Freelance Writing Income Report: May 2016

I’ve been freelance writing on and off for over four years now. I started writing online back in March 2012. In these past few years, I’ve messed around with blogging, niche sites, affiliate marketing, HubPages, Squidoo, Yahoo Contributor Network, Bubblews and freelance writing for content mills like Textbroker, Zerys (Interact Media) and WriterAccess.

Textbroker 2012-2015…

I mostly wrote for Textbroker, with an occasional article at Zerys and WriterAccess (when there was something available). I never made more than $150/month from freelance writing at these places. In fact, most months I earned either zero dollars or less than $40. I just felt burned out all the time, so I’d flip flop between content mill writing, HubPages and niche blogging for my own sites. I didn’t do so great with those methods either (except for Amazon niche sites — I’ll write about that later).

After the first four years – in which I wrote over 200 SEO articles for clients and probably 300+ blog posts and articles for my own sites – I got tired of the mills and the shitty, low income gigs and tried going the more traditional freelance writing route:  I started pitching to individual clients.

My friend bought one article for his blog for $30. One editor enthusiastically contacted me back, so I submitted the article – then I never heard from her again. Another editor shot me down, but at least he responded! The rest of my pitches all fell on deaf ears — lots and lots of deaf ears.

Back To The Content Mills…Again

But I need money, so now I find myself dragging my sorry ass back to the content mills again. I’m trying to take it more seriously this time around, though. I mean…I have a whiteboard and everything!

You know things must be getting real when you have a whiteboard, right?

May 2016 freelance earnings

So on May 13, 2016 I dove back into the content mills. I actually had to sign up at Textbroker all over again, since I burned my bridges a few months ago and deleted my account to help me focus on pitching clients. It seemed like a good idea, and I guess it was.

Except that it wasn’t.

Ah well. Here I am again.

So now let’s get into the numbers…

  • articles:  29
  • earnings:  $165.54
  • wordcount:  11,982
  • avg articles/day:  1.5
  • avg words/day:  630
  • avg earnings/day:  $8.70
  • avg pay/word:  $0.0138

So as you can see, in those two weeks or so I wrote 29 articles and earned $165.54 for the month. Sure, that’s not a lot, but it helped me pay a few credit card bills that I wouldn’t have been able to pay otherwise.

I wrote content for three different content mills, and the earnings per article ranged anywhere from $1.27 to $17.00. Yes, I actually wrote a handful of 200-word articles for $1.27 each. I don’t plan on doing that very often, but I do plan on doing it again, and in a later post I’ll explain why I even bother writing those things. But most of the articles I write for these sites earn me $5 to $7 each with wordcount hovering around 500.

I suppose I’ll take a few posts over the next few weeks/months to explain more about why I even write for content mills at all, but my goal right now isn’t to try to persuade anyone else to write for content mills. People can debate that elsewhere. My goal here is to share my own journey with the mills and to hopefully help out some of you who have already decided to write for these types of freelance writing websites and are just looking for tips on how to make more money at it.

So, that’s it for this month. I hope you’ll join me again next month for more Notes From The Underground. You can subscribe to FWunderground in the sidebar to receive new income reports and blog posts by email. It’s free, I won’t spam you and I won’t share your email address with anyone, either. And of course, you can unsubscribe anytime.

I have a few more posts planned out for next month, where I’ll discuss some of the websites that I contribute to in order to bring in both active income and passive income.