How I Made $40,000 In 3 Months As A Newbie Writer

by Synnuh
11 replies
My belated 500th post. Hope it helps someone. It started life as an eBook, but here's a condensed version for free.

If you want to know how to actually do it, there's a tl;dr at the bottom. Laziness, I tell ya.


I keep seeing threads pop up around the interwebs from people who are curious about whether freelance writing is a legitimate opportunity, if it's still viable in today's landscape, and if you can actually make any kind of money doing it.

The answer to all of those questions, in short, is yes. You can make money writing for other people, and make a lot of money. The entire internet is based around content. It's like asking if cars still need oil changes. They'll always need oil changes.

Follow along with me for a few minutes and I'll show you how I made $40,000 in 3 months. And I won't ask you for a thing.

When I first got started in 2007, I began researching ways to bring customers into a PC repair business I wanted to start. This led me to stumbling on a dude that called himself "Grizz" and lived in the Canadian mountains at a fishing lodge. Whoever the guy really is, he opened the door to me learning about SEO, and I'm forever grateful. I digress.

Grizz taught me how to write content on small websites and rank them in the search engines. He also recommended a guy who was running a program called "The Keyword Academy" which turned out to be huge for me. Inside of this program was a private forum (exactly like the one's you're already using!) that I used to communicate with other members.

At the time, I was an assistant manager at a furniture store, making damn-near minimum wage, and hating just about every aspect of my job. I knew that I needed to get out, but couldn't really find the opportunities to do it.. Thankfully, The Keyword Academy opened up a services subforum that gave me a spot to advertise my writing services for a fee.

Like today, in 2007 SEO was incredibly slow. Even if it was simple, it took a couple weeks, at least, to see results. This waiting period led me to testing a lot of different things.

I would relay those tests back into the forums, helping other people out whenever I got the chance. These interactions kept me in front of people, who were also able to see that I could provide them content.

One of the tests that were ran was through a service called "Unique Article Wizard". This service allowed you to take 3 similar articles and combine them together into one legible article that could then be shot across the internet 100's of times, or more. After using this service, people would quickly hate writing because it was so tedious. That was my opportunity.

I created a service that would write 3 articles and include the spinning syntax that Unique Article Wizard needed to turn them into one article for only $20. This was a bargain because the best deal you could get for UAW packages on the internet was $15 each, and they were put together by writers with poor grammar and a grasp on the English language.

Members of The Keyword Academy began eating these article packs up. They couldn't get enough -- neither could I. Especially since I was still waiting on my first check from AdSense. It took almost 6 months for me to receive my first $100 from them. This waiting period is where I took advantage of being able to churn out so many articles for other people.

Once I got my first PayPal payment, I went to work the next day and turned in my 2 week notice. I hated everything about my job, and was already sold on living the "digital lifestyle" so I knew I wanted out.

Already having money in my PayPal account meant that what I was doing was legitimate, even if everybody around me talked trash about doing SEO and ranking websites to make money.

Over the course of the next 3 months, I brought in more than $40,000 in payments for UAW article packs, and other writing and SEO services. It wasn't easy, by any means. The stars aligned to give me an avenue to bring in customers (The Keyword Academy Services Forum) and I was fortunate enough to see the opportunity and capitalize on it.

It took a lot of hard work to make that much money. I had my back against the wall because my daughter was less than a year old, and I'd just given up a cushy (even if it was painful to show up) job to chase a dream that nobody around me believed in. Thankfully, I believed in myself enough to run with the opportunity.

After 4 months of churning out content, I was beginning to become burned out. The tests that I had run before I actually quit my job were beginning to payoff, and I saw $1,000+ AdSense checks coming my way within a few month's time. I knew that I could stop writing for other people, and transition into running my affiliate marketing business.

I cherry picked three clients who, together, gave me $2,000 a month in work as a security blanket and told the rest that I could no longer write for them. This was only possible because I took care of every single customer, like they were the life blood to my future -- because they were.

I reinvested the income back into my business, took on a business partner, and began growing my portfolio. The huge strengths I had were the ability to turn out large amounts of content, offer it at a price that was competitive, under-promise, and over-deliver, and be responsible enough with the money to put it back into my business instead of blowing it.

What I Would Do Differently Today?

Not a damn thing. I'd jump onto popular forums and put a link in my signature to an advertising thread where my services were listed.

I would specialize in one type of content, or focus on one specific type of customer, and target them as heavily as I could.

I would provide as much valuable information to the forum as I possibly could, while using each post as a personal advertisement towards the level of writing quality the customer would be getting. The law of reciprocity, or giving without asking for anything in return.

I would protect my reputation as a writer at all costs, and not take on every job that comes my way -- only jobs that interest me and paid my standard rate or better.

I wouldn't work 18-24 hours per day, and instead split the $40,000 workload over the course of a year -- after all, you're working for yourself, from home. It doesn't get much better.

Ok, I lied. One thing I would do differently is create digital products that could be sold, such as eBooks, and text based tutorials / courses and market my site along side my services instead of spamming 450+ sites, but that's hind sight.

Other than that, I wouldn't change a single thing.

Get in front of the people, where the people are, and let them know you're a competent writer. You'll have more work than you can handle, even in today's digital landscape.

You've got thousands of customers waiting for you, right here, who will gladly pay your rates.


Just so it's clear, this isn't an advertising thread. I don't offer writing services.
#$40 #made #months #newbie #writer
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Google has evolved rapidly since 2007....

    In fact, it has evolved much faster than the Ebola virus.

    First, it was Panda, then Penguin, then Hummingbird, and now... RANKBRAIN.

    This is the main reason article directories aren't as effective for SEO as before

    The action has moved on to content marketing

    To do content marketing right, you have to jump through often severe editorial hurdles

    Also, automation / spinning may be great for tiered link building but this requires several layers of sites.

    Things have definitely changed in IM

    Thanks for your story though. It's inspiring because it reiterates the point: TO SUCCEED, you have to FOCUS and be SYSTEMATIC and METHODICAL
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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    Today, it's quality over quantity, for sure. There are unique opportunities like the one I had with Unique Article Wizard everywhere. Email autoresponders and Kindle Books, for instance.

    People want to be able to trust they don't have to go behind you, and that they have one point of contact who they can send orders off to, knowing they'll be fulfilled.

    Writers who are in it for a quick buck seem to miss that fact.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    Thanks for sharing that. It is refreshing to see there are still some real people who are willing to do real work with no real guarantees to pursue the dream.

    There is opportunity all around, if you train yourself to recognize it. Very little of it falls in your lap though. It takes a great deal of labor and dedication (or, put another way, perspiration and inspiration) to make anything work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Great story for sure. You made use of an opportunity and run with it. This kind
    of fine is the exception and not the rule. you were lucky to be at the right
    place at the right time. There are a few starters who get lucky. But the
    majority of starters run into a couple road blocks before they find their niches.

    Happy that you used you money wisely.

    -Ray Edwards
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    Being in the right place at the right time did play to my advantage, but there are plenty of opportunities just like Unique Article Wizard still around.

    Ghostwriting for blog owners, writing Kindle books, sales copy, autoresponder series, PLR content. The key was being able to focus on one type of content, and become known for it. Finance writers get paid big.

    Warrior Forum, along with a few other places have business owners lurking in the shadows, with a need for legitimate content producers.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Thanks Synnuh.

      Really great Story. I hope this stays up awhile here on the first page.

      it will knock some sense into some of the Newbies here and let them no there is no such thing as a free lunch

      - Robert Andrew

      P.S. Yes, I was also introduced to Griz when I first started. He was quite entertaining. Although I will have to say not the best role model to emulate. He really gamed Google and was not shy about it.
      Which directly ledvto his eventual demise.

      But what a treat to see him make 25K a month for years with Adsense and SEO

      Nothing to see here including a Sig so just move on :)

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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Hi Synnuh, thanks for the trip down the Grizz memory lane.

        Those who put your success down to being in the right place at the right time miss the point. Every success relies to an extent on good fortune, but opportunities will always be around.

        The takeaways from your story for anyone starting out are the benefits of specialisation, the importance of treating your customers like gold, realising that there's no shortcut to establishing a reputation, and capitalising on any early success by reinvesting in, and upscaling/diversifying your business.

        Great post.


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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    I miss Grizz lol, and Vic. Vic was my hero, drove me to build all those sites. I got banned from Ebay quick, though. ;D

    For those that aren't afraid to work for their money, hopefully this will stay up. It's a lot more rewarding when you can step back and know you put in the energy to make it happen, instead of using shortcuts to game your way into temporary success.

    Not cutting either way down, I love gaming Google, still, but long term it's not viable. Freelance writing will always be viable.
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  • Profile picture of the author akd545
    I have been freelancing articles for a little over a year. There are a lot of ways to make money writing articles. You can do a search and see a lot of sites where you can bid on a lot of different gigs. I only do this part time and the extra money helps out!
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Awesome post!

    You have definitely confirmed much of that which I have long since known, and struggled to conceive as I continued to fall back on the offline job mindset. Despite knowing better.

    Only difference being, I didn't give 2 weeks notice, I gave my boss the 2 birds that fought to escape their cage for months.

    I found this thread enlightening, not because of the money ( sure that's a nice income) but rather, you focused on delivering what your audience needed!

    Atop a tree with Buddha ain't a bad place to take rest!
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  • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
    Great success and motivation post, you hit it right
    on the head, just because someone else says
    something will not work doesn't mean you can't
    make a fortune doing it. There are millions of people
    online and someone will take you up on your offer.

    To your continued success!
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