to help the writers who’re looking to join the ranks of better-paid freelancers.

      Be sure to come to my free What to Charge event — I’m going to have fresh data from my pay survey about rates writers are getting for blog posts. I think you may be surprised by what you find out! BTW, you can take that survey here: (Please do, and tell all your writer friends…trying to get as much data on what’s going on in the marketplace as possible.)

      Thanks Jennifer for weighing in with your experience!

    • Paul McCormack

      Astralwolf37, those rates are realistic. I earn at least $500 per blog post, often much, much more. I don’t agree with everything that Carol writes, but in this respect, her information is accurate.

  4. Janice

    I can hardly wait to read your posts. Thank you so much. I am a new writer, but I somehow discovered right from the start that connecting directly with business owners was a good strategy. Long form blogging fit my style as well as writing about science. One issue I have encountered though is that business owners often think content, even scientific content, should be cheap or even free. I just move on, but any advice on what we can do to change this attitude or how to cope with it?

    • Carol Tice

      Janice, when that keeps happening, it means you’re not qualifying prospects. Companies that pay pro rates for blogging are usually fairly large, or are very well-funded startups that got venture capital. Think $10-$100M companies, and up.

      You don’t want to get into the game of trying to educate low payers that they should value writers…too much work. Better to just realize they’re not your client and move on…and learn more about qualifying prospects. If you don’t have tools for quickly identifying and qualifying good prospects, you might check out my Get Great Clients ebook up on the ebooks tab.

      • Janice

        It was a little painful to learn that. Even a business group I am involved in thinks my asking prices are over the top too high. I was surprised at how little they want to pay their content writers. But then I found this blog and realized that the amount I was asking for was justified especially in my niche. I will take a look at your book!

        • Carol Tice

          …Then you’re in the wrong ‘business group.’ Usually, these are very small, local business owners. And as you’ve discovered, they’re not our client. They simply don’t have the marketing budget to pay a professional writer, and don’t understand content marketing to know that what we do is WELL worth the money, because it can drive sales and leads for them.

          • Janice

            I know…it’s a lesson I have learned. I don’t mind if they say I can’t afford you. But when they say someone else can do the same job for a lot less, it bothers me. As you say, there really is no reason to discuss a job further if that’s their perspective. So I am at least starting to talk with some bigger companies. There is a ton of work to do for some of them!

          • Carol Tice

            All you can do is…stop letting it bother you. As G Gordon Liddy used to say as he put his finger in a candle flame, “The trick is not to mind it.”

            Sure, every gig I get, they could get someone to do it for less. But NOT to do it as WELL. My clients are the ones who care about how effective their communications are, how powerful their stories are, how well-documented their facts are, how fascinating their piece is, and how well it makes the case that they are the solution.

          • Firth McQuilliam

            I’ve been rereading the thread in search of more insights to quietly stuff into my little brain, and this little gem is finally sinking into my consciousness. It’s somehow fascinating that most owners of “hyper-local” businesses are apparently unable to understand the value of casting a wide net for customers on the web.

            I wonder if an especially clever wordsmith could find a way to persuade such individuals. I know *I* don’t qualify for that appellation, but hope springs eternal. Hmmm.

            “It’s like putting up signs that tell people you’re in business and why your goods and services are better. The more signs you put up, the more customers you attract. SEO is using the right words such as ‘quick response to the dead rat in your sink’ or ‘fast repairs to your car.’ The search engines pick up on those keywords and pop up businesses that most closely match them. This works pretty well for small outfits like yours. Local customers use the web too.”

            Then again, perhaps this would be an exercise in futility. I think I know what you mean. Even the cleverest words slide right past the kind of person who is already determined to not get the point. Lots of people just aren’t very bright, and lots of people are mulish about accepting unfamiliar ideas. You can’t fix dull *and* stubborn. -_-

          • Carol Tice

            Firth, trying to persuade business owners that they should do business differently is like trying to roll a greased ball up a hill. It’s like trying to convince companies that don’t have a blog they should start one.

            Instead of these time-wasters, find companies that already get it. You’ll save a ton of wasted time marketing to people who aren’t going to be your client, and focus on the companies that understand our value as writers to drive their revenue.

  5. Cendrine Marrouat

    Yes, you can make big money from writing blog posts. But it requires being smart about it, and learning to say NO to the freeloaders and cheapies our there. There are many.

    People treat you the way you want to be treated. If you say yes to $25 a post, then, don’t complain that you will only get that. And if people laugh at you for asking higher rates, then they are certainly not the right clients for you.

    My rates start at $250 for short posts. They are displayed on my services page. When people contact me for work, they already know what to expect. I have never encountered any issue that way.

    • Carol Tice

      Love it, Cendrine! A short blog post is like writing short landing page copy. It’s hard! And should pay well.

  6. Karin

    This is exactly what I’ve been wanting to read. I have been looking for ways to make a good income from blogging. I am fairly new at writing, and I’ve done some cheap tasks through platforms like Upwork to get my foot in the door. Upwork is the “have to start somewhere” type but I don’t rely on it for big money. I have my personal blog which I have monetized such as using Google adsense but it’s only making a little pocket change. I guest post on other people’s blogs, and I have seen some projects on that paid some fairly good money for blog posts.

    • Carol Tice

      Karin, I can’t agree that UpWork gets your foot in the door of anywhere you’d want to go…never even heard of, but in general there are a million of these platforms, and they aren’t for anyone who wants to make a living as a writer. You do have to start somewhere, but you can do it without these race-to-the-bottom bidding sites.

      If you’re having trouble monetizing your blog for real money, you might want to check out my mastermind for that: Most blogs only DO make pocket change, and that won’t improve if you don’t know how to build a blog-based business successfully.

      Check out the links I posted in this comment thread to the 2 posts about better platforms for good pay for blog posts.

      • Karin

        I agree that Upwork is not getting me anywhere, which I why I’m looking to get away from them. used to be Although pays more it’s still just another bidding platform.

        I will check out that link you posted in your reply. It is true that I really do not know how to build a blog-based business successfully. I’ve only been in the blogging business for 6 months, and I am still learning (well, the learning actually never stops) and i’m sure those who have travel blogs like mine, it may have taken them months or even years to make any decent money from their blogs.

  7. Debbie Reslock

    I only wrote 3 articles for Demand Studio before I came across Carol’s site and found out you actually can make a living at writing – but it takes a lot of work! My problem is that what’s slowing my ability to earn more is the time it’s taking me to research an idea, send a query and then interview and write the article. They’re mostly $1,000 + (thanks to you again Carol, Linda and your classes). But I’m wondering if writing business content or business blogs might have a faster turnover compared to freelance articles? I have 2 regular publications now but scramble to fill in with other articles. Any opinions or advice greatly appreciated.

    • Carol Tice

      Debbie, I know few freelance writers who’re earning a good living only through consumer publications — most of us are diversified and have some business clients.

      I think this use of ‘turnover’ is a Britishism that I’ve seen before and don’t quite get…but if you mean could a good business client have a more steady volume of work for you at good rates, the answer is yes. Branching out beyond articles will help, too.

      You can also diversify by finding trade publications (think Daily Variety for the entertainment industry) or custom publications (corporations’ magazines), both can pay better and if they like you, be a source of steady assignments.

  8. Carol J Alexander

    A couple questions, Carol. How much time do you think it should take a writer to crank out 15 long-form posts? I’m thinking that’s equivalent to a magazine article, which requires research and interviewing, no?

    Also, sharing stats from posts written for past clients. I can understand why you say that, but the murmurs from the trenches today is that folks don’t comment like they used to. What would you call good stats to share? 20 comments? 100? And wouldn’t it be relative to the subscription or overall traffic?

    • Carol Tice

      Wow, lotta questions there, Carol! Let me try to break it down:

      How much time do you think it should take a writer to crank out 15 long-form posts?

      This is what Anne Wayman calls a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. First off, how long of a longform? To me, that’s 2,000 words. Others might mean 1,000.

      And ultimately, it doesn’t matter how long it takes ME to write them, or how long I THINK it should take. It only matters how long it takes YOU to do it. You track your time and set your rates accordingly.

      And no, 15 of those would never be one magazine article, which tops out at 3,000 words these days if you’re lucky. That would be 15,000-30,000 words! And whether they’d need interviews would depend on the site you’re writing for.
      I’m thinking that’s equivalent to a magazine article, which requires research and interviewing, no?

      Also, sharing stats from posts written for past clients. I can understand why you say that, but the murmurs from the trenches today is that folks don’t comment like they used to. What would you call good stats to share? 20 comments? 100?

      Carol, the best stat to share is the best stat you’ve got. If you’re big win is 20 comments, or 50 shares, show that. Keep studying your markets and trying to develop posts that get more engagement — it’s an art.

      And wouldn’t it be relative to the subscription or overall traffic? Sure, some sites are more engaged than others. It’s your job to try to get on the hot ones, so you get great stats to show.

      Hope that helps!

      • Carol J Alexander

        Yes, Carol, it does help and thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthly reply.

        I see I wasn’t clear on one point. I meant that one long form blog post was equivalent of one magazine article and that writing 15 in a month sounded like a lot–for me.

        But as you said, yes, I need to keep track of my time (and I do) and not compare myself to what you can do or anyone else.

        • Carol Tice

          I might be a lot in one month, or it might not, if they’re a topic I can write off the top of my head.

          The answer to nearly every question I’m asked about freelancing is really, “It depends…”

  9. Edo

    I think that only a few percent of all freelance writers are qualified enough to write for such huge companies who’d pay $300 or more per article or post. Those who can achieve this are mostly native English speakers.

    I wouldn’t recommend non-native English speakers, especially newbies and those who’re not qualified enough, to waste their time looking for such clients and such payments.

    Instead, they should focus on small businesses or startups if they’re willing to make anything at all.

    My goal is to make a living from writing, and since I don’t live in the US, I don’t need $5k per month.

    $500 per month is enough for me to ensure a great living in my country. This is easy to achieve and doesn’t require much effort.

    I’m sorry but if you’re telling me that taking $15 per 500 words means working for peanuts or exploitation – then you don’t actually understand the global economics.

    For instance, people in my country have an average hourly rate of $2 which is considered as great.

    So, if I can work for $3 an hour from the comfort of my home – that would be like a dream came true for me.

    I know this is ridiculous for US or UK residents, but please understand that this is the economy of third world countries.

    • Cendrine Marrouat

      Edo, I disagree 100%.

      Non-native speakers have often learnt English grammar in school, unlike native speakers. Just because a majority of people around you seem unable to speak / write properly doesn’t meant that it’s the case everywhere else.

      Actually, I know people who live in third-world countries and make just as much as people in the UK, US, or Canada.

      $15 for 500 words ARE peanuts. An average hourly rate of $2 or $3 is considered a slavery rate is MOST countries. Maybe you don’t have to pay taxes, after all. Or feed yourself or pay bills.

      This is exactly why so many of us are struggling to make a living as freelancers. While I understand where you are coming from, I certainly encourage you to educate yourself on the way globalization works and how sweeping generalizations like yours impact EVERYONE else.

      • Edo

        It doesn’t matter if a non-native speaker learned English better than native speakers. The point is that 99% of high-paying clients prefer to hire native English speaker over non-native one. That doesn’t mean non-native people can’t land a high-paying writing job, but they’ll certainly struggle in that.

        Hourly rate of $2 may be considered as slavery work in your country but certainly not in mine. Can you understand the global economy?

        Clients from rich countries who don’t understand the global economics may think that $15 per 500 words is a sign of low quality work.

        If you have $15 here in my country, you can pay the Internet bill and buy yourself a quality lunch. Not bad.

        Many people here don’t pay the taxes. However, if you get caught making $5k a month, you’ll end up in a jail and under investigation. Because making so much money is only possible for people who own big companies.

        A friend of mine once made about $3k online, and he got arrested the same day he tried to withdraw the money in a local bank.

        • Tox

          How would a potential client know that you’re not a Native speaker? I have never had a client ask me directly. So if your English is excellent, there’s no way for them to tell.

          • Edo

            Based on your name, it’s pretty much easy to figure it out what’s your native country.

    • Carol Tice

      I get all that, Edo — but sadly, the world where there will be even $15 a post work for ESL writers is fading away. Because marginal content doesn’t convert or build authority. It’s just that simple.

      As I’ve noted before, I think all ESL writers in this boat should be planning their next move, because the opportunity is shrinking daily. The number of sites that won’t accept ESL writers is growing, and you’re absolutely right, no non-native writer is likely to make $300 a post.

        • Carol Tice

          Well, my experience is that the vast, vast majority of ESL writers simply aren’t fluent enough to earn well. I’m not talking about the few exceptions who are — they’re the ones who’re doing just great.

          • Cendrine Marrouat

            Maybe you are talking about a type of specific ESL writers? Because I have made a living writing in English and it is not my mother tongue. I’m actually a translator by profession.

          • Carol Tice

            Then you’d definitely be the exception — you should see the illiterate emails I get every day from writers hoping to earn a living writing in English. That’s who I’m talking about. Ordinarily, you’d never think you could earn a living writing in a language you don’t know well, but the early days of junk content were that opportunity. Now, that opportunity is vanishing, and those writers are looking for how they can earn. To which I say — write in your native language! Businesses need copy, in every language and country.

          • Cendrine Marrouat

            I’m not the exception at all.

            I have been a blogger for 12 years and receive tons of emails in bad English every single day. Most of them are from native speakers.

            I agree with you that writing in your native tongue is the way to go, but there are more people than you think who know and write English much better than any native speaker. We are in two different markets and I have taught French to Anglophones for 14 years. The number of people who have no clue about the way English works is alarming.

          • Carol Tice

            Well, I certainly agree with you there!

      • Firth McQuilliam

        I’ve been watching this subtopic with considerable interest, Ms. Tice. Without any intent to offend anyone or to poke unnecessarily at the tender subject of income disparities between developed and undeveloped countries, I’ve noticed the consistent theme that it’s somehow very difficult for ESL writers to master the skills necessary for successfully entering the top tiers of the giant American English content markets.

        I’m steeped myself in the language, of course. Perhaps that makes me blind to the innumerable quirks of the majestic but appallingly jumbled edifice that we call the English language. I once peered at its history, and my head hurt afterward. Latin, German, French, Dutch, Greek, and even Russian have all had their turns at stirring the pot. The linguistic stew from centuries of stirring and adding of ingredients is indecipherable, inscrutable and amazingly tasty. ^_^

        In working with, say, Indian clients, I see interesting linguistic habits such as saying, “kindly.” I’d have a hard time clearly defining other the common quirks of the Indian branch of British English — they don’t interfere at all with comprehension, so I read past them. I suppose other common linguistic habits across the great family of languages would be using the construct exhibited by the example passage “we recommend to” and routinely dropping “a,” “an,” and “the.”

        While I personally find these and other quirks to be often charming and even beautiful, they do instantly mark the writer as a non-native speaker. This seems to be important to commercial entities such as Coca-Cola, Reader’s Digest, and probably every major American publisher.

        I’m not even sure what else to say about this. I seriously wonder how many ESL writers ever break through into the native-language markets. It is a vanishingly small number out of the legions of would-be entrants? I’d love to see the results of an industry or scholarly study of this phenomenon!

        • Firth McQuilliam

          Oh, dear — I should have phrased a critical sentence differently in the last paragraph:

          “I seriously wonder how many ESL writers ever break through into the [most lucrative] native-language markets.”

          My apologies for the inadvertent contextual blooper. -_-

        • Carol Tice

          I don’t have quantitative research, Firth, but I have the emails I get every day from desperate ESL writers. As I said to Cendrine, there used to be opportunities even if you weren’t quite fully literate — but now that Google penalizes short junk content written just for SEO purposes, these writers need to find a new career or opportunities in their own language.

          • Kala

            I agree Carol, I get outreach via Linked In and email sometimes from very poorly written non-English speaking writers begging for advice on writing in English! It’s like gee, well I can’t write in Urdu, so I don’t think there are opportunities for me there.
            I want to add I understand what Edo(?) was saying-for him the small pay works as he is in third world country. That makes sense for him.

            But in U.S. we simply can’t live on such low wages unless it’s a side-hobby.
            Off topic but I realize why a comment of mine was rejected, it went to an article on SEO, I’m a writer too and try to educate of course on SEO and why it’s important for small biz to have a blog for content marketing. But my comment got rejected twice so, I felt disheartened as it wasn’t spam or viagra link (LOL!)

            I learn a lot from you and it is all about marketing smart if we want to make a living, and watching the industry to see niches and opportunities.

          • Carol Tice

            Hi Kala — you can’t put links INTO comments here, and I spike off all commentluv and URL links that seem to be ads for products, product reviews, etc. You wouldn’t believe the spam problem around here! Glad I found this in spam. 😉

    • Amel

      Sorry, Edo, but that is a poverty-mindset.

      If you only need to make $500 per month to live comfortably in your country, why on earth would you want your days to be occupied with writing a series of $15 articles?

      Why not write two articles for $250 each and call it a month?

      Or better yet, write 4 to 6 articles at the same rate and save for the future?

      Living in a developing country should be a factor that actually helps you charge higher rates because you don’t have to hustle as much as someone living in a wealthier country.

      Also, don’t deceive yourself into thinking that $500 per month will always be enough to tide you through any situation. When an unexpected illness hit my family (while living in a developing country), we found out pretty quickly that we needed high-quality healthcare, which is thankfully available but also comes at a price that most people cannot afford on the average local salary.

      • Carol Tice

        I like how you think, Amel! I meet so many writers who think it’s OK to be just scraping by, with no savings account, retirement money, emergency fund. I want a GOOD life for writers, where you don’t end up out on the street if an unforseen expense crops up!

  10. Oludami

    Hi Carol,

    I recently jumped at a $500 article offer, later to find out how hectic it is. It’s a definitive guide-style article, like the ones SEO warlords like Neil Patel and Brian Dean create — 5000+ words, with chapters and all. And the work involved is far more than just putting down those words. Had to use a technique called “Skyscraper Technique” (not sure you’ve heard this) to create the article — as requested by the client.

    Now I’m wiser. But my question is: how much do you think a writer should charge for that kind of writing? (Because it’s a high-value service I’d now like to pitch prospective clients.)


    • Firth McQuilliam

      If you’ll forgive a quick remark from a neophyte like yourself, my gut feeling is that you should charge $2,000 at the very least, which translates into about $0.40 a word for roughly 5,000 words. Assuming your writing style is efficient and your research is exhaustive, even $2,000 is distinctly on the low side.

      To paraphrase what I believe Ms. Carol Tice has said throughout Make a Living Writing, clients are in reality paying you for the value of the work to them and not for the actual words. If you bring forth with fire a compelling document that grabs readers where it hurts and leaves them feeling tired but happy, then you’ve given your clients a professional product that meets their needs and puts money into their pockets.

      Why wouldn’t they pay you well for that? Perhaps $3,000 is better. You can negotiate with a smile on your face and steel in your heart. ^^;

      • Edo

        You can ask for $2k, $3k or $8k, but the client will most likely find another writer who’d do the same job for $500.

        Firth, you seem to be a bad negotiator because if a client offers you $500 for a particular job, and you ask for $2,000 – the result is that you, my friend, are gonna lose the job.

        If a client is ready to pay $500, then you may ask for $550 or $600. By doing so, you may get the job if you’ve previously convinced the client that you’re the right one for that particular job.

        You should be extremely careful when negotiating payment with new clients because of the fact hat new clients don’t know you, and they can’t trust you.

        So, why would they throw away their money just like that? Remember, money doesn’t grow on trees.

        Also, when you’re negotiating the payment with new clients, please keep in mind that those clients aren’t stupid, and they’re perfectly aware of the global freelancing market as well as the fact that they can easily find highly qualified or super talented writers from India or Phillipinnes who’d do the job for half of the price.

        • Firth McQuilliam

          Edo, the point is that there’s evidently a subtle but remarkably sharp-edged difference between the bulk of low-paid freelance writing and the upper tiers of freelance writing. As you said, clients seeking $500-level work will continue to insist on paying that much money for 5,000-word pieces no matter how much better may be the fruits of a truly talented and experienced writer.

          Because so much depends on exactly who is seeking what quality of writing for which purpose and with what budget, I feel myself unable to comment usefully on that topic. Perhaps Ms. Carol Tice will have something to say on it although I believe that her hundreds of other blog posts and thread comments have already thoroughly covered that ground. You can read them for yourself and form your own opinion.

          As for my own negotiating skills, I’d suggest that you learn the first rule of professionalism, which is to not unnecessarily offend others by crudely attempting to stuff words into their mouths, thoughts into their heads, and skills into their souls. You know nothing about me, but your incessant rudeness in this thread is telling me everything I need to know about you. Before you dig yourself even deeper into that anti-social hole, I strongly suggest that you drop your keyboard like a hot potato and seek out a copy of the old but still excellent book “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

          • Edo

            I’m sorry if I was a bit rude. That wasn’t my intention.

            What I’m trying to tell is that you actually gave very bad advice to Oludami because a client who’s willing to pay $500 a piece will very hardly change their mind and give you $2,000.

            Asking such amount from such client will just make you lose the job – in 98% of cases. So, my advice would be that you should just ignore that offer and go look somewhere else for $2,000 payments.

          • Firth McQuilliam

            Your point about staying within rough budget parameters for a specific class of clients is reasonable enough. If the original poster is indeed aiming at that niche, then I suppose his best option would be to negotiate additional payments for value-added services like guest blog posts with backlinks, on-site sales pages, and promotional comments on major social-media platforms such as Google Plus and Facebook.

          • Edo

            I agree with you. However, I still wouldn’t do that with new clients. It’s too risky because I don’t actually know the person from the other side of the screen, and they don’t know me. Instead, I’d first try to connect more with them.

            Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be too aggressive with major companies who’re willing to pay $2k a piece because they’re most likely receiving tens and even hundreds of pitches. Therefore, you’re not the one who dictates the pricing.

            If you try to do so, your pitch will probably end up in a trash folder faster than those Nigerian guys promising to send you $1 million dollars within 48 hours.

            Also, imagine how much work you should do to earn $2k from a client paying $500 for 5000-word piece. Way too much bro 🙂

        • Carol Tice

          Edo, prospects can ‘know you’ through your portfolio. As you build stronger clips, it becomes clear why you are worth more.

          The clients who hire me aren’t looking for a way to find someone they can pay $500 instead of $2000 — they’re looking for the best of the best, and someone with a track record of results. There aren’t so many of us, and we’re not that available. It’s a completely different caliber of client than those that are driven by price.

          • Edo

            The vast majority of writers shouldn’t go after $2k payouts simply because they’re gonna waste their time and will end up being disappointed for not reaching the goal.

            My advice would be to either accept those $25 per 500-word offers or start doing some other job.

          • Carol Tice

            Well, feel free to start that blog, Edo, my advice for 9 years now has been that freelance writers deserve professional rates, and to take advantage of resources that teach you how to get them.

            The number of $25 assignments is shrinking, so everyone whose income depends on them should be looking at their next steps.

    • Carol Tice

      For 5,000 words? I want real money. Really depends on how much interviewing and research I need to do for it, but $2,000 wouldn’t seem wrong to me. Sadly, most blog sites are still radically undercharging for longform posts, and we’re still in the process of educating the marketplace, as writers, on what’s fair pay for these feature-article style posts.

      • Edo

        Dear Carol, if you can get $2k for 5k-word piece, doesn’t mean others can get it also 🙂

        C. Ronaldo can easily get 1 million dollars per month, but other players can’t 🙂 They’re forced to work for much lower wages.

        • Carol Tice

          But many others do — I’m not a fluke, Edo.

  11. Firth McQuilliam

    As I’ve said time and again, I’ve been wandering deep in the forests of the web for nigh on these many years now. I’ve waded through virtual cesspools like Warrior Forum and Black Hat World in sheer fascination at the greed, amorality, and occasional brilliance exhibited therein. I’ve found delight in the sternly ethical approaches of WAHM and Make a Living Writing, the latter of which has been a uniquely educational experience. ^_^

    While my ultimate goal is marketing a destination loaded with useful, accurate information that’s fun to read, my focus for the moment remains sharply on freelance writing. I must first pay pressing bills before ranging afield, a state of affairs no doubt familiar to the majority of readers here. ^^;

    I guess my aim in this post is to remark on how difficult it’s been to accept that my writing might be able to pass beyond the odd strictures and demands of “content-broker” clients into the fabulous realm of big-league writing, otherwise known as approachable writing that conveys the desired information with a few well-chosen words and then stops without fuss.

    It’s not a dark art that requires eye of newt and feather of chicken. It requires only experience, research, practice, and confidence. That’s it!

    Yet it was hard to move on from the stagnant ponds of low-paid, anonymous ghostwriting. Why would it be so difficult to accept that I do indeed possess a tiny spark of talent at top-shelf writing that needs only to be fanned into a steady flame?

    That’s a question for the psychologists, I guess. I’ll ignore this irrelevancy and move on to the practicalities of settling on a likely niche or three, building a writer’s portfolio, researching potential markets, and then pitching to those markets. It’s all logical and straightforward.

    As for Textbroker and ArticleBunny, I’ll continue to do the best job I can for clients while also evolving my writing style into another level. The former of those two companies has been a marvelous way station at which to hone the art of brevity and clarity, and the latter has been a great opportunity to acquire comfort with writing article pitches. I don’t mind accumulating a little more practice for the real world while earning money to buy num-nums and to keep the bad men from coming to throw my butt into the street. -_-

    Naturally, as soon as I make my first major sale as a real author, I’ll pounce on the next opening to the Freelance Writers’ Den. It’ll be a right proper hangout that can be written off on my business taxes as a professional expense. :^)

    Now, it’s time to dive into the ocean to swim with the whales.

  12. Mike Watts

    Hi Carol,

    Excellent article! Very informative.

    I often find myself thinking about the gap between the have and the have nots and my feelings and thoughts on this subject matter provoke me to want to begin blogging just to get these feelings and thoughts of my chest.

    I’m a big fan of financial literacy books and how financial education and the lack thereof contributes to spiritual warfare.

    Anyway, I don’t want to go off on a tangent, I just want your thoughts on my motivation for wanting to start blogging.

    I just have a lot to say.

    I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad books by Robert Kiyosaki so his content gets me revved up to express myself in the form of blogging.

    Making $5,000 a month expressing my feelings about capitalism would be a dream come true.

    What do you think?

    • Carol Tice

      Mike, personal finance sites are big business — sold for a fortune. If you think you’ve got a fresh slant from everything that’s already out there, you should go for it.

      That wasn’t what we’re talking about in this post, which is paid blogging for clients…but I have resources for bloggers who’d like to create a blog that earns of itself, over at

  13. Valerian Okee

    Nice write up @Tice! I have long looked foe advertisers that pay over $100 per post. Could you be having some sort of list of advertisers you can share? I will gladly appreciate

    • Carol Tice

      Not sure what you mean, since I don’t have any ads on my blog, Valerian. Maybe you mean you’re looking at online job ads on mass boards like Craigslist? You’ll rarely find good pay on there.

      Earning pro rates isn’t about responding to job ads — it’s about proactively marketing to find your own clients, identifying bigger companies that have the marketing budget and understand writers’ value. Hope you can come to today’s free training on writer rates! We’ll be talking a lot about this.

  14. Kaitlin Morrison

    Thanks again for the insights on earning more, Carol!

    I’m seeing a ton of comments here from folks who can’t believe professional rates actually happen. It’s VERY hard work to market yourself, but the market pays you accordingly. I started two years ago on 500 word posts that I wrote for $4. Now, I’m charging at least $100 for similar posts and actually getting paid.

    It’s real, but many people would rather pretend it’s not so they don’t feel guilty about doing zero marketing. I say, to each their own…you can keep writing for peanuts or you can hustle a bit more and grow your income.

    • Carol Tice

      That’s basically it, Kaitlin. And I agree — it’s so much easier to spread the gloom-and-doom and say oh, isn’t it awful that nobody pays writers anymore. And stay stuck in that limiting belief, than to stick your head out of the content-mill cave, and go try to get some better gigs. But everyone who takes the leap seems to end up making SO much more!

      There’s basically a divide in our market between passive writers and active business owners who write. If you only take what flows in the door (or you find on Craigslist, etc), you’re not really in business. Businesses do active marketing. You’re a hobbyist. And earn hobby money — for a date night a month or something.

      I’m here to help writers who want to be in business, and pay all their bills with their writing.

  15. Amanda Rothman

    I just landed my first “real” freelancing gig! But my question for you is: what payment methods do you offer your clients?

    I don’t feel quite comfortable yet giving out banking information for them to send money that way. They don’t want to create a PayPal business account but would like to pay through their card instead.

    Do you have any suggestions? I didn’t see this topic covered in your blog. Maybe you could make this into an article! But in the meantime, I’d appreciate some advice.

    • Firth McQuilliam

      If you’ll permit me to answer with some amusement, Google for “PayPal Payments Standard.” It might meet your needs. I say “with some amusement” because your very same comment links to a post about credit cards. It reminds me of the old saying about missing the forest for the trees. ^^;

      • Carol Tice

        Good catch, Firth — and that link is gone now. I don’t permit links to feeds, or to spammy-looking sites where you can’t figure out who the author is, which that seems to be when I click through. I think perhaps that was a disingenuous, off-topic comment meant to make us all want to go read about credit cards on that link. Sigh.

        Want to enlighten us on your relationship to that life-hacking site, “Amanda”?

        • Amanda Rothman

          Good Life Hacking is my personal blog where I’m giving advice on how to improve your credit rating the same way that I did, from college doldrums until now where I have an 800+ credit rating. I am the owner and author, and I don’t even have Google advertising running on the thing.

          I’m sorry that you and your readers were made to think that it was a spammy site. It isn’t.

          It’s pretty much an experiment for me. One of the steps I’ll be writing on is showing readers how to increase their income, so I do have some affiliate links and I’m currently experimenting with eCommerce so I can write articles on how various methods work, or if they aren’t worth my readers time.

          Notice the “Resources I Love” link in my navigation? I took your advice. I’m one of your faithful readers, “Carol”. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, “Firth”.

          And sorry that I had linked to a feed; your wicked cool commenting program wasn’t able to find my blog on my website. Might it have something to do with it being on Shopify or due to one of the website add-ons? I don’t know. I think it’s working better this time, although I do wish I could send it to the first article in my series.

          It’s a good thing I came here to check for answers to my question; I hadn’t been notified through my subscription that there had been replies. Thanks for your advice.

          • Carol Tice

            You have a blog…and it’s on Shopify? That’s a new one on me. Possibly that was another part of the issue. Why would you have a personal-finance blog on Shopify, what are people buying from you?

            Afraid I don’t allow commentluv links to posts that appear to advertise products or offer product reviews with aff links, so you can stop trying on that.

            Recommend putting up an about page with a picture of you and your full name — I have a post coming up about how scammy sites seem that don’t have that.

          • Amanda Rothman

            Hi Carol!

            As I already explained, my experimental website is so that I can explain advantages/disadvantages to using different methods for supplementing income through different methods such as Shopify. To do that, I need to try it out. My main blog is on WordPress. Right now, no one is buying anything from me.

            I’ll take your advice about putting up pages with my picture and my name, especially after reading your article on creating an online writer’s portfolio.

            I’d appreciate it if you’d refrain from phrasing things the way you have. It’s made me feel as though blogging in an attempt to help people is instead being labeled as being scammy. I’m not ‘trying’ anything. To that end, I removed the website URL stored in your comment system.

            At any rate, I’m rethinking my subject matter if I’m going to continue getting hurtful reactions to my work. Thanks for that wake-up call.

          • Carol Tice

            I’m ‘phrasing things the way I have’ because that’s how your blog comes across to me, Andrea. I’m glad you’re finding it instructive and taking steps to be more authentic and useful, I’m sure it’ll help you build an audience.

            I think all of us who have informational blogs have to look closely at how we present ourselves so that we’re not lumped in with the great number of microsites stuffed with aff links, where every post is a bald play to make sales. I get a great number of Commentluv links that say things like “Review of Samsung Galaxy Phone” and the like…and especially when it’s not germane to my niche, I delete them all. I’m sure I’m not the only one with that sort of policy. So you want to make sure headlines promise useful info not found elsewhere.

            All of us who allow tools like CommentLuv are facing challenges because we don’t want to be penalized by Google for linking to spammy sites. So if the headline I see seems more like somebody selling something than useful info for my readers, I spike it off.

            If I can give you a free blogging tip (of the kind I give to my blogging mastermind over here) — your blog name ‘Good Life Hacking’ doesn’t seem to have anything to do with ‘improve your credit score.’ If you pick a URL that speaks more directly to your focus, it will seem more aligned and people will be less suspicious about what seems to be going on there.

            If you’re stuffing aff links and ecommerce links on a brand-new blog with no audience yet…you’re trying to monetize too early, which is another thing I talk about in the Small Blog, Big Income ebooks. You really need to build some reputation and trust before you start trying to sell us things — you can see how that backfired here.

            I think the final nail was the seemingly disingenuous question about how to collect payments from clients, which seemed to be a gambit to get us to read your credit card post.

            If it makes you feel any better, if you look through my comments, you’ll see I was recently accused of being a liar about all the big-money success stories I’ve posted here, that those headlines were too clickbait and no one is really making those rates! So it does happen to all of us…and I made some changes in reaction to that feedback, too.

            Best of luck with building your blog —

    • Carol Tice

      Amanda, I think I’ve used Square for accepting credit cards now and then — it seemed pretty simple. But remember, cards charge fees. If it were me, I’d GET comfortable with doing bank transfer, it’s the fastest and lowest cost method, usually. If it’s a legitimate, established company, I wouldn’t be worried about that.

      Since you have ‘real’ in quotes, I’m not sure if maybe you DON’T get a legit feel out of them. If so, be sure to get at least 50% of your first month’s fee as an up-front payment before you start working. And if they balk at that…they weren’t a real client, anyway.

      • Sara

        Hi Carol, I’m really enjoying your site and signed up for the Den waitlist!

        I’m a newbie and had a question about payment too. Are you saying bank transfers are the best way? Doesn’t that mean I’d have to give my routing and acct number? That doesn’t seem safe! Just asking though. And In your experience do clients use paypal?

        Thanks for any advice and feedback.

  16. Kennedy Safari

    I’m intrigued.I am a freelancer and diverse and can write on different scopes

  17. Vern Lovic

    Just found your site and I’ve read about nine articles here already. Great stuff!

    The most I’ve ever made in a month for blogging? For someone else, I assume?

    I wrote articles for an expat’s blog who had some luxury villas on the island of Phuket, Thailand. He paid 12 cents per word. He’d pre-pay me $1,500 every time I let him know his balance was getting low. He paid four times in a month. Those were the glory days (last year). The job has since disappeared with COVID and tight restrictions on the tourist industry here in Thailand. 🙁

    I’m finding the market impossible at the moment. I’ve been looking for months and cannot seem to find anything decent. I’ve written millions of words for my own blogs. I’ve published over thirty books at Amazon (Check author Vern Lovic.) I’ve got the time… literally all day. I’ll even write for reasonable rates. Having a helluva time.

    I’ll check out more of your articles after lunch. Glad to have found your site!

    • Carol Tice

      If you’re only looking in travel blogging, I’m not surprised — it may be time to branch out into other industries! If you’ve read my free ebook, The Recession-Proof Freelancer, it’s got many tips for you on how to locate good clients now.

      There’s a ton of opportunity out there, as companies need to explain how they’re pivoting/reopening/being acquired and such. I nabbed a quick $1500 project that was 800 words in the past week or so, and my coaching students have a steady stream of referrals and new-client news.

      Think about who BENEFITS from hard times, and you’ll start to see new directions. Good luck with it!

      • Vern Lovic

        Thanks Carol, will have a read of your book!

        I have never targeted the travel industry specifically, the job I mentioned just fell into my lap somehow. Still unsure how.

        Next project? Romance books at Amazon. Made a lot there over the years, but romance will be a new area for me.

        Thanks again!

  18. Noble Cyril Amaugo

    Thanks, Carol.

    Before now, I never thought of breaking down the $5,000-month income to small dollar chunks. Your analysis just made me see it in a new light.

    I also love how you included relationships as a leverage for income generation.

    I have always been of the opinion that relationships should always come before income.

    Henceforth, I would invest more into building the right kind of relationships that would place me in an opportunity to earn more and also help someone earn more (maybe by referring them).

    Thanks for redefining these things.

    I’ve gotten a better insight!

  19. Pranjal Kumar Pathak

    I have uploaded my papers in and One can look that i want to do freelance writing and earn living.

    • Carol Tice

      Pranjal, afraid academic papers aren’t good samples for a freelance writing career. If you’re looking for paid academic essay writing, understand that that’s unethical, gets students expelled, and isn’t part of a legitimate freelance writing career. It also pays very little.

      The freelance writing work I talk about on this blog is mostly based in writing that’s the opposite of conversational. Like blogging or article writing, it’s usually conversational and casual in tone, not using $10 words or speaking formally.

      • Tony Nzaka

        I’ve always felt–and believe–that academic writing (writing research papers, etc for students) is unethical as you’re essentially helping the students lie, especially considering that those papers usually contain words like “…I confirm that this is my work…”

        I understand that the courses being taken may contain some not-so-relevant topics when one is looking to get the degree maybe for a promotion at work, but still, are we not lying?

        I know the academic writing industry is big but I think it would be better if freelance writers focused on building and monetizing their own blogs, as well as sourcing freelance writing jobs from businesses. And as you correctly pointed out, businesses pay better.

        Thanks for the insights you share here Carol.

  20. Karen Miller

    This site looks great! I love the images. I’m currently not making a ton on blogs, maybe a few hundred a month, but I love working on them. They’re actually my favorite content to write! I started out writing really fast SEO articles and it paid next to nothing, but it was a great way to get into the habit of writing until I found better clients. (It took about 6 months.)

    • Make A Living Writing

      Thanks for the complement, Karen. A few hundred a month is a nice starting point for blogging. And since you enjoy writing blogs (and so do we – being able to write in a conversational tone is just plain fun!), it’s worth your time and effort to grow your blogging income. I recommend choosing one strategy from this post and focusing on it over the next month. Which one do you think seems most realistic for you to try first?


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