Today I invited Dave – a freelancer who writes for me regularly – and I asked him to share his top 7 ways to make money writing in 2019. Let me know what you think of his writing, his tips and if you found them helpful. As always, my goal is to continually inspire you to write, to improve your writing, and why not, make a little money while at it! ~Rod
Whether you’re trying to make ends meets, or you’re simply looking for a little extra spending cash, there are a number of ways a writer can make good money using their skills. Listed below are 7 ways a writer can increase the size of their bank account without having to invest a great deal of money or even leaving the comfort of their own home.
1. Start your very own blog
A blog is one of the best ways to make money online. If you’re new to the writing industry, and you don’t know what a blog is exactly, it’s a website or web page that’s typically run by either a single person or a small group of people. The writing is generally written in an informal style that appeals to a lot of different kinds of readers. Blogs are usually updated on a regular basis and can focus on a variety of topics.
The first thing you’ll need to do when starting a blog is to decide on a specific topic. This can include anything from home improvement projects to health and fitness to film critiques and more. Choosing a topic that you feel will be profitable is important, because if people don’t read your blog, you simply won’t make money. However, never write about something you’re not passionate about. If you do, you’ll more than likely lose interest fast.
Once you know what you want to write about, you’ll then need to choose your domain name. Your domain name should reflect what you’re going to be writing about. You should also keep it short and easy to spell. Choose a domain name that’s clever and catchy, a name people will remember.
Now that you know what you want to write about, and you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll want to pick your blogging platform. One of the most popular platforms used by writers all over the world is WordPress. Some examples of other blogging platforms include Blogger, Tumblr, and Medium. Most experienced bloggers recommend WordPress due to the many options available within the platform.
Lastly, you’ll want to choose your hosting provider. A web host is a company that’ll make your blog accessible to the World Wide Web. This means anybody with internet access will have access to your blog. Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies in the world. It’s highly recommended by most experienced bloggers.
Once you have your blog all set up, you can then begin posting written work, photos, and other media to your blog. To make money, a ‘Donate Now’ button can be added, or you can simply place ads on your blog for a certain fee from various companies. The more readers you get, the more money you’ll make.
2. Pitch an idea to the administrator of one of your favorite blogs
If you have several blogs you enjoy reading on a regular basis, you could contact the administrators and request a guest post. Many people who run blogs are more than happy to give freelance writers the ability to produce a piece for their blogs. Most blogs even pay their guest writers a good wage for their piece too. However, before you pitch your idea to the administrators, make sure you read the bio-pages, the mission statement, and the posing guidelines. Guest posts are not just a good way to make a little extra cash, you’ll also have a new piece to add to your portfolio.
3. Contact your alumni magazine
If you contact the individuals who run your alumni magazine, there’s a good chance they may hire you to write a few articles for them. Many campus alumni magazines prefer to hire former students to write their articles. Before you contact the magazine though, it’s best to have a few ideas you can pitch to them. Good ideas may include new art on campus, upcoming campus events, and exciting activities other alumni members are doing these days.
4. Write listicles on your favorite topics
Listicles are fun to write, and they can pull in a little extra cash too. If you’re unfamiliar with what a listicle is, it’s a list that categorizes relevant items. For example, a list of the top-10 WWE superstars or the top-10 sitcoms of 2018 would both be examples of listicles.
Both of the sites TopTenz and Listverse pay for unique top-10 lists. These are just two sites that pay for this kind of material. There are many more sites out there, so start pitching your ideas and get hired right away.
5. Start self-publishing
Self-publishing your book, whether it be a novel, a collection of poetry, a biography, or even a manual or a guide, can be very profitable. In fact, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a very useful tool for accomplishing this. All you have to do is simply open an account, upload your book, and then start advertising it. For greater exposure, use your blog to advertise your book and post bits of it for new readers.
If you’re currently working on your book, but you haven’t finished it yet, you can also put up each chapter individually. This is called serializing it. Serializing keeps your readers eager to read more and has been quite success for many writers including Andy Weir, writer of The Martian. After he serialized his novel, he received a nice movie deal.
6. Publish short stories
Publishing short stories is yet another great way to pull in some extra cash. Penpee is a website that not only gives you the ability to read other people’s short stories, but you can also upload your own too. Once you sign up, Penpee gives you a certain amount of credits. These credits can be used to read other writer’s material located on the site. Now, when someone reads your material, you also earn credits. After you have enough credits, they can be turned into cash. To withdrawal this cash, either transfer them to PayPal or directly into your bank account. It’s that easy.
The really cool thing about Penpee is that the in-house editors will help you edit and cleanup your writing before it gets officially published on the site. Even if you consider yourself to be an experienced writer, a second pair of eyes can always come in handy. Give it a try, and you’ll probably like it. It’s free to signup and definitely worth your time.
7. Join a freelancing site
Joining a freelancing site is a fantastic way to get access to all kinds of writing jobs. So, how does it work? First, choose a freelance site you’re interested in. There’s many to choose from including Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and many more. After you have found the site you want to work through, you’ll need to sign up and then usually upload or enter your resume and links to your previous work. This is important. To get jobs, you’ll need to show potential clients that you have the experience and the talent to produce quality work.
After you complete a job, the money you make from it can either be electronically transferred to your PayPal account or directly into your bank account. It’s important to note that some freelance sites have a yearly fee while others just take a percentage of every job you complete. Either way, freelancing is a great way to make a little extra money.
Bonus Tip: Enter a writing contest of some sort
One of the most overlooked ways to make a little extra money is by entering a variety of writing contests. There are numerous contests that take place throughout the country. Some are national contests while others are regional and state-wide. If you don’t know where to find out about these contests, start by going online to the Write Life website, a website for aspiring writers. The Write Life lists a variety of different writing contests for individuals of all different skill levels. You can always Google other writing contests online as well. There’s definitely something out there for every kind of writer.
The best part about entering a writing contest is that there are usually three winners, and the top prize is typically a decent amount of cash. Some contests pay $200, some pay $500, and some even pay $1,000 and up for 1st place. Although there are some contests that are free to enter, the majority tend to charge an admission fee. However, before you enter, make sure you read the guidelines and format your writing to their requests.
To really utilize the steps listed in this article, try using more than one at one time. For instance, if you’re planning on self-publishing your book, use your own blog to advertise it. You can even post the synopsis for your reader’s satisfaction. This will help get people interested and hopefully generate sales. Another idea is to contact the administrators of other blogs and ask them to let you advertise your book on their site too. When you get down to it, the possibilities are endless. So, have fun with these tips and make yourself some extra money.