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Make More as a Freelance Writer: 6 Websites That Can Increase Your Earnings
The freelance writing life is wonderful, but it’s not easy.
You’re a business of one, responsible for marketing, writing and invoicing, as well as paying your bills each and every month.
If that’s something on your mind (and if you’re a freelance writer, it probably is), here are seven free sites that will help.
1. The Write Life
The first tool you need to arm yourself with? Knowledge.
And there’s no better to place to learn the ins and outs of freelance writing than The Write Life. It has information on everything from getting published to blogging, but its freelance writing coverage really shines.
Start with a post like How This Freelance Writer Made Six Figures in 2016, or check out its ebook Get Better Clients and Earn More Money.
2. Beyond Your Blog
One of the toughest parts of freelance writing is figuring out what editors want. And though no site is a crystal ball, Beyond Your Blog comes pretty close.
Offering articles, lists of writing opportunities and a Facebook group, it’s an all-around excellent resource for freelance writers.
Best of all, founder Susan Maccarelli often interviews editors from major websites to find out what they’re looking for from freelance writers. It’s a wonderful peek behind the scenes that will help fine-tune your pitches.
And when more of your pitches get accepted, guess what? You make more money.
If you don’t have a freelance writing portfolio yet, it’s easy to create one with Contently.
But your Contently portfolio won’t only be a repository for your previous work; it might also be a way to get future work. The platform works with brands that need content — and relies on its network of freelancers to create it.
When editors have projects for which they need writers, they search through the profiles of freelancers. So be sure to include your specialties in your profile, as well as the phrase “available for freelance assignments.”
Although I don’t depend on the platform for regular work, it’s always a nice surprise when an invitation to pitch a new Contently client appears in my inbox. And because the clients are national brands with big budgets, the assignments have paid crazy well.
4. Who Pays Writers
Don’t waste your time pitching an outlet that pays pennies — target ones that understand what good writing is worth.
Here to help is the crowdsourced database Who Pays Writers.
Just log on and type in a publication.It’ll bring up reports from other freelance writers: how much (and how quickly) it paid, plus whether they had an existing relationship with the editor and how much reporting was required.
Pitching outlets that pay more is a surefire way to increase your freelance earnings over time.
Although it recently changed, FreshBooks is still my favorite online bookkeeping tool.
I first fell in love with the platform because it allowed you to invoice your clients via Paypal — and it only took out a 50-cent fee. In the new version, that option’s no longer available; your clients can only pay via credit card, and the platform charges fees similar to Paypal.
But, here’s a little-known secret: If you already have a FreshBooks account, you can revert to the Classic version just by following these instructions. If you’re signing up for the first time, you’ll have to contact customer service to try Classic.
Whichever version you use, don’t forgo the option to track your time. Even if your hours aren’t billable, knowing how long projects take is a vital part of setting rates as a freelancer.
6. Careful Cents
Does the thought of doing your freelance taxes keep you up at night? I know the feeling.
That’s why I love reading Carrie Smith’s blog Careful Cents. As an accountant who later became a freelance writer, she’s been on both sides of the game. On her blog, she offers tons of helpful advice for managing your finances and making more money as a freelancer.
She even has a free mini-course called No More Job Boards that’s all about landing better-paying freelance work.
Work smarter — not harder — and the freelance writing gods might just reward you with an income you deserve.
Susan Shain is the founder of Where to Pitch, a free resource that helps freelance writers figure out where to pitch their stories. Just type in a publication or topic, and it'll suggest similar outlets. Pitch smarter, not harder!