2020 has been a money and mental hustle for all of us. Regardless if you’re self-employed or not, we’ve all been through hell and back trying to make ends meet. Even if we’re doing well, we’re still struggling to keep the pace, mentally and physically. As far as income sources go, my 2020 looked a lot like the past two years. I’ve been able to secure some steady clients, as well as some side projects.
My main two clients, to be more precise, have been providing 75% of my total income this year. That is a big margin, considering they’ve stayed with me the entire way. And are still doing so, and will do so, even after the end of 2020. 20% of my income came from side projects, small or medium tasks from various clients. 5% of my 2020 income came from ads on our websites.
I wanted to point that out, that last part with the ads because I find it extremely important for the finances of 2020 as a whole. While the lockdowns were happening, people started consuming more and more online content. Which made Google Ads revenues skyrocket. In 2018 and 2019 this revenue stream added just 1,5% of income in my pockets. Now, it’s an important part of it.
2018 and 2019
Let’s take a look at the last two years before moving on. These two years have been noted down in detail with income, expenses, taxes and so on. So I can have a starting point and then compare the previous year, the year before, and then the current year. 2018 was the first year in which I’ve made good, serious money from freelancing. It was simply great. It finally worked!
Talking about figures is irrelevant. Back then, I was charging $10 for a 1000-word article. Now, I’m charging between 50-100 bucks for one. You do the math at the end. 2018 was rewarding in the sense that, besides providing a steady income, it taught me that I can live off of freelancing, off of writing, and not have to have an actual boss. That’s worth more than the money I’ve made.
In 2019, things grew by about 5% overall. I think one specific quarter, between April and June, was significantly better than the one from 2018 while summer was on the downside. It so happens that summers are much slower than the rest of the year. I also made it so that I was getting less work for more money, so I raised my prices by about 50% over 12 months.
Income in 2020
This year is still going strong so by making my projections for the last three months, I’ll refer to it as a whole 12-month period. In 2020, my income has been up 35% (roughly) compared to last year. Why? Because I’ve worked harder. Not more in terms of quantity, but heavier in quality. Picking the right clients. Saying a lot of “no’s” to the wrong ones. Learning more and more.
It has been a great year in terms of freelancing and working remotely. From home, that is, as international travel is basically shut down still. It was rewarding to be able to actually put money away, not just spend them on trips to 11 countries in one year, as I did in 2019. That was crazy, now that I look back on it. 2020 has been a good crash course in how to pay myself right.
Making money during the pandemic
Freelance writing woked. It’s just a matter of demand and supply. People stay at home, they read all day. I’m a writer, so people hire me to write stuff for their sites, blogs, books, and so on. And then readers go online and enjoy those products, paying for them via ads or by buying books. And then a part of that profit ends in my account. It’s not rocket science. It’s just another way of making $$$.
Making more money than usual during a pandemic? That was a surprise even for me, I’ll be honest. Yet when you look at it the way I’ve just put it in the last paragraph, it makes sense and it’s as logical as a bag of potato chips with 70% air in it. If the pandemic is still going on in 2021, my income should go up by at least 20% or more. If not, it should, and will, go down slightly.
The need for online content will still be there but once restrictions are taken away, people will travel more, go out more, and leave the online stuff to it’s bare minimum. Which means I’ll still have work to do but just not as much and as complex as when everyone was staying inside. 2020 has been hard for me and all of us. But workwise for me, it has been the best year yet.
Now you can hate me.
If you want to learn more about how to make money online as a freelancer, especially through writing but also programming, design, or social media management, you can now buy my book. It’s called “From 0 To $2543 A Month With A Crappy Laptop – The Freelancing Course From A Self-Made Content Creator Boss” and you can find it on Amazon at 50% off.