Let’s face it: If you’re starting out as a writer, you’re probably feeling a little lost. How to find the best paying online writing jobs? What’s the right way to find clients? How can I even make money writing? There are so many questions when it comes to freelance writing, but that’s a good thing! Why? Because – if you’re willing to put in the work – there are almost endless opportunities to make money online as freelance writer!
And you don’t have to be the next JK Rowling to make money as a freelancer when it comes to writing either. If you can write coherently and portray the ideas you want to communicate in easy to understand words, you can be a freelance writer. As an added perk, you are free to work from home or wherever else you want, giving you tons of freedom.
In this article, we’ll explore the 3 best ways
to make money writing online:
We’ll also cover some common questions you may have as a freelance writer.
Let’s get started:
Freelance Writing and Copywriting
As a freelance writer, there are a great many forms of writing you can pursue. For example, you can start out writing for businesses that need web content, either in article writing or sales copywriting.
These two are also the most common and sought after kinds of writing gigs on the market. In fact, we recommend any freelance writers wondering how to make money writing to start with either one of these or both.
Now, why do we recommend this? 3 reasons:
Create a web presence
It doesn’t matter how good you are with writing: if no one knows that you exist, then you can’t make money. So to begin with, you need to create some sort of web presence.
Having a website will:
Having your own corner on the internet will really do wonders for your business!
Decide on doing copywriting or article writing
Now that you have your web presence, you have to decide whether you want to pursue copywriting or article writing. Sure, you can do both at first. But in the long run, you will want to specialise in one because you can hone your skills further, thus providing clients with better content and, of course, you’ll get paid more for it.
This is essentially writing non-sales content on websites. Articles are usually informative and educational, such as this article you’re reading right now.
Pretty much all websites that want to drive traffic need article writing services, as the need for producing content is very real for any serious businesses. The other great thing is that you can usually create these articles very quickly.
Article writing is one of the easiest ways to make money online, passed only by how fast and easily you can make money with paid surveys.
However, it pays significantly less than copywriting per piece. Usually article writers will earn anywhere from $50 to $250 for a 1,000 word article.
Copywriters are basically writing to sell something. For example: a long form sales page you see on various product websites, or a short sales email. Regardless of the medium, the goal of copywriting is to increase brand awareness.
Since the purpose copywriting is literally to generate sales, it also pays WAY more. For a short sales page, you can earn anywhere from $800 to $1500 on average. Very competent copywriters can even command around $2000. Maybe even more, depending on what they’re writing about!.
However, as opposed to plain article writing, you’ll need to learn how to write effective copy and study sales writing material. There’s more preparation and effort involved, but since your copy will (hopefully) be making money for your clients, it is much easier to make money writing this way.
Pick a niche
Most people trying to make money writing make the mistake of wanting to serve every market out there. If you are trying to please everyone, you please no one.
It’s much more attractive for clients that need an article about, for example, a certain law, to hire someone who specializes in legal writing, as opposed to someone who writes for every market on the planet. And then, of course, you can request higher fees.
There are various factors you have to account for in determining which niche is right for you:
If there is no money to be made in a niche or if the niche size is just too small for you to consistently make money writing online, then you need to find another.
Pick an industry you are familiar with, or at least can research and write consistently about. It would be a total waste if you choose to write about financial auditing when you have no knowledge in it, or if that topic bores you to death. Also, make sure that the industry has consistent need for new content.
Type of Service
Even when it comes to copywriting, you can niche down to more specific types of services such as video sales copy, email sales copy, or sales pages. If you are offering article writing services, you can choose from various types of articles such as how-to guides or technical articles.
You may be wondering why you should go through all these steps and choose a niche when you can just accept any clients that come your way. The reason is simple: Being a specialist puts you in a position of authority and therefore you can make more money writing.
As you pick a niche, you will develop niche-specific insights, angles and expertise over time. These are things a non-specific writer cannot compete with and so you’ll make more money and win more clients.
Great experience in one field trumps a bit of experience in every field.
Create a portfolio
Now that you have a web presence, online profiles and a niche, it’s time to create a portfolio. Why? Because if you can’t show any writing samples, you won’t get any clients. And no clients means that you won’t make money writing!
You don’t even need to have previous clients to create a portfolio. Instead, you can start creating samples and put them on your website and blog.
This is where choosing a niche becomes very helpful as well, since you now know exactly what type of samples to create for your portfolio, and what clients in that niche would most likely be looking for.
Pitch and apply for new jobs daily
Since you are now well-equipped, it is time to start presenting yourself in front of businesses that might need freelance writing services.
The key to avoiding a “feast and famine” cycle as a freelance writer, where you have lots of work one week, but no work another week, is to consistently be pitching and applying for new jobs.
We recommend you apply to at least 3 companies or jobs per day. This may sound like a lot, but with careful planning, it is very achievable and essential to consistently make money writing.
For low hanging fruits, you can find freelance writing gigs on Upwork and Guru, and start pitching to them. You can also look at various online job boards to find freelance writing gigs and pitch directly to the companies.
To make a decent living as a freelance writer, you will need the discipline to seek out available gigs and pitch daily. There is no way around it!
Become a Kindle Author and Make Money Writing
Another amazing way to make money writing is to publish on Amazon Kindle: an e-reader device from the eCommerce giant Amazon, and arguably the best on the market.
All Kindle owners have direct access to hundreds of thousands of Kindle eBooks on Amazon.com. With nearly 90 million Kindle devices sold, the opportunities as a Kindle author are vast.
And the best part? You can self-publish here as an author, without needing a publishing house or literary agent, and earn money writing through passive income every month!
What we mean by that is once you write your book and publish it, people will keep buying it, and that means you’ll have money coming to your bank account 24/7 without needing to do extra work.
The advantages and disadvantages of publishing on Amazon
Self-publishing your Kindle eBook on Amazon comes with some pros and cons:
In our honest opinion, the pros simply outweigh the cons when it comes to using Amazon Kindle. There are many guides on avoiding the mistakes and pitfalls as a Kindle author so you’ll have a much higher chance of success as a first-time Kindle publisher.
Follow the advice of people who’ve done it before and you should do well.
Writing Your First Kindle Book
If you have decided to publish a book on Kindle, you will have to think about whether you want to write it yourself or hire a freelance writer.
To put it simply, if you have the time and expertise on the subject matter, it’s better to write it yourself. That way, you’ll be saving the upfront cost associated with hiring a shadow writer.
Also, it’s a great accomplishment to write a book yourself!
However, keep in mind that you’ll spend a significant amount of your own time – time that you could be using to make money writing for clients instead.
So if you have some capital to cover upfront costs, you can simply hire a freelance writer to do the writing. That way, you will free up the time you would need to spend on the book and use it productively on other writing ventures!
Blogging and Building Your Own Asset
While there are countless guides, articles and websites that tell you to start blogging as a way to make money, we have to be honest here: blogging is by far the hardest method among the 3 we have covered in this article when it comes to writing and generating cash.
However, you can use it to build a long-term asset which will generate income for your entire life. In fact, you can set up a very profitable business through blogging.
The best part? You can start a blog for free.
Unlike what some articles say, you will not earn a massive income with a blog right away. You won’t be in your pyjamas earning money from home in front of the fireplace…unless you already have a large loyal audience on another platform of course.
In fact, blogging requires dedication and consistent production of good quality content since this is the only way to gain good search engine ranking and attract a readership.
Again, this is not to say using a blog to earn money writing is not possible or worthwhile. We’re just making sure that you know how much work will be required!
But once you’ve put in that work, your blog will be giving to you forever.
Writing Yourself vs. Hiring Freelancers for Your Blog
Just like with Kindle publishing, choosing whether you yourself should be writing on the blog or hiring out is a tough dilemma.
If you’re looking to make money writing a blog, you really need to love writing about whatever niche and topic you pick to build your blog on.
The challenge is that you will not see immediate results from your blogging efforts. This can be rather soul crushing when you are spending a lot of time and efforts to produce good content consistently.
So, what happens to a lot of bloggers is they lose motivation and give up.
For that reason, it is a good idea to hire freelance writers if you have some money to invest.
You don’t have to rely completely on third-party freelancers to produce all the content though. Instead, you can focus on producing a great pillar of main blog posts on the site, while freelancers can create the rest. That way, you will not have a burnout and your blog will not become a ghost town.
Ways to Make Money on a Blog
Once you have attracted a decent number of readers to your blog, there are several monetization opportunities you can pursue:
Affiliate marketing: promoting products or services that may be of interest to your audience, and whenever there is a sale, you will get a commission.
Accepting sponsored contents and working with brands
Creating your own products
Regardless of what monetization methods you choose, if you’re at the point where you CAN choose, you’re already treading steadily on the path of turning your blog into a business!
There are so many opportunities out there to make money writing, sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start. But after reading our article, you’ve got a pretty good idea and should be eager to get going! Anyone can do it and make good income in no time. Just follow the steps and methods covered in this article, and you will be all set as a freelance writer!