I know what it's like. I've been the person fighting to get my foot in the door and I've also been the one on cloud nine. There are high times. The amazing feeling you get when someone finally takes a chance on you and you reap the rewards of doing what you love not only physically and emotionally but financially. The high times seem like a rarity but there are things that we can do as freelancers to ensure that we make more money.
Look for Long Term Work
In the age of the internet it's easy to fall into the cycle of short term work. Clients who are only looking for an article or two before letting you go. The problem with this is that the time it takes to find a short term client who you will lose contact with is about the same it takes to find long term work. There are many companies in need of your services whatever your services may be. Don't be afraid to pitch and query them. Don't wait for them to come to you. Take initiative.
Charge Per Hour
Upping your price per hour is the quickest way to reap more for what you do. Let's be honest, at the end of the day most of us can't pay our bills. One would argue that it has to do with the quality of the freelancer but we all know that it's because we are underrated and underpaid. The irony in all of this? We are primarily the reason why we as freelancers are paid so little. If you want more money you have to stop accepting pennies when you deserve dollars.
Increase Your Cost Per Word
You've read stories about those six-figure freelancers so you know that there are people out there who get paid a lot. The difference between us and them is that they weren't afraid to demand their worth. The cold hard truth is that wanting to be 'more affordable' kills many freelancers. You ask for a penny per word and work for a few hours writing an article. You haven't had time to eat or focus on yourself but at least you made $10 today in the same time salary workers take to make $50.
Go for What You Know
Stop trying to work on things you know nothing about. Offering to write a technical manual on washers and dryers is a huge mistake if you know nothing about said appliances. Stop trying to become a master of all topics and work on what you know. If you are good at front end developing, then do that. If you're a kickass video editor, then do you. Stop being the square forcing itself into a circle. Build your portfolio on what you really know and love. This is the quickest way to prove that you're an expert.