Make Money Writing: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

laptop and hands showing how to to make money writing

Last Updated on February 22, 2021

Don’t know how to monetize your writing skills? Or maybe you’re totally new to writing and just want to get started. Whatever your case is, this guide will teach you how to make money writing starting today.

There are many things to do with the extra cash. It can be paying your bills on time, saving for something big, or even having fun without worrying about debt. The better you get at writing, the more your chances of enjoying these benefits.

For most people, books are what come to mind when they hear the word “writer.” While becoming an author is one way to generate an income by writing, it isn’t the only one. If you’re ready to know these other ways, read on.

7 Ultimate Ways to Make Money Writing Online

More people today are making extra money writing from home. Of course, the road isn’t easy. But you can get there through your efforts.

Here are the best ways to earn money as a writer online:

1. Create a blog.

Blogging isn’t how it used to be some years back. You could just wake up and start writing random stuff that aligns with your passion. Today, making money is part of the idea.

In a nutshell, the steps to create a blog are as follows:

  • Choose a profitable niche. While passion is a great deciding factor, you also need to write about what people are searching for on the Internet. That’s the only way Internet users can be driven to your written content. Do some research online and you’ll find several niche options.
  • Buy a domain and web hosting. You’re required to name your blog and give it an extension such as .com, .org, or .net. It’s good to go with your name or something related to what you’ll be writing. Visit a domain registration site like Bluehost to purchase the domain name plus hosting. In fact, Bluehost now offers a free domain and site protection for its hosting packages.
  • Write and publish blog posts. In this step, you use WordPress. It’s one of the best website builders used by bloggers. Most hosting sites offer a simple WordPress installation.

You don’t need to be an expert to start a blog. However, all niches require you to be somehow knowledgeable of what you share.

If you feel you aren’t qualified to blog about something, learn about it first and then share your experiences with readers. You can even hire someone for writing or proofreading.

After that, promote the blog on your desired social networks. In my case, I prefer focusing on not more than three of them.

Once you start getting traffic, it’s possible to earn from your blog through ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts. Earning takes some time and varies a lot for different blogs.

2. Contribute your articles to other sites.

If you aren’t ready to start a blog, this is another option to make money writing articles. Many blogs and other sites pay writers for their contributions. You only need to craft an informative and well-researched piece to get a chunk of the money.

First, decide on a suitable niche. Similar to running your own blog, it has to be something you’re knowledgeable about. After that, find some sites that accept article contributions in the niche. The easiest way to find them is through a Google search.

Some sites require you to pitch your article ideas before you start writing. You may need to proceed and submit the entire article for others. You get paid once they approve it.

The earnings depend on factors such as word count, your level of expertise, and how big the site is. It can be anything in the range of $50-$500 per article. Established writers earn more than those who are just starting out.

Keep in mind that there are sites that don’t pay for contributions. In such a case, you can get a link to another page and benefit from the sites’ traffic. For instance, you may link to your social handles or a landing page where you promote a product or service.

Just remember to read any site’s contributor guidelines to understand what’s in it for you.

3. Become a freelance writer.

Freelance writing involves writing for individuals and companies on specific assignments without being employed. It’s one of the most popular online businesses with workers from all around the world.

The two broad categories of freelance writers are generalists and specialists. A generalist freelance writer works with clients on various topics. A specialist freelance writer is one who specializes in a particular niche.

Being general in freelance writing gives you a chance to earn from every opportunity you get. Specializing enables you to be skilled in particular topics and be ranked higher by clients.

On that note, here are some types of freelance writing services to offer:

  • Content writing: You write blog posts and other content for sites. Skills such as SEO can go a long way in this type of freelance writing.
  • Freelance blogging: The concept is similar to content writing, except you work with particular blogs for an extended period. It’s another way to earn money blogging even if you don’t own a blog.
  • Copywriting: This is the act of writing texts, also known as copies, for marketing purposes. They include product descriptions, white papers, social media posts, sales emails, and landing pages.
  • Ghostwriting: It involves writing a type of text while someone else is credited for your work. For instance, writing an e-book under your client’s name.
  • Editing: It’s all about proofreading content written by others. You check for grammar mistakes, formatting issues, and other errors before the publication of a text.

Freelance marketplaces are popular for finding writing gigs. Some sites to check out are Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour. Be sure to read this article on finding clients online to learn the other strategies.

Once you land your first client, give them the best work possible. That’s how you get more opportunities and positive reviews.

4. Write an e-book.

An e-book enables you to share information with an audience in a digital format. Because many people spend time on their phones and computers, writing an e-book is an easy way to reach them at a low cost.

Your e-book can be fiction or non-fiction. Fiction e-books are all about stories while non-fiction ones mostly focus on solving people’s problems. Most non-fiction e-books are how-to guides and tips on topics such as money, health, and relationships.

And that brings us to the quick steps of writing an e-book:

  • Choose a topic. It should be something that aligns with the interests of your target audience. It’s best to set aside enough time for researching your audience’s needs so that you cover them in the e-book.
  • Start writing. Format your text to enhance readability. Have sections such as an introduction, table of contents, and chapters.
  • Design your e-book. Do it yourself or use the e-book templates available online. You need an attractive cover that makes potential readers want to read your e-book.

Depending on what you’re writing, there might be more work involved. It’s good to gather ideas by reading other people’s successful works and striving to make yours better. You can even hire someone to help you craft a perfect e-book.

When everything is set, publish your work. One simple way to do this is through Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP allows authors to self-publish e-books at no cost and reach millions of readers on Amazon.

The company pays you a royalty per purchase. Kindle books with a royalty of 35 percent are those priced from $0.99-$2.98 or above $9.99. You’re eligible to earn a 70 percent royalty if you price your e-book between $2.99 and $9.99.

5. Submit short stories and poems online.

This is a perfect option to make money writing if you’re a creative person. Because many people consume content on their screens, a lot of publishing companies accept short stories and poems from writers online.

Short stories can earn you money in two ways. One way is to release a series of free short stories to build a fan base for something bigger like a novel. The other option is to monetize them right away.

Some online publications to submit short stories and poems and get paid are:

  • AGNI: Any writer, whether published or unpublished, can submit a short story or poem to AGNI. They have no word limits. When you’re accepted, you earn $10 per printed page for stories and $20 per page for poetry.
  • Boulevard Magazine: This literary magazine accepts fiction, non-fiction, and poems from both experienced and beginner writers. The compensation is $100-$300 for stories of up to 8,000 words. As for poems, it’s $50-$250 for up to 200 lines.
  • Slice Magazine: They welcome short stories and poetry from established and emerging authors with fresh voices. The maximum word count is 5,000 words. Slice contributors get a monetary reward of $400 for stories and $100 for poems.

Keep in mind that some submission opportunities might not be available at certain times because of deadlines. If you miss out on one publication, go for another.

Remember, having more titles to your name increase your chances of getting published and hence generating extra income. Also, they should be unique and not anywhere else online.

6. Sell lyrics to a song.

If writing song lyrics is your passion, you can become a paid lyricist. Unlike songwriters who write and compose songs in general, lyricist roles involve writing lyrics only. You get a chance to collaborate with other writers, songwriters, and musicians while earning.

You don’t need a degree to write song lyrics. All you need is a strong understanding of music. However, taking some short courses related to music or creative writing can go a long way toward enhancing your skills.

Having a portfolio to showcase your lyrical works is useful for acquiring lyricist jobs. You can either upload your lyrics to a website or put them in digital document form.

While pitching to potential clients, you only need to include a link or the file containing some of your best lyrics. These clients include individual artists, music publishers, and even TV companies.

Some places to find selling opportunities are genre-specific Internet forums, social media groups, and job boards. Such online platforms also enable you to find people with similar interests and network with them.

Better yet, use a lyric-selling site such as Songbay to find buyers. Songbay allows you to set your sale fees and you get to keep all your generated income. Their selling options include licensing and copyright exchanges.

7. Get paid for writing screenplays.

While it can be challenging to get a major film studio to buy your screenplays, it’s still possible to make a living writing and selling them. If you’re a beginner screenwriter, it’s best to start with smaller streaming services and independent filmmakers while establishing yourself.

For you to ever sell a script, it needs to be worth buying. One simple way to find out how good you are is by submitting your work to major contests for feedback. It might take time to craft something that attracts the attention of potential buyers.

IMDbPro is one of the best sites for finding a list of people to pitch to. Send your email queries to the right people for better results. For instance, your chances of getting your drama script accepted lie in emailing companies that make dramas.

Many screenwriting gigs require you to write a number of scripts under strict deadlines. So, you may have to put in lots of effort to earn money writing scripts.

What You Need to Start Writing

No one needs to mention that you need typing equipment such as a personal computer. You’ll also need some software to make the process easier.

Here are the basic tools you need to start writing:

  • Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a necessary tool when it comes to writing and editing various types of documents. It’s an established word processor that has been around long enough to be used by almost everyone. Unlike plain text editors, MS word has features such as spell check, grammar check, and text formatting.

  • Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing assistant that you need for creating high-quality written content. Its features go beyond regular grammar checkers. With Grammarly, it’s easy to check for issues in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and plagiarism.

You can create a free account on Grammarly to enjoy the basic writing suggestions. Their premium package has advanced features that are perfect for improving the style, tone, and clarity of your writing. They also have a browser extension, making it simple to edit your work when you’re typing anywhere online.

  • Google Docs

This is another free word processor that you can access from anywhere. Its online features enable you to share your documents with other people. This means you can have someone view and even edit your written content remotely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I earn money from writing?

Yes, you can! Finding your first writing gig can be challenging. But it gets easier to generate more income once you land a few clients.

How much money can you make from writing?

Your earnings can be a few cents per word as a beginner and hundreds or thousands of dollars per project when you establish yourself. It depends on your type of writing, level of expertise, work hours, and other factors.

How do writers get paid?

When it comes to getting paid as a writer, there are several methods of payment. Some payment methods are PayPal, checks, and electronic bank transfer.

If you’re working directly with a client, you’re free to request your desired payment method. As for online platforms, most have several flexible options to choose from.

Wrapping It up

Writing is an activity that happens a lot among people who make money online. It can be articles, copies, creative writing, and more.

Choose one type of writing from the list that you’re good at and start monetizing your skills. If you’re just starting out, go for what you feel comfortable to try and stick with it.

It’s possible to make money writing only if you’re open to learning new things and perfecting how you do them.

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About Mike Stuzzi

I'm a blogger and Internet entrepreneur who loves writing about money. I help Millennials become money-minded, make money, and manage their finances effectively.

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