If you’re passionate about writing, then getting paid to do it is the dream! But getting into the freelance writing business isn’t easy. If you don’t have a growth strategy, you can spend years doing low-paying gigs, feeling like there’s no way to move up the freelance writing ladder. In order to start pointing yourself in the right direction from the start, it’s useful to know where to find the highest paid freelance writing jobs.
The 4 highest paying freelance writing jobs are:
- Digital Marketing
In this article, we explore some of the best paid freelance writing niches and how you can maximise your earning potential. But first, let’s consider how freelance writers get paid in the first place.
How Do Most Freelance Writers Get Paid?
Most freelance writers get paid per word. These rates vary a lot, especially for beginners. Some clients may pay you an hourly rate, but most of the time it will be on a per word basis. PayPal is a common payment method, but this varies between clients.
The amount you can earn per word or per hour depends on lots of different factors. So, as a beginner, it’s worth planning ahead and thinking about the kinds of niches you’d like to write in, and your style of writing. These factors have a huge impact on your earning potential!
Can I Make a Living as a Freelance Writer?
You can make a living as a freelance writer. However, to do this you need to be willing to constantly improve your writing craft, be always engaging with new and existing clients, and have patience too. It can take a while to gain traction, but once you do you can definitely earn a living through freelance writing.
It’s All About the Niche
It pays to start thinking early about your niche as a freelance writer. Specialising in a niche makes you an expert in it. This allows you to then charge more for your services. But how do you find a niche?
How Do You Find Your Niche as a Freelance Writer?
A good place to start is to narrow down from a general area of interest to a more specialised topic. Let’s imagine that you like writing about finance. From there you can niche down to more specific topics, like cryptocurrency. Then, inside that specialisation, you could go even more specific, perhaps focusing on specific currencies.
It also helps to pick a niche that you have some interest in. Freelance writing is a very demanding career, so if you don’t have some passion for what you’re writing about, you’ll risk burning out. But some niches also pay better than others. Let’s take a look at some of the highest paid freelance writing niches.
4 Highest Paid Freelance Writing Jobs
It’s true – money makes the world go round. Consumerism, credit cards, loans, digital banks, crypto. There’s always something new to write about when it comes to finance! Financial companies also usually have the resources to invest in content creation and digital marketing. So, finance writers are constantly in-demand and can charge higher rates for their skills.
According to Glassdoor, a financial freelance writer in the USA makes an average of $71,209 (about £52,200) per year (which is above the average American income). A 401k specialist can make around $51,292 (£37,600) per year, while an investment writer earns an average of $94,529 (£69,400) each year.
So, financial freelance writing can be very profitable! Some other niche topics in this field include:
- Personal finance
With international travel having experienced lulls due to the pandemic in 2020/2021, the travel industry is booming. Travel companies are eager to convince customers to spend their money on traveling the world, discovering new places, and making memories that last a lifetime.
A freelance travel writer based in the United States makes an average of $53,120 (£39,000) a year. Plus, there are lots of different writing styles you can use in the travel niche, such as:
- Travel guides
- Travel storytelling blogs
- Hotel reviews
- Travel deals/discounts
- Travel lifestyle
3. Digital Marketing
The more businesses move towards the digital world, the more they rely on digital marketing to drive growth. For this reason, digital marketing companies are constantly looking for freelancers to take on writing gigs.
A digital marketing writer can earn around $71,164 (£52,200) a year, and it’s predicted that this will increase by 16% over the next five years! There are many types of digital marketing, so it’s a good idea to pick a niche in the area in which you have the most experience. That could be:
- Email marketing
- Social media posts
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Lots of people are looking to publish books or guides about their industry or lifestyle, but they don’t have the time or the skills to do so. So, they often turn to ghostwriters. These are freelance writers who can write, proofread, or edit materials under the client’s name.
Salary Expert reports that ghostwriters in the United States can earn an average base salary of $68,303 (£50,100) per year. While an entry-level ghostwriter (with one to three years’ experience) makes around $49,196 (£36,100), an experienced ghostwriter (with eight or more years’ experience) can make over $80,000 (£58,700) per year.
As a ghostwriter, you can write (or edit):
- Blog posts
- Books and eBooks
- Website content
In addition to finding your niche, there are a few other things you can do to increase your earning potential as a freelance writer.
How To Make More Money as a Freelance Writer
Earn Your Referrals
The best thing you can do to increase your freelance writing income is to produce quality work. This is both in terms of the content you produce and also the overall relationship you have with your client.
Turn in clean copy, meet your deadlines, and pitch good ideas to new clients. Make sure you’re pleasant and professional to work with. This increases the chances of clients referring others to you and sending new opportunities your way.
Choose the Right Clients
It’s okay to “fire” a client if you need to! Throughout your freelance writing career, you might find yourself accepting a gig that takes up all your time for little pay in return.
Examples of this include clients that have complicated invoicing requirements, live in a completely different time zone, micromanage every milestone, expect endless revisions, or are generally disorganised.
If this happens, assess whether the gig is worth keeping. While continuing to work for an ongoing client saves you having to pitch for other gigs, it may also be costing you better paid opportunities in the long run.
Different Rates for Different Clients
This might sound strange, but it’s normal for freelance writers to charge different clients different rates. If you have a client that requires lots of reviews, meetings, or other time-consuming administrative tasks, don’t be afraid to charge a premium rate to account for that non-writing time.
It’s also okay to offer discounts for gigs that are worthwhile. These might include charity gigs or projects that you’re really passionate about.
Where Can I Find High Paying Freelance Writing Clients?
You can find high paying freelance writing clients through freelance writing job boards, online marketplaces, and by reaching out to businesses yourself. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are usually home to lower paying clients, so you’ll find the best rates outside of these platforms.
Online marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are great places to help you land your first few clients at the start of your freelance writing career. However, it’s good to find other sources of clients in the long term. Online marketplaces are very competitive. Lots of people are offering similar services and clients often only look for the cheapest rates.
It’s okay to keep an account on those websites because you can meet great clients through them and build solid relationships with brands. But also make sure to find clients outside of these marketplaces too.
If you’re new to freelance writing, you can also try job boards like ProBlogger. Gigs advertised on job boards generally pay better than freelance marketplaces. Plus, they don’t usually charge the freelancer any fees. As your business grows, you can also try cold-pitching and networking at seminars and events.
Finding the Highest Paid Freelance Writing Jobs
Now you have a better understanding of some of the highest paid freelance writing jobs and how you can find them! Jobs ads often require prior experience. But don’t let this discourage you! You can get some initial experience by starting your own blog or even guest posting on other blogs.
What matters is that you pick a niche that you’re passionate about, find the right ongoing clients, and provide high quality work that leads to great referrals. Still curious as to whether freelance writing is right for you? Check out this article to find out if freelance writing is a good career.