Make Money Writing: Does Business Take Advantage Of Freelancers?
Do you make money writing? Sometimes business can take advantage of writers, but how do we combat this? This is what I’ve found as an SEO copywriter.
In this Make Money Writing blog article, you will find tips on the following areas:
- As a writer, you are able to make money as a freelancer, helping you broaden your skillset and craft,
- By working as a freelance copywriter, I make money writing and offer some tips from experience, allowing you to dodge some of the traps,
- Understanding your worth is vital as a copywriter, as it gives you confidence when pitching for work, meaning will earn the money you deserve,
- Insist on a deposit before you complete any work as you can earn a base amount, meaning you feel less anxious when claiming the remaining fee,
- When chasing invoices, set a payment deadline so you get paid on time and you have a definite date to call a client if the invoice is unpaid,
- Set up simple payment methods so you can get paid easier and swiftly from your clients.
Read the rest of the Make Money Writing blog article to see how you can earn from your love of writing.
Every writer wants to make money writing. However, this is not always a possibility, especially as a self-published or independent author.
When I published Inside Iris in 2018 and Anna’s Awakening in 2020, I knew I wouldn’t sell enough of my novels to make a living off of them alone. I was aware of the fact that I would have to supplement my income by writing content for businesses and others who work in the creative industries. By doing this, I would be able to make money writing.
One would think that working as a freelance copywriter would be relatively simple. You set a price for your work, and people pay you for the work you do. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Setting myself up as an SEO copywriter has not been easy, and there have been a few bumps along the way so far. However, I have loved so many aspects of the job and being able to make money writing. The fact that businesses can view what I do as ‘just writing a blog’ is part of a massive misconception about what an SEO copywriter does.
Therefore, trying to chase up invoices and get paid for work that has been completed can be a challenge. There is also the challenge of trying to get paid the appropriate rate for the SEO blogs or copy that I write.
Many of us writers out there can face these uphill battles regularly, and this is an issue across many of the creative industries. If you are a writer and want to make money writing, read the rest of this article to see if you can learn the pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Make Money Writing: Not So Simple
When we research the term ‘Make Money Writing’ on Google, we are presented with the same examples that every writer tries and has limited success with. They include:
- Enter a writing competition – Many of these competitions require payment to enter, and you have very little chance of winning the main prize. Then they can also add a stipulation that a piece cannot be entered if it has been submitted to any other competition anywhere in the world. Therefore, that rejection means your story cannot be used again.
- Write online articles – You find this one a lot, and when I have contacted the publications about the possibility of writing for them, it is not that simple. They say they don’t pay for contributions now and have also hired their staff to write. Due to policy changes like this, many of these options are not viable to receive payment for your work.
- Write a bestseller – this is always my favourite ‘tip’ for those looking for advice. It is incredibly simple to ‘write a bestseller‘ and publish, market and promote it yourself on Amazon. Why didn’t I think of merely writing a bestseller and retiring on the millions of pounds/dollars/euros it would make me?! How dumb am I?
Sometimes I laugh but, on the other hand, it is depressing when this is the advice you get from fellow bloggers out there. Neither of the points listed above can be considered viable creative writing advice. They are nothing more than shots in the dark at a dartboard that is spinning while we throw the dart with our weaker arm.
Realistically, it is not that simple to make money writing. If it were, we would all be rich and only have to write when we felt like it. The writing we would compose would be our own, making millions more off our next sure-thing ‘bestseller’.
In the real world, writers have to scour the internet for possible opportunities. Then, when the opportunity comes up, there are hundreds of other applicants. If a freelancer website is used, you put in a bid for a job only to find someone in a far-flung land has offered the world for $5! We then also get work as CV writers for people who are incredibly qualified but apparently have zero CV writing skills.
I have seen the Good, Bad & The Ugly of SEO Copywriting in my time as an SEO copywriter. It is not easy to make money writing, but here are some points I would offer all writers out there who want to write for a living. Let’s dig in.
The Fee Is The Fee
Research is vital for anyone who is considering any form of work as a freelance creative. Whether you are an SEO copywriter & blogger, a graphic designer, a dressmaker, or a personal trainer. If you plan to work for yourself, you need to compile some form of accurate research concerning the field you wish to move into.
As someone who changed career from teaching, I knew exactly how much money I earned and translated that into an hourly rate that I would hope to receive as a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. I then researched industry rates and even make contact with professional bodies to gauge what the fees would be across the UK and Northern Ireland.
Without this research, I would not have been able to pitch myself to clients at a level that could be considered fair for them and also liveable for me. The conversations I had with fellow freelance bloggers, SEO copywriters and business development professionals, like Invest NI, helped me to set a fee for the work I would provide local companies and services.
The money you make is depending on training and experience. When I talk about my own experience, I can say I have:
- BA English Literature (2:1)
- MA Creative Writing,
- Digital Training experience with businesses, and,
- Digital Marketing training.
You then also have to consider your viable work-related experience to the field. To be able to say that you have worked for multiple clients for X years as a freelance SEO blogger can help a lot. If you can marry that up with references from people within the industry, you stand a higher chance of being able to make money writing.
The final area for discussion is to believe that ‘the fee is the fee’ and stick to it. If you want to make money writing and be taken seriously as a freelancer in whichever avenue you work, you need to believe in yourself, your skills and the service you provide.
Therefore, if your service is work £50 per article, then set out to get £50 per article. You can obviously work around a client’s needs and possibly move on the price, but set yourself a lowest possible fee and don’t go below it. Some people will say it’s better to have £30 than nothing, but that is not always the case.
This is a tricky area to consider as a freelance writer but, if you want to make money writing, you need to make money. If the fee presented to you is too low, then you have to consider whether the work will be worth it in the long run.
Comment below with your thoughts. How have you set out a pricing strategy? Does it work for you?
Why Deposits Are Crucial
The deposit is critical for anyone working as a freelance SEO copywriter or a blogger for a business. By securing a 50% or 60% deposit to start work, you will guarantee payment for a proportion of the work upfront and, if required, can cover any ‘hard costs’ that your client’s needs may encounter.
As someone who has worked for freelance agencies, marketing agencies, and from freelance websites, I have seen many different practices that have opened my eyes to how business works. I am no expert, but I like to think we learn every day.
Once you have quoted the work for your client, insist on the percentage of deposit before the work begins. You should then also ask for the remaining payment when the job has been completed. As a freelancer, you can invoice the client and ask for payment within 14 or 30 days of the date on the invoice.
Whichever way you decide to recoup the final payment from a client, you need to ensure you stand firm over the price and chase down the invoice once it has been sent.
At least if you have gathered in a percentage of the fee for the service you provided, you will have something there rather than waiting for the full amount. As a freelance SEO copywriter who has been burned in the past, I would not do any work for free. There are too many risks and, as a fellow creative, we need to ensure we receive something for the work that is carried out before a word is typed.
How do you set out your deposit and final payment structure as a writer? Have you run into problems in the past? Comment below.
Chasing That Invoice
Once the invoice has been sent, it is up to you to chase it down if it has not been paid inside the agreed timescale. If you have given the client the stated time to pay, you should work with them to recoup the outstanding monies that are owed.
This doesn’t mean that you harass the client or come across as rude in any way. Remember, you are a business person and want to come across as a professional. This means that you remain polite and paint yourself in the best light as possible.
If your client misses a payment, it is common practice to send polite reminder emails every week and possibly state that you will follow up with a call. However, you need to remember that a company may be awaiting payments from their clients which, in turn, could be affecting the amount to you. Be understanding and sympathetic to a point. It could work out well in your favour further down the line.
When it comes to receiving payments, it is essential to make the process as simple as possible. With any number of online payment sites and electronic bank transfers, it is crucial to consider which payment and transfer option is best for you and your business.
As a freelancer, you can easily set up a PayPal or Stripe account to save sending bank details. Just be aware of any charges that programmes like this can remove from any payments received from your clients. All of these little amounts add up.
When a writer wants to make money writing, the collection of outstanding invoices from clients is a vital part of the process. Also, setting out terms and conditions as well as viable payment programmes need to be considered carefully.
Remember, you are a business person and want to come across as a professional at all times. That means giving thought to how you go about chasing that invoice and which collection method you use is critical. We don’t want to lose profits to hidden fees or come across as an ogre to clients when they are a day late with a payment. Make plans and plan carefully.
How have you dealt with late invoices in the past? Which strategies have you put in place to help the system run smoothly? Comment below.
Make Money Writing: The Takeaway
To make money writing, it is up to us as writers, authors and copywriters to ensure we set a price for the word we produce and stick to it. By researching realistic rates for jobs like an SEO copywriter and analysing local conditions, you can set a series of rates for one’s work that business can follow.
There is no doubt that one has to be flexible to tailor packages for clients on a client-by-client basis. This allows for movement to ensure that each client’s needs are met in a manner that is fitting to their situation. Each company is unique and therefore the rates for our work can be equally as unique and bespoke.
I do make money writing, and I do so as an SEO copywriter in the Belfast area. I work with many varied clients and produce work that is scaled and priced out individually as per their business requirements. However, this does not mean that I should be expected to work for very little, or even for free, as a freelance copywriter.
It is our right as freelance writers and authors to expect fair payment from a business for our work and that we are paid on time. Unfortunately, there are many businesses and freelance writers our there who are continually chasing unpaid invoices or who feel they have to work for less than the ‘going rate’ for their craft.
I hope that you have found my make money writing article useful and have been able to take some tips from the points above. Remember, we may be freelance, but we provide a valuable service for those who employ us. If we work professionally, the businesses who hire us ought to do the same. Comment below with your thoughts and let’s start a discussion on how we can make money writing.