Does it take you hours to write an article? Not everyone can write fast so it stands to reason that while you may be a good writer, freelance writing might not be the ideal job for you. When you trade time for dollars, you need to find a way to earn those dollars fast enough to make it worthwhile.
Here are some suggestions for making more money when you’re a slow writer:
Spend time writing for passive income sources. Build your own sites, submit to revenue sharing content sites like HubPages, and so on. Then one article can earn on an ongoing basis so it’s ok that it took a few hours to write.
Pick just a few niches to focus on. This will cut down your research time and over time you could find that your hourly rate goes up.
Target higher paying clients. Instead of content mills or other places where people are looking for cheap articles, focus on business writing, query print publications such as magazines or trade journals, etc.
Diversify so you’ve got multiple streams of income. Build your own niche sites, write for some great-paying clients, do Elance bidding, etc.
I’ve been at this 5+ years and continually work to raise my rates. Just like anyone with a 9-5 job wants a raise once in a while, so do I. I build relationships with longer term clients and from the start I tell them that I periodically raise my rates. Good that you are choosing not to be complacent. Good luck!