At the end of my first year of freelancing, I thought some numbers and stats might help others.
This year, I made $23,833.19.
My lowest income month was April: $735
My highest income month was July: $4,566.81
On average I made $1,986 a month.
That's $496.52 a week.
Remember, though, I still have to do my taxes. So take-home is like two thirds of the total, right? Which leaves me at: $15,729.91.
Okay, so not great. Definitely not great. On the other hand, way better than ZERO. So, that's good. We'll say it's a good start.
To get to that amount, I published 80 pieces this year.
My highest number published in a month was October with 12 pieces published.
My lowest number in a months was February with 4 pieces published.
On average, I published 6.7 pieces a month.
That's 1.5 pieces a week.
In terms of publications, I published in 30 different places, including websites, newspapers and magazines.
The most pieces I published for one place? 17.
The lowest I wrote for was free. I wrote two piece for free this year. Not counting that, $50.
The highest check for one piece I received this year was for $1165.50.
On average, I made $297.91 a piece. (This number skews high because I counted a few reprints and some blogging revenue in my yearly total.) So, let's probably say I made about $250 a piece this year.
Let's talk pitches, rejections and acceptances. To publish my 80 pieces this year, I sent out 329 pitches. I was rejected outright 128 times. I was accepted 97 times (some are still in edits, and some were killed, which brings the published list to 80). I was ignored 104 times (which is a silent rejection, obviously).
So, my percentages work out like this:
Accepted: 29% of the time
Rejected: 39% of the time
Ignored: 32% of the time
Total Rejected: 71% of the time.
I was accepted 29 percent of the time. I was rejected 71 percent of the time.
Please, please, please know that of all the times I was rejected, I never gave up on those pitch ideas. I pitch until an idea is accepted or simply cannot be spun any further.
I've had pieces rejected 10-25 times this year which went on to be published in places like Time, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Vice and more.
Don't let rejections scare you. A piece can find a home. You can do it.
Good luck this next year, freelancers. We're going to rock this.