8 steps toward a six-figure freelance writing income

Here's what $100,000-per-year freelance writers don’t want you to know: none of them – save perhaps one! – is probably that much of a better writer than you.

writing income

3. Create passive income.

Passive income is money you generate while sleeping, going on vacation, or doing other money-generating work. It’s awesome…though it’s hard to come by. Consider a 50-page CreateSpace book that earns you $100/month. Now add in another $100/month from click-throughs on writing-related AdSense ads that you feature on your website or blog. Cha-ching.

What other digital products can you offer on your website that people will pay for? How many other e-books can you easily write in your areas of expertise? What freelance jobs can you take on that earn money upfront but also offer the possibility of back-end royalties?

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4. Ask for more money.

I stumbled onto this doozy when I was in college and had pitched an article to – of all places – a quilting magazine. The editor called to offer me $200. Feeling youthfully brash, I simply said, “In my mind, I was thinking $400.” Then I suffered through the most agonizing six seconds of my life until she said, “Okay. I can go as high as $325.” I made 62 percent more money…just by asking for more money.

And for those of you who worry this tactic might result in a non-sale, don’t. If they come back with “Oh, you think you’re too good to write for $200? Then get lost!” then you want to get lost. Fast. Reasonable, professional editors will negotiate – or at least explain why they can’t go any higher.

5. Interview smarter.

Never do face-to-face interviews if you can help it. Seriously. Ninety percent of my interviews these days are done via phone or email. Why? I save one to two hours of travel per interview. Save the face-to-face stuff for when you’re interviewing Stephen King, an NBA player, or someone you truly want to meet. Those are worth doing face to face, though you’d be surprised at how often they’re too busy to meet with you. I’ve interviewed Carlton Fisk by phone while he was at a hotel pool watching his family swim. I’ve even interviewed TV star and designer David Bromstad by phone while he was stuck in traffic on California’s I-5.