Updated: Oct 31, 2021
In September 2021, I decided to dive headfirst into freelance writing.
Primarily it's a side hustle. I have always heard about and watched freelancers on Youtube, Spotify podcasts, and elsewhere try UpWork. So, I wanted to see if the rumors were true.
If you're interested in freelance work through UpWork or Fiverr, then pick a skill in which you excel!
For me, I chose writing as my broad focus area as a freelancer because of the feedback I received in college and high school. These environments helped build upon an already strong writing foundation from being homeschooled. And we covered plenty of great works that fostered my desire to read and write outside of the classroom.
Whenever I allowed myself time to edit and rewrite my work, I tended to get better grades than most, if not all, of the other students, especially if the topic was close to my heart.
Over time, these experiences helped me believe in myself. (And put in the effort necessary). So, about six weeks ago, I decided to turn my passion into a paying side gig.
This post discusses my revenue, costs, and profits of 'professionalizing' my hobby of writing. In particular, this article focuses on UpWork, an online platform for freelancers.
So, without further ado, let's get started!
According to UpWork, I have generated $1,805.00. However, due to UpWork's 20% fee for most types of freelance work on their website, my number is different.
When I checked my bank account, my total was $1,467.84. So then, when dividing $1,467.83 by 6 (weeks I worked on UpWork), the average amount for each of those weeks comes out to $244.64. Or a hypothetical $12,721.28 over 365 days.
That said, I did work extremely hard at the start to get clients and build up my profile, but I have since tapered down my workload. Part of the reason is that some jobs don't pay enough to consider that type of work "worth it." Those are the jobs that pay 2 or 3 cents per word.
Akin to how craftsmen or craftswomen (or craftspeople) approach their work, I wanted to form relationships with well-paying clients who appreciated the value that I delivered for them.
Over those six weeks, I wrote resumes, cover letters, summarized medical documents, created powerpoints, product descriptions, and both short & longform articles.
But of the $1,467.83, how much did I actually see?
After writing 15,000 words in one day, my wrists were killing me. Since I knew that I could make money from my writing, I knew it was necessary to invest it into a quality work setup.
I purchased $179.82 worth of products:
An Ergonomic Logitech Keyboard (the K860)
Grammarly (3 months for $60)
Subscription from 20 Sept 2021 to 20 Dec 2021
Scrivener (one-time purchase for $49)
In addition, I purchased $33.47 worth of Connects (which led you bid on jobs) for UpWork.
And I submitted a poem to Typishly for $4.97. Sadly, the poem was rejected, but the editor noted several lovely adjectives, effective echoes, and it had an "appealingly timeless and classic tone." The poem is called "I heard Heaven's bells" and was inspired by Emily Dickinson's "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,".
Lastly, setting up my own website cost $45.03 and has a reoccurring cost of $20 per month.
Assuming I pay for November and December, the approximate total cost is $412.29.
Here is the math: $1,467.83-412.29 = $1,055.54! This figure is pre-tax.
In addition, I have talked to one of my UpWork clients who has more work for me. However, I won't count my chickens before they hatch. Lastly, I plan to send this money to a separate bank account to keep track of how profitable my writing is as a side hustle.
That's all for now!
//Last Updated: 31 Oct 2021//