If you’ve got a way with words and enjoy putting ideas into black and white, you can earn money from writing about the things you love. I’m not talking peanuts either, you can earn a living from writing online. You don’t need to get a full-time job with a company – although you can if you like. Writing can give you the freedom to earn from anywhere and be free to spend your time as you wish.
People have been earning a living from writing since the written word was invented. In today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever to make money from your words. There are so many ways you can do it, and there’s no need to pick and stick with a subject area either. You can write about all the things you love and earn a living from writing too. I know, because it’s what I’ve been doing for the past decade or more.
Good ol’ blogging. No doubt you’ve heard of people making thousands of dollars each month from writing blogs and maybe wondered how it’s done. There are a few ways you can start blogging to earn money from writing.
Set up your own blog This involves creating a website and then creating engaging and informative content regularly. It’s best to stick with a fairly narrow subject area and build your brand around this. You’ll also need to distribute your blogs far and wide to drive traffic to your website.
In order to make money from your own blog, you’ll need to monetise it in one way or another (or all). This can be done through affiliate marketing links, putting some content behind a paywall so people need to pay to read and enabling adverts to appear on your blog.
Publish on a blogging platform If setting up and managing your own blog seems daunting, consider blogging platforms like Vocal, Medium and Substack. These websites and many other, similar platforms, publish your work for free. Each has slightly different payment schemes for you to earn money from your writing.
Vocal allows readers to leave you a donation for your work or even pledge monthly support so you can build an income directly from readers. It’s quite a motivating set-up once you get rolling. Medium, on the other hand, pays you per read and there are some funky algorithms going on that ensure newer content earns you more than your older stuff. Substack is aimed at creating paid newsletters, you can publish there for free and as you build a following, move towards a paid subscription model for your writing.
Guest posts There are a couple of ways to leverage guest blogs to earn money from writing, but the most direct is to write for blogs that pay for content. You’ll need to do some market research, pitch your idea and then write the piece. It’s a very similar process to writing for printed magazines. If you do your research well, your pitch will get accepted and you may even end up with a permanent gig as a paid writer for that blog.
Earn money from writing with freelancing platforms
Intelligent and articulate people are in demand. Being able to turn ideas and processes into engaging content is a skill that not everyone possesses. Initially, this seemed strange to me. Most people learn how to read and write at school, ergo anyone can be a writer, right? Turns out that’s wrong.
Despite most people being able to read and write, not everyone likes to do so. Also, not everyone can make words draw you in, teach, engage, excite or entertain. If you can do this, you’ve got a skill that people want. So you can earn a living from writing. To get started, check out some freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiver, ClearVoice or Contently. Then set up a profile to get started.
Create a great profile, set your rate and start pitching for work. As you complete projects, you’ll improve your skill and reputation. Aim to pitch for projects on topics that genuinely interest you. This will help you to deliver above-standard content because your love for the topic will shine through in your words.
There is so much content available online and a large percentage of it isn’t credited to a writer. To begin crafting that content, you’ll need to set yourself up as a professional content writer. Either create a profile on a freelancing platform, build a website that showcases your skills, set up a social media profile or get some business cards printed.
Next, you’ll need to get out there and prospect for work. When I started writing content, I got my hands on a local business directory, checked out businesses in my areas of interest and wrote them letters offering my skills. I could’ve emailed. That would’ve been cheaper but I chose the post. It’s a less usual form of communication in our digital age. It helped my pitch stand out.
Writing for magazines and websites
Similar to guest blogging, you can pitch ideas to magazines and websites like HuffPost to get published and paid for writing about the stuff you love. Make sure you’re thorough with your market research. Check that they do publish work from freelance writers. Read the stuff that they publish. Emulate this work.
If the magazine or website has lots of different named authors, the chances are good that they accept freelance work. You’ll want to have a good handle on the content they publish so that the idea you pitch matches their brand. Check the length, tone of voice, range of topics they cover and be sure that they’ve not published anything that is the same as your idea in the past six months – at least.
After carefully researching, find out the name of the editor and send an enquiry email asking if they’d be interested in an article by you on x topic. Give a brief outline of how you’ll cover that subject. Freedom with writing is a great resource for finding paid opportunities to write.
If you have a knack for writing words that convert readers into customers or makes adverts memorable and engaging, copywriting could be a great avenue to wander down. Coming up with slogans, calls to action that actually cause action and tag lines that make customers enthusiastic about brands is a real talent. It often looks way easier than it is. Just because you’re great at writing content doesn’t mean you’ll be great at writing marketing copy.
Email writing, PPC copy, advert content, brochures, product descriptions, pretty much any words that are written to create a sale can be considered as copy. If you are good at this, pursue it by reaching out to marketing agencies and advertising companies. A great copywriter is a great asset to any business keen to sell products.
Along with copywriters, digital agencies need content writers. Some writers do both. Content writers produce SEO content to draw customers in with relevant content for websites. If you’ve ever taken up a writing challenge that specifies certain words should be included in your essay or story, then you’ll have a good idea of what SEO content writing is like.
A lot of this work is found on freelancing platforms. From start-ups that need content for their new business to large brands that need writers to fulfil a content marketing strategy, content writers are in demand – more so if you’re really good at it.
You can either pitch for jobs, set yourself up and prospect for work or plumb professional networks like LinkedIn for content writing projects.
If you know a lot about a particular subject or enjoy immersing yourself in topics and writing about them, creating eBooks and selling them on Amazon is another great way you can earn money from writing about the things you love. You’ll need to write high-quality content. Once you’ve finished writing, your work is far from done.
You’ll need to use a tool to turn your 10,000 or more words into an eBook that can be read on a kindle or other digital reader. There are plenty to choose from, Amazon have one for their Kindle and there are tonnes of others too. Choose one that suits your text and, if you have them, images to go along with your words.
Websites like Goodreads can help you find beta readers and editors too. Once you’ve created your eBook, be prepared to market it as well. This can be the most difficult part of getting paid for writing eBooks – finding your audience and actually selling your words. It’s not impossible though and if you have a knack for writing, it’s a great way to earn money from your skill.