How to Make a FT Living Writing … for Yourself and/or for Others: A 5-Step, Quick-Start Plan

The mission of this site is to teach aspiring and existing freelancers how to make money writing … for clients, and for themselves too if they want. Many freelancers overlook this last part; their minds automatically go to writing for clients when they think of “making money writing.”

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Ways to Make a Full-Time Living Writing

You can:

Now that you have some idea of just how many ways there are to make a living writing, you may be thinking …

Should I Write for Myself or Write for Clients?

As you can see, there are tons of ways to make a full-time living writing. And the beautiful part is, you don’t have to do one or the other. That brings me to a question I received from a reader of this blog. I wanted to share the response I gave this writer because it’s a conundrum many may find themselves in. She wrote:How to Make a Full-Time Living Writing -- For Yourself And For Others

Hi Yuwanda,

I just purchased your ebook on SEO writing, but I have a question. I left my corporate job a few months ago to work from home and recently started my website about [health niche].

I know my writing could be better but I was reading some of the other courses you have and I’m wondering if I’m wanting to grow my website and earn some income while I’m growing my site, which program do you feel would help me the most?

I purchased the SEO writing ebook because I knew writing articles that reach SEO is a must with my articles, so I thought if I could learn that for my website and make money writing for others, it seemed like a win/win.

Then I saw the Freelancing course, so maybe that would be a better place to start (?). So I really have two goals, write good content for my own website and write for others for income while I grow my website. Any tips/suggestions you have would be great.

My Answer

Following is what I said to her.

First, congrats on taking the steps to start your freelance writing career. You’re in for an awesome ride! I, quite frankly, can’t imagine doing anything else.😊

In answer to your question, I’d say IF YOU NEED THE MONEY, focus on one thing first, ie, get your freelance writing career working for clients up and going first. That way, you can get some money coming in.

It takes time to grow a website to the point where you can make a sustainable, self-supporting income from it. So again, focus on making money writing for clients first and work on your site in your spare time. Then, once you stabilize that income, you can focus more on growing your site and earning income from it.

And BTW, purchasing the SEO writing ebook is a great start. If you need more training, you can always double back and take the SEO writing class. The difference between the two?

The SEO writing ebook is for freelance writers and aspiring freelance writers who know SEO, but are a little fuzzy on how to get started.

The SEO writing course teaches you how to write SEO content from a total newbie’s perspective. It’s in-depth and assumes that you know NOTHING about online writing.

As for making money blogging from your own site, here’s a post that details EXACTLY what you need to do to get a blog up and going — and earning good money.  Hope this insight helps, and good luck!

The Quickest Way to Make Money Writing? Writing for Myself or for Clients

I just want to add a couple of more points to clarify my answer because which route you should pursue first depends on your personal circumstances.

As I said to this aspiring writer, if you need the money, then seeking client work will be the quickest route to go to make a full-time living writing. Sure, you could luck up and self-publish a book that will earn you thousands of dollars, but for the most part, it just doesn’t work that way. Self-publishing is more of a long-range game than writing for clients.

I’ve been self-publishing ebooks since 2002. I’ve written almost 100 of them. And, it took me a few years to earn enough to say, “If I never landed another client project, I can live off my self-publishing income.” I created a plan for this career turn and implemented it.

It meant writing for clients and writing for myself simultaneously. Sometimes this was exhausting, but with my goal in mind, I pushed forward. I’m glad I did because once I reached my self-publishing income goals, it allowed me to be much more selective about the freelance writing projects I took on.

If you have savings, of course, you can just dive into self-publishing and give it everything you’ve got. Perhaps you’ll have success like this self-publisher, who reached the six-figure mark as an indie author – all because of info she read on this site (which makes me beam with pride).

Make Money Writing Romance On the Beach: Freelance from the Caribbean

Learn How to Make Money Writing RomanceHow to Make Money Writing Romance

I’ve earned as much as $3,200 in one month writing short romance novels and selling them on Amazon (and other outlets). You can too! Learn how to:

  • Properly plot and write a romance novel;
  • Price your romance novels to sell;
  • Create covers that sell;
  • Make a full-time living writing romance (if that’s what you want); and
  • So much more.

Diversifying your writing income streams is one of the easiest ways to make a full-time living as a writer. Thanks to advances made in marketplaces like self-publishing and online education, the ways to make money writing are more diverse than ever. Learn more.

How to Make a FT Living Writing: A Quick, 5-Step Action Plan

Following is a quick action plan to get you started making a living writing.

1. Decide how you want to start

Do you want to just write for yourself, or write for clients, or do both? Note: I don’t advise this if you’re not extremely dedicated, focused and realize just how long your days will be.

2. Select a niche

Whether you’re going to write for yourself, or for clients, I recommend specializing as a freelance writer. For example, if you’re going to write for yourself, then will you be a romance writer, or start a niche blog on health.

If you’re going to write for clients, will you specialize in personal finance, or legal, or tech, etc.?

3. Create a marketing plan for your writing business

Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to be self-publishing your own line of books, or writing for clients. You need to know how you’re going to sell your writing (or sell yourself as a writer).

4. Get a site/blog

Yeah, you need a home on the web. How you use it will differ depending on how you decide to proceed as a writer, but you need one.

5. Start writing

If you’ve decided to write for clients, create some writing samples to put on your site. If you decided to start a blog, start writing and publishing blog posts. If you’ve decided to make money as an indie author, start writing that book.

If you do these five things, you’re well on your way to making a full-time living as a writer … whether you’re writing for yourself, or writing for others. See? Now that ain’t so hard, is it?


There is no set way to make a living as a writer. I’ve said this a lot the last few years, but it bears repeating – in my opinion, there has never been a better time in the history of the world to be a writer, especially if you embrace writing for yourself.

So when you think of writing, don’t think linearly. Think deep; go vertically. There are so many ways to make a full-time living writing now that it actually boggles the mind. Now I ain’t gone line – it’s a lot of work, especially if you decide to write for yourself and for clients at  the same time.

But, I literally can’t imagine doing anything else. My days are my own. When I wake up and go to bed are my own decisions. My vacation time is my own. What I charge is up to me. How much I earn is up to me.

I literally wake up and can’t wait to get down to work every day. You can have this type of career contentment too as a freelance writer -– if you’re willing to put in the work.

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