$100K Club

Freelance writer/consultant earning $127k (plus $30k in subcontractor revenue)

Jimmy Daly
January 31, 2022

Welcome to another post in the $100k Club series. You can see the full series here. This is "My Morning Routine" for content marketing folks making six figures. The goal is to shed light on the skills and habits that enable people to achieve lucrative jobs and help get more people in this club.

These will be anonymous and updated regularly. If you make more than $100k/year and want to contribute, fill out this form.

For more info on content marketing salaries, check out our salary report.

What was your first full-time job in content? What was the salary?

I've never had a full-time job in content as an employee, so I've never had a salary. I started as a freelancer in 2019 charging $50/hour for one client at 10 hours/week.

List out your income by year for as long as you've been working in content marketing.

  • 2019 - $12k (freelancing part-time from July-Dec)
    2020 - $50k (lost my other business to COVID, focused solely on content services for more clients)
    2021 - $157,000 total, about $30k of that through subcontractors for a total of $127,000 pre-tax

How much do you earn today? What's your job title?

Last year I earned almost $130,000 before taxes. I still do some consulting so I call myself a Writer & Consultant specializing in the employee experience.

What's the single biggest salary jump you've made? (either from job-hopping or a promotion/raise)

My biggest increase came when, as a freelancer, I decided to STOP billing for my time and convert every willing client to a retainer instead. In 2021, 99% of my revenue was recurring month to month. I spent less than an hour a month on billing tasks, and only looked for new clients when I felt like it. I more than doubled my income in 2021 compared to 2020, and didn't increase the amount of time I spent working at all.

What is your most valuable skill?

Editing

What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity? (Feel free to suggest more than one!)

I love “Give and Take” by Adam Grant, “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin, and “When” by Daniel Pink

Have you had a career mentor/coach? If so, how did you find them and what have you learned from them?

No, but the advice I got to stop charging for my time and start charging for value, from a variety of informal sources, has been life-changing.

What skills or habits help you thrive at work?

  1. Taking care of my body, mind, and soul. Knowing the times of day I'm most productive, and when to take a break.
  2. I'm a very routined person by nature. It's easy for me to write a little each day, which I believe has a huge impact on the quality of my writing (and my thinking).
  3. I've also noticed, the longer I freelance, that my social and interpersonal skills have grown; I consider my ability to build strong, positive relationships with clients one of my biggest assets (and biggest money makers).

What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the $100k club?

Niche down until you become "the one" who can do something specific (or write about something specific) very, very well. It's scary at first, but it works. Then, stop charging by the hour or by the word, and learn how to put a price on the value you create.

Where do you live? What is your gender and ethnicity?

I’m a white female living in Nashville, TN.

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