There are many, many ways that you can make money as a writer outside of creating a best selling novel. It’s rare, but some authors such Stephen King and J.K. Rowling become billionaires, but most authors do not make that much. In fact, many authors only make a small, secondary income with their writing.
There are several ways to make some money with your craft, but most of them are not highly creative by nature. In fact, finding a staff writing job in which you get paid to write whatever you want is something of a unicorn in the writing world. Only the elite get such staff positions and even then, there are restrictions.
Now, if you are not one of those elite, well established writers, we’ve got some ideas for where to start:
- Outsource.com is a great place to do some writing. You can freelance your work there, but it requires you to have a few references.
- Fiverr.com is also a great place to get started, but it does not pay a lot. If you are going to use Fiverr, make sure you try to upsale-that is, add on items of value for extra charge-as much as possible. Otherwise, you may not make much money.
- Freelance.com is a newer website that is free to join. At the time of the writing of this blog, I am not sure how much traffic you will get from using it but it is free to join.
- You can try to start a blog with your own content and build it via social media. Once you have built it up a bit, you can start using Google adwords to get money by customers clicking through to your website. It’s an easy way to build passive income.
- About.com takes submissions for new content for articles every so often. They tend to use the same writers, but it’s not unusual for them to hire new ones.
- Magazines, newspapers and bylines will often pay for articles, but not well at first. If you are an unknown, they will often try to get you to either pay them or to do it for “Exposure”. Do NOT give your work out for exposure. You worked hard for this. Don’t give it away for free. 90% of the time the exposure you get is so limited that you’re actually losing out by doing so.
- Contests can occur at any time of the year and can be for any amount of money. There are several major contests depending on your genre. You’ll have to google the terms “writing contests”, “juried writing contest” and “free writing contest” in order to find local and national contests that you would be interested in.
These are difficult and hard to get into. You may be rejected many, many times before you get a yes. J.K Rowling was reportedly told no more than ten times before Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was published. Stephen King was rejected for many years before Carrie ever saw a bookstand. Be prepared to get no after no.
With the advent of e-readers, there is a huge market in self publication. You will have to take on the cost of what you publish yourself, with your own advertising (or you can hire an ad company), but since you are putting all the work into one single electronic file, the overhead on this is minimum. Check out Amazon’s e-publishing forums for more information on how to do this.
Recently, I found myself out of a day job and needed some money. I did a quick search on line and found five websites for local businesses that had almost no content on their webpages. Now, in order to rank your webpage for SEO, you have to have some content.
I contacted the webmaster for each page and offered them a package deal to write and submit content to them to use on their webpage with a one time fee. One of these sites was for an above ground storm shelter. You can click on the link to see an example of what it looks like when you add content to a page. (It basically looks like a magazine spread.) If you know something more about website design, you can actually promote yourself as a full service designer using platforms like weebly, wordpress, wix, etc. Jobs like this will pay upwards of $5,000 if you’re good at it.
If you come across (or know of) more ways for someone to make money writing, please let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your tips on how to make money with you craft.