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Making Money Writing: 6 Ways to Get Paid for Writing in 2021

10 Mins read

There are more ways than ever to start making money writing, even if you don’t have a fancy degree or a bunch of author bylines. Thanks to the Information Age, the internet has made both informational content and persuasive copywriting into highly valued skills!

Why You Should Consider Making Money Writing

Making money online has never been more accessible! And it’s going to become even more so, with the new technological revolution fast-forwarding into today’s world.

Suppose you’re sitting at home and scrolling through pages online (which is obviously likely due to recent events – cough cough). If you can browse the internet, then you have the ability to work in the online gig economy.

In this post, you’ll discover the best ways to start making money writing, as well as the market trends you can hop on to, regardless of your previous experience! Ready to learn?

making money writing
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How to Make Money Writing


General writing trends gravitate towards media production and content writing. Media and content production outputs have never been higher due to the 2020 pandemic. This natural shift has pushed more and more users online.

The average time spent online per user has skyrocketed, and the demand for content has risen with it. Fortunately, content writing and copywriting don’t require anything but a computer and a stable internet connection. The rest is up to your way with words!

What is copywriting, and how exactly do you start making money writing?

Copywriting as a phenomenon generally confuses people. The most common questions are: Is it someone else’s idea, repackaged as mine? Am I a copywriter if I write my blog? What is it exactly?

The most straightforward explanation lies in one simple word: sales. Copywriting (often used as shorthand for “direct response copywriting”) is mainly used to encourage buyers to take certain actions, such as Facebook advertisements, email marketing messages, and product sales pages.

In the United States, this type of job is worth an average of $50,000 to $60,000 per year. Not too bad, huh?

making money writing
Picture courtesy of Glassdoor.com

Why are writings gigs popular?

The answer is fascinating. The world as we know it is rapidly shifting towards the brave new world of digital. So far, people have shown resistance to online jobs, which has created a market gap for these services that’s filled by people looking to cash in on their writing skills.

A lot of companies or registered online businesses can’t afford a full-time employee, so they turn to the gig economy to stay relevant online. In most cases, they started doing business with regular people, people they never met – like you, sitting at home, looking for work.

This way, the companies cut internal costs, but can still afford to pay you to get the job done. This freelance or contract work arrangement is a win-win model that’s only projected to keep growing.  

Plus, there are some great benefits to writing. For one thing, it can be surprisingly lucrative, and includes the flexibility to chose your working hours and where you work. Once you grasp what is necessary for you to succeed, you can significantly add to your monthly budget.

And if you like to travel, the global trend of digital nomads – people working solely online – is rising. Countries like Barbados, Bermuda, Costa Rica, and Thailand are allowing people to live and work under the digital nomad visa, often in spite of their exorbitant incomes. What a gig!

making money writing
Image courtesy of Pexels

What are the obstacles?

This type of work isn’t for everybody. Suppose you’re not part of a company, but work for yourself with various clients.

In that case, you won’t necessarily get a secure and steady paycheck. Your full earnings depend on you and your skills and abilities. You can’t count on guaranteed payments. However, the instability of freelancing is another issue, not only specific to writing.

Considering the pluses mentioned earlier, it’s worth acknowledging the unglamorous things that a writer deals with. It’s easy to experience instability, which is why many people get concerned that if they allow this career to become a reality, their livelihood will be jeopardized.

Realistically, if you’re good at writing, that’s not likely to happen. Writing and communications are in very high demand across virtually every industry. Anyone willing to put in the work can surely succeed, but not without a sound plan.

Experience shows that poorly defined targeting in job seeking and a general misunderstanding of the tasks themselves create barriers for new writers to find their niche. As such, you have to be self-reflective, understand what motivates you, and acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses.

Not all jobs are related to copywriting, nor are the more notable job-seeking trends focused on only one writing product. Blogging is great, but if you’re not cut out for it, or it’s too time-consuming to own your website, it might not be the way to go.

making money writing
Image courtesy of Pexels

Additionally, writing from gig to gig for a vast array of clients can require extensive research about topics you’ve perhaps avoided throughout your life. As a writer, your primary motivation can’t just be to make enough money to survive.

Some monotonous tasks can demotivate you, and it might not pay you well enough at first until you’ve proven yourself. Before shifting towards an online writing career, you should understand the basic market needs and adjust your writing style and pace accordingly.

Ultimately, to make a switch from where you are to where you want to be, you’ll need a foundation on which to build. You should think about it as trying to build a small business from the ground up, so it’s important to network, diversify, and plan.

Now, the question is, what kind of writing should you do? Here are some ideas on how exactly you can start making money writing.

How Can I Really Make Money Writing?


1) Blog for yourself – make the most money per month

This business model might be the most lucrative of them all, but is still more unstable than others. This is the reason why it is listed first. The blogging industry is worth well over $400 billion, and there is no reason you shouldn’t participate.

You can opt-in to try to build a community around things that you are passionate about. For instance, travel blogging itself holds a large percentage of the blogging industry. Possible expansion of your business models can vary. Still, you can make money not only by writing but through ads as well – an action you can further explore on our blog.

making money writing
Picture courtesy of WeAreTheCurious

You can create additional income through deals with travel agencies, hotels, and much more. These are just some examples, but adjusting your online business model to diversify your income streams is vital for growing your total earnings.

Additionally, writing your content might not be a long-term goal. You can hire your writers as soon as you generate enough ad income to make your blog sustainable. Visitors and the general community created around your blog can make your life much easier and your blog sustainable. You have to stay on track regarding the quantity and quality of your content. Be mindful of SEO optimization as well.

If you don’t know how to monetize your blog correctly, read our in-depth guide to making money from blogging HERE.

And if you are looking to start making your blog website, but aren’t sure how to get started, you can grab a site domain and host your site via web hosting services such as Bluehost.

2) Write marketing content for businesses

Content marketing is a very lucrative industry as well. Most of today’s active online marketers use content marketing as one of their core drivers of business growth.

But for this marketing model to be successful, job seekers need professional writers to optimize text for SEO and write in an engaging and accessible way. This job is a career in itself since SEO optimization is ever-changing. When mastered, it can be a valuable asset to any team you might be working with in the future.

Suppose it hasn’t become clear by now. In that case, it is an understatement to say that proficiency in the English language is a critical skill to have before engaging in any of these jobs. But remember, you have to be marketable to succeed. Try hoarding experience by simply getting yourself out there. The best way to learn how this job is done is to begin. For more details on how you can freelance as a content writer, keep reading!

Image Courtesy of Pexels

3) Write for magazines and publications as a journalist

Being a freelance journalist might save you from media content you might not be comfortable writing in the first place. As a freelance writer, you are self-employed – and basically your own editor – so you can submit your work to whatever newspaper you choose to write for. They pay you for any piece of writing that they print.

This can turn into successful, long-lasting collaborations and might help you in the long run, depending on your years of experience. If you are just getting started, then this type of writing is generally not recommended. Its nature can vary, and quick adaptation for different topics is necessary.

Still, some journalism principles apply, so a complete beginner might not know how to approach more high-paying jobs.

4) Write as a sales copywriter

This opportunity comes with its most crucial skill the power of persuasion. You will write about products you might not have seen before, and have no experience with. Your writing has to be engaging and welcoming to all visitors, regardless of the outlet. Informative and exciting style is the perfect receipt for action calls.

This is key for your pitch since you make your money after the sale has been made, or a lead page followed. Sales are key, and you’ll have to rely on your entire skillset as a copywriter to succeed. Any entry-level jobs have low rates, be it hourly or per word. You have to understand that the competition in this specific writers’ market is high.

Still, the demand for skilled writers is also soaring. Finding the balance and finding potential long-term clients is vital, so to all of you deciding to go for this option!

5) Write for Medium

Medium is a platform for producing and distributing content. You can see it as a “writer’s YouTube.” This website’s uniqueness shows in the fact that you can get paid directly for writing blog posts. Suppose you want to use Medium as your main online income or only as a side job. In that case, you should know more about how to approach this website.

To get an in-depth view on how you should get paid through Medium, read our guide to making money on Medium HERE.

6) Enter writing competitions

They will boost your CV, for sure. Winning a writing competition, besides financial gain, gets you some fame as well. This type of writing gig can prove to be a fantastic asset when networking. Regardless, high skilled writers who know what they are doing should definitely apply.

Popular Sites to Find Writing Opportunities


Create a profile on a freelance site such as Upwork, Freelancer, or ProBlogger and career boards and apply for writing gigs. Learn by doing, and gain experience that might lead you to a higher paying client pool and a more successful path. The easiest way to experience is to register on one of the websites offering gigs.

The most popular ones are:

Craigslist

There are plenty of available opportunities but be vary of the payment methods. If your content doesn’t perform well, you might find yourself disappointed.

Upwork

With three million jobs posted annually, worth over $1 billion, you can surely try and find your gig here. The website is funded through your work, so payment might be a little less than expected. But, there are also some other freelancing websites available. Make sure to check out our Fiverr vs Upwork review.

Contently

There is an entrance barrier, but if you manage to be active on this platform consistently, you can get as much as $1 per word, leading to significant earnings. Experience and know-how are required.

ProBlogger

Consistency and visitors constantly reading your blog posts can make you earn good money. Still, experience and personal skillset might be an obstacle in entering this market.

Visit all of them, and see for yourself how the job market operates. Look through ads that might suit your profile, and try and connect. If anything, you will fail, try something else, or go back to your regular job —nothing wrong in trying. But be careful; all of these services do take a fee. Don’t be surprised if the job worth is lower than presented.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between content writing and copywriting?

The most significant difference is purpose. Copywriting, at its core, has a call to action of some sort, whether it’s for sales, generating leads, or collecting new subscribers. Content writing serves to present a concept, idea, or product without directly calling for action (though you’ll often still include more subtle or soft CTAs).

Your writing style should adapt to the general public and the format you’re using. Try to avoid formalities as much as possible and put yourself in the visitor’s shoes.

How much can I make with freelance writing?

If writing is your primary job and you’re good enough at it, you can earn at least $30.000 per year.

How do I win writing competitions?

If you’re into poetry or fiction, the best way to win is not to do improve at your craft and understand what the judges want. Being aware and not overthinking things you can’t change will help. Focus on the characters, plot, and form, and your writing will surely improve over time.

Making Money Writing – Is It Worth It?


Generally, yes – if you’re looking for a side hustle or to own a full-time freelance writing business. In that case, there are more than enough opportunities for you. If you don’t currently have a developed network, you’ll have to keep trying. Unfortunately, jobs won’t usually fall in your lap due to market competitiveness.

However, if you manage to build your client portfolio, you can earn enough not to quit. Your success is more dependent on the quality of your writing style and individual approach to each task, rather than just knowing how to write. Marketing skills might help you along the way.

In today’s market, knowing all of the mentioned skills and constantly developing them will keep you competitive is best. You should be aware of the low supply, high demand trends for the services you offer and position yourself for success in your niche.

No one says it will be easy, but it is worth a shot if you think this job is for you. Good luck!

P.S. Writing is a great opportunity, but far from the ONLY option to start earning money online! Read our guide to making money online in 2021 for more information!

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