According to PayScale, the average hourly pay for freelance writers is $23.44. This is not good. We have to keep in mind that if the writer works eight hours per day, not all of them will count as working hours.

Freelancing platforms (like Upwork) have systems that observe the writer’s work and only consider the time actively spent on research and writing. In an 8-hour working day, the writer will have to take breaks away from the computer. So the system will only calculate five hours of active work. That’s about $120 per day, and it’s not a good living wage for the USA. It may be good for writers from countries with low standard.

But if we take a look at the info from PayScale, we’ll see that some writers earn way above the average – up to $52.44 per hour. For five hours of active work, they will make $260 a day. If they work 25 days a month, we’re talking about a salary of $6,500. That’s decent.

Who Are the Writers Who Earn Well?

Some of them have their own blogs and made them highly successful. They earn passive income. Technical and medical writers also earn above the average. But there’s another category of freelance writers that we rarely mention: those who write papers for students. They earn well, too.

Let’s focus on that category. If you have a specific area of interest and you have a degree related to it, you can apply for work in essay writing agencies.

What’s better? Should you be a general freelance writer on Upwork or another platform, or should you aim for the paper writing industry?

The Pros of Being a Freelance Writer

  • You can be more flexible with your schedule. You can seek work whenever you feel like writing. You’ll simply apply to the gigs you like.
  • You’ll apply for more versatile tasks. You may hold a degree from economy, but maybe you also like writing about yoga, luxury lifestyle, and dogs. With a greater variety of tasks, you’ll minimize the risk of getting bored.

The Cons of Being a Freelance Writer

  • There’s stiff competition on freelancing platforms. Writers from all around the world will compete for the same job that you like. If you’re a beginner with no experience, you’ll find it difficult to get noticed next to top-rated freelancers.
  • When there’s competition, the prices drop. If you want to get $50 for a 500-word post, another writer will offer to work on the same task for $10. Guess who the client will choose!
  • If you don’t manage to establish long-term relations with few clients, you’ll be bouncing from one task to another. Not all these clients will be fair. Some will offer insufficient instructions. Others will refuse to pay for content that’s really good. Some won’t be responsive enough. Sometimes you’ll find it hard to land a gig, so the time between jobs will extend.
  • Bottom line: you tend to earn less as a general freelance writer.

The Pros of Being an Academic Writer

  • You get to benefit from your degree. If you were unable to find a job right after graduation, this is your chance to put your knowledge and skills to a good purpose.
  • You can earn really well by writing papers for money. The prices per page range from $20 to $60 on average, depending on quality and deadline. One page contains 275 words. For content of 500 words, you’ll earn from $40 to $120. If you write 2000 words per day, you’ll earn anywhere from $160 to $480. 2000 words per day is not an impossible goal for a writer to achieve.
  • You already know a lot about the topics you’ll get. The service will assign you to papers that belong to your niche. You won’t need to do much research. You already know where the good online resources are, so you’ll use them.
  • No need for ongoing interviews. The managers of the service already know what you can write. They won’t question your abilities before each task.

The Cons of Being an Academic Writing

  • It can get boring. Professors tend to assign the same types of papers. You’ll have various topics to work on. But still, you’ll only focus on topics from your niche.
  • Not everyone can become an academic writer. The best services have challenging hiring standards. You need a degree. You need to be very good at this. They will test your knowledge and writing skills. But once you get there, you’re done with the tests. You just need to perform well.
  • You depend on the workflow the service provides. They will suggest a task when a student makes a relevant order. You can accept it if you like it. A freelancing platform has an open market with a larger workflow. But if you work as an academic writer for multiple writing services, you’ll be getting more tasks.

What’s Better?

It depends. Any job has its advantages and disadvantages. You can try both a freelancing platform and a writing service to see what you like better. A writing service holds more potential for earning a decent salary, but you might prefer the versatility of a freelancing platform.