I Made $271,000 Last Year With My Mostly Passive Freelance Writing Business

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  • Alexandra Fasulo started freelance writing for Fiverr full-time in 2015 after quitting her 9-to-5.
  • Fasulo was making six figures by 2018, but needed help keeping up with demand — so she hired a team of freelancers to take on the orders.
  • She breaks down the business model that allows her to work three-hour weeks while taking home roughly 40% of revenue.

I started freelance writing on Fiverr back in 2015 after I quit my corporate job in New York City with no plan for how I was going to pay my rent. I was willing to make anything work, so I tried everything from consulting online to managing social media accounts. 

After just a few months, it became clear to me that the income generated through my Fiverr profile, which was a predictable $1,000 to $2,000 per month at the time, was going to be enough to support my new lifestyle. 

By 2016, I figured I could make around $35,000 per year freelance writing off my laptop. I wrote out of Starbucks, local cafes in Brooklyn, and friends’ apartments. I was so happy with what I was doing that I didn’t care if I made good money or not — the freedom was priceless to me.

I made $36,000 my first year freelancing

For my first full-year freelance writing on Fiverr, I made exactly $36,000, which ironically is what my yearly salary would have been at the corporate job I quit.

But then something peculiar happened. The next year, in 2017, I nearly doubled my income, making $63,000. In that same year, Fiverr asked me if I wanted to be part of the beta launch of their new program, Fiverr PRO, which designates the top 1% of talent on the platform. Naturally, I said sure, and by 2018, I was quadrupling my pricing to match all the other premier Fiverr PRO sellers.

I made $273,000 my third year freelancing and then $1 million after five years

I closed out 2018 having made a whopping $273,000. As a 25-year-old at the time, I was in shock. 

Working hard to keep up with demand, by 2019, I hired one other freelance writer to split the orders with me. One thing led to another, and by September 2020, my Fiverr profile crossed the $1 million dollar mark. With more press coming in and opportunities like influencer sponsorships that were pouring into my email to the side of my Fiverr business, by 2021, I knew I was ready for a change. 

After seven straight years of freelance writing, mostly alone, I knew it was time to bring on a team that could take my business and essentially make it passive.

I started hiring people to help me with my workload so that I could work less

So, I sat down at my laptop and built out the structure that has been running my business since July 2021.

My agency manager, also my best friend, allocates all freelancing orders to a rotational team of five different freelance writers. She’s supported by one virtual assistant who can help with the mundane tasks of filing prices or payments.

My manager sends out the orders to my team inside of a Slack channel, where they are given instructions and a timeline for completion. When they are done, they send the finished product back to my agency manager, who delivers the order to the client.

I have the Slack app downloaded to my phone, so I can monitor the activity and step in if anyone on the team has a question or concern.

I went from working 50-hour weeks to 3-hour weeks

Setting up this de facto-style agency that is based on other freelancers has taken my time demands from 40 to 50-hour weeks, down to two-to-three hour weeks. I now take home about 40% of everything made through the business, without putting in the mind-numbing hours. 

The other freelance writers on the team are free to accept or reject any outsourced orders that they please, as independent contractors, and work anywhere from 10 to 25 hours per week on the orders sent out through the Slack channel. Most of my writers have their own freelance writing business and work with other clients on the side.

Making this decision is one of the best things I have done in my business career, freeing up time and peace of mind I did not know were possible. Since July 2021, I have been able to start multiple other, mainly passive, side hustles, like selling ebooks, online courses, and PDF downloads. I also spend a few hours per day growing my social media through video content, articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

Most notably, I finally had time in the beginning of 2022 to write my first official book, Freelance Your Way to Freedom. I would never have been able to write 50,000 words into my own book if I was still running my freelance writing business completely alone.

Drop servicing is the key to work-life balance and financial freedom

I recommend everyone consider building out their online business and seeking support in the form of virtual assistants, software, systems, and other freelancers. This new way of doing business, lovingly dubbed as ‘drop servicing,’ is undoubtedly the business of the future.

You do not need to hustle yourself to death to achieve financial freedom — even if it took me a few years to figure that out. We all deserve work-life balance, especially those of us cruising along in the gig economy.

Alexandra Fasulo is a gig economy commentator, author, and podcast host.



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