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Friday, December 29, 2017

Freelance Numbers - Year 3

This is my second full year of freelancing, and while I did it full-time my first year, this year I ended up taking a teaching position at UF, and taught full-time so I'm going to show salary with that included and without it. It took up a bunch of my pitching and writing time, but also gave me a steady paycheck that I could (mostly) earn from home. And I get to teach students about journalism and how to do it! For me, this step was worth it.


This year, I made $65,630 total.
I made ~$41,000 of that from teaching at UF.
Therefore, I made ~$24,000 writing this year.

Last year, I made $47,979 total.

My lowest income month was March at $2,663. 
(Last year's lowest income month was April at $1,832 )

My highest income month was July at $11,082. 
(Last year it was February at $7,743)

On average I made $5,469 a month, which is $1,367 a week.

Last year I made $3,998 a month, which is nearly $1,000 a week.

Remember, though, I still have to do my taxes on ~$25,000 of this.

I'm happy with my professional decisions this year, and I recommend writers taking on teaching a college course or two if they have the time. It's great steady income. I'm slowly switching over, I think, but freelance is always available, too, which is great!


THE NUMBERS BEHIND THE MONEY:

We'll focus now on just the writing. To get that $24K, I published 40 pieces this year, down from 65 pieces last year, and down from 80 the year before. For important comparison, the year I published 80 piece (my first full freelancing year), I made just under $24K, which means I'm being paid on average twice as much per piece now.

My highest number published in a month was January with 8 pieces published.
My lowest number in a month was May with no pieces published.

On average, I published 3.3 pieces a month, down from 5.4 pieces a month last year and down from 6.7 pieces a month the year before.


In terms of publications, I published in 14 different places, down from 24 last year, including websites, newspapers and magazines.

The most pieces I published for one place? 15.


The lowest I wrote for was$50. I wrote one piece for $50 this year, and a couple more for $75 (local paper)

The highest check for one piece I received this year was for $4,400--Parents Magazine.

On average, I made $600 a piece this year, up from $440 a piece last year and up from $300 the year before. (This number skews high because I counted a few reprints and some blogging revenue in my yearly total, and also some private projects.) So, let's probably say I made about $450 a piece this year.


THE EFFORT BEHIND THE NUMBERS:

Let's talk pitches, rejections and acceptances. To publish my 40 pieces this year, I sent out 165 pitches this year, down from 267 pitches last year and 329 the year before. I'm slowing down on writing to teach more. 

I was rejected outright 56 times. 
I was accepted 50 times (some are still in edits, and some were killed, which brings the published list to 40). 
I was ignored 59 times (which is a silent rejection, obviously).

So, my percentages work out like this:

Accepted: 30% of the time (same as last year)
Rejected: 34% of the time
Ignored: 36% of the time
Total Rejected: 70% of the time.

I was accepted 30 percent of the time. I was rejected 70 percent of the time.

Keep trying! Keep going! We can do this, freelancers. It is possible.

Last year's complete numbers are here.

2015 complete numbers are here.



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