How to Make Money Writing [Best Ways to Get Paid to Write]

By Todd Kunsman

Make Money

Published on

Updated on

As you begin looking for other ways to make money, you might not have realized how lucrative getting paid to write can be. 

Naturally, there are many people who have made a full-time career by writing or freelancing for various media publications or businesses. 

And while being a good writer and having a strong grasp of grammar will be beneficial, anyone can get started with a bit of work and start to make money writing. 

Plus, as you continue writing and working on your skills, you’ll see significant improvements in your writing and you’ll be able to create a more established portfolio.

This can lead to even more money and better paying writing opportunities.

Can You Make Money Writing?

Writing online is a great way to earn money as both a side hustle and full-time position: working conditions are flexible, incomes can be very high and if you enjoy writing, then why not?

If you’re just at the beginning of your writing career, it will take some effort and dedication before you can start earning a full-time income. 

You’ll also need to be able to accept lower paying gigs before you can start asking for higher prices. However, if you’re willing to put in the work and build the right skills, writing can be a total game changer.

If your goal is to leave your current job, writing is a good way to make money as a side-hustle and then transition to leaving your job and working full-time from home. 

The amount you earn varies depending on the number of hours you put into your writing and marketing yourself. As a side hustle, $500+ per month is not unreasonable and as a full-time gig, many writers can earn a six-figure income

How Can I Make Money Writing?

There are a few ways you can make money writing and writing online:

1. Content Marketer

A content marketer is someone who writes content for a particular business. This can range from blog content, to newsletters, to guides and press releases, and even website copy. 

Many businesses publish content in order to add value to their customers, position themselves as a thought leader and rank on Google. It’s a position that is in high demand and if you target the correct niche, you’ll be receiving work in no time.

However, for this type of job title you will need experience and a background in writing and marketing. 

2. Freelance Writer

A freelance writer writes content for all kinds of clients. This may include magazines, media publications and agencies, blogs, as well as businesses.

Freelance writers may also offer longer forms of content, such as white papers, reports and news articles. 

If you enjoy writing but don’t know where to start, starting out as a freelance writer will help you navigate various niches and projects before committing.

3. Copywriter

A copywriter is someone who writes concise copy for websites, newsletters, apps, ads, and more. This copy is designed to encourage visitors to take an action: like download an app, sign up to a newsletter, leave a review, etc. 

If you enjoy writing more sales-focused writing that is catchy, easy to read and engaging — becoming a copywriter might be a logical way to pursue making money writing. 

4. Self publish a book or e-book

Nowadays writing and publishing a book isn’t an arduous process like it used to be. If you like writing very long-form content and have a good idea or specialized knowledge in a field that could help others, writing and self publishing a book is another way to earn money writing.

Amazon Kindle makes the self-publishing process easy and will also help you make money from your book.  Of course, don’t expect to have massive sales overnight. But it is an option to make money writing. 

5. Enter writing competitions with prizes

Need a larger incentive to start writing? Writing competitions won’t require a portfolio or huge amounts of experience: they just want a good piece.

They’re easy to enter — some people enter over 100 competitions per day!

Although they may be a bit more fun and rewarding, the prizes are not always cash; many prizes include freebies, tickets to someplace or an event, and more.

That’s fine if you don’t mind freebies here and there, but it means it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pay the bills just with prizes. But it could be a good way to test and practice your writing skills!

6. Start your own blog and monetize

Writing and monetizing your own blog is more like running a business than writing — but if done well, can lead to a nice five to six-figure income. At the beginning, you will need to write articles and post consistently. 

Once your blog and audience start to grow, you’ll be looking to outsource certain aspects of the blog and growing your business.

You’ll need to learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, guest posting and SEO — but it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding if you stick with it. 

Ready to get started blogging? Get set up in minutes with Bluehost or SiteGround — both are solid and affordable options for blogging beginners to get started with. 

7. Write for Medium in their Partner Program

Medium is a publishing platform that makes it super easy to blog and publish articles. To start making money with Medium, you first need to join the Medium Partner Program

It’s relatively simple to get started and once you sign-up for the partner program, you can earn money when subscribing members read your work, and then you get paid monthly. 

Your income relies on the time readers spend on your article: the longer a reader spends on your article, the more you make. You also make a return if a non-paid member becomes a paid member after reading your article. 

Medium also releases bonuses to writers who consistently post good content. You literally get paid to write quality content!

However, it can take time to build decent income as you need to consistently write quality content and build an audience that wants to read your stuff. 

8. Write and ask questions for Quora

Did you know that you can also get paid to write and recommend questions on Quora? They have a partner program where you get paid when questions get answered that you ask from thought leaders and have engagement.

If you are looking to make a few extra bucks each month, this could be something to try as well.

You get paid as your questions and requests of questions to writers produce useful answers that others discover on Quora. You make money by getting a cut of the advertising revenue earned from answers you helped produce.

Where to Find Paid Writing Gigs

As you have previously read, there are plenty of ways to make money writing. However, if you are looking to go down the job or freelance route, you’ll need to spend time finding paid writing gigs.

Luckily, there are quite a few options you have to get your name out there and start finding some paid writing jobs. 

Cold outreach

One of the simplest ways to get writing gigs is reach out to specific publications or companies. In order to do this correctly, you’ll want to make sure you have some samples already (your own blog can also be useful) and you’ll want to target a specific niche. 

Identify a few publications and companies you want to write for, create an email template and start pitching! It can be a bit repetitive and boring, but for freelancers who are just starting out, it’s a good way to get into the game.

Also, always pay attention to the publications directions about pitches, it will increase the chances of a response when you follow directions. 

Job boards and freelance job sites

Another good way to get regular jobs as a freelance writer is on job boards and freelance job sites.

Examples of job boards are Problogger and BloggingPro: companies publish jobs they need doing and writers pitch their portfolio to them.

Freelance job sites such as Upwork and are also a great place to find some gigs. The pay will be less and the competition will be fierce, but you will likely find some jobs if you keep trying.

Tip: You can also try a paid service like Flexjobs, which can pair you up with some of the top tiered writing jobs and freelance work available. 

Gigs on Craigslist

As a beginner writer, Craigslist can be an alternative place to find interesting opportunities and make money writing.

You’ll want to be careful and set up a contract with everyone you do work with so you make sure you’re not scammed and the client is real. 

Look through various Cragislist posts under “gigs” to see if you can help anyone out. If you don’t find anything, post on Craigslist promoting your services. 

Have a website portfolio

The best way to land freelance writing gigs is to have companies and clients come to you. This way you can work on your own terms and you have the freedom to pick and choose who to work with. 

However, the only issue with this strategy is that it takes effort, time and dedication to build up. It could take a year before you start getting leads into your inbox from completely new clients.

You’ll want to have a clean and easy to read website as well as a blog that is updated regularly. By implementing SEO, being active in communities and participating in interviews, people will start to find you and ask you to work with them. 

For the most success with this approach, you’ll want to laser-focused on one niche so you can label yourself as an expert.

What Are The Highest Paying Writing Jobs?

If you are looking for a high paying full-time writing job, there are a few options to consider. 

Remember, many of these will require an educational background and experience. But, if you are thinking of switching careers or furthering your education, these areas tend to have great pay and might be worth looking into.

Some of the highest paying writing jobs include: 

  • Technical Writer
  • Content Marketer
  • Editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Columnist 
  • Public Relations
Have you made money writing on the side? How did you get started and what tips do you think others should consider? Or are you considering making money writing? What other questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!