How to Make Money as a Writer (Infographic)

Posted 06 Jun 2018, by

Brendan Brown

Being a writer has its perks. You write about things you love, your work is published for the world to read and, if you really want to, you can write in your pajamas and no one will know.

However, it’s also a job that demands nerves of steel, a stomach for rejection and a pillow nearby at all times ready to scream into, particularly when it comes to making money.

As writers we often wear the ‘starving artist’ badge. We assume that earning a decent living is a test we’re supposed to pass, like an initiation in a frat house at university. But instead of chugging back alcohol, we have to stomach low earnings and a sense of disappointment.

But does it really have to be that way? Do we really have to cope with earning little to no money for our writing when there seems to be a select few who earn a lot?

The short answer is no, we don’t. So unpin that badge of yours and pay attention.

Making Money as a Writer

There are many ways to make a living as a writer today.

From blogging and copywriting to dissertation editing and freelancing – and even writing books, we are presented with opportunities on a daily basis. It can seem overwhelming at first and you may be unsure which path is right for you, but really that’s the beauty of it. You have the ability to try out all the options and find the ones that work for you.

Our infographic below aims to take away your sense of being overwhelmed.

Instead of wondering how you could possibly weigh up all the possibilities, it provides you with a detailed summary of your options. You can decide on the ones you want to pursue and, before you know it, you’ll be getting rid of that badge once and for all.

So if you’re ready to be the next Pete Cashmore or Gina Trapani, read on.

Can a robot place human editors? Are online spelling and grammar checkers any good? Check out this comprehensive, unbiased review of Grammarly – the web’s most popular online grammar tool.

Writing as a career is like getting on-board a never-ending roller coaster – it has its ups and downs. These are the initial stages, but with patience, perseverance and optimism, you can definitely make a name for yourself.

It is quite common for people to judge you when they hear that you are a professional writer; and this is the main reason why many people turn towards writing as a side hustle without letting go of their job – or in other words, a stable source of income.

But despite the stereotypes about writers, taking this up as a full-time role can be extremely profitable.

Take Mashable as an example – Pete Cashmore started a blog in 2015 and in a small span of time, managed to turn it into a media powerhouse that makes a whopping $46 million per annum.

Let’s explore the various options available for making it big in the writing industry:

Work as a freelancer

If your concern is how to make ends meet as a freelancer, we are happy to tell you that there is a high potential to earn more money than what a nine to five job might pay.

As a writer or a novelist, you can make almost $50,837 per annum right from the comfort of your home.

There are a variety of roles that you can take up; for instance, as an on-call editor, you can make around $150 per hour. Similarly, you can earn a minimum of $40 or a maximum of $100 as a technical writer, depending on your experience.

If you are an experienced writer and can write long pieces, you’ll be able to earn around $200 writing whitepapers for businesses.

Where to find good gigs

Creating a profile on Fiver, Upwork and other such sites can yield many rewards in the long run.

Start by providing a variety of ‘Gigs’ on economical rates such as tag lines, slogans, web copies, etc.

Fiver gigs pay you a minimum of $5 and the tasks won’t require much hard work. As your profile builds up and you start receiving good ratings from past customers, you can raise your prices.

As a freelancer, you can also use freelance writing job boards such as Pro Blogger and promote your services in the classified sections of Craigslist, Gumtree, etc.

If you can convince people, become a copywriter

If you can write catchy, humorous and intriguing content that entices readers to carry out a goal, then you can become a successful copywriter.

This job entails coming up with convincing content and Call-To-Actions (CTAs) for ad campaigns, web copies, social media posts, etc.

As a senior copywriter, you can earn up to $88,210/year, as part of a company’s in-house team, you may earn around $88,667 and as a freelancer, you can earn about $100/hour.

There is a lot of money in blogging

Blogs tend to be very lucrative if you are able to formulate a strategy and follows it throughout – consistency is key for this.

The first step is to pick a niche that you are well-versed with, then start writing about things that people are actively seeking. There are a number of ways to find what to write; for instance, Google Search Suggestions are a good option.

As per a study, around 77% of people find all sorts of information about things such as product reviews, food recipes, etc. through blogs.

Once you have enough content on your blog, you can start attracting traffic through promotional campaigns. This traffic can be used to generate revenue by signing up for Google AdSense as it pays $5 for every thousand people. In short, the more traffic you have, the more you earn.

The next step to increase your earning is to put private Ads and affiliate links on your blog. For instance, if your blog is about car accessories, you can add your own Amazon affiliate link to a new stereo system you recently wrote about.

It’s pretty simple; every time a user buys through your link, you will make a commission from Amazon.

Need some additional inspiration? Look at popular bloggers such as Mathew Woodward and Harsh Agrawal who earn $25,718 and $40,055 per month, respectively.

Sell content to renowned publishers

If writing comes to you naturally and you have a number of potential ideas, you can pitch them to journals, newspapers and magazines.

If your idea gets approved and your article is published, you will get paid handsomely. For example, if published on Catholic, Boys Life, Earth Island Journal, etc. you can make up to $500.

Editorial roles

If you have a good vocabulary and formatting skills, then you can opt to become an editor – this is a role-based on critiquing and correcting work done by others.

On average, an editor makes $55,971/year in the United States.

You can choose to become a full-time editor for online publishers or publishing houses, or you can choose to edit work on a freelance basis.

Global English Editing offers editing services and proofreading services to a range of writers – including authors, businesses and academics, and we employ over 30 editors. Just like us, there are a handful of larger professional editing companies who offer well paid jobs.

If you want to be a freelancer, you’ll be able to find well-paying editorial gigs from Upwork, Freelancer, Flexjobs, or other private online-based editing companies.

In most cases, the payment is calculated on an hourly basis, but in some cases, you may have the option to charge per piece.

Final thoughts

The bottom line is, writing is an ever-growing field that is constantly in-demand. For instance, businesses know the importance of good content for their marketing efforts and they are constantly looking to recruit in-house writers or professional freelancers.

So, if you are planning to take up freelance writing, don’t jump on the bandwagon without a strategy in place. Plan everything in advance, explore all your options and take up a niche that you are familiar with.

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