"But if you want to consistently make $100,000 a year as a freelance writer, you need to avoid the poverty mentality that holds so many writers back from earning a high income. A doorman in New York City earns around $30,000 annually. If an unskilled laborer can make $30,000 just for opening a door, surely you can earn $50,000 to 100,000 for your skills." (Michelle Ruberg)
So, you want to make a living at freelance writing. Is it possible? Or will you just be another starving artist trying to make ends meet? According to Michelle Ruberg, author of the Writer's Digest Handbook of Magazine Articles, it is possible. You first have to distinguish the act of writing from the business of writing. Robert Bly decided to become a freelance writer in 1982. For the first two years, he struggled, but he kept tapping away at his typewriter. By the third year, he was raking in $100,000 a year and he's never looked back, Read about his experience in his book Getting Started as a Freelance Writer.
Here are Michelle Ruberg's eight steps to follow to become a lucrative freelance writer:
1. Get serious about money
As Michelle Ruberg states: "But if you want to consistently make $100,000 a year as a freelance writer, you need to avoid the poverty mentality that holds so many writers back from earning a high income. A doorman in New York City earns around $30,000 annually. If an unskilled laborer can make $30,000 just for opening a door, surely you can earn $50,000 to $100,000 for your skills."
2. Set daily revenue goals
Imagine you set a goal of $100,000 per year. That's $2000 per week or $400 per day (for a 5-day week). Keep in mind that some days you will be sending out query letters or participating in self-promotion. However, on average you should be earning $400 per day.
3. Value your time
4. Be more productive
Rise an hour early to work uninterrupted. Nancy Flynn, author of The $100,000 Writer (http://www.amazon.com/The-100-Writer-Nancy-Flynn/dp/1580622658), avoids meetings and uses the telephone or e-mail instead.
5. Nix Writer's Block
Write daily to ensure a constant flow. If you do encounter writer's block, make sure you have many projects about various subjects on the go. If you're stuck on a headline, set it aside to work on another article. If all else fails, go for a walk to clear the cobwebs from your head.
6. Get Paid More
Don't haggle over nickels and dimes. Rather than asking for a five cent a word pay raise, target the high paying magazines to start with. It will be much easier to meet your $400 per day quota if you are paid $2000 per assignment rather than $200 per assignment.
7. Create a demand
Try to remain busy most of the time. The way to do this is to specialize. For example, write about subjects like gardening, waste water management or investment. Specialize in format by writing only how to articles, children's articles or online venues. The more in demand you are, the more money you will earn. If your demand exceeds your supply, you will eventually be able to pick and choose your assignments.
8. Get repeat business
When you get repeat assignments you become familiar with your client and organization. A working relationship develops which saves both you and your client time. Michelle Ruberg recommends three tips towards achieving this goal: give each job your best effort; provide excellent customer service; and ask the editor for another assignment (ask and you shall receive).
Above all, believe that you can do it!