$100,000 Per Year Isn’t That Difficult for a Freelancer

freelancer 100kYou just graduated from college. With your newly minted business degree, you score a job at a Fortune 500 company. Your $50,000 annual salary makes you feel rich compared to your college days, but a $100,000 salary seems so far away. As an entrepreneur, it might be easier to get to that $100,000 mark than working for someone else. Here’s the numbers.


Average Salary Working for “The Man”

The average starting salary for a business graduate in 2013 was up significantly from the prior year. According to Forbes, the average business major started at $54,000 in 2013.

At $54,000 per year, that new worker is earning about $206 per day. $206 per day is nothing to scoff at. You can live pretty comfortably at that income level. But can you make more if you go out on your own?


Freelancers Don’t Get Benefits

Jumping to start freelance writing, as an example, may sound like a risky endeavor. In addition to giving up a steady paycheck, you give up employer healthcare, paid time off, 401(k) matching, and other company benefits.

But there is one major benefit that you do get as a freelancer, or other small business owner. You don’t have to go work for a boss in the traditional sense.

Of course, we always report to someone. As a freelancer, you work for your clients. As a small business owner, you work for your customers. If you don’t’ do a good job to keep them happy, you won’t be working for yourself for long.

It can be scary to make the change, but you may even see more income in the long run.


How to Make $206 Per Day as a Freelancer

To make $206 per day, you need to bring in $6,180 per month. That is without working weekends. There are many ways to make it to that point, but here are a few potential examples.

  • 4 articles written per day at $50 each (or 10 articles at $20 each)
  • Four ongoing social media manager clients at $1,545 per month
  • 3 web design projects each month at $3,000 each plus some ongoing customization work
  • A mix of projects at Elance, Guru, or Odesk that total $6,180 per month

As you can see, this isn’t incredibly easy to put together, but it is possible. If you can raise your rates just a little, it gets even easier. Some experienced freelancers make hundreds of dollars for each article produced. At that rate, you would only have to write 1-2 articles per day and could take weekends off.


The Jump to $100,000

To make $100,000 per year, you need to earn $8,333 per month or $384 per day if you want to keep your weekends. If you don’t mind working weekends, you can lower that to $273 per day.

Think it is impossible? It is far from here. Here, one freelancer discloses what makes up her $100,000+ annual income.

$100k freelancers have a similar story. They work with a diverse group of clients, take some recurring projects and some as-needed projects, and work to market their skills and raise their rates. People are willing to pay premium rates for premium work, and the most successful freelancers work to always produce quality results.


How to Get Started

The best way to get started is to find your first customer. Remember, you likely won’t be able to command a premium rate on day one, but it is easily possible if you are responsive and produce a quality result.

What are you doing to get started today?

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.


  1. Love this post! The potential to make a lot of money is definitely there with freelancing. Can’t wait until I make the complete switch!

    • As you can tell from my work here, I do some freelancing already. A long way from full time, but I am already taking steps!

  2. Thanks for the mention!

    I don’t recall saying a $100K freelance income was easy…but it is definitely possible, if you are willing to market your services aggressively to quality prospects.

  3. Posts like this reinforce a very important fact, that freelancers have the freedom to set the pace for their work life while making a very comfortable income at the same time. Thanks for your insights. 🙂

  4. Thanks for breaking it down to a day rate. I’d love to make six figures as a freelancer. So far I’ve been putting in all the upfront work and now I’ve got to get myself out there and start collecting some pay days!

  5. Thanks for a great post, Eric. Now you have me dreaming of working freelance from a hammock in Belize. 😉

    I’m just starting on the freelance path right now but there’s so many options, it’s kinda overwhelming.

  6. Very inspiring post. I hope to make 100k one day. That’s my goal as a freelancer. I didn’t know you had all of those businesses eric!


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