Earning money from the comfort of their home at the times most suitable for them is a dream that many people have turned into their reality already. There are more than enough ways to earn some extra cash or, why not, even make your home-based business your main stream of revenue, from coaching to designing websites and from creating apps to playing games. For those that love writing and wish to put their creativity and ideas forward to make a living as writers, here are some handy tips to help you achieve your goal.
The Key to Becoming a Full-Time Writer
Right now, there must be hundreds if not thousands of wannabe writers waiting for that chance to break into the writing industry. Want to know why most of them never earn a penny? They don’t take into consideration the practicalities of becoming a writer, either full- or part-time. They refuse to think about the self-doubt, the rejection, the uncertainty, and all the little things that will force them to break that pink bubble that encloses their dream. They just hope one day something will happen and everything will miraculously come true.
We all know that things don’t work that way. To be able to stand a chance, you need a solid strategy; a concrete, specific plan to take you where you want to be. You need to ground yourself and everything around your dream in reality and learn all the hows related to making a living as a writer. Admittedly, the more realistic the plan, the better your chances are. To get a grasp of such a plan, you will find some of the most realistic ways to earn some extra cash from writing, right below.
Write Guest Articles
Major publications will always be craving for quality content. As an aspiring writer, you need to start from somewhere. Finding popular blogs, journals, and magazines will give you a great head start on the (fierce) competition. Of course, Rome was not built overnight so don’t expect results to come in a couple of days. But, with hard work and persistence, you WILL be able to earn money as a writer.
As a guest blogger (this is what writing for other blogs is called) is typically an unpaid task. It might be a bummer at first but it will give you the opportunity to create an online portfolio and make your name known in the digital world. However, there are also sites that pay for guest articles. Here is an indicative list of such sites that pay between $50 and $2000 per post to help you out.
If you are a writer specializing in:
I. Business, Finance, and/or Career
• CEO Hangout
• eCommerce Insiders
• Penny Hoarder
II. General Interest & Lifestyle
• International Wine Accessories blog
• New York Observer
• Smithsonian Magazine Online
• A List Apart
• Graphic Design School blog
IV. Food & Travel
• Desert Times
• International Wine Accessories blog
• Big Grey Horse
• Fund Your Life Overseas
• Cultures and Cuisines
• Freedom with Writing
• Make a Living Writing
Now, if you enjoy writing essays, you could consider Cosmopolitan.com, Narratively, Skirt, and Dame, while for patenting- and family-related topics, Parent.co, Just Parents, Babble, and Well Family are great places to look for paid guest posts. As you can understand, a little online research will get you a long way in finding sites that will pay you to write for them, based on your field of expertise or what you like writing about the most.
And, don’t forget that guest posting can lead you to other paid work, especially when you start establishing an online reputation as a writer. So, definitely wroth considering.
Write For Specific Audiences
Sure you have heard lots about content marketing lately, right? It is a section/part of marketing that focuses on the creation of valuable content to help websites/brands build trust, credibility, and a loyal following. It is no wonder that more and more businesses are hungry for great content to increase traffic and conversions, and promote brand awareness. This could be case studies, white papers, articles, you name it. See the opportunity here? This need for content has created a market for you, provided you can write for a specific audience.
The bad news is that it won’t be easy (yet, not impossible) to break into this market, considering the competition. The key here is to be patient and be ready to roll up your sleeves and get down to business seriously. You may try out freelance marketplaces, like Upwork. Once you have established a track record of projects you have nailed, you will be free to negotiate higher payments.
Nevertheless, besides understanding the target niche and building a portfolio that showcases your content writing skills, you also need to understand the fundamentals of SEO and marketing too so that you can get the bigger picture. This will make you much more desirable, as business people always appreciate working with individuals that know as much as possible about what can make their business successful.
A great way to stand out from the masses is to build your own blog and demonstrate your expertise through guest posting and blogging.
Write a Kindle Best-Seller
A few years ago, self-publishing options were often rejected as non-viable options while writing a best-selling book was extremely difficult. Luckily, today It is a much more realistic and achievable dream, thanks to Kindle and Amazon that allow authors to self-publish their book(s) and make money from writing. It still is not easy to earn cash from writing books, especially if you think that writing one good book is all you need to hit it big in this market. On the contrary, you will need sales from much more than one book to secure a full-time income. So, it is better to focus on targeting an establish market with a solid demand from readers.
Writing books as a means to generate income to support and sustain your needs and the needs of your loved ones should come hand-in-hand with a commercial/business mindset. At first, you must gain some traction. This means that you will probably need to publish several books before you can accomplish that. Don’t give up, though. A relatively recent report shows that more than 1,500 indie authors are earning over $25,000 from book sales through Amazon, with around 1,000 of them having published their first book less than 3 years ago. If they made it, so can you.
Now, the average blogger writer usually writes non-fiction books because fiction writing is arguably more difficult to hit it big. Plus, it needs a different set of skills, although it does give you the potential to earn significantly more than with non-fiction. The secret is to find a popular niche and blog in it with books that cover similar topics. So, before you select the genre or topic for your first (or next) book, do some homework and conduct research led by the market.
• For those into fiction, sites like The Creative Penn can provide the guidance and inspiration you may need to make it as a fiction writer.
• To get started on the right foot, building an email list should be your priority. Email marketing is a big deal nowadays and allows you to have an audience that eagerly anticipates your next book.
Implement Affiliate Marketing
The great thing about having a blog is that you can actually monetize it and start earning some cash, not only from writing stuff. This means that you can have sponsored posts, ads (these require more connections and traffic) or do affiliate marketing, which is an excellent option, especially if your website if new.
To get started, pick a tool or service you know about or are already using or choose to promote a course (provided, of course, they offer an affiliate program). Placing affiliate links in your posts can help earn a couple of bucks while building your portfolio with content you publish on your blog. To increase your conversion rates, you can consider creating a post (something like a tutorial) based on your affiliate product/service.
Again, doing some homework will allow you to land affiliate products that pay high commissions (>50%). So, the trick here is to find the right products; products that will help you build an online reputation as an expert writer. This doesn’t mean, though, that you should stop doing all the things that bring people to a site and make a blog successful (i.e. provide great, high-quality content, and building your email list). However, affiliate marketing is one of the less risky and most realistic ways to make a living from writing on your blog.
At the end of the day, what is the most important when in need of using your flair for writing as a side-gig and even to earn enough to quit your regular 9-5 job is to take action. Most writers get caught in self-sabotaging thoughts and doubts, which make them stand idle in front of a dream that starts to vanish little by little over time. If you are truly serious about becoming a high-paid writer/copywriter, pick the path that feels right and try it, with persistence and determination.