By Jesse Collier. Updated June 2017.
Do you have a knack for writing or just really like expressing your creative side with your penmanship? Keep reading to discover how you could be getting paid to write!
Everyone has written an article, essay, or composition sometime in their lives. Whether it be in high school or in post-secondary, we all know the feeling of being rushed to complete a paper on time.
Personally, I was a huge fan of these assignments. They made me think quickly on my feet and forced me to churn out opinions and views on various topics. Those were school assignments though. What if I could do what I love, writing, and get paid for it at the same time?
Read on to discover how you could be researching many different topics, learning new talents, and getting paid to write in your spare time.
Bring out your creative side
We’re not all born with a magical talent to write up a masterpiece in a few hours. The good thing about writing is that it doesn’t matter how fast you write. While some people think that they will never write well, if they applied themselves, they could be as good as the best authors out there.
The point is, you could be the worst writer on the planet, but after some practice and due diligence, your talent will blossom. Writing is a skill that can always be improved on. Even the most proficient writers make mistakes.
Unless you’re writing for a specific purpose such as a research or legal article, it’s best to write how it comes naturally to you. People want to hear your opinions through your writing, not others’. That’s not to say that it’s not okay to look to other writers for inspiration, but you shouldn’t be blatantly plagiarizing their work either.
After some time practicing writing for different purposes, you will learn how to best structure your writing for your readers. Keep reading to learn how you can develop this talent and be getting paid to write for it as well.
Develop a Portfolio
The first step in your journey as a writer should be to develop a portfolio. You can’t be getting paid to write if you have nothing to show for it.
You want to build a robust portfolio with articles and posts on many different topics. Work on getting a writing niche later on; for now focus on writing for a broad audience. Try starting with a topic that interests you, then branch out to other topics.
Write short stories, articles, blog posts, or any other piece of writing. Building a diverse portfolio will allow you to show your writing skills in many different areas. This will increase your chances of getting writing contracts later on.
Need help developing ideas for topics to write on? Read our article to get your gears turning and build a large writing portfolio today.
So you have a writing portfolio (or one is in the works). Now let’s dive in to the wonderful world of writing!
I’m going to say what you probably don’t want to hear. You have to start slow. Why? Because you need to develop a reputation first. Even though you have a very diverse portfolio, you can’t just apply to top magazines and newspapers. They won’t accept anything you have to write until you develop credibility.
Most people start on sites like UpWork and Freelancer. These sites (and similar freelancing sites) are great for beginners and experts alike. While you will find people with years of writing experience, don’t get daunted. People are willing to pay for quality work, whether it comes from an experienced writer or someone just dipping their toes in the writing pool.
Starting off, you will most likely attract small business owners or people with lower budgets. I would suggest offering no more than $25 an hour for your work. While you will work your way up through experience, charging more than this will turn away the customers you want to attract.
Writing for smaller businesses and blogs will give you a great foundation. They don’t expect the same quality that a person with years of experience can offer, and if you can write them a quality piece, then they will most likely come back to you.
As with almost any profession, building a solid foundation and working your way up is the way to go.
Getting paid to write
By now you should have some experience interacting with clients and getting a sense of what they want in your writing. You may want to get off the beaten path and venture into the writing world on your own. So where should you start?
Freelancing sites only work up to a certain point, but then leave you thirsty for more. You want bigger names and more money once you know what your time is worth.
There are a few different avenues you could walk down. One way is to create a website or blog and monetize it (explaining how to do this will take another post, so stay tuned!). An added benefit of this is that your work will stay yours and you can setup your blog the way you want.
Another path you could take is to look on leading blogs or newspapers to see if they need article writers. Most of them do, but you’ll have to apply for them.
Most blogs or newspapers require you to send in a short piece of writing on a specific topic (which they usually provide). They also want to know a little bit about you. Take this as an online interview, so try your best because you ultimately want their business.
Keep reading for a list of sites that currently need article writers, and sometimes pay as much as $2,000 per article!
Pros and cons
Here is a list of pros and cons of writing for other people. Remember that it’s up to you how you want to make money writing, so don’t let this list make or break you!
- It can be very good money, especially once you write for bigger and bigger names.
- People will start to recognize your name. While writing contracts won’t fall in your lap, it will be that much easier to secure one if you have experience.
- If you write well, most people will keep you on and give you a full or part-time job.
- It won’t be your writing anymore. Most people who need writers will have a disclaimer that any work you write will be theirs after payment.
- Most people need ghostwriters. This means you won’t have any attribution to your work, so if you have another blog or website, you won’t be able to put that under the articles that you sell.
Sites that need writers
If you’re looking towards other opportunities for getting paid to write for other people, check out this list of sites that will give you a hefty sum for quality work.
Remember that if you accept writing contracts with per-word payments, calculate it to see if it’s worth your while.
Do you have a traveling heart? Or have you studied abroad in a different country? How about getting paid to write about your travels?
Transitions Abroad wants your submissions about your various travel escapades, whether in your home country or abroad.
Payment: $50 – $150 via Paypal or check
Do you have a knack for creating original and engaging content about almost any topic? Cracked wants you! You will be getting paid to write for a huge fanbase, and if you have an existing business, there’s opportunities to promote it in your articles.
Payment: $50 – $200+ via Paypal
Do you want to write articles on bizarre and mysterious things? Listverse wants writers who can submit an original list (usually 10 items) of weird facts that are interesting and that most people haven’t heard of before. This can range from facts about presidents to myths and legends.
Payment: $100 via Paypal
You may be thinking: a large magazine like Cosmopolitan wants me to write for them? Of course they do. And better yet, they’re looking for interesting, funny, or crazy stories about your school life. They give you full credit and if they really like you, they’ll want more.
Payment: $100 via Paypal
So you have a roadmap for getting paid to write stories, articles, blog posts, and more. Whether you like writing or not, it’s definitely a great way to make money and could even give you a career option. So good luck in your journey, and let us know how it goes!