A common question I see on the Internet for freelance writing is finding the best ways to make money. There is just one problem with this question; it leads to incredibly biased answers. This is because everyone has their “cup of tea” when it comes to creating content. So, what can you do to make money putting words together?
In reality, the best method completely depends on you. Are you looking to be creative or do you simply want to produce blog posts for businesses? Perhaps you want to work at a major business and write articles for its website.
It all centers around what you want to do and your preference for writing styles. No one can guarantee that you’ll make a certain amount of money with a specific way for freelance writing. It’s subjective and doesn’t always mean you’ll have the same success as someone else.
Finding the Best Ways Succeed
The best thing I can do is give you some guidance regarding my own experiences with different methods. You will have to decide for yourself which are the best ways to make money.
Using Brokerage Websites
I have a proclivity towards brokerage websites like Textbroker and WriterAccess. These systems essentially introduce you to businesses and individuals looking for content. Most of the content I’ve created in the past for these sites involved quick and easy blog posts. However, I’ve done a few eBooks, manuals and magazine articles as well.
Even though you’re usually paid far less through systems like this, it’s a good place to start if you’re new. Companies like Textbroker are pretty good about making sure the authors are protected from fraud and are paid for their work.
Since 2012, I’ve seen an incredible jump in workload on these platforms. Mostly because more and more organizations are realizing how “content is king” on the Internet. Even online stores are building up blog sections to draw an audience. This is good for the freelance writer who wants to stay busy.
Getting a Regular Retainer Client
As a freelance writer, you’ll come across clients who want to put you on retainer for creating content. This is perhaps one of the best ways to make money, at least for me. This means you are paid regardless of how much content you create. It usually also means you’re paid more than a lot of other systems.
For example, I make more money with my current client than I do writing on Textbroker. The trade-off is that I am essentially on call to create content or fix mistakes – which is a good fit for me. I love writing for the company and working with the people.
I like getting retainers because it’s a way to “guarantee” a paycheck every month. At least, it does according to your contract. It’s better than crossing your fingers and hoping there will be jobs available for the day on other brokerage sites.
The flip-side to retainers, though, is they can usually cancel the contract at any time. This means you need to make sure you’re diversifying as a writer. It shouldn’t put you in a financial crisis to lose a retainer.
Offering Services Privately
This is something I’ve done in the past with real-life clients. People would pay me directly to put content on their sites. It’s something I’ve been thinking about setting up on this website, but I haven’t got around to it yet.
Private services are excellent methods for making money as a freelance writer. It gives you more control over pay, and gives you a bit more flexibility in scheduling and content. However, it also comes with its own issues, such as clients who try to scam you out of money by not paying.
Even if you set up a contact form on your blog to get clients, always make sure your backing everything up with a contract. It’ll protect you in the event of going to small claims court and gives the client a sense you’re professional.
The Internet is full of people trying to make a living with blogging. In reality, creating a successful blog is incredibly difficult depending on your niche and content. Not everyone can step into this cyber arena of words and bring in that Adsense money.
Out of all the methods I’ve tried in the past, creating blogs for myself has been the least lucrative. On the other hand, there are a lot of things that count against my lack of success.
- A lack of consistent content.
I don’t blog as often as I should if I want to make a living at it.
- The type of content I create.
The few niches I write are just not that popular in search terms.
- A lack of solid marketing.
I don’t spend a great deal of time marketing my blogs like I should.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible to make a decent living while blogging. Just don’t expect to replace a full-time income overnight. Too many variables come into play for blogging to be a complete success.
On the upside, blogging gives you absolute control of the content you create. If you can find good ways to monetize your site and are able to draw an audience, you essentially begin writing for yourself…without trying to satisfy clients.
However, you do need to satisfy readers if you want them to keep coming back to read your stuff.
Publishing a Novel
I haven’t published a novel…yet. However, I come from a family of writers. Both my sister and mother have books available on Amazon right now (links are in the sidebar under My Family’s Books if you’re interested.)
In my situation, there is too much involved to get something published. Agents, editors, graphic artists and more need to be involved to reach a certain level of success. Currently, I don’t have the money for any of it. Of course, I also don’t have a manuscript outside of Wattpad to even attempt publishing anyway.
Publishing is still one of the best ways to make money as a writer because it has potential to pay out royalties long after the work is complete. Not to mention it helps get your name out there in the world as a published author. Needless to say, it looks stellar on a resume.
The downside to publishing is the time and critics. It takes an extremely long time to get a book properly published through certain channels. In a world where instant gratification is rampant, a lot of people are turned away from the months they have to invest to see their books in Barnes and Noble.
Once I get to a certain place in my life, I’m going to self-publish my first book. Using Create Space, or other similar service, I am going to do the whole thing myself. This is more to learn how the process works than it is to really offer a successful title.
Self-publishing can be among the best ways to make money as a writer, but it takes a hell of a commitment. The most important aspect is perhaps marketing. Sure, Create Space will help you get listed in Amazon. However, you’ll need to go beyond search criteria if you really want to make an impact.
You don’t make as much when you use self-publishing systems, either. Most of them are centered around “book-to-order,” which means they only print when someone makes a purchase. This means your cut of each sale is lower because you have to pay for printing expenses on the spot.
On the other hand, this also means you don’t have to come up with an investment on your own to pay for printing.
Another one of the best ways to secure success as a freelance writer is through networking. The more people you know who can benefit your career, the better. This is the premise behind using systems like LinkedIn. From a professional standpoint, you never know who is looking at your social profile.
And don’t just center your efforts around online social hubs, either. Attending industry events and handing out business cards is still an effective way to get your name in certain circles as a writer.
Sure, social sites offer a way to engage people from around the world. But there is something to be said about shaking a few hands and meeting people in person. Engage the right people at these events, and you could be set in terms of making more money.
What Do You Have a Fondness For?
Every writer has a penchant for specific ways to earn a paycheck. Unfortunately, none of them can guarantee you’ll have the same success. It’s all about finding the best ways for you and what you’re leaning towards. Then, make sure you put in 100% to maximize the possibility of making money. Don’t expect success to just drop in your lap.