How To Make a Million in Your First Year As A Freelance Writer

Written By: Trina Moitra

The magic is in the money. Yes, that is what they say. First up I would like at all freelancers out there to literally harken to this post. You are winging it solo and creating magic out of the mundane. So own it, work it and live it! Stop calling yourself a “service provider”! You are the bold beautiful entrepreneurs of the beckoning, alluring future!

Like a flourishing business breaks the glass ceiling of a bank account, a successful freelancer can beat any small company CEO in terms of monetary mileage any day. I am here to demystify the enigma and the secrecy around how much an average successful entrepreneur can earn in a month. But before I do, please fold your hands and pay obeisance to something called “currency devaluation”. Yes at the risk of sounding like a traitor that is exactly what drives the engine of your part time entrepreneurial dreams. In straightforward pruned and sheared language….one US dollar carries a lot of weight in these parts of the world and mostly all the major freelancing portals use this currency to transact. So if you land a $10 job for writing a two page expose, do not berate yourself. That is around 530 rupees for penning a thousand or so words in an hour. If you do a little digging, you will find most corporate companies insist, or maybe demand a better word, on a 9 hour working day. If you earn $10 every hour for a single working day, that is 5000 rupees. In a 20 day month that amounts to a staggering one lakh bucks! You are now 9 months away from your first million. That is not a bad gestation period, is it now?

I can see the rapid questions forming in your mind! One doesn’t get 9 $10 jobs a day, every day for 20 days! That’s hokum. Yes it is. You will never ever get 180 jobs a month. Unless you are superman (or equally woman) hyper charged on freelancing kryptonite. So am I deluding you? No dear. I did not get to where I am today on half-baked theories. You will make your million in your first year. I assure you. The question is how! You will do it with long term clients. I have seen it happen for my personal role model and I have seen it happen to me. Let’s get one thing straight- To excel as a part time entrepreneur you need to have serious sauce. You need to be diligent, talented and focused. I personally add another virtue to the list and that is intuitiveness. You need to somehow sense that you are going in the right direction and which assignment is a good investment. Remember, here the capital is your intellect and your time and you need to be just as discerning about these investments as any conventional suit. So now that it is absolutely established that you have something worthwhile in you (everybody does….it’s in different forms and different niches), we can eliminate the next round of silly queries…What if I can’t do a job after signing on? What if I make a stupid mistake and mess things up? Well if you are not confident, you simply start small. And then grow up from there. It will take two years to make that million….but you will get there. Now you can’t have your cake and eat it too right! This freelancing world is ridiculously attractive…but it is NOT Alladin’s magic lamp. The law of physics is: Something can’t be created from nothing! And in the meritocracy of freelancing…it is truer than anywhere else.

So back to the question at hand! Those of you who are confident of your skills and ready to play matador to the incoming rush of job traffic….there is no end to the money that can get showered on you, literally and figuratively. If you can bag those all-important two jobs in the first month, you are set. Two because then prospective clients know instantly that the provider is really quality and capable of a repeat performance. From here on you need to concentrate on quality. And you need to assure quality. And the last thing you need to do is focus on quality. Did I mention you need to churn out quality? No…I have not gone stark raving mad. That is the approach that will work for you. Make this part time business your beloved. Do not ask what you can get out of it. Instead give it everything you have. That way you build a repeat client base. On Elance, there is a separate judging criterion “Long Term Clients” which charts your ability of holding on to them. This should be indicative enough of the importance of a steady client base.
When you do have a base of four to five such clients and are involved in long term projects, you will be delighted to find that a payment of $200 per week, per project is like child’s play. I believe by now you are adept at numbers and can do the math on your own. And this is very general. If you are a superb programmer or a designer that $200 can easily be $400! I still have mild arrhythmia whenever I see the yearly earnings of the bigwig IT groups on Elance (Yes most of them are true blue desi Indians). You can check it out too for a dose of inspiration.

This is a brand new field that will peak 10 years from now. Like our dads milked the IT boom, we can do so with this new vista of opportunities. Want to join the bandwagon? Register for Elance at I am a benign soul and even if you are a seasoned “entrepreneur” and need some friendly advice, drop me a line at my mail id. Lastly let’s get together and salute all of the biggies who have made it- like our fantastic blog mistress Shuchi! You people motivate and you inspire. Keep up the great work.

Trina Moitra


  1. I believe what Shuchi mam has achieved serves as the inspiration for me..And yes you are no less as your articles are informative, to the point and have practicality in them..Cheers!

  2. Wonderful article, loved reading it!

  3. hahahaha... 'Unless you are Superman or Superwoman supercharged on freelancing kyptonite!!' Loved it!

  4. superman doesn't get charged from kryptonite. he gets his power from the sun....
    kryptonite on the other hand can kill him...

    by the way, good article.

  5. Your blog is inspiring


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