Freelancers: How Much Is Your Time Worth?

I just finished doing an email interview for an affiliate for Inkwell Editorial’s SEO writing ebook. One of the questions asked was, “What are their main frustration/problems?” As in, “What frustrations/problems are potential freelancers having in their lives that prompt them to look into SEO writing as a career?”

My answer was “… they’re in careers they don’t like and/or are looking for a career that provides more flexibility.”


Time: The New Currency in the Job Market

And then I run across this article, which perfect illustrates my point on several levels. The article states:

Companies are realizing that when you give people back their time, they will make you more money. … Almost no one under 40 can relate to a time-based system that makes no sense in a results-based world. … In the Participation Age, time is the new money.

Control over one’s own destiny (ie, control over one’s time) is indeed the new currency. And freelancing gives you that – not to mention control over how much you earn because you set your prices, determine your services, decide how many hours you work, etc.

One of my most popular posts on this blog was this one, where I wrote:

What I’ve hated about most of my jobs is that they ran my life. Let me explain.

I tend to be a pretty quick learner and a hard worker. I excelled on almost every job I had. So when I’d finish a project before deadline, for example, I’d wonder, why do I have to come to the office?

I finished the project, the other one is not going to hit my desk for another two weeks, so why can’t I just take that time off and do what I want? …This is why I could never go back to working full-time. While I put in many more hours as a freelancer than I ever did as a FT employee, I get to decide the where and when’s of my life.

How Learning to Write SEO Content Changed My Freelance Business – and My Life

Learning how to write SEO copy (back in 2007) literally changed the course of my career. How? Number one, it was an in-demand skill that made clients easier to come by. Back in 2007, there weren’t a lot of SEO writers out there, so literally, you could send out a batch of 25 or 30 emails, and have a couple of prospects wanting to work with you.

The field has gotten more saturated and clients are not quite as easy to come by now, but as this post details, there’s still plenty of quick/cheap writing gigs out there. As for higher-paying SEO writing gigs, those are there too because of the demand created by content marketing.

The second way learning how to write SEO content changed my freelance life is that it showed me how to market online. This helped tremendously in boosting sales of my line of ebooks. Before learning SEO, I was clueless about how to market online – I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But once I started learning, I was like, “Wow!” Sales became much easier to come by.

The third major benefit I got from learning how to write SEO content is that I created an online e-class teaching the skill to others. So, it put another income stream on the map that I hadn’t had before.

The bottom line is, having a skill like the knowledge of SEO opened so many doors. And it came at the perfect time because I’d gotten downsized out of my job and I desperately needed something to work. That’s how I stumbled upon SEO writing.

For those who don’t know, I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. So when I got downsized out of my last job in 2007, I went back to freelancing (I’d never completely given the career up). And, I kept running into these ads for SEO articles. I didn’t know what they were at the time, but I looked it up, figured it out, contacted a few companies, landed a few jobs – and the rest, as they say, is history.

What Would Make Me Take a Full-Time Job Again?

I’ve often thought about this over the years, and I can honestly say, I would probably have to be offered at least seven figures ($1 million or more) to even think about taking on a full-time job. And even then, it would have to be for a defined period of time (eg, 2 or 3 years), just so I could have a way out of I was severely unhappy.

And then, I’d STILL have to think about it. That’s how much I enjoy freelancing and the time freedom it gives me – even with all its ups and downs.

What Do You Think?

If you’re working full-time right now and your boss came to you and said you can have unlimited vacation, but you’ll have to take a 30% pay cut, would you do it? Or, would you keep your job and your current vacation schedule?”

If you freelance, and a secure job came along where you could earn 30% more than you do now, would you take it, or would you continue to freelance? Please share in the comments below.

P.S.: Related PostA Recent SEO Writing Success Story

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