Writing for Money? Here’s What You’ll Earn in 2019 [Audio]

Carol Tice

Writing for Money: What You’ll Earn. Makealivingwriting.comI bet you didn’t know that I can see the future. It’s true! If you’re writing for money, now that it’s April, I can tell what your writing income will be this year.

Sound crazy? It’s really simple.

Once you know the secret, you’ll have a good idea what you’re likely to earn from writing this year, too.

I wanted to talk you through this, so I’ve put together a short audio recording that demonstrates my fortune-telling abilities.

Give it a listen…and then you’ll know what your checkbook will say at year-end. You’ll also find out what to do if you’d like to see a bigger number than my forecast reveals.

What you’ll earn writing for money

Take a listen, and I’ll explain how I can already tell what you’ll make, writing for pay this year.

Listen: My First Quarter Predictions for Freelance Writers’ Income.

Did that surprise you?

If you’re one of those people who don’t like to listen to audio, here are the show notes:

Do a little math. Add up what you earned in the first quarter of the year. Multiple by four, and you have your projected income for this year.

Evaluate. What do you think of that figure? Does it make you happy, or maybe terrified?

Plan. If you don’t like your projection, it’s time to think of how you will change the outcome.

What could you change in your marketing, to make it more effective? How will you connect with more or better clients? Do you need to target a different type of writing client?

Document. Put your new plan in writing and create a weekly check-in time to review your progress. Now’s the time to course-correct, while the year is still fairly young, and there’s time to do marketing that can pay off well before year-end.

If you don’t have an accountability buddy yet, who you can call weekly to keep you on track, you can get one here.

Earn more writing for pay

I have a philosophy that we writers work hard for our clients. It’s really not worth doing this career, if you’re not getting well paid! It needs to add up to a solid income. (If you don’t know what to charge, check out this post on how to figure out your daily rate.)

The end of the first quarter is a great time to firm up your income goals for the year — and make a concrete plan for reaching them.

What will writing for money earn you in 2019? Let’s discuss your goals in the comments.

Avoid writing scams: Join Freelance Writers Den


  1. Peggy Jurcisin

    I enjoyed listening to your podcast on forecasting earning in the first quarter. At this point, and during my previous 20 years of freelancing I cannot implement this strategy. However, I hope to soon. Due to my client base being over 70% manufacturing and government I don’t see my income shift into gear until the second quarter. As I transition my client base toward more tech, science and medical I hope I can forecast before the beginning of the second quarter.
    Keep up the great work. I Love Freelance Writers Den, Make a Living Writing and all the camaraderie.

    • Carol Tice

      AHA — Peggy, you will need to do a HALF-YEAR forecast at the end of June, then. 😉 Multiply by two. Harder to course-correct at that point, but sounds like you’ll get a better number.

  2. Linda H.

    My writing goal for this year is simple–Get back to writing. But it’s a little complicated for me. After 20 months in a hospital/skilled nursing facility recovering from serious medical issues and surgery, I’m back to wanting to earn a living writing. Yet I can only earn so much income or I’ll lose the medical coverage I have and possibly my retirement income. Things will change slightly in September, but until them I’m limited to approximately $58/month income.
    And after 32 years in career writing I want to work with fewer clients and a better audience. I’m burned out on hundreds of clients who wanted quality for for $25/piece.
    So I’m soul-searching and researching what I want to do. Carol is still my main source of encouragement and writing experience. She keeps me motivated. As I heal and get healthier I’ll make more progress. How to do so without overstepping my boundaries will take lots of research. And getting back to regular writing will require discipline and pacing. But I’ll do it.
    This was a great blog on monitoring my income expectations and what to look for in my future success.

    • Carol Tice

      Linda – maybe you get some clients you could write for who are willing to DEFER your payment to September? Then you could get a big windfall once you can get it without impacting benefits? Just an idea.

    • Linda

      Sounds like a good idea. I’ll work on it. Thank you!

  3. Emily S. Marten

    I’m so happy for your success and wish to have some of that myself someday. You mentioned you do not have a website, is makealivingwriting.com not your website? I’m not sure I understand.

    • Carol Tice

      Emily, I have about 5 sites, so not sure where you’re seeing I don’t have one! Besides the blog, of course there’s Freelance Writers Den, I have my portfolio at caroltice.com, and more.

    • Emily S. Marten

      I apologize! I was looking at Edwards comment and I thought that was you talking. Thank you for clearing that up!

    • Carol Tice

      No problem!

  4. Edward Humphries

    Here’s how I broke it down for my income. I work 9-hour days, 5 days a week. I start at 5 am and work until 2 pm.

    I either write one $60 article an hour or two $30 articles every thirty minutes. Either way, it’s $60 per hour.

    After nine hours, I make $540 (before taxes, of course). Keep in mind, I don’t take brakes other than the occasional stretch and a bathroom break. I don’t need a break since I get off at 2 pm.

    $540 per day equals $2700 per week.
    $10,800 per month
    $129,000 per year.

    It took me three years to get to that point, but I did it. Now I take all of December off and do not work at all so that I can spend that time getting higher paying jobs for the upcoming year.

    I’ve brought in that much consistently each year over the last three years, as I’m going into my sixth year of writing.

    Interestingly enough, at least 1/3 of my income is from crowdsourcing sites. The rest is direct customers that I secure through aggressive marketing. Another thing I’d like to point out is that I do NOT specialize – at all. I’m the one person who can blow that argument out of the water. Also, I don’t use all these complicated marketing tactics, and I don’t have a website. I use the simplest, straightest road to success possible. No magic, no big techniques. Just simple hard work and reaching out to potential clients with an email or a phone call.

    • Carol Tice

      Edward… are you saying you are currently earning $129K a year writing $30 articles?

      If so…my condolences. That’s a lot of hours to work. And the market for $30 articles is drying up, have you noticed? I have to ask whether writing as a generalist for $30 is making your heart sing, you love it, you’re so happy writing about bathroom grout or whatever?

      Also, ZERO of your working hours are needed for administrative or marketing time?

      I don’t have a sense of this is your projection or this is your reality…but I have a feeling your math is off. When do you do the aggressive marketing, go on vacation, take a sick day, take the odd day off to just go have fun?

      And…for how long do you think you can go on, writing $30 articles two per hour, with no time out to stretch, eat lunch, nothing… before you’re hopelessly burned out on it?

      I’m interested to learn more…

    • Edward Humphries

      So, you are right, the math is off. It’s closer to $100 to $110K if you factor in the days off and the vacation. But you did not clearly think through my entire message. By the time the week is over, I’ve only worked 45 hours. Plus, I get off at 2 pm every day, so I have the rest of the day to go to the gym, spend time with my wife, cook dinner, go for a walk, or whatever. Plus I have my weekends, so I’m not hurting for personal time.

      I don’t even look at the price of an article anymore. I calculate my income by the hour. So I keep a steady flow of articles come from multiple resources to ensure that I have plenty of work. I have developed a system that ensures that I make at least $500 to $550 per day. At the end of the day, the pay per article is irrelevent as long as I hit my goal.

      And as far as your comment about work drying up ($30 articles), I have no idea what you are talking about. I have more work than I can handle. In the six years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had a hard time finding work or keeping clients.

      Honestly, Carol. I don’t work any harder than anyone else. I just learn to work fast and efficiently, and I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I’ve learned that the secret to this business is precision and discipline and devising my own system for success.

      I’ve tried doing it other people’s way and it just doesn’t work for me. But the number one reason for my success is keeping things really simple. 90% of all the so-called ‘strategies’ out there that people use and preach for being successful, I find to be way too complicated. My ‘aggressive’ marketing works because I’ve simplified it. It takes way less effort for me to market my work than it does most people who use all these strategies. Simplicity and efficiency are the key.

      And, btw, my specialty – if I were to specialize – is SEO. That’s it. I’ve written in over 30 industries over the past six years. It keeps me from getting bored. I specialize in writing content for SEO. That’s it. It’s that simple. Every time I hear arguments for specialization, I just laugh. I have no clue what people are talking about. If I had to write about the same thing over and again every day, I think I’d shoot myself.

    • Carol Tice

      I’d love to hear you report in a year or so if you’re really cracking six figures with that approach…everyone I know who writes the short SEO garbage you can churn out in 30 minutes burns out pretty quick. And is also reporting that they’re desperate to find more assignments, more and more outlets that offer this kind of work are closing down or the boards are drying up.

      And…most of us, if I get up at 5 am, by 2 I am TOAST. Not exactly fresh for dealing with family! Fascinating that it all works for you, but having helped 12,000 writers over the past 7 years, I can definitely say sustained success in this approach — quickly writing short, low-paid SEO ‘articles’–is extremely rare. Hope it keeps working out for you!

  5. Jeannie Michael

    Oh Carol, you are just right on, as usual.
    What a good sharp kick in the butt!

    • Carol Tice

      Jeannie, I think many writers imagine that after a weak first quarter, they will somehow come from behind for a big win later in the year. But in reality, first-quarter performance is highly predictive of full-year earnings. If you don’t like your forecast…time for more marketing!

    • Jeannie Michael

      Of course it is (time for marketing)
      I know. It’s just DOING it that hurts.
      Think I’ve got the right motivator now, though. Things gonna improve!
      I did want to ask Edward what on Earth and for whom he is writing, but I think you answered the question for me.

    • Jeannie Michael

      Yep. It helps. Not that you haven’t emphasized those points before, but reading those particulars does give a more focused approach, and thank you. Again!

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