Is there enough freelance work to go around?

One of the questions that I have most often encountered when people ask me about freelance writing is the money. How much can a person make? Are there enough job opportunities out there to make a decent living?

Myth: Freelance writers have low incomes and need others jobs to support themselves.

Truth: I am not poor. Not everyone could live on my income, but I am not poor. As with any business in any field, self-employment can be risky and unpredictable. As an entrepreneur and a business owner, I am entirely responsible for the amount of money that I bring in. I am paid to produce content, and the more content I produce, the more money I make. On the same token, if I don’t produce, I don’t get paid. This is not only true in the freelance world, but in any business, with any career. If you don’t work, you won’t get paid.

Many freelance writers do start out part-time and have other jobs. The creative process is more free when your masterpiece is not the factor that will determine whether or not you can pay your bills. Freelance writing is easier when you have another job, in some ways, but you don’t need one if you don’t want one. In some ways, it is more difficult to be successful at freelance writing with the obligations of another job.

It is important to note that there will be no perfect time to take the risk. If you can afford to fail, go for it. I don’t believe that just anyone can succeed at freelance writing full-time. You don’t have to be a fantastic writer, but you do have to be decent at it, and you need to know how to run a business. It takes long hours of hard work, marketing, organization and dedication. If people have told you that freelance writing isn’t worth your time, and you can never support yourself with it, don’t believe them. If you are meant to succeed at it, you will.

Here is a list of people who have really made it big in the business with six figures a year:

Bob Bly
Kelly James-Enger
Beverly Bachel
Peter Bowerman
Andrea King Collier
Lisa Collier Cool
Sondra Forsyth
Karen Frankel
Sam Greengard
Tim Harper
Leah Ingram
Jennifer Lawler
Margaret Littman
Robert McGarvey
Victoria Moran
Jim Morrison
Brian O’Connell
Jennifer Pirtle
Erik Sherman
Jim Thornton
Terry Whalin
Nick Usborne

Note that it takes time to develop the skills and the reputation necessary to acquire financial freedom as a freelance writer. There will be times that you don’t have any work and other times when you have so much that you don’t know where to start. If you are determined, you can support yourself and your family with money left over.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can support us, but there is rarely money left over at this stage. But that, like everything else, will simply take time.

  2. Great post! It definitely takes time. You won’t start rolling in the big bucks overnight or the day you start freelancing, but if you stick it out and build a rep then it will pay off eventually over time.

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