Elance Blog

Meet Another $100,000 Freelancer On Elance.

Nobody loves a well-deserved success story more than Elancers.

And this particular success story centers on a wonderful wordsmith in her own right: Writer and Editor Kristine M. Smith of Tacoma, Washington (located up in the picturesque Pacific Northwest of the USA, for those unfamiliar with that neck of the woods).

What makes Kristine’s story so enlightening is not only how successful she is working on Elance (her earnings just topped the $100,000 mark!), but how much she loves her work and the passion she brings to every project.

Long story short: Each morning Kristine wakes up, looks out her window at Mt. Rainer, and puts her fingers happily to the keyboard. Or as Kristine so eloquently explains, “I’m dancing with words on the topic at hand, engaging my heart and soul.” (Yes, she is a truly creative person).

Kristine has been self-employed and working on Elance since 2008, but was hesitant to make the jump at first. Although she had worked for an on-hold company as a copywriter (earning Employee of the Quarter the last two quarters she worked there), she didn’t feel confident she could strike out on her own as she had only written on-hold copy—short 10-12 second sales and marketing pieces that were professionally put to music and voiceover artists to complete the puzzle. Almost a year after she left the company Kristine took the leap to a full-time career on Elance. Now she’s enjoying life more than ever and earning great money.

“If you’re just barely making ends meet,” Kristine stresses, “you’re either not charging enough or you’re not working enough. Step it up!” (Yes, she is a truly driven person too).

Kristine also loves advising other Elancers about how to be more successful as an online freelancer. Here are some insights she has passed on to other freelancers:

1. Charge what you’re worth. “Don’t low-ball your rates; you’ll lose access to the clients you need most – the folks who know what great service and results are worth,” she notes. In fact, it wasn’t until she raised her rates substantially that she began to attract Elance clients who, as she says, “know the rock-solid, evergreen value of a wise wordsmith.” Kristine also recommends factoring into your quoted price your health insurance costs, the time you spend clarifying the project, and other the other career-related expenses you need to re-coup.

2. Always strive for great Feedback. “You live and die by your client Feedback,” Kristine notes. “Only submit job proposals you know you can ace, so your Feedback is always top-notch.” She suggests researching clients first, and avoiding clients who say “Great Job!” in their written feedback but then leave low ratings. “This is a red flag,” Kristine advises. “Don’t risk your reputation on clients who leave anemic ratings for exemplary work.”

3. Love your work. “Fortunately, I get to choose the projects I work on, so I’m always passionate about the projects,” Kristine reveals. She does a wide variety of writing, from web pages and eBooks to brochures, social media and video scripts. She especially loves working on “cause” projects, and recently completed two crowd-funding campaigns to help deserving entrepreneurs raise money; on relating to early child education, the other to help homeowners, campers and disaster recovery first responders take care of one of their common challenges: precisely getting a rope high into a tree or across a creek to gain a reliable set point.

When we asked Kristine what allows her to be so successful on Elance, here’s what she had to say: “Lots of great projects to choose from, dogged determination, a compelling Profile page, certified Skill Tests results and – of paramount importance – terrific client Feedback. “

The Elance team couldn’t agree more. When they coined the phrase wordsmith, they must have had Kristine M.Smith in mind. We’re excited to be part of her success in her life and livelihood because, as she’s quick to point out: “With Elance, Home Sweet Home and Work Sweet Work can be one in the same.”


Congratulations for the excellent work, Kristine!
His tips are very valuable to us Studio Domingos.

Thanks so much, Studio Domingos!

Wow. She must of have worked 24 hours a day and cloned herself several times over because I have yet to see a job here that pays much more than minimum wage.

They exist, mindrobber. Seek and ye shall find! Wishing you good fortune!

done well

Thank you, abdo_s!

Congrats Kristine I hope to do the same one day for my company. You are a perfect example for what to strive for. Keep up the good work.


Thank you, Jeff! Keep at it--it'll happen!

Congrats Kristine,

  • Very valuable tips
  • Thank You

Thank you, fantasticwork!

I'm almost there! I'm coming up to Olympia in August, and would love to meet you!!

That would be awesome! E me. You can find me on the Internet and on Facebook very, very easily.

you do inspire us mr KristineMSmith we do hope you make more on this site and so we do hope for our self the same thanks for inspiring us

Thanks, AirDesigns!

Congrats Kristine! Your story is very inspiring. Nice to know such possibilities at Elance. I hope this article boost you for another $100,000.!

From your lips to God's ears! Thank you so much, caitlin321!

Congrats, Kristine

Thanks, eexpoxy!

Kris just achieved the $100,000 milestone with our project.

We are so honoured to work with you Kris. You are a seasoned professional-so fast-so reliable-so fun-so masterful.

Thank you so much, talentseeker! I look forward to working with you far into the future. Empowering women to be all they can be is a fabulous goal!

Hi Kristine,
Congrats. Thanks to Elance my life also took a turn for better and I too have crossed $100k. Great place, great going...:)

HA! Congrats--and I LOVE your business name!

Great article. Keep earning!!

Thank you, asifakazi! You do the same!

valla helal

Thank you, ibrahimis1!!!

You GO GURL!!!!

Thank you, Jessiesv!!!

Congratulations Kristine n wonderful success story . I am a new elance member and I had applied for a couple of writing jobs but I got rejected in all of them. One said I was ridiculously expensive and the other accused me of being a con artist. What am I doing wrong?

Hi Sara,

Nothing! Whenever I am declined for being too high, I remind myself that not everyone wants to pay what I worth. It's more a reflection of the client's needs and budget than it is anything you're doing wrong. Don't compromise your rates just because you are declined. Instead look closely at the job, the client's payment record and over time you will be able to discern before you even bid whether that client will pay you your going rate.

It can take a while to get that first job, but once you do, deliver quality work, be professional (which I am sure you are) and strive for good feedback. From there it is just a matter of building on your momentum. You'll get that first job and then you'll take off!


Great Advice! I consistently get frustrated with the low paying clients that don't appreciate the years of expertise you have and want to low ball you on every project.

Don't let the naysayers get you down. Keep going. Keep striving. Keep improving. Put more in your portfolio than you have there now. The more prospective clients can see of your work, the better your chances as long as your work is stellar (concise, compelling, un-put-down-able).

Congratulations, Kristine! This is a wonderful story! Hoping you make it to the next $100,000 and beyond! Wishing you continued success!


Thank you so much, Sarah (aka CoquiProse)!!! I'm immensely impressed by your credentials--always have been!!!

Congratulations Mrs.KristineMSmith
I would suggest you a topic to write on as probably I had been thinking it for the past months. Hey! Its not a job posting.
The topic is " What does it profit a man if he gains the positions of the whole world and looses its own self"

But anyways,
Congrats again and may the God's grace always shower on you and lead you to success.

Thank you, pro786, for the good wishes!

congrates mam for ur sucsess........

Thank you, Elancers, for all the LIKES and Google shares!

Congrats Kristine!!

Your story is very inspiring for a new face.... like me.

Thank you, ajayhja01

Kristine, congratulations. You inspire me. Thanks for all the advice.

Thank you, debwrite!


Thanks Adam!!

Great Advice !

As a student sometimes we get clouded and just want to make a quick buck. Being new Elance it is very inspiring to see someone only take jobs in which they are passionate about and to see someone who doesn't loose their creative integrity for money. I'm very excited about my new Elance career.

Thanks again


You are amazing! I hope to get as much children's writing jobs as you have with your jobs.

All the best,

Should I edit that last line and write 'as many' instead of 'as much'? I will find out! That's my job after all.

Congratulations KristineMSmith!

Keep up the good work. This is really inspiring and this gives boost for me and my company!


Inspired to read of your success and enjoyed your well-chosen words showing WHY you get top dollar. I also noted you replied to everyone who commented and wished you well - another secret to your success being the fact that you bother to maintain personal contact and show appreciation to all. Loved learning from you - here's to your first million!