eBiz Weekly #4

Remembering James Schipper, how much writers get paid, and the top 10 freelance gigs for 2019

Hey there,

Starting off on a sad note.

My friend and fellow digital nomad James Schipper passed away here in Chiang Mai last week. Not sure how he died exactly, but it came as a shock to everyone who knew him.

He was such a good, genuine guy, always had a smile and a silly joke to share. Loved his tech and Star Wars, traveling and meeting people. He’d been a digital nomad since 2007, and had made Chiang Mai his home in recent years, becoming a well known and well liked member of the community here.

His passing is a good reminder for me not to take life for granted. His Facebook timeline shows that he was attending meetups and art exhibitions in recent weeks, living his life.

And now he’s gone.

On a positive note, for the last 10+ years, James seems to have been living life very much on his own terms. I doubt he died with many regrets, and he certainly made a positive impact on the lives of many people.

So thank you, James.

Thank you for the good vibes and inspiration.

The world is a better place for you having been here.

Niall Doherty and James Schipper
Meeting James for the first time. Chiang Mai, 2013.

Let me now attempt to be all business-as-usual and share a few things related to making money online…

Review: Earn More Writing
This is the first “deep review” we’re posting on eBiz Facts. We spent $199 on a course for freelance writers and went through it thoroughly to see if it’s worth the money.

10 Best Freelance Gigs and Side Hustles
This Fundera study pulled data from the biggest online job sites (Upwork, Guru, etc.) and figured out the “best” service to offer as a freelancer in 2019 (best = high demand + high pay). The results:

  1. Web and Software Development
  2. Design and Creative
  3. Writing and Translation
  4. Administrative Support
  5. IT and Networking
  6. Customer Service
  7. Sales and Marketing
  8. Accounting and Finance
  9. Engineering and Architecture
  10. Data Science

How Much Do Writers Get Paid?
The lady who created the aforementioned Earn More Writing course (Holly Johnson) gets paid up to $1500 for writing a single article, which is at the very high end of the spectrum. This recent survey of 1400+ freelance writers provides a birds-eye view of writing rates:

No way to sugarcoat it: nearly one-third of writers report they earn under $20 an hour for their work. NOT a living wage.

But nearly as many earn quite well: 10% report they earn north of $76/hr., and another 17% earn a respectable $50-$75/hr.

But here’s the surprise: Even in year one, many writers earn pro rates. Some 22% earn $100 and up, including 4% who earn north of $300 for short posts. In year one. Nice!

Reply Fast
Does it matter how fast you reply to prospective clients? According to this HBR article, absolutely. A study of 1.25 million sales leads showed that:

Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.

The 90+ Best Affiliate Programs for Recurring Commissions
Email marketing company Aweber sends me an affiliate commission of about $250 three times a year, even though I haven’t actively promoted or used their service since 2015. Turns out some of the people I referred to Aweber back then are still customers, and since Aweber does recurring commissions, I’m still getting paid. If you’re wondering which other affiliate programs offer recurring commissions, here’s a big list.

Need Some Motivation?
Check this 5-minute video showing how some dude went from morbidly obese to losing 198lbs in a year.

I had to get my fat ass off the couch and hit the elliptical after watching that.

That’s all for now.

Keep at it.

I believe in you.


Niall Doherty
eBiz Facts

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