How To Make $100k To $400k As A Freelance Content Writer

During my freelance journey, I’ve been part of online groups and communities where content writers think it’s normal to earn low wages. Even worse, they don’t actually think it’s possible to earn a great living. Six figures? Pfffft. Getouttahere.

Anyone that tries to convince them otherwise is bullshitting.

I left those groups pretty quickly. In my view, if you don’t keep an open mind about what’s possible when it comes to your income potential as a freelancer, you’re going to be stuck in that feast and famine cycle forever.

And that’s not where I want you to end up.

From my own experience, content writing at the $100-$200k level is both possible AND sustainable as a solo freelancer—without subcontracting. But as you reach that point, you need to be dedicated and motivated to manage your workload and lifeload (is that a word?) without calling in some outside help.

$300k? I’ve never got there myself. I can’t see myself doing that much work on my own, and I don’t ever want to subcontract because that means extra work and time managing people. And I find it hard enough managing myself most days!

If you’ve read my previous Q&A article “How to become a B2B SaaS copywriter” – you’ll know you’re in for a lengthy but very eye-opening read here. This time I’m interviewing:

  • Bani Kaur
  • Kaleigh Moore
  • Michael Keenan
  • Jessica Lam Hill Young
  • Masooma Memon
  • Kat Boogaard
  • Stephanie Trovato

You’ll learn how long it took them to reach six figures, the niches they write for, the strategies and resources that helped them scale their businesses, and the various problems they had to navigate on the way.

Looking for resources to help you find high paying clients and improve your skills as a freelance content writer? You’ll find ’em at the end of the article.

Why we need to keep these money conversations happening

Many of us have been raised to not discuss money. But as a freelancer, this is SO. FREAKING. IMPORTANT.

Pricing shouldn’t be something that’s swept under the carpet and left a mystery for us to figure out on our own. We’ve all got bills to pay, life goals to meet, and families to support.

With no open and ongoing conversations about rates and services, we’re all blindly flailing around in the dark wondering:

  • If we’re charging enough
  • If we should be raising our rates
  • If we’ve hit the pricing ceiling for our niche
  • If we need to upskill or adapt our services in some way to earn more

Keeping a wider discussion about prices going helps us all get a better understanding of what is possible when we’re dreaming about the future of our businesses.

Whether your goal is to earn six figures or not, it’s helpful to know that high paying opportunities are out there as a freelance content writer. It’s just a matter of gaining the skills, confidence, and knowledge to find them—and having a strong network of fellow writers and industry experts to guide you on the right path.

Remember that every writer’s path is different. And it’s not a race.

I didn’t hit six figures until I was two years into my freelancing business. I don’t actually need that much money, and as a full-time nomad, I value having free time versus having tons of cash so I can shut my laptop and get outside to explore the world.

If you’re nowhere near six figures at the moment, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Although…if you think you need to polish your skills up, there are plenty of resources mentioned in this article to help you improve!

The six figure goal is a personal choice. But with the right strategies, clients, and mindset in place—it’s an income level you can definitely get to if that’s what you’re striving for.

A few things to think about if you want to earn top rates as a freelance content writer

Being a high-earning writer isn’t just about the writing bit. It also boils down to having a smart, business-owner mentality, and a ton of persistence.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Steven MacDonald at Dock outlined what he looks for when he’s hiring freelance writers at $2,000 per article:

  • Hit your deadlines – this is less common than you think. If you can manage your time and deliver content to deadlines without fail, you already have an advantage over the large percentage of writers who don’t.
  • Create 10X content – it’s not just about hitting word count. You need to know your niche inside out, become an expert in your field, and be able to deliver content that’s engaging for the reader—not something that’s been regurgitated from doing a Google search.

  • Include expert quotes – to create unique content, you should be including thoughts and opinions from subject matter experts that can add depth to your articles. You can find experts via Haro and Help a B2B Writer.

  • Deliver content that’s ready to publish – your first draft should be 97% ready to go. If it’s not, you’re creating extra work for your client.

  • Write content that gets results – for most clients, their goal is to create content that ranks in search. You should understand the basic principles of SEO and be able to write an article that gets ranked, gets read, and gets new customers for your client.

In Steven’s words “The best writers make it easy for me to publish amazing content. The worst writers send content that goes directly to the recycle bin.

You also need to factor in things like your niche, your services and packages, and the state of the market when you’re looking at growing your business. And when you’re pitching clients on your services, you must to be able to tie in the value of your writing to their overall business goals.

See this post for an example of how you can frame the value of a $2,000 post when you’re approaching new clients:

If you haven’t started exploring AI tools yet—you should begin to familiarise yourself with these as soon as possible. Nobody knows how AI will alter the world of content writing yet, but it will definitely have an impact on our work and businesses.

Expert Q&A: Earning $100k to $400k as a freelance content writer

If you’re a freelance content writer looking to grow your business, I urge you to follow and learn from all of these writers, and check out the resources they mention to help you!

Bani Kaur

Bani is based in India and works with companies like CXL, Klaviyo, Sprout Social, and Litmus.

freelance content writer
Bani Kaur

What would you tell the freelance content writers out there who don’t believe they can make $100k+ with content writing?

I understand your skepticism. I had it too. But the quicker you can overcome it and double down on honing your skills, the quicker you’ll reach this milestone. 

I built a personal brand on LinkedIn and Twitter and just gave my best to every single piece I worked on. That’s honestly it. 

No magic money money making tactics. 

Just upskilling constantly (literally a course every single month) and asking for feedback. 

What niche/s do you currently write for? And which countries are your clients typically based in?

B2B SaaS in Sales, Marketing, and eCommerce.

How long did it take you to crack the 100k mark? 

14 months after I went freelance full time. 

Was there any particular strategy in your business that helped you cross the $100k mark?

100% strategic lead generation. Here’s a breakdown of the 2 strategies that worked best for me:

  • Land and expand: if I got a foot in, I kept pitching new ideas as we went along and I understood the problems they were looking to solve. 

    For example, I landed a short proposal writing assignment with a SaaS sales brand and asked them if they wanted to create a bundle of proposals for their audience to download. That led to 15 more proposals. 

    Mid way, I asked them if they wanted to repurpose a webinar they just conducted into blogs. I landed 3 webinar based blogs that way. 

    I also gave them 15 quotes from the webinar they could use on their social media pages. 

    Total revenue from client: $4,500

  • Find innovative ways to DM (don’t always cold pitch)

    For example, I complimented people on recently published pieces with 2-3 things that I actually applied and the difference they made. 

    I also reached out when people got promoted or changed roles without adding “I’d love to work with you”. 

freelance content writer

Did you ever face issues with prospective clients trying to squeeze your prices down because they can see you’re based in India? How did you approach/overcome that?


One agency actually said “we can’t justify these prices to our American clients so we’ll pay you half what we pay American writers”.

They actually said that.  And they were not the only ones.

I just developed a relatively thick skin and moved on. I pitched more and networked more. 

I rarely “justified” my prices. Instead, I doubled down on writing so well and improving my craft to the level that no one had the guts to say “but you’re based in India, how can you charge this much?”. And in the past 8 months, no one has. 

How do you structure your projects/packages/pricing now?

Only long form content: blogs, ebooks, and research reports. 

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

To be honest, this economic downturn overlapping with AI advancements has impacted my business. A LOT of companies are laying off writers and experimenting with AI for 10% of the cost. 

I still have to figure out how to navigate this. (Stay tuned 😉)

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. What does your workload look like over an average week – and how do you keep a healthy life balance?

My average week is 6 days with 9-11 hours of work every day. Or at least it has been in the months that contributed the most to my bottom line. My work-life balance is not the best!

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

Focus on quality.

Perfect your prose, flow, grammar, and anything else you can think of. I’ve had months where I’ve worked on just ONE piece and it was so well done that it got me opportunities worth 6-8K the following month. 

Plus, quality gets you repeat clients. 

Check out some of Bani’s favorite resources and creators for upskilling as a writer:

Content experts:

Kaleigh Moore

I’ve been following Kaleigh for years on social media, and she’s someone you should definitely add to your network if you want to learn more about becoming a highly paid content creator and smart business owner. She’s worked with companies like Vogue, Glossy, IBM, Klaviyo, Shopify, and AT&T.

As new freelance writer, I found there was constant talk from top earning writers to get into copywriting if you wanted to make any decent money. How would you respond to that?

It’s often direct response, which means it can be billed at a higher rate or on a commission-based fee structure, which is one way for content writers to ‘level up’ in regard to income and earnings.

However, it’s a VERY different skillset, and isn’t something you can just flip the switch on. There are some classic formulas, models, and methods you have to get familiar with before you’re truly a talented copywriter.

I’m always wary of content writers who suddenly pivot to copywriting, because they are not at all the same. 

And what would you tell writers reading this who simply don’t believe they can make $100k+ with content writing?

Charge more! Experiment with different pricing models! Double down on your subject matter expertise!

But in order to do that, you need to communicate the value you deliver:

  • What extras are included in your rates?
  • How do you make their lives easier?
  • What body of work/results/social proof can you leverage to validate the claims you’re making?

Too often content writers undersell or don’t sell at all when it comes to quoting projects—they let the client call all the shots. In my experience, taking the lead in these conversations and educating up front is the secret sauce.

What separates “average” content writers from those who are making over $100k a year?

A few things: 

  • Specialization. The writers making the big bucks are often those known for offering a specific type of writing service to a specific type of client.

    The reason: It’s sticky, and easy to remember when opportunities roll around and referrals need to be made. Plus, when you’re the go-to person for a specific thing, you can charge more for being the big name for said offering.

  • Consistent price increases over time. So many writers I talk to are charging the same rates today as they were five years ago. There’s not a boss to give you a raise—you have to do that for yourself!

Do you think AI is going to prevent writers from earning this much in the future?

I don’t, and I’ve written extensively about this. The short version is that these tools are great, but they’re not perfect—and there’s never been a bigger reason for writers to specialize than right now. If a robot can produce work that’s “good enough”, human writers now need to be GREAT.

What niche/s do you currently write for?

Ecommerce platforms and software-as-a-service tools that integrate with them.

Was there any particular shift/strategy in your business that helped you cross the $100k mark?

Honestly, this sounds so dumb, but: I started going into meetings and conversations with prospective clients with the confidence of a white man (no offense, guys!) and the conversations took a totally different slant.

When I could show up and say, “I’m the best person for this job because X, Y, and Z” and then backed that up with rates and past results that reflected that, the number of gigs I landed went up dramatically.

How do you structure your projects and packages to meet your income goals?

I never have a set income goal–I played that game for awhile and it put me in a bad place when I fell short (hello, fellow hard-on-yourselfers!)

Instead, I just try to be proactive in following up with clients I work with on a regular basis so I’m always busy, and have been at it long enough that I’ve got a good inflow of referrals. 

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

Not reaching burnout is a big one. When opportunity abounds, it’s hard to say no. But when you don’t, you overbook and start to resent the workload. 

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. How do you keep a life balance while still meeting your money goals?

I’ve got a sense of when I’m at max capacity now. I still regularly overdo it. I wish I had a better answer here.

Can you really run a solo business at the $100k+ level without getting help from subcontractors?

I mean you can, but I wouldn’t want to. Plus, it’s smart to outsource the aspects you aren’t as good at or don’t enjoy as much, because then the final product is better.

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

*Shrug* If you listen to my advice above, you won’t have a problem!

Check out some of Kaleigh’s free resources for content writers:

Lots of good stuff on my podcast, blog, and in my newsletter. And you can grab my free eBook too!

Michael Keenan

Michael is based in Guadalajara, Mexico. We initially met through our Twitter network, and we managed to catch up in person in Oaxaca a couple of years ago. 

Contraband Mexican alcohol was definitely not involved at any point, because we are both responsible adults and business owners.

We talked about clients, as you do when you meet fellow writers, and he mentioned some pretty big names—so I was curious to learn more about how he structures his content work, what he includes in his packages, and of course—how he has become a top earning freelance content writer.

Many freelance content writers don’t think it’s possible to get to 100k just writing content. How would you convince them otherwise?

I respond by saying, “what bologna is that!!”

As someone who came over from restaurant management, I did think the same in the beginning. I was settled on the idea I could make a cool $75 or $80K and be happy with that.

However, a few years in, I realized the potential content writing had for income. The thing is though, you won’t earn $100K and beyond just by writing any old blog post for some agency. You’ll want to invest time in improving your writing skills and subject matter expertise, that way you can charge more. 

All the top $100K+ writers I know (and there are a ton!), are incredible writers and have built a name for themselves in their respectable niches. 

What separates “average” content writers from those who earn top dollars?

  • Well formatted articles
  • Subject matter expertise
  • Good interviewers 
  • Know how to rank articles in search 
  • Obviously, good writing that’s easy to read and act on

What niche do you currently write for? And which countries are your clients mostly based in?

I legit don’t even know my niche anymore. I un-niched at the start of 2023.

I write on topics in digital security, sports team management, ecommerce, creator economy. The commonality between all those brands is that they are selling software, whether its B2C or B2B…. so I write for software companies overall. 

My clients are all in North America. 

How long did it take you to crack the 100/200/300k mark?

  • 100K – 3 years
  • 200K – 4 years
  • 300K – 5 years
  • 400K – 6 years

*note the above figures are income, not revenue. 

Was there any particular shift/strategy in your business that helped you cross the $100k mark?

Not really. I just kept charging more every new client. I started early with a focus on search content. So clients pay me to write good content that also ranks. 

How do you structure your projects these days?

I only work on retainers with a 2 article per month minimum. It used to be a 5K minimum, but a few clients fell on hard times so I lowered my monthly limit to accommodate them. I do it out of ~ love ~ for my clients. I also offer strategy services but that makes up maybe 3% of my annual revenue. 

What would you typically charge for a 2000 word article?

$1,650 – and it takes me 3.5 hours on average.  

Was there a point in your business when you decided you needed to subcontract?

Yes, and I did not like it. I overbooked with retainers and worked with subcontractors (researchers, editors, and writers) but it became too much to manage, and more overhead. I also didn’t want to be an agency at the time. 

So, I scaled back. 

I’m on track to do less in revenue this year, but without the subcontractor costs, my income will only be impacted by $50K or so. I have a lot more free time now and that’s worth it to me!

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

Continuing to care. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to write or care about content. There is a lot of responsibility and expectation tied to a piece when you are charging $1,500+. 

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. How do you structure your workload over an average week – and how do you keep a healthy life balance?


(^^ A feeling we can all relate to!)

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who want to earn more?

Raise your rates every new client. But make sure you can deliver on your promise.

Upskill. Learn how to become a strategic asset to your client (i.e., through writing about first-hand experience, or tying revenue to content) versus being a one-off writer. 

What are some of your favorite resources for ambitious content writers?

I’m biased but that would be Peak Freelance. We have a community of 800+ freelance writers sharing knowledge and learning together in a free slack group. It’s led by myself and two other incredible writers Elise Dopson and Brooklin Nash

We also have a newsletter that goes out with weekly tips. And another newsletter called Dear Freelancer, where Brooklin Nash answers freelancing questions and dispels dilemmas every week.

Jessica Lam Hill Young

Jessica is based in Hong Kong, and manages her business The Brand Creatives alongside raising three children. She is one of the content writers I spoke with who decided to scale past being a solo writer and strategist, and start her own agency.

freelance content writer

Many content writers think it’s a lie that you can earn 100k+ just writing blogs and articles. What’s your response to this train of thought?

Some content writers think it’s a lie that you can earn $100k…yes, I’ve seen it as well. And I think the biggest difference is that people who are charging low prices for blog posts are still at the stage where they’re taking orders from the clients.

When you’re charging $100 or $200 per blog post, the client tells you what to write. The client tells you what they want. And then you go write it. You’re taking orders and you’re executing it.

For example, why is some content $3,000 or $75? What are you exactly doing for these articles?

  • Are you a subject matter expert?
  • Are you doing strategy?
  • Do you have SEO knowledge?

There’s a wide price range. At the higher end are people who are strategists and consultants. They are the people who do a lot more work. And the most important thing is to connect the ROI of your content to the bottom line.

This is what is the difference is between people that can charge a hundred bucks per post, and why some people like me charge $2,000 a post.

Here are two links that I find really useful for explaining why some content is cheaper, and why some content is more expensive:

What are your thoughts on ChatGPT replacing some content writers?

Content is a commodity. ChatGPT can churn out 500 words in seconds, and it’s reasonably okay. So if you’re at the level where you’re like ChatGPT, you’re not gonna make $100k a year writing blogs.

Just being a native English speaker and writing “good enough” articles is not enough either.

To reach $100k and beyond you need to encompass strategy and expertise, and show you have experience in your niche.

Ideally, you’re a writer just doing one thing in that niche. Here’s an article that talks about how we can differentiate from AI as writers, and how we can charge more:

What niche/s do you currently write for? And which countries are your clients typically based in?

I only write for SaaS and tech companies. And usually I specialize in very technical products. My clients are all in the US, UK, and Europe.

I don’t work with a lot of clients from Asia—not because they don’t have the money, but because the mindset is different. I’m on the cutting edge of SEO strategy and SEO content marketing, and the way I think is quite different from the way people in Asia think.

How long did it take you to crack the 100k mark? 

One year. But then I combined both copywriting and retainers.

Was there any particular shift/strategy in your business that helped you cross the $100k mark?

That’s such a big question! There was a lot. I did the Copywriter Accelerator when I first started my business in 2021. I believe that was really the changing point for me.

I wrote a post about how I spent $25,000 upskilling, and I would say the bigger shift I had was to not settle for less. I wanted to design my own life. I wanted a certain income, and I studied how the top people in my industry did it.

Kira Hug had all these other courses that I took, and upskilling was a crucial part of how I crossed the $100k mark.

The first thing was to niche down and to be very clear about exactly what my price point is, who I want to work with, and how I want to work.

For the first $100k, the most important thing was shifting from being an order taker into a consultant. A strategist. Not a person who takes orders, but a person who leads the strategy for clients.

Crossing from the $100k to $200k mark was about:

  • Defining my offer
  • Having a very specific offer at a certain price point
  • Only taking a specific type of client

And I’m very picky! So this was huge, because I wasn’t doing 20 different things for five different types of clients. I executed the same processes and same frameworks for the same type of clients, and I was able to build really good case studies on these. So I became known for that one thing.

Did you ever face issues with prospective clients trying to squeeze your prices down because they can see you’re based in Hong Kong? How did you approach/overcome that?

No, I don’t think I’ve never had that happen. If it’s happening with freelancers, it’s probably that you need to revisit your positioning and your messaging. You have to position yourself as a premium vendor, as someone who is a high ticket strategist.

If you’re positioning yourself properly and giving the right messaging, the people who you talk to shouldn’t be asking these kind of questions. Because only people who are not sophisticated, and not well-travelled would ask you about which country you’re from or whatever, right?

The people I talk to run multimillion dollar companies. They’re not gonna ask me things like “oh, you’re from Hong Kong?” So I think it’s all about premium positioning.

I do think it’s harder for freelance writers who come from developing countries like maybe India or Pakistan, but I have seen people who come from these countries become very successful by being very clear in their messaging—and positioning themselves as a premium, high price vendor

At what point in your business did you decide you couldn’t manage the workload alone anymore?

If you do the math for a $100K solo writer (which I did in the first year of my freelancing business) that meant 3 clients at $4,000 each. And each client was on a content retainer.

I was writing ALL the time. Doing it solo is just not feasible. And I was charging $1000 – $1500 USD per article at the time.

That’s still 10 articles a month. And my hair went white from the stress. I have no idea how a $100-300K freelancer does it solo. However, you can easily hit $200-300K – which I did – if you assign one content writer for every 2 clients, which is my business model now. Our retainers start at $10K.

So I only need 4-10 clients to hit these figures, and a few more if I want to hit 7 figures.

I gave up on subcontracting. It didn’t work for me. Subcontractors are unpredictable, and they don’t want to learn your way. The only way that worked for me was hiring full-time.

When you have a team, you never have to hit client deadlines, or have to focus on some project or another. I wake up everyday with complete freedom – but of course I have other things to worry about!

The biggest thing was that because I’m out of client delivery, I can almost choose what I want to focus on every day. This is not for everyone! But it was worth the triple white hair of building my team and agency 🤣

Around the end of 2021, I realized I was making $100k a year, but I’m doing all the work myself. And I don’t want a business where I’m tied to the business. Because when you are working for your business and not working on your business, it’s the worst type of boss. And the boss is insane.

So around the time when I had two content retainers, plus ad-hoc projects, that was when I decided like, God—I’m just spending all day writing. I have no time to build my business, and I don’t want a life like that.

I got very clear about how many hours I wanted to work. So I decided to hire.

What did the hiring process look like for you?

I always knew I wanted to make at least a million dollars for my agency. I’m a mom of three kids, and I always knew that it was important for me to work maybe four or five hours a day.

So from the beginning of my business, I knew that was the only way I could achieve this. I needed to hire people who can do good work.

The first person I hired was a writer. And I, as I told you earlier, I do believe in hiring full-time because I have a very specific way of doing things. I’m a premium high-price provider, and I can’t just hire any subcontractors and then tell them what to do.

I prefer to bring somebody on that I can train from the bottom up. Somebody with a good attitude. So once I found that person, it took me about six months to train them and get them up to speed.

For that six months, it actually doubled my workload. While I was doing client work, I was also teaching my team member how to do it.

Once I had the first person trained, it was easier to scale up because I had somebody who could do the client delivery while I decided what the frameworks and hiring processes were, and how we should work with clients.

That freed me up to think about the ins and outs of forming an agency.

What does your workload look like now across an average week?

Okay, so I can show you exactly how I plan my week right now:

This is my ideal week, I mean. It doesn’t always happen this way!

I try to be done by three o’clock if I can. I try to make time for other projects that are outside of work. So I only spend a few hours a day, and I am almost completely out of client delivery.

  • Any client work I schedule on Mondays
  • I spend Tuesdays doing my LinkedIn content, because most of my leads come from LinkedIn
  • Business development on Wednesdays, which is when I write proposals, chase up on leads revamp my website, passion projects is anything that’s outside of my work.
  • And then Friday, it’s just a flex time.

So I have a lot of flexibility on how I want to arrange my day. By the time it’s five o’clock, I make I have time for my kids.

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

You need to upskill. And you need to see yourself, and position yourself, as a consultant and strategist and not an order taker. You’re not a content writer, you’re a strategist.

And then also being very specific on who you want to work with, the price point you want, and your entire business model. I reverse engineered what my $100K looks like. So when I was shooting for $100k, I wanted to take on one project a month, which was at a $10k value.

Now that I am targeting for $300-600K, I’m taking on four to 10 clients a month, which is at a $10K value per month.

So you need to decide exactly what your offer is, reverse engineer it, see how the numbers are going to look, and how you’re going to get there

Read Jessica’s recommendations for courses and trainings to help you upskill and grow your business:

Masooma Memon

Masooma is based in Pakistan and writes for companies like Vimeo, Databox, and Coschedule.

Many content writers think that you need to move into copywriting to hit six figures. What are your thoughts on this?

The cap you’re putting on what you can make from content writing is all in your head.

Believe you can do it, understand readers’ psychology and your client’s strategy and business offer, and position yourself as an expert — that’s all. That’s what it takes to hit 100k+

What niche/s do you currently write for? And which countries are your clients typically based in?

I write in the SaaS space, and my clients are mainly in the US and Europe. 

How long did it take you to crack the $100k mark? 

About 2 years if I’m recalling correctly. I’m now closer to $200k than $100k, and will hopefully hit $200k this year.

Was there any particular strategy in your business that helped you get past the $100k mark?

Three things worked together to help me hit $100k and beyond:

  • Niching down
  • Understand who my ideal client is
  • Getting visible

Did you ever face issues with prospective clients trying to squeeze your prices down because they can see you’re based in Pakistan? How did you approach this?

I did, but thankfully only a few times. Even though I expected it more, it was all in my head. I usually resorted to not working with clients who undervalued my work or underpaid me based on my location. 

How do you structure your projects across an average month in terms of number of clients and types of deliverables? 

Currently, I’m doing long-form blog content — upwards of 2,000 words per piece. And I typically take on 10-12 pieces a month, from 5-7 (mostly) retainer clients. 

Do you subcontract at the moment?

No – not yet.

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

Most of my clients are retainers, so eventually I build a strong grip on their product and develop a deep understanding of their target buyer.

But when I’m typically working with new clients, my biggest challenges (the ones that I enjoy cracking!) are understanding their brand voice and product (features, their use cases, and the benefits from a user’s lens). 

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. What does your workload look like over an average week – and how do you keep a healthy life balance?

Let’s see — roughly, I’d say an average week includes my working on: 

  • 2-3 outlines or doing the preliminary round of research that I do before outlining
  • Writing at least 2 drafts 
  • Client comms 
  • Taking out time for social media 
  • Writing my weekly newsletter

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

Understanding and learning what makes good content. The more you learn, the more confident you’ll get about charging more and hitting your desired income level. 

Check out some of Masooma’s favorite resources for content writers

Kat Boogaard

Kat is based in Wisconsin and balances being a parent with writing for companies like Atlassian, Loom, QuickBooks, Lendio, Hubstaff, and Wrike.

Why do you think there a push for new content writers to move into copywriting? The common narrative seems to be that copy is the only way to make big money as a writer.

This isn’t a narrative I’m familiar with. If I had to guess (and this really, truly is just a guess), it’d be that people are more familiar with copywriting as an actual paid profession.

I feel like whenever I mention the word “blog” people automatically imagine the early-ish 2000s type of personal blogging—even if I mention I write for well-known software companies.

But maybe there’s nothin’ to that. I think copywriting projects can also be pretty large and command a high price tag—like copy for an entire website.

But again, this is all conjecture!

What would you tell people who don’t believe they can make $100k+ with content writing?

It’s not true. Plain and simple. I’ve earned six figures (and sometimes well over six figures) as a content writer for many years. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to do so, but it’s definitely possible. 

What are the skills you need as a freelancer to make over $100k a year?

For starters, you need to be a talented and knowledgeable writer. That’s the most basic one that doesn’t get explicitly stated enough.

You also need to be communicative, organized, deadline-driven, and persistent. 

Do you think AI is going to prevent writers from earning this much in the future?

I think there could be less opportunity for some of the super straightforward SEO content that is sometimes in my workload (e.g. “what is [keyword]?” “why is [keyword] important?]” “how to [keyword]”).

But I also believe that people who are currently paying writers enough for content won’t be easily swayed by the lure of AI.

It’s still pretty low-quality content and simply isn’t capable of doing a lot of the things professional writers can do (at least not yet). In short, it might be challenging to find clients that really value content—but honestly, that’s not much different from how it is right now. 

What niche/s do you currently write for? And which countries are your clients mostly based in?

I focus almost exclusively on long-form content (mostly blog posts with the occasional ebook) for software clients in the “world of work.”

That includes productivity tools, project management software, employee engagement platforms, and more. Most of my clients are in the U.S. with a few in Australia. 

How long did it take to reach 100 > 200 > 300k ?

100k: I hit six figures in my fourth year of full-time freelancing.

200k: I’ve never actually hit 200k. I’ve always been in the 100k club, with the one year of bringing in over 300k.

300k: I’ve only done this once (in 2021). I’d been freelancing for about seven years by then. 

Here’s a post where I go into some of my numbers from 2014 through 2019:

Was there any particular shift/strategy in your business that helped you cross the $200k mark?

My highest-earning year as a freelancer (in 2021, when I generated over 300k in revenue) was also the year that I was subcontracting a ton.

I was almost more of a content manager responsible for communicating with clients, handing out assignments, editing pieces other writers submitted, and fielding client feedback. It meant my business could churn out a lot of work (way more than I could ever do on my own). And, even though I was paying the subcontractors to produce the work, I was commanding high enough rates that I could take a nice slice for myself. 

That paid off financially. But subcontracting comes with other complexities and stressors.

When I returned to work after welcoming my second son in early 2022, I knew I needed to “simplify” my work life. Subcontracting trickled off from there. I don’t earn as much now, and it’s not something I’d rule out entirely (the subcontractors I worked with are incredible!). But for now, it’s easier for me to be a company of one. 

You’re one of the content writers I talked to who has hit the $300k mark. We’re all dying to know what that looks like in terms of workload!

Like I mentioned above, it was a lot of subcontracting. I don’t think there’s any way I could ever bring in that much on my own (but maybe that’s my own limiting belief).

At one point as I was “working ahead” to cover my own maternity leave, I was working with upwards of 10 subcontractors all at one time. We were focused only on blog content for my existing clients, all of which knew I was working with subs to prepare for my maternity leave.

Most weeks, I still maintained a healthy work-life balance (which is something that’s super important to me). I was typically working around 40ish hours per week, focused mostly on client communication and editing—although I still did quite a bit of writing myself for clients I was super sensitive about subcontracting for. 

People often talk about subcontracting as a way to earn way more with less work. That was’t necessarily my experience. I earned a lot, but I didn’t really feel like I was working less—just working on different things. 

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

At this point, I’d say the biggest challenge is finding new opportunities.

I’m an experienced and established writer now—I’ve been doing this for nearly nine years and am somewhat of an expert in my niche. There are plenty of clients that reach out that I’m excited about, but they have a budget that allows for $300 per blog post or something similar. I can’t justify that sort of rate with the rest of my workload.

It’s tougher and tougher to find clients that can afford my rates (even though I know with certainty I’m also not the priciest freelancer on the block). I’ve had better success with increasing my workload with existing clients, rather than having to move forward with something new. 

Why did you decide to hire subcontractors?

My decision to work with subcontractors was partially driven by workload, but moreso driven by opportunity.

I reached a point in my business when I was in high demand (always a nice problem to have as a freelancer) and I felt like I had to say “no” to so many things—things I was really interested in. Clients I really wanted to work with. Projects I really wanted to take on.

I decided to work with subcontractors as a way to expand my availability and be able to actually do some of those other things that interested me. 

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. How do you keep a healthy life balance/spend time with your kids/partner etc?

I maintain a pretty limited schedule. Right now, I only work Monday through Wednesday—and occasionally an hour here or there on Thursday.

That limited work window inherently makes me more mindful of how much I take on, since I know there’s only so much I can fit in. 

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

It might sound basic, but do solid work. Every time. Meet your deadlines. Communicate proactively. Deliver what you said you were going to. That’s the stuff that makes clients want to work with you again and again—and refer you for other opportunities.

And stay patient. It took me years to hit six figures. I’m no overnight success story. 

Check out some of Kat’s recommended resources for freelance content writers:

You can also learn more about Kat on her blog, and by subscribing to her awesome newsletter!

Stephanie Trovato

Stephanie lives in New York, and has written for companies like Oracle, Evernote, Hubspot, and Thinkific. We met through the Copywriter Think Tank mastermind – which you should definitely check out if you’re looking to get more serious about your business growth.

freelance content writer
Stephanie Trovato

There seems to be a narrative in some parts of the freelancing world that copywriting is the only way to make good money. What are your thoughts?

As a writer, there is no ‘one’ way to make money. That’s the beauty of being a freelance writer. You can choose what you write, how you write, and who you write for.

While copywriting projects are amazing, and tend to come with a hefty pay day, they also involve a lot of time and work. Content writing, particularly articles, are a great way to diversify your portfolio, expand your knowledge, and make a good amount of money in a lot less time than a copywriting project (depending on the topic, of course). 

For example, 65% of my work is content, and 35% is copy. Content projects bring in about 34% of my income, and copy and strategy is the other 66%.

For me, mixing it up is the key to keeping it interesting, staying sane, and keeping the income flowing. 

And how would you respond to this for people who don’t believe they can make $100k+ with blogs and article writing?

You will immediately stunt your growth if you really believe this.

If you charge $600 per 1,000 word article (takes 2-3 hours to complete), that’s a $200-300 hourly rate.

Extrapolate that to 20 hours per week (your billable hours) and that’s $16k-24k per month, bringing you WELL over the $100k mark.

What separates “average” freelance content writers from those who are making $100k and more a year?

Honestly, it’s resilience and persistence. The jobs are out there. The clients are out there. It’s up to you to find them, pitch them, and follow up. People are willing to pay for content.

But there are also plenty of people that are paying insulting rates to writers. It’s the time and effort it takes to weed through low-paying oppotunities and find the good ones, the ones that appreciate good writing, the ones that pay well.

I know you’re probably thinking “But how? That’s hard.” And yes, it is. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But those opportunities are out there. 

Outside of that, great writers (compared to average writers) are good at many things. Researching, finding good stats and sources, thinking outside the box, developing new thoughts and ideas (instead of regurgitating what’s already out there), communicating with clients, delivering on time, and being open to feedback.

People remember you not just for what you write, but for how you handle the task at hand. Clients are hiring you to make their lives easier, and they will remember when you do just that. 

Do you think AI is going to prevent writers from earning this much in the future?

Absolutely not. There are writers on both sides of the AI spectrum here. I am one who believes that it will help us. Will AI replace writers for those low-paying gigs that pay 2 cents per word? Probably. But those aren’t the clients you want.

AI can’t bring humor, emotion, and perspective to writing. But it can help you ideate, come up with new ways to say things, help you identify pain points, and so much more. Adding it to your writing toolbelt alongside platforms like Grammarly and Clearscope will only add to your skills and allow you to level up your writing. 

What industries do you mainly write for?

I write for B2B audiences in the SaaS, MarTech, HealthTech, EdTech, and eCommerce industries and future of work technologies. 

freelance content writer

How long did it take you to reach $100k/200k/300k?

  • Dec 2019 – I started my biz with a goal of $35k
  • Dec 2020- $137k
  • Dec 2021- $236k
  • Dec 2022- $338k

Was there any particular shift/strategy in your business that helped you cross the $100k mark?

Anchor clients, otherwise known as consistent work, is what helped me have recurring income I could count on. 

In your TCC podcast episode, you blew people’s minds with the fact that you hit over $300k a year in your business. We’re all dying to know what that looked like in terms of workload – eg. number of clients/types of projects//hours per week. How the heck do you tetris everything in!

Magic! Juuuust kidding.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Avg clients per month: 10-12
  • Hours per week: 30-35
  • Do I use subcontractors? Yes.
  • Project management system: Trello
  • Retainer/Anchor clients made up 60% of my biz, 40% was projects
  • How did I manage it all? I’m extremely organized, I know most of my assignments at the start of each month, and I’ve got a great support system at home. 

What does an average work week look like for you?

I’m one of those crazy people that actually ENJOYS waking up early. I usually wake up and work at 4 am 2-3 times a week. It’s when I’m most productive and creative…and when my house is quiet.

My schedule is molded by my daughter’s school schedule, so I generally work 9am-4pm each day. But I take lots of breaks (we have a needy dog), take time for myself when I can, and take time off throughout the year. 

Working these hours doesn’t mean I’m doing client work this entire time. I’m also spending time learning, being mentored, and working on my business.

freelance content writer

What are the biggest challenges when you’re writing content at this income level?

  • Saying no to an assignment (because my plate is full) even though they pay very well
  • Sourcing marketing stats. There are soooo many round up articles but once you find the original source, it’s usually from 2017 or earlier
  • Expecting to always make this much money. You get very used to the income flow, so thinking about making less (if I choose to) is a little scary

Content writing can be pretty time-consuming. How do you keep a healthy life balance between work/kids/family ?

It took me 3 years to learn my boundaries. But now they are set. I don’t work on weekends unless I purposely took time off during the week for something.

I typically don’t take phone calls on Mondays or Fridays. I don’t bring my laptop on my vacations. I ask for help. My husband is very supportive and is always willing to help in any way he can.

I work with a mindset coach who also happens to be a very successful business owner. Those conversations bring me clarity, help me set expectations, and allow me to see different perspectives. 

Do you bring in subcontractors to help at any time? If so – what does this look like for your business?

Yes. I’m part of The Copywriter Club’s Think Tank, which is filled with some pretty incredible writers. 

I try to give work to anyone who needs a little income bump or is in a client drought. I provide briefs, any client information, and let them have at it. 

Once received, I either edit it myself or send it to my contracted editor (Gillian Hill is the best). Subcontractor expenses make up about 10% of my monthly income, but saves about 50% of my sanity.

What’s your #1 piece of advice for content writers who are shooting for $100k – and beyond?

Just do it. Stop focusing on the $100k mark. Nothing really changes when you hit that mark. And depending on where you live, that may not even be a significant income for you. But you can make real money doing this. 

Figure out what you enjoy (and are good at) writing about, educate yourself to improve your skills, charge what you feel you deserve, and don’t settle for less. Once you land a few great opportunities, work hard to do a great job. 

Build up your reputation as someone who hits the task right on the head, delivers on time, and is always open to feedback. Network with people, use LinkedIn, and be open to conversations. Get to know fellow writers, join mastermind groups and helpful Facebook groups, and put yourself out there. 

The resources are there, the high-paying clients are there, your skills are there. Combine them all and you’ll get there.

I’ve started a new branch of my business to help small business owners and entrepreneurs to feel empowered to write copy and content for their own business.

Learn more about Stephanie’s business growth here:

Check out some of Stephanie’s recommended resources to help you upskill:

  • The Copywriter Club – I wouldn’t be where I am without their help. They have an incredibly brilliant Facebook community filled with conversations and answers to any writing woe. They also offer a staggered list of intensives based on where you’re at with your business. 
  • The Freelance Content Marketing Writer – Their Facebook page is another wonderful community. It’s run by Jennifer Goforth Gregory, a successful content writer who tells it like it is and inspires you to charge your worth. 

Looking for more resources to help you find better clients and get paid more? Check out my recommendations:

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  1. Thank you. That article provided a tremendous amount of value. I think I have a full day of reading from all of the links. I am just getting started on my freelancing journey and look forward to taking this information and put it into action.

  2. It’s interesting how mindset continues to rise to the surface when successful content writers talk about their journey to increasing their income. Great insight and resources, Rachael. Thank you!

    1. Hey Shannon! Yeah I agree, mindset and confidence are h-u-g-e factors as a freelancer. I still struggle with these in places, but once you can get past those annoying blocks, the sky’s pretty much the limit with what you can do in your business 🙂

  3. Found this post in Superpath last week and I keep going back to it time and time again to read some parts of it one more time. This post is a true gem, full of tips I can use right away and resources I’ll spend the next two months going through 😂 Thank you, thank you, thank you for publishing this!

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