Home » General » $1,000 Freelancing In a Month: How I Did It

As you may have noticed, I have provided a few articles on this site which link to further articles written elsewhere. I have been writing lately for a website called Seeking Alpha (SA). The main goal by writing for SA has been to increase readership for this website that you’re currently on. Writing for SA has, however, also been quite profitable.

If you’ll remember, I set a goal at the start of the year to achieve $1,000 from an outside source over the course of this year aside from methods I have traditionally used. Well, in March I decided to accelerate that goal and actually fit it inside of a single month.

I can happily say that the experiment has been a resounding success.

While writing so much through March kept me quite busy, it was a positive experience overall as I was able to benefit by attracting more readers, earning a sizeable income of well over $1,000, and also improving my own writing ability at the same time. You see, the upside of writing a lot is that it actually becomes easier over time to do just that. I noticed an appreciable improvement in my ability to collect a series of thoughts and arrange them coherently.

Another huge benefit to writing for a wide audience is that it acts as its own quality control mechanism. When it comes down to it, I research much more diligently when I know thousands of people will be reading over and fact-checking my work than if I was simply doing so for my own amusement or education.

I feel a sense of responsibility to provide quality content for readers. Adding value is my job and it is something that readers deserve.

Having noted the above, let’s take a look at what freelancing is all about.

What I Wrote About

In deciding to achieve a +$1,000 side income over the course of a single month, I set out to write a number of articles which would each allow me to grow as a writer while also piquing the interest of readers.

Throughout the month, I wrote what I call The Philosopher Series. This was truly a labor of love for me. I took a set of philosophers and in each article asked what each might invest in were they alive today to do so. I covered philosophers ranging from Nietzsche to Descartes to Confucius. Currently at nineteen “Parts”, the series has been a huge triumph with incredible reader feedback.

Aside from The Philosopher Series, I covered a range of other topics. I analyzed Philip Morris from the standpoint of a dividend growth investor which brought in over five thousand pageviews, compared Suncor and Imperial Oil, and also contrasted the Big Five Canadian Banks.

What I was truly hoping to do was demonstrate that there is a market out there to apply economic concepts to just about anything you would like to write about. If you are creative enough and cover a topic in an interesting way, readers will respond positively. The key is to provide value to readers and help them see things in a new light.

The interesting thing about all of this is that it wasn’t really that hard. It was, rather, a matter of committing to doing it and then actually doing it. It’s the getting-down-to-business part and actually putting in the hours that stops most people.

Freelancing

Freelance work is all about creating. Wherever there is a need for content or services which a company or person cannot provide on their own, an opportunity for a well-positioned freelancer exists. This is also known as independent-contracting and is a form of self-employment.

Here is a short list of the huge advantages freelancing offers:

  • No overhead. You can literally do your writing from a public library if you do not have an internet connection at home.
  • No commute.
  • No office politics. Unless you don’t get along with your pets.
  • No resume required since if what you write passes editorial review, you get published. Period.
  • Set your own schedule. I often prefer to write late at night or early in the morning.
  • Scales well. If you want to make more, you get paid for extra work. Compare this to a typical job where you have a set amount of hours and there is no personal benefit to putting in extra work aside from the often vague opportunities for career advancement if the right people happen to notice your contributions.
  • As much vacation time as you like. A determined individual could quite easily work hard for the first three weeks of a month and take the last week off. Twelve weeks of vacation per year would be tough to match for any employer.
  • Earning income from a variety of sources provides added security that your earnings will never be interrupted entirely by one event. Contrast this with someone relying for all of their income from a job at which they could be fired or laid off at any time.
  • If you happen to like your job and just want a little extra spending money on the side, freelancing is ideal. You can write a few articles per month and still bring in a hundred bucks or more.

The key to success as a freelancer, as an entrepreneur, or really anything else in the financial world is to find something that you love to do and then find a way to get paid to do it. That’s what it is all about.

The way many people wind up in their jobs is limiting and self-defeating. They begin in school by looking at the available jobs in the market and perhaps sit down with a job counsellor and receive advice as to which fields are paying the most at the time. So the individual goes on their merry way to pursue a career based on dollars and cents, but they leave their passion behind. This is a problem.

To achieve lasting financial success which also incorporates a balanced lifestyle, begin by figuring out what you most enjoy and then from that starting point take a look around and research ways to monetize it.

The Downside

While I have listed many of the advantages of writing commissioned articles, there is one significant downside that should be noted.

Whenever an article is written for an outside site, they typically retain the rights for publication over it. What this means is that if I post for SA, I can only provide an excerpt on my own site (Get Rich Brothers) with a link back to SA. The issue with this is that it is important to balance quality content on this site while also building a readership from the vast pool of followers that SA offers.

Various other formats of freelancing come with likewise restricting policies. Responsibility is on the freelancer to read and understand the terms and conditions for the companies or individuals they are commissioning work for. If you have created something you wish to retain the rights to, it is important to do just that; retain the unrestricted rights.

What Am I Doing With The Money?

I have to admit, getting an extra thousand dollars to play with is a nice feeling. There are many ways to use additional cash flow but it is also important to be prudent.

Since the exchange rate between Canadian and U.S. dollars has tipped so heavily in favor of greenbacks, I will likely leave a substantial portion in American currency (SA pays in USD as the company is based in New York). I am planning to invest approximately one third while leaving around the same amount in straight cash.

With what is left after accounting for the above, I am planning to parlay the remainder into another of my start-of-the-year goals by purchasing a keyboard piano. This really boils down to rewarding myself for having put in a sizeable effort to generate cash flow in my spare time. Likewise, I am creating a synergy between efforts in one area and achieving goals in another. By creating a link between positive efforts in one domain and allowing them to spill over, I can grow even faster as an individual than I otherwise would be able to by compartmentalizing my endeavors. It is absolutely a virtuous circle of achievement.

How Can You Start Freelancing?

As mentioned earlier in this article, I did my freelancing last month with personal finance articles. If that isn’t your forte, you need to take a look around at what else is out there.

Some people do a good job buying and reselling items on auction websites such as eBay. Others have a knack for arts and crafts that they create and sell these through Etsy. A website called iStock Photo allows you to sell commissioned photography and others forms of visual art.

Freelancing is the business of selling what you create. Billions of people are out there scanning the internet looking for ways to spend their money. If you can produce something, anything, that other people are willing to pay for, then you can certainly find a marketplace to close some sales.

Conclusion

I was able to earn an income in excess of $1,000 from freelance writing through the month of March. By leveraging my knowledge of personal finance and my ability to write, I was able to ultimately print money. The great thing about this is that if I want more, it’s like a faucet that I can simply turn to a higher setting; by putting in extra hours I can easily increase my cash flow.

I believe every person has the potential to earn a living freelancing. The key is to first figure out what you are good at and then find a way to monetize that passion. Discover what you do best and put yourself out there to get paid doing it. The next step is the hard work to produce a quality product that satisfies your customer.

Ryan

What would you do with an extra $1,000 per month?

Full Disclosure: Long TD and CM. My brother is Long RY and BNS.

Pictures courtesy of pixabay.com

5 thoughts on “$1,000 Freelancing In a Month: How I Did It

  1. virtualedge says:

    The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas of the future as
    this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi virtualedge,
      I am glad the found the article useful!
      Take care.
      – Ryan

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