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How Much Money Can A Writer Earn?

May 7, 2008
One question that everyone always wants to know is how much money can you earn as a writer?

The Answer to that has to be, how much money do you want to earn as a writer?

To be able to earn a full-time income you need to have a goal of exactly how much you want to earn. But don't make your goal too low, or you may reach it.

My advice is to set a target at an income of $100,000 a year. This would mean that if you reach your target you'll be earning a 6-figure income.

To break it down and make it easier to understand how much you should be aiming to earn every week, take a look at it this way.

Say you plan to work 50 weeks a year. This means that to earn $100,000 a year you need to be earning $2,000 a week. If you're working 5 days a week that's $400 a day. So an 8-hour working day means you need to be earning $50 an hour.

In order to earn $50 an hour you need to use your time wisely and carefully. For instance, don't waste an hour driving to a stationary supply shop that's further away than your normal one to save $20 on stationary. That is a wasted hour.

You also need to manage your time better. I used to waste time running to the post office nearly every day. Now I designate one day a week to going to the post office. I just pile up the outgoing mail all week and post it all in one go.

You also need an efficient filing system so that you can easily locate anything you need, again to free up your time to write.

You see to be able to achieve a 6-figure income from your writing, you need to be focused and you need to stay focused and not be distracted by thinking about other things you need to be doing (like running to the post office).

You must also ensure that when you take on a writing assignment, whether it's one of your own or a project that you've been commissioned to do by a publication or a private client that it will pay you $50 an hour.

Whenever I write for off-line print publications I always apply to the national magazines or publications that have a large circulation who can afford to pay me at least $50 an hour for my time.

I know that I can type up to 100 words per minute. But so that I don't over stretch myself I always assume that I'll average about 80 words per minute. So if I have to write a 1,000 word article, I know it will take me less than 15 minutes to type it.

But typing isn't all I have to do. I have to think what to say as I type. So I allow ˝ hour to type up a 1,000-word article. But I will probably have to do some research first. I usually only agree to write articles on subjects that I already know something about. So say I need ˝ hour to outline an article, ˝ hour to research online any information I don't have, ˝ hour to rearrange the information as I want to present it and then ˝ hour to type it up.

Altogether that's 2 hours work. So for this I need to be paid at least $100, although I try and aim for more. Why? Because I can't always guarantee that I'll be earning $50 for every working hour of every week. Some weeks I'll earn less than my target and sometimes more (when I'm very lucky). So I have to strive to earn as much as I can whenever I work.

So if I was to work for small publications and earn less than $50 an hour, I'd be missing my target. So that's why I always aim high when it comes to earning writing income.

But, I can hear you asking, "Is it really possible to earn a 6-figure income?" And to this I have to say "Why wouldn't it be?"

If you're working full-time as a writer you can have several different avenues of income from:

* Writing assignments for magazines
* Writing assignments for job sites
* Writing assignments for private clients
* Writing and publishing eBooks
* Writing and publishing printed books
* Online advertising revenue
* Affiliate programs

You can plan to send out 5 query letters and/or short stories to magazines every week, to subscribe to several different writers' ezines to find more markets. Write and publish several eBooks and print books and market them by regularly writing articles and uploading them to article directories, whether they are free directories such as http://ezinearticles.com or revenue-sharing directories such as http://www.suite101.com. And you can create and maintain several niche websites where your Pay-Per-Click ads and affiliate links are earning you money on every page.

That's the beauty of being a 21st century freelance writer; the sky really is the limit.
About the Author
Ruth Barringham is a freelance writer, author and publisher.
at http://writeaholics.net/. The above article is an extract from her free eBook "Become a Freelance Writing Success" which you can download instantly when you subscribe to her free monthly newsletter for writers.
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