Erica and Jordan at the The Worth Project have the goal of sharing their personal finance experience to help readers improve their financial lives. We regularly partner with companies that share that same vision. Some of the links in this post may be from our partners. Here's how we make money.
When I had Henry in March 2018, I was under the impression that I would get back to my normal working self within a matter of weeks. Partly because I wanted to spend at least a few hours a week thinking about something other than a baby, and partly because when you’re self-employed, maternity leave is not a thing.
So, when Henry was just two weeks old, I found myself on a video Skype call with a client trying to nail down some ideas for a new project. Henry was napping peacefully, for the first five minutes. Then, almost on queue, he woke up demanding attention. While this client was very understanding, it was a warning sign to me that I was going down an unsustainable path.
I kept this up for a couple months, working a very reduced schedule (I’m talking just a couple of hours a day), trying to make it all work. Then, at the beginning of the summer, I missed a difficult-to-schedule meeting with my client’s entire team. Just plain forgot to call into it until it had ended.
I couldn’t blame Henry. I was tired and only sleeping in 3-4 hour chunks at night and it just slipped my mind. Fortunately, this client was so, so understanding about it, but still…
I knew something needed to change. I was still months away from getting childcare sorted out and feeling like I could jump back into a good work rhythm. Plus, I did want to spend some real time with Henry because those baby days pass by so quickly.
But our well-padded savings account was running out of padding.
When I began looking for other options, I stumbled upon the idea of freelance writing. Doubtful that I could make a living from it, I brushed the idea aside. That is until I heard about Holly Johnson and her course Earn More Writing.
Enter: Earn More Writing
Let me start by saying that I’m an online course skeptic. I think I’ve been burned too many times from buying a course that promised to change my life and then getting pretty much nothing in return.
When I stumbled upon the Earn More Writing course, I was my natural, skeptical self with two big reservations:
- There was no way that I could earn a decent amount of money freelance writing. Right?
- I don’t trust people who make their living by telling you how to make money online.
I decided to pass on the course, but I was still curious.
So, I did what anyone does. I began my internet sleuthing.
Turns out Holly makes over $200k per year from freelance writing. That doesn’t include the money she makes from the course or from her own blog.
Let that sink in. $200k per year. From freelance writing.
I was intrigued, but still skeptical.
It took another month of watching my savings account dwindle and still not feeling ready to jump back into building up my consulting work for me to finally buy the course.
I purchased it, spent one afternoon listening to all of the modules, and was ready to take on the world. Or, at least, see if there was anything to this freelance writing thing.
How I earned more writing
I should preface this by saying that I wasn’t entirely new to writing. I had dabbled in freelance writing but had never made much. I saw it as either a way to advertise my consulting business or do something fun. I had a small, but decent portfolio of articles to start with.
After finishing the course, I took the instructions of following through and sending out my first pitches. I had someone watch Henry for a few hours, I walked down to the local coffee shop, and I sent out five emails.
As I was walking home I had my first reply — a yes! A few hours later a second person responded with a yes. And with those two clients I was officially writing. That first day I had booked enough work to cover more than three times the cost of the course.
And the benefit of these writing jobs was that I had no client meetings to schedule or attend. No phone calls. No coordinating schedules. I could write while Henry napped or during the limited number of hours I had childcare.
This was by no means a full-time income, but I wasn’t putting in full-time work either. I was working enough to earn a decent amount of money, while keeping my quasi-maternity leave going a little longer.
How I Earned Even More Writing
Earn More Writing was extremely helpful in getting my first few clients and helping me see that freelance writing could be lucrative, but its real power is in the ongoing network.
When I finally jumped into the (very active) Facebook group, I had an urgent question. Two new writing clients asked for my rates and I wasn’t sure what the going rate for the industry was. I felt a little awkward posting a question asking about pricing, but within an hour I had some very thoughtful and helpful responses.
The best part? I was encouraged to up the rate I was planning to ask for by 30%, and neither client batted an eye at the cost.
How writing fits in now
In January, we got Henry settled in with nearly full-time childcare and I’m back to work. But as I was setting up my schedule I had to decide what to do: was I going to dive back in and only do consulting work? Would I let my freelance writing go?
Ultimately, I decided that I actually enjoy freelance writing. I get to write for interesting companies about interesting topics. So far, I’ve worked with really nice editors and find this whole world of freelance writing really intriguing.
Anyone who is self-employed knows that there can be serious ups and downs with income. Some months you feel like you’re covered with work and can barely dig your way out and other months you’re wondering where everyone went.
Freelance writing gives me a really nice, fairly consistent stream of income to help offset the ups and downs of working with consulting clients. I ultimately decided that for now, I’m going to do both: continue to build up my consulting business while also doing freelance writing to help supplement my income.
Who this course is best for
If you’ve ever daydreamed about being a freelance writer, whether full-time or as a way to supplement your income, this course could be a big help. You may not make $200k per year like Holly (seriously, that woman is a productivity machine), but this course lives up to its title: it will help you earn more from writing.
That said, freelance writing is definitely not a get rich quick scheme. There’s a lot of work that goes into building a lucrative writing career. My first articles took an excruciatingly long time to write. You usually have to work your way up to being very well paid (and in demand). And some niches are more profitable than others — I happen to write about personal finance, which generally comes with generous budgets.
If you’re going to try your hand at freelance writing (or you’re already writing but can’t seem to get away from bargain basement rates), this is the course for you. You have to do the work, but once you land those first few clients, it will all be worth it.
This is an affiliate link for the course Earn More Writing. If you purchase through this link, I will be paid a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only have affiliates for companies I know and love, and this course is no exception. Need more info? Read how we make money.
Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: personal finance and family travel. website. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she's not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.
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