Make Extra Money

Earn More Writing: How One Writer Earns Over $200k Writing Online

March 24, 2017
Learn how to earn more writing. Freelance writer, Holly Johnson is spilling the deets on her $200k earnings last year.
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Earn more writing —  it’s a dream for many. However, I decided to dive in and make it my reality!  I’m a mama who likes to work (on her own terms, of course), and I like money. Plain and simple.

There are many of you who can relate. You tussle with being employed outside of the home — wanting to be home with your kids and all. But ultimately you end up choosing to do what you gotta do because bills gotta be paid.

I totally get it. That paycheck and benefits are nice. But sometimes that just isn’t enough anymore. If I’m not happy – I’m not productive (Tell me I’m not the only one?).

I thrived in the 9 to 5 before having my daughter. I was very good at what I used to do, but I love the rhythm of my own drum. I’ve always been a writer. It’s been natural to me since I was a scrawny kid. However, I never considered doing it for a living until I became a mama.

My job demanded more of me. There was a cute baby cooing in the other room while I tried to manage work from home responsibilities for my employer. The 9 to 5 wanted me to become a more evolved leader in the workplace (which meant they wanted me in office more). But I wanted to stay at home in my nest.

The only thing is — I like getting that paper. And there’s nothing wrong with mamas who want to contribute financially to the household. Does this sound like you?

Do you want the freedom to earn your own income, outside of the cubicle walls? To be free from demanding bosses that have zero concerns about you…oh, and let’s not forget those income ceilings?  Well, if so, freelancing may be for you.


The $200k Personal Finance Writer Who Helped Me Learn


When I started freelance writing, I was only doing it part-time. I had no money to invest in courses right off the bat, so I winged it. And I struggled. I couldn’t figure out what I needed to know to earn more writing online.

It wasn’t until a month ago that I finally saved up enough of my side-hustle income to invest in a freelancing course. I decided to learn from a rockstar personal freelance writer, Holly. She’s good at what she does and she’s also a fellow blogger in the personal finance niche.

Last year, she earned a killing writing online. And no — this was before she created her course (for those of you wondering).  She worked her butt off and figured out how to bring home big money in a few short years. Now she’s sharing with the rest of us what she knows so we can go out and earn more writing too.

Before I give you my review on the course, I thought it would be great to interview her. With Holly’s guidance, you will learn from someone who’s done all the grunt work.

She went from a hobby blogger to professional freelance writer and now her and Greg (her hubby)  work from anywhere they want. They also have the freedom (and the coins) to travel a lot! Even with the kids!

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you Holly’s amazing journey to full-time freelancing. I hope you enjoy this interview and check out my review on what I’ve gained from her course.


Earn More Writing Six Figure Career Left Gold

Earn More Writing – Interview with Holly Johnson


Tell us a little about yourself and how you ended up becoming a freelance writer?

Before I started writing full-time, I worked in the funeral industry and dabbled in writing part-time. After seven years at my old job, I found myself earning more with my “side hustle” than I did at work. Over time, I finally built up the nerve to quit my job and pursue writing full-time. My last day at a traditional job was in 2013, and I haven’t looked back.


What websites do you write for and do you have your own?

My husband and I own It’s a lifestyle website that helps people figure out the type of life they really want, then make the financial decisions required to get there.

Editor’s Note: Holly’s being modest, y. Homegirl writes at The Simple Dollar, US News and World Travel Report, Wisebread, Lending Tree…I could go on, but you get the point. She writes for some pretty amazing sites! She knows her stuff!


How much do you earn through freelance writing? Do you have any other sources of income?

I earned more than six figures writing in 2016, but I do have additional sources of income. We consider our blog my husband’s job, and he does fairly well. Our total online income including writing, blogging, sponsorships, advertising, etc. was over $200,000 last year.


Many think that people who work from home do nothing all day, let’s dispel the myths – how do you structure your workday?

Since I’m a parent, I have no choice but to work a normal workday. My kids used to go to daycare from 8-4, but now they go to school. I have always worked when they are gone so I can spend time when them when they get home. I typically work 40 hours per week or more unless we’re traveling.

Editor’s Note: These are goals of mine right here. Right now I can only dedicate 24 hours a week to freelance writing. That’s the beauty of being your own boss though.


What’s the best thing you love about your new career versus your old career?

I love the fact that I no longer have PTO to plan for or a boss to please. I hated having 15-20 days of paid time off and trying to figure out how to make it stretch. Now we can take weeks off at a time and I don’t even have to tell anyone. This summer, we’re taking our children to Europe for three weeks.


How much can someone starting out as a freelance writer expect to make?

It really depends on the type of work you find and how much you put in it. I know I was earning more than $30,000 per year writing part-time when I left my full-time job.


What is the first step for someone who is interested in freelance writing?

I definitely think it helps to have a blog or online portfolio. It’s a lot easier to get jobs when you already have a home on the web.

Editor’s Note: I second what Holly says here. If you don’t have a home on the internet, get started soon! It helps tremendously! Learn how to start your own blog on a budget.


Tell us why you decided to create your course (btw, it’s awesome!)?

I created my course, Earn More Writing, because so many people have reached out to me for guidance and advice over the years. Instead of trying to figure out what to tell people, it made sense to create a course that laid it all out. I also wanted to serve as a resource for new writers just starting out. When I began my career, I had no idea what I was doing. With my course, a new writer will know which steps to take first.


Any final words of wisdom to the aspiring freelance writers out there?

The possibilities for online freelancers are endless, but you have to put in the work. My advice is to focus half your time on getting jobs and the other half on improving your skills.


What You’ll Learn in Earn More Writing

I signed up for the course after getting the boot from my full-time job (I’m so grateful, btw). I wanted to learn everything I needed to know about freelancing full-time. Previously, freelance writing had been a side hustle and I’d treated it as such. It was time to get down to business.

I wasn’t disappointed with Holly’s course. It was very thorough and gave me enough confidence to land two writing gigs within a week of taking the course. Holly’s course covers everything that an aspiring full-time freelancer needs to know.

Earn More Writing has the following nine modules in the course:

  1. How to establish a blog and brand.
  2. How to build your portfolio and pitch clients.
  3. Defending your workday.
  4. Transition from broke writing to rich writing.
  5. Finding and keeping your dream clients.
  6. Getting paid.
  7. Getting more work by making editors happy.
  8. Taking your income into the stratosphere.
  9. Bonus: Ghostwriting for CEO’s

I started with the standard package because it has the bonus about ghostwriting for CEO’s. I was excited about this module because I’ve ghostwritten before. It’s very lucrative and I was interested in learning more about it.

The standard package also came with worksheets, access to the super helpful facebook group, and a list of 250 businesses that have blogs.  You can upgrade packages anytime if you want to get one-on-one coaching from her as well.

Holly’s entire course is based from her perspective. She shares exactly what she did to quit her full-time day job and become a popular writer within her niche. This is what gives the course so much value because it isn’t stuff you’ll find freelancers talking about with everyone. This type of knowledge is hard to come by.


Do I think it’s worth the $199 I paid for the standard package?

Heck, yeah ― it was definitely worth it. I was super focused and I learned a few things that I didn’t previously know that helped me land two clients within a week of finishing the course. I paid $199, but I got $500 worth of paying work out of what I learned.

Anytime I take a course I like to see how quickly I can make my money back. I treat online courses very seriously and do the work. If I didn’t, it would just be a waste of money. I’m pleased with my results and glad that the investment paid off.

If you’re serious about becoming an online freelance writer (in any niche), you should take this course.  If you’re willing to put in the work and actually do what she’s teaching you in the lessons, it will be money well spent.

Likewise, if you’re a negative, skeptical person who doesn’t believe it’s possible to earn more writing ― guess what? You’ll do exactly that!  So, if you have the time and are able to make a commitment to doing one module a day for a little over a week, you will see the results.


Wrapping Thangs Up

Freelance writing is a very lucrative side gig and career. If I rattled off the number of successful people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with in this online space, I’d be rattling forever! Seriously, there’s a great demand for writers and companies will pay you handsomely for your skills.

If you’re sick of the 9 to 5 or you need a good side-hustle, don’t rule out becoming a freelance writer. Regardless of your experience, there’s room for anyone with the ambition and mindset to make things happen.

I’m so grateful to Holly for taking the time out to do this interview. I hope you learned a lot from her and you’re inspired by her success. If you’re ready to take action and earn more writing, learn more about her course here!


Are you an aspiring or current freelancer? Ready to earn more writing? Weigh in ― I’d love to hear from you!

Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • Keisha March 24, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Great information! Six figures wow I will definitely keep freelance writing in mind as a side hustle.

  • Lindsay @ Notorious D.E.B.T. March 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    That’s great that the course helped you so much! I haven’t done any ghostwriting yet, but I really want to dip my toes in that world just because I hear it makes so much more money. When I get some time I’m planning on taking her course as well (right now I’m taking the EBA course and working on my blog while balancing other client work so it’s tough!).

    • Latoya Scott March 27, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Girl, I hear you! This EBA class is truly testing me. But we’ve got this!

  • Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor March 24, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Great food for thought! I never consider becoming a freelance writer before now, but I will definitely keep it and this course on my radar. I am learning to love to write through my blog and could see myself doing a as career one day.

  • Valerie Robinson March 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    There is a lot of money to be made in freelance writing! Thanks for the confirmation. Wonderful interview.

  • Tanya March 26, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    If I had the time, I would totally do these. These are great fo students in college as well.
    Tanya recently posted…Women’s History Month Guest: Publicist Candice NicoleMy Profile

  • Jonna March 27, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I’ve been freelancing for a few years now. Started out free, but now I’m getting paid gigs. But I want to expand and do more.
    Jonna recently posted…How Extroverts Can Make the Most Out of NetworkingMy Profile

  • Tiffany H. March 27, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Wow, I’ve never taken a course like this but it seems like a great investment if you are learning and able to make more money then what you spent on the actual course.
    Tiffany H. recently posted…Travel MemesMy Profile

  • Elle (CleverlyChanging) March 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I’ve never taken a full online course. This may be why I haven’t been fully successful yet. I am going to try Holly’s course. In May my blog turns 7 and I need to be at least making my previous working salary.

    • Latoya Scott March 27, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Awesome! Make sure you join the fb group for the course. Good stuff in there too!

  • Daria March 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been trying to break out into the freelance world. So, I will definitely be looking into some of these. Thanks so much for sharing…

  • Kiwi March 27, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Good info. I am always in the market to learn to make more money writing online since freelancing is my job!
    Kiwi recently posted…Movie Review: Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (2017) #BeOurGuestMy Profile

  • Aija March 27, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    What a great return on your investment. I just started blogging, but would definitely love to learn how to make $$ from it. I’m not sure that I’m trying to freelance fulltime, but it never hurts to add more to the toolkit.

  • Vany|misscoilyhair March 28, 2017 at 1:40 am

    I have thought of freelance writing before but haven’t had the chance to act on it. I am bookmarking this post for reference for when I’m ready to get started.
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