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The Most Powerful Weapon Any New Writer Can Have

If you’re not familiar with who I am, I’m an 18-year-old writer from Nigeria.

I started blogging in 2010, at 16, and I started my freelance writing career a year later, in 2011.

In 2011 alone, I made over $50,000 as a freelance writer doing all kinds of writing jobs.

That was my first year as a freelance writer; I had no prior experience, my writing wasn’t as polished as it is now, and I wasn’t without my mistakes.

Yet, I made 5-figures freelance writing.

It’s 2012 now, my second year as a freelance writer, and not only am I on track to earn more than I did in 2011, but I’ve actually gone from increasing my rate from $50 per article to up to $800 per article.

Yes, read the above paragraph again. And I didn’t say that to brag!

I NEVER Intended to Start as a Freelance Writer

I have never intended to be a freelance writer. Not when I started this blog on the 2nd of April, 2010.

Like many other people think, my opinion of freelance writers is that they get paid $3 per article on oDesk and eLance. And this has actually cost me opportunities!

I received a few freelance writing offers before getting my first client, but I’ve always rejected them.

Until…I got this request from a particular guy who wanted me to help him with a group of sites.

He asked me to get on Skype (I think that was actually the first time I’d heard about Skype, and it has since been one of my top business tools), and we started discussing.

After asking me a few questions to determine if I was a good fit for them, he asked me how much I charged per article.

Confused, I was thinking something like $30 to $40 per article.  After all, that was on the 6th of December, 2010, and that would be fair for a 16-year-old kid from a third-world country.

But, instead of saying that was what I had in mind, I told my client to tell me what he had in mind.

I was surprised by his response!

He said they paid other freelance writers $100 per article.

Everything seemed out of this world, and I immediately told him that I was on board.

I was careful about how I worked for the next few days, and I was afraid that I was actually cheating someone. Maybe my client didn’t know what he was doing?

But this continued for a few months, and even though my payment per article (from this client) eventually reduced over time…and increased again thanks to the tip I’m about to share in this article, I learned something very important.

What I learned eventually opened the key to discovering the point in this article, but let’s go to the lesson first.

What I learned was that;

Writer’s Aren’t Worthless!

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve always believed they were.

I know I’m not alone, because even when I talk about how much I get paid per article on this blog, I still get a few emails from people who believe I’m lying or have an ulterior motive, but the truth is that this has to do with the opinion a lot of people have about writers in general.

Getting my first client changed this!

A Little Clarification

I’d like to clarify something before I continue, though.

I did say I’m now able to make up to $800 per article, but I never mentioned the type of article.

Assuming that I get paid $800 for the same article which earned me $50 would be a mistake.

I’ll be sharing more about this in the future (if there’s a lot of interest?)

But now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me get into the main point!

The Most Powerful Weapon You Need to Succeed as a Writer Is…

It’s self-confidence.

Like I said above, this has made it easy for me to increase the amount I charge per article from $50 – $800 in just two years of being a freelance writer.

It has helped me double how much I get paid by some of my clients, and this powerful method is also what I use to get paid “in full” before I actually start working with some of my clients.

I know there are a lot of variables involved that you probably don’t have, yet, but that $800 article could as well have been $200 if not for this weapon.

You might be expecting something more in this article, but I’m sorry, this actually is what I’ve got for you.

It’s up to you to use it to your advantage, and it’s your choice also to ignore it at your own peril.

We All Have Options

While self-confidence is a very powerful weapon, there are also sacrifices to be made.

The journey might seem rough at first, but the results will be worth it.

I’ve gotten requests from potential clients who never replied after getting my rate, and I’ve been working with more than 2 clients for over a year now.

They all pay me what I’m worth, and they keep asking for my services.

No client will make you feel low about yourself or your services. You’re worth whatever you want to charge.

Ultimately, it is all about the kind of results you can help your clients get, and how unique these results are.

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I’ll also be answering unique comments in the form of blog posts, so feel free to ask in the comments if you have a question related to this post or freelance writing in general.

Category: blogging

25 Comments on "The Most Powerful Weapon Any New Writer Can Have"

  1. Lanre says:

    Another great one from you Oni.

    Revealing personal stuff about yourself and your career takes a lot of courage but it seems it’s the best way to light up the path for the new freelance writers to follow.

    I think one reason for holding on to low paying jobs is because the freelance writers don’t believe there are better ones out there. They then hold on to what they have so they don’t lose it. But by launching out, the next level isn’t so far away.

    Hey, I’ve got a question that I think might be on the minds of other freelance writers in countries like Nigeria. I have payment options which I know not all writers might be opportuned to have, so my question is: how do we receive payment from international clients? Sometimes, it seems that the highest paying clients are across the ocean.

    Keep up the good work Oni.

  2. This is really great Oni.

    I’ve always known that self-confidence is powerful. I once had a client who asked me to send a rate for a blog post. I was so scared of missing the opportunity and the client and this made me to quote lesser than I was worth.

    Ironically, the client blatantly rejected the rate. You know why? It was way below what she budgeted. She argued that for a tiny fee as the one I quoted, the quality of the contents will be questionable.

    But that was over a year ago. I know better now. When your self-confidence is garnished with savvy marketing, earning $500 – $800 is damn possible. Sure it is!

    BTW: I wrote a post on my blog about confidence and how it can make writers exceptional. >>

    Thank you Oni for such a powerful post.

  3. Sheyi | says:

    $800 for writing an article? I need to become a freelance writing so soon man.

    C’grats for always breaking forth.


  4. Warren says:

    Well mentioned bro, self-confidence..
    this is what Balotelli from Italy lack during the Euro 2012 finals..he is good, talented, but self… U are awesome Oni, wish to learn more and more from you 🙂

    • Paolo says:

      You said it correctly, Warren. I noticed as I watched the final game, and I’m Italian, so you can imagine what it felt like.

      • Warren says:

        Who knows what will happen for another two years later during the World Cup 2014 🙂 Every cloud has a silver lining, italy rocks!

  5. That’s awesome Oni!

    Being a freelance writer myself, to be very honest I can’t imagine myself with a $800 article, but coming from you it means it does happen!!

    You are right…all it needs is self-confidence in yourself and to stick to your rates without really lowering them down for anyone. But yes, as in your case you got that client kind of by chance, which actually doesn’t happen with most of us – unless you get lucky. Either we hunt for the jobs or we have older clients who like our work and come back to us. And yes, most of them with time are ready to pay more.

    I have a few clients who were paying me less initially, but with time as my rates increased, so did their paying capacity…but never really touched the amount you mentioned yet! I would surely love to know how one really goes about finding such people or are there are job boards that pay that much, which I doubt, as I’ve been on Elance, O’Desk and the kinds that aren’t really worth it, though they are good for newbies for sure.

    Looking forward to more of your tips and I love the personal experiences you share here, which helps us a great deal. 🙂

  6. Goa casinos says:

    No doubt in that there are lots of option available for earn much money through your writing skills and when once you will prove your identity then work will wait for you on your door.

  7. Paolo says:

    Most people who haven’t taken upon themselves a chance to freelance writing would say it’s impossible to make a full-time living writing. Then again, these same people are the ones to take good advice from because they don;t follow your own advice. When you start thinking out of the box, that’s when things start happening.
    Everyone starts falling for the first job that walks in the door, which is a normal first instinct. It takes a few falls and slaps before the real help comes along. As long as you keep up your self-confidence and not worry about what others think when you propose your rates, is when you will find a client willing to pay you what you’re really worth.

    • Paolo says:

      Oops! I meant to say the ones who say it’s impossible are the ones who do not follow their own advice.

  8. Yeremi Akpan says:

    This post has really opened my eyes to the Acres of Diamond I have been sitting on.

    I am a good writer.

    I have written award winning essays and even literary master-pieces since my secondary school days, but u till this moment I have not made any money from my writing.

    This could be as a result of not not placing premium on writing and writers?

    I have to step out of those limitations and start earning as a writer.

    I am out of excuses, really…

  9. As you said, self-confidence is key to being a successful writer, but not only that. Self-confidence is key to achieving a host of other good things in life. We have to allow ourselves to believe.

    I’m so glad that this is working so well for you, Oni. I hope your career grows from strength to strength. I don’t earn even near as much as you do from my writing/editing.

  10. bennix says:

    Its good to know how you started Oni, thanks for sharing man!you’re truly inspiring. I wish I could get that figure too someday by freelance writing and blogging

  11. JamesW says:

    Amazing post Bamidele, self confidence is the key when it comes to becoming more payed writer. It’s amazing that you earned over $50,000 last year. Keep up the good work and make even more this year 🙂
    thanks for sharing

  12. Ekene Ilochonwu says:

    Your achievements have been a source of inspiration to me. Keep it up bro. I’m convinced that your best is yet to come.

  13. Oni, this was one of your best posts I’ve read in awhile, and I’d like to hear more about the $800 article you wrote… any hints?

  14. Becca says:

    Wonderful post! Targeting your audience is really essential for a blogger and knowing that people who are relevant to his niche are watching his blog. After all, targeting is one big marketing rule on the sales field.Thank you for sharing.

  15. Phuong Le says:

    argree with the idea Self confidence , it is really the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality — the more self confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed.

  16. Koundeenya says:

    Oh no! You got $100 for your first article? I am getting paid only $5 till date. Please link me the best place to get better clients who can pay at least $50 per article

  17. Phlos Mudis says:

    Confidence is something we should strive for and think of every time we are negotiating with another party because the lack of it can force us to submit to things we don’t really value.

    And I don’t believe that writers (or their works) are worthless. It all depends on how each person looks at it. We have the judges, sympathisers, the haters and even those who don’t think one can earn good money writing like you mentioned in this post.

    Great tips though.

  18. Neha says:


    One of my friend told me about you that your are a wonderful writers. From him I came across your blog. I really like your blog. You are just fantastic writing skills. Personally I don’t like to write but I like to read. Keep writing.:-)

  19. I am looking for some articles related to freelancing and I came across this. Yes a freelancer should be the best and should know what all things will be useful for his writing work….The competition in freelancing world is increasing but at the same time if one has all the skills then he would have no worries about this competition.

  20. James Hannan says:

    Oni… may I know which niche you are interested in writing?


  21. Obafemi Solomon says:

    I really want to start freelance business, can someone mentor me on this

  22. Jeffrey Benson says:

    I am an
    internet marketer from Warwickshire, United Kingdom and I found your site
    interesting and helpful to viewers; I
    look forward to sharing with you some of my articles in the near future.


Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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