Freelance writing can be one of the most lucrative writing opportunities around,  but a lot of writers go about it so wrong. This brings down not only their average income, but  their quality of life.

Where most people go wrong with freelance writing is a lack of self-confidence.  It’s a lack of confidence in their writing ability as well as a lack of knowledge of the business world in general.  Many of the freelance writers I meet, who are struggling,  are doing things like translation work, some form of long-form document stuff,  proofreading, or very low paid articles.

Low paid article writing seems to really do them in.  They do freelance writing gigs where they have to write 5 articles a day for people online.  That kind of work generally pays terrible.  Yes, it might be enough to just make your bill payments, but they are writing five or hours a day.  That kind of work doesn’t leave a lot of time for you to do other things like write for yourself,  marketing your freelance writing business, or  do higher-end projects so you can get paid more.

I know some writers who get up to $125 or more an hour. The way they do it is by focusing on value and this is what’s really important.  If you’re just writing work that anyone else can do, and it doesn’t mean a lot to your client, you’re not going to be paid a lot.


The key here is two things;  First is looking at the value your work actually delivers.   Most of the time it’s best when your work is tied to the income of your client.

For example, if you’re doing some kind of translation work that your client doesn’t really care about, but they feel obligated to do, your client is probably not going to want to pay you a lot.  However,  if you’re helping someone write an autobiography for them then they really care about this book.   They’re probably going to pay you a lot more money because this is going to represent them.

Another example is if you’re working on the content of a website for an e-commerce company.  That website is their most important marketing piece.  Naturally they’re going to be happy to pay you more money because if the website does well, then they’ll do well and be more profitable.

Start thinking about where your clients earn their money.  Think about the process their customers go through to get to them.  Then insert yourself somewhere in the process in a way  you’re going to be able to deliver more value.

The next thing your client is looking for  are ways to really accelerate their business.  They are looking to find opportunities to offer more and more value.


These are the absolute, most important things to your client.

First, the client needs to care about the work you’re doing.  If there’s someone who runs 20 different websites and they just want to hire someone to write five articles a day or that kind of work,  it’s going to pay really low.

In this kind of situation the client doesn’t really care. You could say to them, “Hey I’m the best writer in the world!”  It won’t matter because they don’t care. The job is a commodity buy for them.  The client just wants to get some articles done right.




This is this is very common when companies want to start a blog, but they don’t really care about it.  They don’t understand the value of optimized content.  The client thinks they have to start a blog and that’s all.   Check it off the list.

This is a good way to differentiate between freelance writing clients who care about the work and those who don’t care.

The client who feels like they have to do something is not going to want to pay you very much.  On the other hand, the clients who want to do something,  and they’re really passionate about it like a book they need help with or an important marketing campaign,  they care and they will pay you more.

Clients who care, who feel they have a strong message to share, who have a sense of urgency, are the people you can easily negotiate with to earn a lot more money.  Fees like $50 or $100 or more an hour are not unreasonable.  The client sees the value and they want to do it.  If they’re really passionate about the project, and you convince them that you are a better writer and you’re going to deliver more,  to them they’ll be happy to pay you more.  It’s meaningful for them.

The second point is around that value piece.  Are you actually delivering value?

The way you can deliver more value, and ask for higher fees,  comes down to the kind of work you’re trying to do.  I gave some examples  as to how you can give greater value than just being a good writer.


There is a lot written about tips for freelance writing jobs or how to negotiate,  how do you set up for queries,  and contracts through your marketing.   That’s all useful information, but if you’re focused on the wrong areas and wrong types of clients, then none of that matters.

This is where you want to start.  Reflect on the types of clients you’ve been working with.

Have you been giving value?

Have they really cared about the work?

Then think about kinds of kinds of freelance writing clients that may be much more likely to want to pay for your services.  What clients are much happier to do so?

Answer these questions and change your marketing to get the clients who care.  Demonstrate your value and they will be much more willing to pay your more!