Home > Blog > Blog > Here’s How You Stack Up Compared to Other Freelancers

Here’s How You Stack Up Compared to Other Freelancers

Carol Tice

Stack of pancakes

Have you been wondering how well you’re doing as a freelance writer?

If so, you’re not alone.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this lately. Writers are burning up to know how their progress compares to that of other freelance writers.

Recent questions I’ve had include:

What is the average time it takes to write an article?

What is the average pay for an article?

What is the going rate for a blog post?

How long does it take the average writer to ramp up their freelance writing business into a full-time living?

So. Here’s the question I’ve got:

Why do you want to know?

What is with this fixation of endlessly comparing your success, your pay rate, your client list, with that of other writers?

I find this a highly negative mindset, constantly worrying about whether you stack up well — whether you’re the most productive, best-paid, or most creative writer.

Here is the only person I spend much time comparing my writing work to:


That’s right. I’m my biggest — and toughest — competitor.

To be specific, I compare my writing career now with how I did last year.

If last year I earned X, this year I’d like to earn X plus something more.

If I had X level of clients last year, I’d like to have better than that this year.

That’s the whole plan.

By focusing only on self-improvement and keeping the blinders on about other writers’ progress, I’ve been able to earn more each year since 2006.

I feel pretty great about that.

Let’s take a peek at how I could be feeling about my freelance accomplishments of the past six years or so if I had focused on what other writers are accomplishing instead…

(movie-like dissolve to dream sequence)…

Hmm…some of my favorite Seattle Times investigative-team reporters won a Pulitzer. And I didn’t. If only I’d stayed in newspaper journalism, I could be getting those accolades. I know I’ve got the chops for that. I feel insignificant and that my writing isn’t making an impact.

I make good money, but I know top copywriters make at least twice what I do. Hmph. I sort of suck, don’t I? Why didn’t I master the art of writing direct mail?

I’m really happy with the modest success of my blog and my writer community…but I’m hardly a million-dollar blogger like Brian Clark, Seth Godin, Leo Babauta and all the A-Listers.

I know writers who’ve written for my dream publication — Vanity Fair. People who’ve written hit TV shows and Broadway musicals, and others who’ve published acclaimed nonfiction books. And they did it all at a much younger age than I am now.

Loser me, on the other hand, just has this one co-authored business book coming out in May.

I’m so slow. And old. And pathetic. I’ve missed so many opportunities.

Great. Now I feel like crap.

(movie dissolve back to reality)…

Does this help you see how utterly unhelpful and negative this comparison game is?

Your writing career is your writing career. It’s better than some writers, and not as great as others.

Just like mine.

The answers to your questions

Here are my honest answers to all your questions about how you stack up:

Some writers write faster than you. Some write slower.

Some earn more per article or blog post. Some earn less.

Some have better clients than you do. Some have worse.

Some will take longer to get their freelancing launched, while others will do it faster.

None of that matters.

All that matters is that you improve. Keep moving up. Write all you can, in the best places you can.

Stay focused on your accomplishments. Set your goals. And celebrate your success.

What freelance success would you like to celebrate? Leave a comment and tell us about it.


What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

List Of Free Blogging Platforms (2023 Options)

Starting a blog doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. If you're interested in checking out a list of free blogging platforms, you have come to the right place. As of the time of writing the article, there are still a few great options! Free blogging sties won't suit...