Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Always keep in mind that content is king. As such, there are a lot of different ways you can make money by writing that content. Whether it’s for yourself or a client, you can earn a full-time income from home by slapping words up on the Internet.
But how many of them are realistic? Sure, some experts will toss out 100 ways you can succeed as a writer. Unfortunately, a lot of them will fall short of the bar.
To be honest, most of those people just want to rack up the list in order to look good in a Google search.
Though, you can find a kernel of truth in just about every one of these “making money” articles. Today, I’m merely breaking down the methods I’ve seen and experienced as a writer.
In other words, these are methods that I know for a fact to work…at least from my perspective.
Make Money by Writing: 7 Practical Things You Can Do Today
Today, I’m looking more at the actual methods that you can use to make money online as a writer. Although I cannot guarantee your success, these are methods that have helped me bring in enough to buy my house.
Granted, it’s not a mansion. But I don’t have to sweat paying my bills today.
1. Freelance with Content Mills, such as Textbroker
Content mills will always have a special place in my heart. After all, sites like Textbroker are what kick-started my career. In fact, I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars off of content mills since 2012.
Content mills helped me learn AP Style writing, how to manage a variety of client types, and gave me the experience to grow.
Now, the main purpose of a content mill is to crank out as much content as possible in a short period of time. So, you can’t spend hours agonizing while proofreading. And most clients just want quick and readable content for their websites.
The drawback to content mills, though, is that you don’t get paid nearly what you’re worth in comparison to private clients. Still, it’s easy money coming in while you look for other writing work.
2. Find Private Clients While Freelancing
The number one method of generating income for myself is through private clients. This takes out the middleman of content mills and usually ends with you making more per word or per project.
That’s because a lot of serious businesses will pay writers fairly well if they demonstrate expertise and professionalism.
This is why it’s important to flesh out your LinkedIn profile. A lot of businesses use LinkedIn to find quality writers. In fact, I get inquiries every week from both businesses and headhunters.
In any case, a private client can open a slew of doors you didn’t think were available. And I’m not just talking about income, either. Before 2020, GreenGeeks used to send me to WordCamps, which was an incredible experience in itself.
3. Using Job Boards or Applying for Employment Directly
Some companies will use job boards, have applications available on their websites, or both. A lot of them are looking for in-house writers as employees complete with benefits and such.
Sure, freelancing can deliver a wide range of benefits for a writer. But some of us may simply want a job with a guaranteed income for work performed.
I know I miss having an office space. Seriously, I’ve been working for myself from out of my home since 2013. I miss company Christmas parties and barbecues.
Though, you may want to be careful when using some job boards. A lot of them are aggregators that often have listings that are obsolete and outdated.
4. Blogging Sites Such as Vocal, Medium, and Hubpages
Some sites will pay you for simply creating content. That is as long as you can write something people want to read. I recently did a 30-day experiment with Vocal and plan on doing the same for Hubpages and Medium.
The bottom line is that you can get paid to write articles if you can engage an audience.
The nice thing about Vocal.media, Medium, or Hubpages is that you have complete control over what you create. Just make sure you’re writing something people want to read.
Some of these don’t have the highest payout, though.
5. Find Paying Guest Post Sites
Some websites will hire writers to create guest post content. This means you’re not technically on the payroll, but they will still pay you a bit of cash for writing something relevant for the website.
The amount of pay depends greatly on the website, though.
For example, I’ve seen some sites offer $50 while some have gone as high as $250. Plus, it also depends on how much content they want and how long the articles are in terms of words.
Still, I know they are out there are can help keep a few bills paid throughout the month.
A few of these websites will also let you keep the byline, which means you are not a ghostwriter. In that case, you can add the article as part of your resume or repertoire for creating content.
6. Make Money Writing by Self-Publishing a Book
Now, I’ve seen a lot of writing “experts” out there trying to say that you can make a lot of money self-publishing a book. While there is a bit of potential in having a book to sell, it’s not as easy as these experts make it seem.
In fact, I’m starting to wonder just how many of these experts have actually published a book.
If you write something amazing, that’s only part of the equation. When you self-publish a novel, you also have to market the book. Otherwise, no one is going to know it’s there to be read.
You can’t just crank out a 60,000-word masterpiece and assume people are going to buy it en masse.
On the upside, a well-written book can be an incredible addition to a resume. Especially if it’s geared toward your preferred niche or industry.
7. Set Up a Blog, Which You Should Do Anyway
A lot of people have made a great deal of money from blogging. And while there is a lot of potential for monetization, it also depends on the type of content you create and if you can keep people coming back.
Not to mention learning how to write for SEO if you want to show up in a Google search.
Out of all the methods I’ve used, blogging is definitely among my top for making money. However, a lot of that has come from sponsored posts, writing reviews, and companies giving me free services and products.
Still, every professional writer should have a blog for a variety of reasons. For one, you can set up a contact form, which hiring managers and brands will use to get in touch.
There are actually quite a few benefits of having a blog outside of monetizing it with ad revenue.
How Do I Make the Most Money While Writing?
Out of all the different methods I’ve used to make a living as a writer, there are three that stand out the most. These are the platforms that have generated the most income since 2012.
My top three methods for making money as a writer are:
- Working with private clients
- Ghostwriting for content mills
- Writing for my own blogs
These are rated in overall income. I’ve made more money from private clients than anything over the years. Though, the blog is quickly catching up to content mills in terms of totals, mostly because of the occasionally, high-paying sponsorship.
Keep in mind that everyone will have their own experiences as a writer. Some of you may not have a single interest in using content mills or creating a blog. And that’s perfectly fine.
The trick is to find methods that you thoroughly enjoy so you can get the most out of the experience.
Things to Keep in Mind as an Online Writer
There’s more to being an online writer than just being able to crank out a piece of content for a client. Some people don’t look at the backend of how things work, overall.
Let me break down some of the most prominent things you need to keep in mind to make money while writing content online.
You’ll Need to Write A LOT of Content
Unless you’re incredibly lucky and find that one client who’ll toss all kinds of money your way for a handful of articles each month, you’ll need to write a lot of content to have financial stability.
In the beginning, I ranged between 6,000 and 10,000 words per day while writing on content mills. This was to help me quit my job and write full-time.
Keeping Track of Your Own Financial Needs
If you’re working for yourself as a freelance writer or novelist, you’ll need to manage your own financial responsibilities. This includes taxes, retirement, insurance, vacation “pay,” sick days, and much more.
Most of us don’t get a “benefits” package. Some speculate this is why a lot of companies are hiring freelancers today…it’s cheaper for them in the long term.
Diversify Your Income to Make More Money Writing
Don’t simply rely on one stream of income. If you’re using Textbroker, use WriterAccess and Fiverr at the same time. Invest time in a variety of different income streams.
This will help prevent you from losing cash throughout the week should one stream dry up a bit.
Make More Money by Learning and Improving Your Writing
One of the greatest investments I made, in the beginning, was that of time. I spent a lot of hours researching Google on how to become a better writer. And it’s helped me land some extremely lucrative opportunities.
Never assume you know everything. The more you learn, especially when it comes to SEO, the more you’ll make; it’s that simple.
Don’t Write When Exhausted
I learned a valuable lesson when trying to juggle my full-time job and freelance writing. The more tired I was at night, the more revisions I had to perform the next morning when writing content.
Some of us can easily write late at night. Unfortunately, I can’t. It comes out all kinds of broken, which then makes me spend time fixing those errors instead of moving on to the next paying project.
Not Everyone is Cut Out to Be a Writer
Unfortunately, a lot of people who want to jump into being an online writer simply don’t have the staying power to see it through. It can be grueling at times, writing thousands of words every day.
And if you can’t string a grammatically correct sentence together while writing, you’re not going to make much money. Grammar plays a massive role in your success.
What Methods Interest You to Make Money While Writing?
As you can see, the Internet is full of ways a writer can make a decent living. Success merely comes down to how motivated you are to explore those different areas.
Well, and being able to complete a coherent sentence.
My ultimate goal would be to spend my days blogging and working on my next book. Yes, I love my job and really enjoy the work I do for GreenGeeks. But I’ve always had a fascination with being an author.
Still, I go where the money is as I have a mortgage to pay.
When it comes to how you want to make money, what platforms interest you the most for writing?
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