How I Went From Earning Peanuts to Becoming a Full-Time Writer

And how you can capitalise on similar opportunities.

Adrian Drew


Photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

“I’ve just got a part-time job at McDonald's,” my friend said, sitting across from me in our school common room.

We were seventeen at the time, most of our classmates landing weekend positions earning peanuts from local businesses.

They seemed pretty happy. To me, it sounded like hell.

At that point, I’d been reading about making money online for a few years. I’d created a multi-page document about dropshipping, studied the ins and outs of Amazon FBA, and firmly decided that the traditional working world just wasn’t for me.

But retail wasn’t exactly my passion back then. Writing was.

On Christmas Day of that year, I was given a new laptop. The first thing I did was open it up and start searching for writing jobs.

I remember seeing the post on UpWork — an SEO specialist looking for a freelance writer to handle content for his clients. 10,000 words per week for a whopping total of £100.

The money was abysmal, feeling more like slave labour than a feasible job opportunity. But I took it.

What I didn’t know, however, was that that poorly-paid job would enable me to earn a full-time living from writing for the next seven years.

Here’s how.

You Don’t Have the Luxury of Choice

I knew I could write well. I knew my words were worth more money than I was being paid. And yet, I also knew that I simply didn’t have the luxury of choice.

In recent years, I’ve coached a number of writers looking for ways to make money. Pointing them to several job posts I’ve seen, few of those writers have been prepared to take the low-hanging fruit and accept gigs that didn’t match their expected rates.

But here’s the thing: When you don’t have any experience, you don’t have a rate.

You can’t expect anybody to pay you the grand sum of money you think you’re worth if you have no evidence of that value.



Adrian Drew

Owner of Mind Cafe | Let’s chat on Instagram: @adriandrew__