If you can write great copy for an ad or pen a lovely turn of phrase, you could make money from your skills. Keep reading to find out how to make money writing—one of the many ways you can boost your income online.
How to Make Money Writing
Authoring articles for magazines, writing compelling marketing descriptions for products, and self-publishing fiction; these are all ways you can turn your words into positive growth in your bank account. We’ve got 10 tips for how to make money by writing online and offline below.
1. Guest Post on High-Paying Publications and Magazines
Magazines and other publications often pay for content. Full-time magazine writers earn an average of around $55,000 per year, but you can make extra money on a part-time basis with this tip. Publications may pay by the word—with payment ranging from pennies to dollars per word—or by the piece—with payment from dozens to hundreds of dollars.
Publications with larger circulations in niche industries tend to pay best overall. It can take time to build relationships with editors and land assignments, though. Many writers get their foot in the door with small pieces to showcase their skills. You can search online for publications that accept pitches and guidelines for submission.
2. Become a Copywriter
Full-time copywriters make just over $56,000 per year, on average. But you don’t have to commit to a full-time gig to make good money as a copywriter. Many copywriters take on per-piece or project work, and they can command payments that range from a few cents per word to a dollar per word.
Copywriters use clever, compelling language to help market and sell products. Writers who can learn this specific form of writing can make good money as a freelancer, contracted copywriter, or regular employee.
3. Do Freelance Content Writing for Businesses
Businesses require content of all types, not just sales and marketing copy. They hire freelancers directly and also work with content agencies. Content agencies build pools of freelancers they can use for writing jobs, so if you can sign up with such an agency, you may have ongoing work whenever you want it.
There are also online writing platforms where anyone can sign up to be a freelance writer. These platforms will match your skill set with appropriate clients.
4. Ghostwrite Stories
When you ghostwrite something, you put the work into words, but someone else puts their name on the final product. Most copywriting and freelance content work is ghostwriting. But you can also ghostwrite fiction, autobiographies, and nonfiction books for authors who have ideas but neither the time nor the ability to see them through.
Generally, a ghostwriting client provides you with a topic and outline. They may continue to collaborate with you throughout the creation of the work. In the end, they pay you. You walk away with the cash, and they walk away with ownership of the story or whatever else you wrote.
5. Get Paid to Write on Medium
Medium is a profit-sharing platform where you can post blogs and articles and get paid when people view and share them. You can tell your own story, write op-eds about various topics, or create how-to articles.
It’s important to be realistic when you want to know how to make money online by writing, though. Most people on Medium don’t make much. According to data published on Medium, 94% of writers make less than $100 a month. However, the top 1% make $5,000 or more a month.
You can also submit articles you write on Medium to various publications on the platform to get greater exposure.
6. Self-Publish on Amazon Kindle
If you’ve always wanted to author a book, now is a great time to do it. Self-publishing has grown tremendously over the past 20 years, and it’s easier than ever to get your work out there. You can self-publish novels, novellas, short stories and nonfiction titles through Amazon Kindle.
How much you make depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Your readership: The more books you sell, the more you can make.
- Number of books: Successful full-time, independently published authors tend to have a large back catalog of books.
- Book prices: Amazon pays commissions based on how much you charge for your books.
- Length of book and reader completion rate: If you list your books on Kindle Unlimited, you get paid based on how much of your books readers actually read.
7. Blog and Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing
For those looking for tips on how to make money writing online without writing business copy or novels, this may be the right path. It involves three major steps:
- Creating a website or blog with content relevant to a niche you can write a lot about
- Signing up for affiliate networks so you can promote products and link to sites
- Enabling an ad network, such as Google AdSense, to show ads to site visitors
When people use your links to sign up for services or purchase products, you earn a commission.
8. Find Paid Writing Internships
If you’re in college, just graduated or looking to make a career change to copywriting or sales writing, consider looking for paid internships. These positions provide on-the-job training to help you boost your skills and resume so you can land higher-paying writing jobs in the future.
9. Become a Technical Writer
Technical writers earn an average of $68,000 per year, according to GlassDoor. These positions often require a bachelor’s degree related to writing or the field in which you plan to write. For example, someone who wants to write copy for pharmaceutical or medical companies might do well with a degree in biology or chemistry.
As a technical writer, you’d create how-to guides and manuals for products or software or write in-depth white papers and other documents about niche topics.
10. Make Money Writing Social Media Content
Companies and publications need people to manage their social media. Social media tasks can range from writing posts and tweets to running full ad campaigns. If you want to know how to make money from writing online and you love social media, you might consider:
- Searching and applying for social media content creation and management jobs
- Signing up as a freelancer with agencies that offer social media content to businesses
- Starting your own boutique content firm and signing up clients so you can run their social media
The Next Step
It’s not enough to know how to make money by writing online. While almost anyone can learn how to make money writing, it takes persistence to actually pad your bank account with this work. Here are a few steps you can take to go from learning how to make money online by writing to actually doing it:
- Choose one of the above methods to start. Spreading yourself too thin can make it impossible to succeed at all. You don’t have to stick with only one method, but you should bring each option to some sort of success before you move on to another.
- Invest in books on writing. If you want to get into copywriting, invest in some style and grammar books to enhance the technical aspects of your writing. Creative writers may also want to read books about character development, dialogue, setting, and plot.
- Invest in your skills. Consider taking courses to help you increase your writing skills.
Set aside daily time. Whether it’s 1 hour or 4 hours a day, set aside what you can to work on making money with your writing. Consistency is important.
- Stay committed. It’s normal to stumble a bit when you start writing for pay online. You may get feedback from editors or others or work with clients who ask you to revise your work. Learn from this feedback and stay committed—the process gets easier as you build your skills.
- Manage your extra money well. Use this extra income for positive personal financial gain.
Earning more money is great. Just make sure you’re keeping an eye on the expenses in your budget so they don’t start creeping up on your writing income.
Writing online takes more than just putting words together. You also have to know search engine optimization, keywords and content marketing strategies. One of the best ways to get started is to take online courses to learn best practices and hone your skills. You can learn new skills to improve your writing and increase your rates.
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