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How To Actually Make Money Writing Online

If you’re looking to get started as a freelance writer and you need motivation, or a lil’ sumthin’ to get you in that flow state, then stick around because things are about to get interesting, and we’re only getting started.

The start of a new series on freelance writing, and an offshoot on my personal finance blogs (falls under execution strategy.). Here’s a fun but mundane fact about yours truly—I love a good idiom, and the em dash—apparently. A strong adage packs a punch, so if you don’t mind…

Let’s get textual.

One proverb I enjoy and try to keep in the back of my mind is, a rising tide lifts all boats, (or raises all ships.) Google images would have you thinking that JFK coined the term.

Image Source: AZ Quotes

While JFK used the phrase often (great minds, you know?) he didn’t come up with it. Turns out it was New England’s chamber of regional commerce that fashioned the phrase…what a story.

Why am I talking about this?

Besides the fact that idiom etymology is obviously cool trivial knowledge, I’m drawn to the visual of everyone rising and benefiting from each other’s success as a whole. Basically—the idea that my blogs could help others is really cool. I’m trying to kickoff this whole freelance writing thing. I know lots of people out there are trying to do the same. There are tons of blogs that talk about getting started as a freelance writer/how to make money writing online. There’s some great stuff (Tim Denning’s is a personal fave) but there’s lots of clickbait bullshit too.

I don’t want my blogs to be clickbait bullshit.

If people are taking the time to read (which apparently some are,) then that’s huge and I appreciate each second of your time, and I don’t want to let anyone down by posting fugazi content.

It’s all a fugaz’. Image source:

A rising tide lifts all boats

—New England’s Chamber of Regional Commerce

So I would like to help, if I can, and as much as I can. If you’re looking to get started as a freelance writer, and you need motivation, or a lil’ sumthin’ to get you in that flow state, then stick around because things are about to get interesting—and we’re only getting started.

Who even does tho? Image source:

In my last post, I talked about Upwork (a freelance site.) I didn’t hold back on the goods and shared my actual self-advertising materials (which you can also find by googling my name.) I showed what’s written on my current profile AND my job application template (which is a non-internet exclusive,) and something I strongly suggest doing as a freedom-lance writer. Save yourself time and piggyback off my stuff, if you can. Just customize the personal deets. #liftallships. There’s a lot to navigate and I’ve learned a ton, so without further ado—

How to Get Started as a Freedom-lance Writer

Step one: Find your source(s).

There are tons of money-making sites to choose from. You can end up wasting lots of time sussing sites that turn out to be trash, so my advice is to choose one or two credible platforms to kickoff your freelance writing. How did I choose Upwork? In my last blog, I jumped the gun and got straight into it with Upwork. I forgot to explain why Upwork is my personal preference, so let me to give you the lowdown (and apologies for the oversight.)

Before going with Upwork, I did look into other freelance sites, like freelancer, flex jobs and Fiverr. I already knew Upwork was legit because my brother had been using it for years as a graphic designer (and he still does.) It turns out that there is a real disparity in the quality of freelance sites to choose from. I can tell you from experience that Upwork offers the most controlled environment for freelancers, which is critical. When I say it’s a controlled environment, I mean a few things , but mostly—


Making sure you are compensated for your work is your biggest priority as a freelancer. The BEST thing by far about Upwork is that you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll get paid (for the most part, I've had some bad experiences too.)

When clients hire off Upwork, the money that’s allocated to complete the job is placed in escrow, which means that Upwork holds the money until both parties agree that the work is complete. The client no longer has the money after they’ve accepted your job offer. Once both parties agree the work is done, UpWork releases the funds to the freelancer’s account. Here’s what your freelancer payment pipeline looks like.

My Upwork Payment Pipeline

You can also see which clients are payment verified or not, since it shows on their profile with the little blue checkmark badge (if you’re paranoid, stick to clients that are payment verified.)

Client info on Upwork

This is how client info is displayed on Upwork. You can see that this client/company has —

  • Spent over 8K
  • Are payment verified
  • Have an average hourly pay of $27.19 USD/hour.
  • Also they’re from Singapore.

AKA this client is vetted—so you do not have to worry about whether you’ll get paid when you accept work from them. Upwork’s system works. The infrastructure is there, and I haven’t had any issues with receiving payment. Hopefully it stays that way. The one slap in the face is that they take 20% of your total earnings. It sucks, but it’s what it is. I’m going to wrap here. Hopefully between this post and my last, you’ve learned a thing or two about getting started as a freelancer. If not — then I guess you’re shit outta luck.

Catch you in the next one.

1st Edition Writers

Here’s the thing, I love movies. I’ve seen hundreds (nearing a thousand, I’m not kidding — I keep a list.) There are many classic movies worth seeing. In no particular order, this is a list of ten movies I


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