You’re probably wondering how to make money writing online. There’s a lot of ways to do it, but honestly I haven’t found much work that pays well. There’s just a huge dearth of well-paid writing gigs, at least that was my experience in the first eight months of my journey to build my freelance writing business.

My Journey to Make Money Writing Online

In the spring of 2017, I embarked on that journey, and I set off without a map. I didn’t take any special courses. I didn’t spend money on books. I just decided to wing it. I signed up for a freelancer account on Upwork and set up my profile. Then I needed to figure out what I was going to charge for an hour of work.

I didn’t know what the heck to charge, so I just calculated what I was earning at my corporate job as a recruiter and adjusted for having to pay my own taxes. It came out to $20 an hour.

Then I bought a copy of Writer’s Market 2018.

Is Writer’s Market worth it?

Boy, do I wish I’d bought it earlier. Even though I’ve now increased my rate to over $45 an hour, I’d spent around nearly a year fumbling around, trying to figure out how to structure my writing business, how much to charge, what kind of services to offer, and what kind of Upwork jobs to look for. Once I bought it, I spent a few minutes flipping through it and wondered whether or not it was even worth it. It seemed a touch confusing at first. But then, I flipped to the best part.

There was a chart full of prices that writers charge for different kinds of services. This itself, to me, was enormously helpful for a few reasons.

1) Writer’s Market Shows you The kinds of services that people pay for.

I had no clue that there was all this writing that people and businesses paid for. For example, it never occurred to me that there was a market for press kits. Sure, I’d written an EPK for a musician, but I thought it was more of a one-off, an unusual project. But apparently there are a fair amount of musicians who need a writer to write them an electronic press kit that concisely summarizes who they are and describes the music they create in a fantastic way.

There are loads of other services listed in there too. Basically, it gives you an idea of what kind of writing you can do to make money. And isn’t that the question we’re asking? How can you make money writing? Well, that chart gives you all the answers.

2) Writer’s Market tells you what the market rates are for all kinds of writing

Not only does that chart in Writer’s Market provide you with an exhaustive list of writing services that you can charge for, it’ll tell you the average price that writers are charging for each service, as well as the high and the low end. Armed with that data, you can just fill out a spreadsheet to determine how much you think you’re worth and set that dollar amount as your standard rate.

I said that I’d started out with an hourly rate of $20. Well, it turns out I was short-selling myself. On average, I think that the writing I was getting paid was valued at somewhere around $28-$30.

Remember that in a marketplace, you’re going to be questioned about why you’re charging so much. Business is business. A lot of businesses will try to get you to lower your rates. And if you don’t know what the market rate is, you may be tempted to. Know what your writing is worth. Remember that they’re in the business of making money, and that your writing is going to play a part in their profit-making. Don’t get greedy, but don’t be shy about asserting your worth either.

Knowledge is power

Anyway, the point is that it pays to arm yourself with market knowledge. Just make sure that whatever it is you’re charging, you can justify it. By now, I’ve increased my minimum rate to $45; and I charge up to $100 an hour for some projects. Knowing the market rates will give you the confidence to set your rates at a certain level. Having that confidence will help you make money writing because you won’t be second-guessing yourself and wondering if you should charge less money.

I’ll continue to go through the book and share more about how I’m using it to make money writing online. In the meantime, educate yourself: click here to grab your copy now and charge the right price for your writing. It’ll give you some focus on the keywords to search for when looking for writing gigs, and you’ll know how much to charge for services like ghostwriting, copywriting, and more.