Can You Really Make $27,000 a Month as a Writer?

freelance writing money pay pricing salary workload

This article has been making the rounds on social media lately: How This Freelancer Made $27,000 in 1 Month.

And many successful freelancers like me have responded to the story with skepticism and a healthy dose of WTF. In my case, it’s not because I don’t believe it’s possible to make $27,000 in one month as a writer; it’s that I don’t understand why anyone would want to. But let’s take a closer look at some of anonymous’ claims so I can share my take on the story.

Is it Really Possible to Make $27,000 in One Month as a Freelance Writer?

Let’s start with the fact that this writer chose to remain anonymous. I regard anonymous sources with a massive dose of salt – because anyone can say anything anonymously. In the past, when I’ve talked about my income, I’ve published screenshots to back up my claims. Hell, I even published a screenshot of my 2020 year-end Profit-and-Loss summary in my ebook, Design Your Dream Career as a Nurse Writer, to prove I really have had $100,000 years during my freelance career.

That said, I do believe it’s possible to earn $27,000 in a single month as a freelance writer. I’m pretty sure I did a $20,000 or $23,000 month one time, so I’m positive it’s doable. (I couldn’t find the evidence to back up this claim, so maybe you should take it with salt, too!) I can find proof of a $16,000 month from just last year, so earning high numbers as a freelance writer definitely is possible.

But at what cost?

Money Isn’t Everything

I loved freelance writing for the lifestyle it afforded me. The money was great, make no mistake. But perhaps even better (to me) about being a writer was the ability to:

  • Work no more than 24 hours a week (for most of my career)
  • Plan my own, flexible work schedule
  • Go on impromptu day hikes with my dog
  • Shuttle my mom to her medical appointments without begging for PTO
  • Take three-day weekend jaunts on the regular
  • Go antiquing in the middle of the day
  • Take sick days when I was sick without feeling judged or pressured to work

You get the idea.

The anonymous source of the article said they “probably work[ed] about 50 hours a week.” Gosh, that’s the exact lifestyle I wanted to get away from! Although I wasn’t doing 50-hour weeks in my final nursing gig before I went full-time freelance, I know many of you are doing that right now. Why on earth would anyone want to trade 50-hour nursing (or corporate) weeks for 50-hour freelance weeks?? That strikes me as absolutely ridiculous.

Better Ways to Make $20,000 a Month as a Freelance Writer

Still, if money is your prime mover, and you’re highly motivated to put in the hours to routinely make $20,000 a month, there are better ways to accomplish your goal than the way the anonymous source did it.

The anonymous writer claimed that 50% of their work came from “anchor journalism clients,” and building relationships with anchor clients definitely is one very effective strategy for meeting your income goals. In fact, as I teach in my courses, cultivating anchor clients represents one key to success in building a sustainable freelance writing business.

However, the anonymous writer also said they produced “LOTS [emphasis theirs] of lower-paying assignments,” possibly to the tune of “60-ish individual pieces” in the month they allegedly earned $27,000.

No wonder they had to work 50-hour weeks.

Let me show you a better (and doable) way to put together a $20,000 freelance month:

  • Website redesign project (20 pages) for a client at $10,000 (involving 20 hours of work over the month)
  • 8 health articles for anchor client at $4,500 (8 hours)
  • Newsletters for 2 different anchor clients at a total of $2,000 (3 hours)
  • 4 blog posts for anchor client at $1,000 (4 hours)
  • 2 one-off articles pitched to magazines at $1,600 (8 hours)
  • 1 webinar writing gig picked up from an agency at $1,000 (3 hours)

Now we’ve reached $19,100 on the month, with 37 discrete deliverables and a time investment of 54 hours for the entire month.

Is this doable? Yes. I have more-or-less done it. However, it takes time to build the type of efficiency as a writer that enables you to write various assets that relatively quickly.

But even if you double the time investment to account for the less-developed skills of a more novice writer, that’s still only 108 hours on the month – or 27 hours per week.

Final thoughts: I believe it’s possible to make $27,000 in one month as a freelance writer. But I don’t know why anyone would want to.

What’s your take on this? What questions do you have? Ping us on social media @rn2writer with your thoughts!

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We offer training in the best remote, work-from-home nursing job - freelance health writing. If you’re looking for the perfect side hustle for nurses or a full-time nurse business, you can rely on RN2writer to deliver educational courses, coaching, and community for nurses of all degrees, licensures, and backgrounds across the U.S., Canada, and beyond. We welcome all nurses: RN, LPN, NP, APRN, CRNA, FNP, CNM, etc. We also serve other healthcare clinicians and professionals: CNA, MD, PA, LCSW, PharmD, radiology tech, CEO, CNO, CMO, and anyone else with a background in healthcare. Welcome!
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