#049: Eleven Things High-Income Freelance Writers Do Differently

 What makes some freelance business writers more successful than others?

And why are some of them continually successful while others struggle in the feast-or-famine cycle for years?

In this episode I share some of the most important things successful B2B/commercial writers have in common.

What else would you add to this list? Please let me know in the comments area below.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

What makes some freelance business writers more successful than others? Today, I’m going to share what consistently successful B2B/commercial writers have in common.

#1: They’re Clear on Their Positioning

  • They’ve clearly defined what they do, for whom and what makes them different.
  • Many have defined a niche or specialty.
  • They don’t waste time selling the value of great copy or content. Rather, they sell to the converted.

#2: They View High Income as a Reality

  • They don’t stress about volatility, the bargain-basement market or downward fee pressure. They tell themselves a different story.
  • For more on this, see High-Income Business Writing Podcast #33 and #34, The Spiritual Side to Freelance Success.

#3: They Have a High Degree of Self Respect

  • They realize that just because the work comes easy to them doesn’t mean it’s low value.
  • They quote high fees because that’s what the work is worth. They don’t feel bad about it.

#4: They Have a High Degree of Respect for Their Clients

  • They deliver high-quality work on time, every time, as promised.
  • They bring ideas to the table and develop peer-to-peer relationships with their clients.

#5: They’re Mindful of Their Productivity

  • They recognize that time is their most important resource.
  • When at work, they focus on work.

#6: They Go After Corporate Clients

  • Corporate clients have a consistent need for content.
  • Successful freelancers admire and “get into” their clients’ businesses.

#7: They’re Not Afraid to Let Go of Clients That Can No Longer Afford Them

  • If you’re not continually looking for better-paying clients, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
  • Money isn’t the only factor. But if the money isn’t there and other factors are missing, what’s keeping you there?

#8: They Focus on Lifetime Client Value

  • They consider prospects’ long-term needs as part of their qualification process.
  • As you gain institutional knowledge, your time per project drops. And because your fees remain the same, your internal hourly rate goes up.

#9: They Go After High-Priced Projects

  • They have a good project mix, which includes several high-value projects.
  • There’s a fixed cost to onboarding a new client, so you need to ensure you have several high-priced projects in the queue every quarter.

#10: They Value and Leverage Their Relationships

  • If you’re spending a ton of time prospecting, you need to start leveraging existing relationships through referrals, word of mouth, etc.
  • It’s about leveraging the goodwill you’ve built up over the years.

#11: They Don’t Rest on Their Laurels

  • High-income writers love new challenges. They love to learn new skills and find better ways of doing things. They’re into self-improvement.
  • They recognize that sometimes they need help.

What do you think? Is this about right? What else would you add to this list?

Please share your thoughts in the comments area below.

Want More of This Stuff?

Want to get more tips and strategies for boosting your writing income? There are three ways you can enjoy these tips and strategies, share them with friends and help me grow this movement to banish the starving writer syndrome:

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Finally, if you have a question you’d potentially like answered on a future show —or if you’d like to be considered as a guest for a future episode — please let me know: ed at b2blauncher dot com.

Thanks again for your support!

Till next time,


  • Suzy

    Great podcast, Ed. And congrats on the 1-year anniversary. I’ve been following you since the podcast started.

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Suzy! Appreciate your being a loyal listener. Thanks for your support. 🙂

  • This is a great list. In my experience, these traits apply not only to business writers, but also to web designers and developers, and probably any creative professionals.

    Congratulations on 1 year! Keep it up!

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Chad! Appreciate your support of the show.

      I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I think much of what we talk about in this show applies to other freelance and self-employed pros. I haven’t surveyed this audience recently, but just from the feedback I get, I can tell that I have quite a few designers, developers, translators and other solos who listen every week.

  • Kristi Ward

    Thank you. I truly enjoy your podcasts.

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Kristi! I appreciate having you as a listener. 🙂

  • Excellent talk Ed and I’m grateful for your podcast series. Congratulations sir!

    • edgandia

      Awesome! Thanks, David. 🙂

  • Mark Soroka

    Thanks for the great episode, Ed. I think when freelancers adopt this mindset, they not only gain greater self respect, but they also earn the respect of their clients.

    • edgandia

      So true! Thanks, Mark.

  • Julie

    Happy Anniversary. You mentioned receiving positive messages from listeners who applied information during the past year. Perhaps you could bring some of them in for future episodes. I know I would love to hear their stories as much as I love all the episodes I’ve already listened to.

    • edgandia

      Hi Julie — Thanks for your comment and for the wonderful suggestion! Yes, I’ve actually brought some of them on. I’m in the habit of asking listeners to be guests when they email me with a success story or an idea. 😉

      So, many of the freelancers you’ve heard on this show got here because they contacted me with their story or their win.

      But I’ll be more mindful going forward to ask them what specifically they applied from the show that helped them get a breakthrough. Great point.

      Thanks again!

  • Don Sadler

    Wow, these are dead-on! I especially like 1, 5, 7 and 9.

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Don!

  • David Geer

    This is an insightful list. Though I cover technology now, I used to be in social work. With a psych background, I can tell you that this list brings to mind healthy personal boundaries and the opposites of codependency in general. Nice job, Ed.

    • edgandia

      Thanks, David! Glad you enjoyed the episode.