Freelance writing


Are you a freelance writer looking to significantly increase your earning potential? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will explore the proven strategies that can help you skyrocket your freelance writing rates. Steven Macdonald, a successful freelance writer, started with a humble payment of $150 per article as his freelance Writing rate and managed to achieve an impressive $2,000 per article just three years later. Let’s delve into the five steps that led to his remarkable success.

1. Pick a Niche

When Steven began his freelance writing journey, he possessed a valuable skill: search engine optimization (SEO).

Focusing on his expertise, he started writing articles centered around keyword research, link-building, and on-page SEO.

Instead of prioritizing traffic or leads, Steven’s primary goal was to enhance his writing abilities by practicing headlines, hooks, sentence structure, and more.

As he published numerous SEO-related articles, he gradually established himself as an authority in the field. Nowadays, when Steven hires writers, he prefers specialists rather than generalists.

By niching down and focusing on your strengths, you can position yourself as a writer who surpasses artificial intelligence.

2. Build Credibility

If you aspire to become a better writer and attract higher-paying clients, it’s crucial to write for renowned websites in your niche.

Steven Macdonald successfully contributed to prestigious platforms such as Moz, Search Engine Journal, and Content Marketing Institute. Writing for these authoritative publications offered several benefits. Firstly, it allowed Steven to establish valuable relationships with editors.

Secondly, adhering to the editorial guidelines of these reputable sites improved his writing skills. Lastly, being featured on these platforms added credibility to his portfolio.

Although writing for free may be necessary initially, you can leverage these published works to enhance your bio and showcase your writing samples to prospective clients.

3. Track Content Performance

To demonstrate your value to clients, it’s important to track and measure the performance of your content.

Steven recommends using Ahrefs, a powerful SEO tool, to monitor crucial metrics such as the number of keywords, positions, organic traffic, page 1 rankings, and backlinks.

Capture screenshots of these metrics and, if you have Google Analytics, track engagement and conversions as well. Sharing these results with companies that reach out to you or when pitching potential clients showcases your expertise and the positive impact of your writing.

4. Document Your Process

Distinguishing yourself as an expert requires having a well-defined process. While amateurs tend to wing it, professionals have a systematic approach to their work.

Steven suggests creating a document that outlines your writing process, including key steps such as keyword research, drafting and editing, gathering quotes from subject matter experts, conducting research, and setting delivery timeframes.

Not only does this help you produce content more efficiently, but it also enables you to share your process with clients when they inquire about your methodology. Having a documented process enhances your professionalism and instills confidence in your clients.

The processes that are worth documenting:

Creating a document that outlines your writing process is essential for streamlining your work and ensuring consistent quality and efficiency. Let’s explore each step in more detail:

  • a. Keyword Research:

Effective keyword research is the foundation of successful content creation. Start by identifying relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for.

Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to discover high-volume and low-competition keywords.

This research helps you understand the language and topics your audience is interested in, allowing you to optimize your content for maximum visibility and relevance.

  • b. Draft and Edits:

Once you have your keywords, it’s time to start writing the initial draft of your article.

Focus on creating engaging and informative content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.

Write with clarity and structure, ensuring that your main points are well-organized and easy to follow. Don’t worry about perfection at this stage; the goal is to get your ideas on paper.

After completing the draft, allocate time for thorough editing and revisions. Review your content for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Ensure that your sentences flow smoothly and that your ideas are logically connected.

Pay attention to the overall structure and readability of your piece. Consider using writing tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to assist with proofreading and enhancing readability.

  • c. SME Quotes:

To add credibility and depth to your content, include quotes from subject matter experts (SMEs). Reach out to industry professionals, influencers, or other authoritative figures related to your niche.

Conduct interviews or request permission to cite their insights within your article. These quotes not only strengthen the validity of your content but also provide unique perspectives that can captivate your readers.
Properly attribute and reference the SMEs you quote to maintain integrity and establish trust with your audience.

  • d. Research:

In addition to keyword research, conducting thorough research on your topic is crucial.

Gather relevant information, statistics, case studies, and examples to support your arguments and claims. Ensure that the sources you use are reputable and authoritative.

Take notes and organize your research findings for easy reference while writing. Properly cite and credit your sources to uphold ethical standards and avoid plagiarism.

  • e. Delivery Time:

Setting clear delivery timeframes is essential for managing client expectations and ensuring timely completion of projects.

Determine how long it typically takes you to complete each stage of the writing process, from research to final editing. Consider factors such as the complexity of the topic, word count, and any additional tasks like sourcing visuals or formatting.

Communicate these timeframes to your clients upfront and establish a mutually agreed-upon timeline for project completion. Meeting deadlines consistently builds trust and professionalism, enhancing your reputation as a reliable freelance writer.

By documenting your process and following these steps, you can streamline your workflow, maintain consistency in your work, and effectively communicate your methodology to clients.

Adapt and refine your process as needed to accommodate specific project requirements or feedback from clients.

A well-defined process not only helps you work more efficiently but also demonstrates your professionalism and dedication to delivering high-quality content.

5. Deliver Content Campaigns

To command higher prices for your writing services, it’s essential to view your work as comprehensive content campaigns rather than isolated articles.

Instead of providing a mere 800-word Google doc, go above and beyond by offering valuable add-ons.

These add-ons could include quotes from subject matter experts, visually appealing graphics (even PowerPoint charts suffice), original research, ready-to-use social media copy for platforms like Twitter andLinkedIn, email copy for their weekly newsletter, and identifying internal link opportunities from existing content.

Additionally, after 30 days, provide your clients with ranking and SERP reports to demonstrate the impact of your content on their search engine visibility.

Implementing these content campaigns may require additional effort, but they significantly increase the value you bring to the table. By offering a comprehensive package, you can justify higher prices for your services and position yourself as one of the best in your niche. Remember, the best writers are the ones who get paid the most.

When delivering content campaigns as a freelance writer, offering valuable add-ons can set you apart from the competition and justify higher rates.

Here are some examples of add-ons you can include:

  • a. Quotes from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs):

Including quotes from SMEs adds credibility and authority to your content. Reach out to experts in your niche and request permission to feature their insights or opinions in your article.
These quotes provide valuable perspectives and strengthen the overall quality of your work.

  • b. Graphics:

Visual elements enhance the visual appeal and engagement of your content. Create informative and visually appealing graphics such as charts, graphs, or infographics to support your key points or data.

Tools like Canva or Piktochart can help you design professional-looking visuals, even if you’re not a graphic designer.

  • c. Original Research:

Conducting original research adds a unique and valuable dimension to your content. Gather data through surveys, interviews, or case studies relevant to your topic.
Analyze and present the findings in your article, providing fresh insights that can differentiate your work and attract readers’ attention.

Extend your services beyond the article itself by offering ready-to-use social media copy. Create engaging and concise copy for platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook that can accompany the sharing of the article.

This saves your clients time and effort in crafting effective social media posts, ensuring consistent messaging across different channels.

  • e. Email Copy for Newsletters:

Crafting compelling email copy for your clients’ newsletters is another valuable add-on. Help them engage their subscribers by providing well-written, attention-grabbing email content that summarizes or teases the article’s main points.

This service demonstrates your understanding of marketing and content promotion, and it enhances your clients’ overall email marketing strategy.

  • f. Internal Link Opportunities:

Identifying internal linking opportunities within your client’s existing content can boost their website’s SEO and user experience.

Analyze their website and suggest relevant articles or pages where internal links to the newly written article can be added.

This strategic linking can help improve organic traffic and increase the visibility of their content within their website structure.

  • g. Reporting and Analysis:

After 30 days or a specified timeframe, provide your clients with ranking and search engine results page (SERP) reports.

Show them the progress and impact of your content on their search engine rankings, visibility, and organic traffic. Utilize tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to generate comprehensive reports that highlight the positive outcomes of your work.

By including these add-ons, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering comprehensive content campaigns that go beyond basic article writing.

Each add-on contributes value to your clients’ marketing efforts, reinforces your expertise, and justifies higher rates for your services. Customizing your offerings based on the specific needs and goals of your clients will further differentiate you as a professional freelance writer.


Steven Macdonald’s journey from earning $150 per article to commanding $2,000 per article is a testament to the power of strategic planning and focused execution.

By following the five steps outlined in this article, you too can achieve remarkable growth in your freelance writing rates. Niche down to specialize in a specific area, build credibility by writing for reputable websites, track your content’s performance, document your process to showcase professionalism, and deliver content campaigns that go beyond the basics.

Embrace these strategies, invest in your skills, and aim high. On thing to always have in mind is that becoming one of the best writers in your niche opens doors to lucrative opportunities. So, start today and unlock your true earning potential as a freelance writer.

Are you ready to 10X your freelance writing rates? Take inspiration from Steven Macdonald’s journey and pave your path to success. With dedication, perseverance, and strategic implementation, you can transform your freelance writing career and enjoy the rewards it brings.

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2 thoughts on “Freelance Writing: 5 Steps to Multiply Your Rate

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