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Making a full-time living writing model papers -how realistic is that?


Aug 27, 2012, 04:06PM | #
Well, all in all, how realistic do you think it is for a good writer -- and native English speaker -- to make a full-time living at this? And what do you think the qualities of a successful full-time academic writer are? I know that one of the members here said an income in the mid to high five figures is achievable. But curious as to how realistic it is to reach that level of income year after year? Are many people out there actually doing it?


Aug 27, 2012, 07:51PM | #
srandrews:
I know that one of the members here said an income in the mid to high five figures is achievable. But curious as to how realistic it is to reach that level of income year after year?

You're probably referring to me. In my opinion, if you do this well enough to get repeat work from most of your clients, it gets easier the longer you do it. As you build up a steady clientele, they come back fairly regularly month to month and even year to year and they refer their friends to you. At first, I was almost entirely dependent on company work and only supplemented it with private work. Last year, company work accounted for about 50% of my earnings and this year it's down to about 30% of about the same total annual income.

As far as qualities, you obviously need to be able to write well about a wide variety of subject areas, and you need to be very flexible with your non-work life and schedule and sleeping because many assignments come in and require delivery when it's not necessarily convenient for you. You should also be good at juggling multiple assignments because you often get emergency assignments that pay the most while you're already in the middle of other work or when you already considered yourself fully booked up. It's also helpful if you don't mind sleeping at night sometimes but working all night and sleeping during the day other times, as necessary. I don't know that I could earn the same living doing this if my sleep-wake schedule weren't very flexible. The work suits me but I imagine that there are many more people who can do this just enough to supplement their other income than there are people who can really do this fulltime for any extended period and earn as much as whatever other job they might have otherwise.


Aug 28, 2012, 01:35AM | #
I have made a full time living out of this for several years now and in honesty I prefer it to other kinds of work. However, its not for every one, as with many forms of self employment there are no paid holidays, weekends or benefits. However if you can write on high demand subjects and do rush orders there is some good money to be made and you are your own boss which has its own merits.





Aug 29, 2012, 12:40AM | #
srandrews:
Do you guys think a person could make at least $35,000 to $40,000 the first year, and still get a humane amount of sleep?


May I ask what you are doing at the moment? The reason I ask is that I started part time but then converted to full time after three years or so of knowing how much money I made and making some estimates about how much I could make by going full time. This is probably a good way to do it if you want to know what you can make. In answer to your question $40,000 (26k) is not unreasonable at all although I'm not saying its easy either... There is also a lot to learn if your just getting started too like which papers you can write well very quickly and which are a pain in the backside. I do sleep but if a next day order comes up, I tend to get up in the small hours to finish it and then have a nap later in the day.

Aug 29, 2012, 02:19AM | #
srandrews:
Do you guys think a person could make at least $35,000 to $40,000 the first year, and still get a humane amount of sleep?


Speaking from personal experience, you can definitely make that just writing for a good company. But it's not easy and it would be even less easy in your first year. Once you develop enough regular private clients, you can make twice that between the two (company and private work), but it's definitely not easy.

As far as sleep goes, it's not the amount of sleep that's an issue; it's the regularity of your sleep schedule. I would not be able to do this as successfully if I weren't ready, willing, and able to take (company) work at all hours of the day or night and to sleep at totally different times of night and day as dictated by my deadlines. I get all the sleep I need because this job allows me never to use an alarm clock at all...I sleep as long as I need to sleep...but I might have to write all night first (very regularly) and stay up for 20 or 24 hours straight (once in a while) and then go to bed at 9:00AM.

Aug 29, 2012, 02:57PM | #
I appreciate the input from everyone. I'm looking at a life change and trying to figure out whether this is something to rely on to produce a decent income at least until I can get back in the saddle -- or perhaps if this might even be the saddle. It looks like it might be viable enough. I know it's not easy. But at least it provides better earning potential and stability than a lot of jobs out there nowadays. Many folks at this point would kill for a wage of $40,000 to $80,000 a year, especially a work-at-home setup. (They might not be so enthusiastic, though, when they learn that it actually involves -- gasp! -- writing.)

Aug 29, 2012, 03:14PM | #
ugh, let's all post our boring sleep schedules.

a normal person writing term papers full time makes about as much as a teacher, ironically enough, but with no benefits and questionable job stability. it's the same curve, too-- you make less and work more at first, and wind up making more and working less. I like to see it as the inverse angle of teaching. though with a lot of teaching and professor jobs being farmed out to "assistants" nowadays, there may be no difference.

it will likely be a few years before you develop the contracts you need to make it full time, if this is your goal, so till then, I'd consider it extra income. that's what I do anyway; I think this is a silly thing to think of as one's career.

Aug 29, 2012, 05:22PM | #
Yes, you can make a few thousand dollars a month at this job if you find some of the few honest companies, sometimes even more than that. There are freelancers who have built up lists of clients and can do quite well at it.

Aug 29, 2012, 05:25PM | #
srandrews:
Do you guys think a person could make at least $35,000 to $40,000 the first year, and still get a humane amount of sleep?


Possibly, although you have to account for the down times in the summer, but in the busy season I would make $3-4,000 per month or sometimes more, but putting in a lot of hours and working into the early morning.

Aug 29, 2012, 10:44PM | #
It is interesting how widely the responses vary. Some say it's an uphill battle to scratch out a $40,000 income, while others say $80,000 is doable. It sounds like much of one's success depends on ability to develop a well-paying private clientele. Without that, you have to rely on the companies, which is possible but, because of the low rates, not at all fun. To find enough private clients, there are obvious factors that would work to one's advantage from a marketing perspective. Native-speaker English status and physical presence in a Western country would probably be big advantages.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:11AM | #
editor75:
a normal person writing term papers full time makes about as much as a teacher, ironically enough, but with no benefits and questionable job stability. it's the same curve, too-- you make less and work more at first, and wind up making more and working less. I like to see it as the inverse angle of teaching. though with a lot of teaching and professor jobs being farmed out to "assistants" nowadays, there may be no difference.

it will likely be a few years before you develop the contracts you need to make it full time, if this is your goal, so till then, I'd consider it extra income. that's what I do anyway; I think this is a silly thing to think of as one's career.

First of all, what do you mean by "develop the contracts you need to make it full time"? What essay writer has contracts?

I, like you, am in part-time mode. As for it being silly as a career ... well, on the one hand, I can't see a young person setting this as a lifetime career goal, it's true. On the other hand, if some writers are making 80k, and they like the work, then I can't knock it. Indeed, there are no benefits and you can't exactly advance. But that is the case for a lot of people nowadays, even if they might work in an office or other "real" setting. Stability is a concern, but in general, I would say the market for academic writers is strong and will be that way indefinitely. You're much safer if you have your own clients rather than relying too much on companies, though. Your real "stability" concern comes if you get sick and can't work. It's probably a small number of people who can pound out nothing but essays year after year, but I don't think it's exactly silly, especially if you love working at home.

Aug 30, 2012, 11:56AM | #
srandrews:
First of all, what do you mean by "develop the contracts you need to make it full time"? What essay writer has contracts?


most essay writers get work from term paper mills are considered independent contractors. perhaps a better word is, "contacts."

as for making $80K plus, good luck. I think a few writers on this board who tend towards self-promotion may exaggerate a bit. then again, I suppose it's possible; I'd imagine you'd need private clients, work from 3 or 4 companies at once, or some combination of those.

Aug 30, 2012, 01:30PM | #
editor75:
I think this is a silly thing to think of as one's career.

Not everybody necessarily wants a "career" and there are plenty of so-called "careers" that are way more "silly" than writing these papers for a living. It's just a job and a way of earning a living in the way that comes most naturally to me and that suits my lifestyle much better than most "careers." One of the reasons I didn't take the job that was offerred to me at the law firm where I interned in my last year of law school was, precisely, that I really just wanted a "job" and not a career, and it seemed pretty clear that new lawyers had to work like they wanted a career, and not just a job, with their firms. I could have also had more of a "career" collecting more than I earn now and getting regular automatic salary increases every couple of years for doing a whole lot less (and easier) actual work than I do now as a Writer/Editor for the largest federal agency in the U.S. This is just the way I earn a living and I feel fortunate to be able to earn a decent living this way without every having to leave my apartment for work or answer to anybody or keep a typical "career" lifestyle and schedule.

Aug 30, 2012, 02:57PM | #
editor75:
most essay writers get work from term paper mills are considered independent contractors. perhaps a better word is, "contacts."

Is it hard to get accounts with the mills? I have not applied to any yet.

Aug 30, 2012, 04:30PM | #
srandrews:
Is it hard to get accounts with the mills?


generally, no.

FreelanceWriter:
without every having to leave my apartment


nice one. and thanks for the fascinating story about failing out of law school. encore!

Aug 30, 2012, 05:40PM | #
editor75:
nice one.
I have absolutely no idea what this means or why it's offensive (or funny) to you. Yes, earning a living writing from home means you don't have to leave your apartment for work. Not sure what your problem is with that.

editor75:
and thanks for the fascinating story about failing out of law school. encore!
No idea what this means either. Someone once accused me of lying about a law degree so I posted proof in that thread and challenged him to do the same. He refused and said he had nothing to prove. The only reason I mentioned it here is in response to your intended insult to anybody doing this work who considers it a "career." I responded that not everybody cares about a career and that I could obviously have used a law degree for that instead of this (or continued in government writing) if I did.

Except for you, this thread is just a few writers with different degrees of experience discussing what they do for a living. What's the point of running through a civil conversation between other people just to scream "They probably lied about their income!"; "You're silly if you call this a career!"; and "You probably failed out of law school!" just to be obnoxious? Nobody else here is even arguing with anybody about anything, let alone instigating totally untrue, unprovoked, direct personal attacks.



Aug 31, 2012, 09:06AM | #
Mary380:
Companies like google will not let you advertise such services so you might find it hard to get yourself known

Very true, but as has been mentioned on this forum before, if an individual writer had a page 1 ranking, the order volume would be crushing. So you have to market in other ways.


Aug 31, 2012, 04:30PM | #
editor75:

most essay writers get work from term paper mills are considered independent contractors. perhaps a better word is, "contacts."

as for making $80K plus, good luck. I think a few writers on this board who tend towards self-promotion may exaggerate a bit. then again, I suppose it's possible; I'd imagine you'd need private clients, work from 3 or 4 companies at once, or some combination of those.



I think it would hard to make $80,000 for just one writer, even if this was all you did all day, every day 24/7, which no one could do without burning out. You'd also have to be charging top dollar for every order to start making money like that, or doing mainly just very large orders like ghostwriting books and dissertations. That's a lot of time and effort, though, looking up vast numbers of references and so on.

Sep 1, 2012, 04:18AM | #
I am qualified to a BA hons level so obviously there is limited work that I can do. I fit essay writing around my normal job because I would not be able to earn enough money from it alone. Last month i made 31, this month I made 107. Obviously I could have perhaps done more if it wasn't for my full time job, but I wouldn't be making enough to pay the bills. If you think you are really talented at writing then your best bet is to write for some of the better companies, submit really good work and try to get noticed. The bigger model answer companies do have some full time members of staff (Phd holders) who presumably do earn enough.
This is only my experience of model answer writing, but I do not realistically see it as a way to gurantee a good, consistent income.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:25AM | #
In all honesty, unless you have a PhD you are unlikely to make a full-time living at this work. I have only one writer on my books who has made a decent full-time wage since working for me, because he has a PhD and can therefore take all of the top level Business and Economics work.

When I personally worked my ass off with an UG degree I earned about 700 max pcm with a good company and it was bloody hard work.

To make a lot you need a PhD, or at least a MA Merit/Distinction and be wiling to take on all the last minute jobs, and of course be excellent at what you do.

But this kind of work can really do your head in. I personally love doing this kind of work as a supplement, I love the academic process etc, but full time wow its a head banger after a while.

So in short can you do it? Yes you can but it takes a whole lot of dedication.

Karen

Sep 1, 2012, 12:40PM | #
srandrews:
Do you guys think a person could make at least $35,000 to $40,000 the first year, and still get a humane amount of sleep?


You have to write every day to make a decent living at this. I try to write at least 20-25 pages every day, and there have been cases when I've completed far more than this. Although they are uncommon, I've made $10,000 in some months but (I don't mean to toot my own horn -- but beep beep) I've averaged more than $55,000 a year for 12 years now. Not bad for smoking cigarettes in my underwear.

Sep 1, 2012, 02:26PM | #
Whether one has a PhD or master's has little effect how much you can earn at this -- even I know that. The people who have PhDs ... did they have PhDs when they were doing the writing that got them their PhDs?

I have no PhD, and I personally feel comfortable writing graduate-level work in a number of disciplines. The assignments get excellent grades. Perhaps some companies don't give you those assignments unless you have the advanced credentials. That's neither here nor there, since I doubt many essay writers feel compelled to be honest on their resumes when applying with the companies.

Realistically, I don't think if I would ever try to make a full-time living at this if I could only get assignments from companies. This is just my observation after some part-time experience in the field and asking a lot of questions.You need lots of private clients at $20 to $30 per page. And then you fill in any openings in your schedule with company work. If you can't get any private clients, then yes, I think it would be a grind, and hard to make a full-living. I personally have access to tons of them.

Sep 1, 2012, 04:01PM | #
ProfessorVerb:
You have to write every day to make a decent living at this. I try to write at least 20-25 pages every day, and there have been cases when I've completed far more than this. Although they are uncommon, I've made $10,000 in some months but (I don't mean to toot my own horn -- but beep beep) I've averaged more than $55,000 a year for 12 years now. Not bad for smoking cigarettes in my underwear.


This sounds about right to me, but would burn me out quickly. I write almost every day, am available to write nearly 24/7/365 unless I'm sleeping, but write 20-25 pages in a single day only once in a while and need some down time to recover afterwards. The only thing that doesn't add up (to me) is the page/working-day count and the annual income, unless you're getting the low end of the payment scale per page. I couldn't maintain that kind of output; but if I did, my income would definitely be well into 6 figures.
Highly-experienced professional writer located in NYC. JD (Law) from NYLS. nycfreelancewriter.homestead.com/services.html


Sep 4, 2012, 11:59AM | #
I posted that I think a writer should seek private clients at $20 to $30 a page, so you can see what I think a fair rate is. Would anyone else share how much they think private writers should charge? It seems to me that U.S.-based companies using native-speaking writers charge $30 to $35 per page for typical papers, and a little more for rush jobs. I'm not sure what other companies -- those using ESL writers -- charge; they do not seem to offer any deep discount, though. What price do you think the market supports for individual freelance writers?

Sep 4, 2012, 01:02PM | #
srandrews:
I posted that I think a writer should seek private clients at $20 to $30 a page, so you can see what I think a fair rate is. Would anyone else share how much they think private writers should charge? It seems to me that U.S.-based companies using native-speaking writers charge $30 to $35 per page for typical papers, and a little more for rush jobs. I'm not sure what other companies -- those using ESL writers -- charge; they do not seem to offer any deep discount, though. What price do you think the market supports for individual freelance writers?


That's what they charge and they pay their writers about one-third or 40% of it, so it seems to me a private writer should try to get at least as much as you suggested.

Sep 4, 2012, 01:09PM | #
th63:
they pay their writers about one-third or 40% of it


Well many companies actually pay their writers as little as 10% - Oxbridge Essays for example only pay this which is shocking considering the amount they charge clients in the first place. There is only one i know who pays 33% (All Answers/Academic Knowledge) and I pay 33% plus 4% Right First Time Bonus at Critical Proof on each order.

But we have VAT, accountancy plus all other running costs including advertising which is definitely not cheap. On the face of it, it can sound as if the companies are ripping off the writers but the better ones really are not, they are just trying to make a living.

I would say private writers should be looking at around 13 per 250-word page, so that would be about $20.

Sep 5, 2012, 10:12AM | #
karen_criticalproof:
I would say private writers should be looking at around 13 per 250-word page, so that would be about $20.
Out of curiosity, what would be the basis for private writers making less that two-thirds of what companies typically charge per page?

Sep 5, 2012, 04:33PM | #
srandrews:
Out of curiosity, what would be the basis for private writers making less that two-thirds of what companies typically charge per page?


Companies have bigger overheads.

Sep 5, 2012, 10:28PM | #
$20 per page is not bad, but I think good freelance writers should be aiming for between $25 to $30 per page, at least. Actually I do not see any reason they shoul dbe lower than the companies.

Sep 6, 2012, 02:06PM | #
Well companies have a lot more tax burdens for a start. For instance, in the UK as well as paying income tax and NIC, there is also Employers NIC to pay. In addition to that there is Corporation Tax and VAT. VAT alone is one fifth of the price of the order. There are also a lot more legal implications, costs of setting up websites, advertising etc. Freelance writers just seem to chat on forums like this therefore free advertising.




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