Millions of people scour the Internet every day looking for the answer to the question ‘How do I make money online’. Today I will answer this question but I will focus on jobs that allow you to make money online with writing.
I consider writing to be an art. The poor and failing artist is a very popular image but it is no longer the reality today. In fact there are many ways to sell your talent and make some extra money. Some even manage to quit their full-time jobs and devote themselves completely to working from home.
It is the dream of many not to have to get up every morning at 7 a.m., preparing for a day full of complaints from strangers, yet not everyone makes it. I, even dedicating a few hours a month to it, managed to earn money which I then used for my studies. In this article I will do my best to explain how I did it and how it is possible for you too.
* This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission from purchases made through links, there will be no extra cost for you. Learn more on my private policy page. *
Let’s start with an essential list.
Jobs to get paid for your writing skills
Starting a blog is one of the most stable online jobs for writers. You earn money through advertising on the site or through affiliate links. Many people make millions after years of blogging. The only problem is just that.
Being a blogger is not a trick to make quick and easy money online, quite the contrary. It takes perseverance, commitment and a bit of cleverness. It takes time and unfortunately many give up before they even see any money.
However, if you think you have what it takes and can make a long-term commitment, it is the best choice you can make.
I love blogging.
And the most special part is that there is no limit to how much you can earn.
Some bloggers earn as much as $100,000 a month. Yes you read that right.
If it’s suitable for you, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
Not only can you choose a niche that interests you and take care of that, but you will find plenty of people who like what you like. Here you can find a step-by-step guide on “How to start a blog.”
2. Enter a writing contest
This is not a job you can do full time but it is great for earning some money and recognition.
Writers often have this thing called ‘imposter syndrome’, in short they think they are not enough, that their writing is worthless and that they do not really deserve the attention of readers. Unfortunately, these thoughts rob us of many works of art by those who did not have the courage to write them.
Having awards, prizes won solely because of your writing will help you a lot to realise that your art is wonderful and deserves to be read.
But let us focus on why you are here:
Sites where you can find contests to enter (no entry fee)
Prose Weekly Challenge
Each week they offer a small prize of $100 for the short story that readers loved the most.
ServiceScape Short Story Award
They accept fiction and non-fiction stories, the winner of this annual contest wins $1000 and publication on their blog.
L. Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest
This contest takes place every three months and the prizes are very generous, offering “$1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place.” However, you can only enter by writing stories that belong to these two genres: science fiction or fantasy.
Nine Dots Prize
At the time of writing this article, you can no longer participate in this contest because entries must be sent in by Monday 23rd January 2023. So why am I adding this?
Well simple, you absolutely must participate from next year onwards. This contest is not only innovative and prestigious but also a great chance for your wallet. In fact they are offering US$100,000, a book deal with Cambridge University Press and the opportunity to spend a term at the CRASSH to the lucky winner. The way it works is that each year a question is chosen and participants have to write a small 3,000 word essay in which they give an answer.
This must contain valuable research and ideas as well as an outline describing how you would turn this few-word answer into a 40,000-word book. If you are chosen you will be published and receive recognition from acclaimed writers around the world.
If they do as they did this year, the new application will be announced in October, so don’t miss this great opportunity!
Contests offering the highest prize money (with entry fee)
There are many writing contests around the world but it is a bit difficult to find ones that are open to everyone and with a substantial prize. It took me a long time but here are the best writing contests I could find:
Every year they organise various contests, but only for residents of Brittany and Ireland. You can submit your poems, short stories or extracts from the book you have written or are currently writing.
The prizes for the latter category are:
First prize: £1,500 + publication in their anthology + lots more (find everything on their website).
Second prize: £750
Third prize: £150 x 3 awards £1,500 + publication in their anthology
Both winners in these categories will receive $10,000 (please read the terms and conditions on the website before entering).
To enter you must pay an $18 fee and submit a portfolio of up to 5 poems for the first category and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the second category.
Related article: How to become a millionaire writer
3. Start copywriting
Writing whatever comes into your head is relatively easy. Writing in a way that gets into someone else’s head is another story. This is precisely why copywriters, i.e. writers who manage to draw attention to what companies want, are highly sought after.
It depends of course on where you work and for whom, but the annual salary of a first-time copywriter is around $60,000. Which, again depending on your area, is a respectable salary. At the end of this article I will put you all the sites where you can look for work and you will find it even if you are a beginner.
4. Write personal essays
One thing that high school and university students have in common is the zero desire to write their school essays. In fact, although it is certainly not recommended, many seek the help of online writers to satisfy their professors. If when you were in school your essays were acclaimed you think you could easily pose as a student, this is the perfect job for you.
However, this category is not exclusively for struggling students, but many sites accept personal essays and will pay you in return, sometimes quite a lot.
5. Write poetry
As you have already seen above, poetry has by no means disappeared and you can make a lot of money with it, especially online. In addition to entering poetry contests, some sites allow you to publish your poems.
In return you either receive quick money or you receive money every time your poem is appreciated by readers.
6. Ghostwrite online content
Many companies, but also individuals, do not have the time to devote to their social media every day. That is why there are ghostwriters who do the dirty work for them. Anyone, from the beginner to the best writer, can easily earn money in this category.
The hard part is just finding the initial clients but once you do that, it will be easy to earn a nice monthly salary. Sometimes it will simply be a matter of writing posts for instagram, website homepages or videos written for tiktok.
7. Ghostwrite a book
This is a more complicated type of work than the previous one but naturally earns you much more.
Ghostwriting a book instead of someone else means that once you get paid you hand over all your rights to the client, that story from that moment no longer belongs to you. For me, my stories are a bit like daughters, which is why I have always refused this kind of work.
But I have received many requests.
It is a field in which, precisely because of what I have told you, very few people try their hand and there are a lot of people scouring the web looking for someone to turn their ideas into books. Ghostwriters who write complete books get paid a lot so if you think this is a good job for you, don’t miss the list of sites at the bottom.
8. Write scripts for video creators
There are millions of YouTube channels and thousands of people looking for someone to write scripts for their videos. They search for various types and the demand is very high, plus most content creators pay well. I earned 60$ in a few hours without having any experience, so if you actually search and apply you can earn a lot more
9. Create affiliate content
Many people use affiliate links to earn money with their blogs but you don’t need to have a blog to start. You can use any social media to attract any buyers interested in what you are advertising. Many companies offer affiliate programmes, the one that is used by everyone is Amazon affiliate programme.
However, I also recommend the Fiverr one, which helps me earn money with just a few clicks.
Let me explain in a few words how affiliate programmes work;
You create a video or a post that talks about the benefits of a certain product, you show it and you make an effort to attract the attention of your audience. You then direct the entire audience to an affiliate link that you put in your bio.
Every single time someone clicks on your link and buys that item, you receive a percentage.
Many people get rich with this method and the less good ones still earn a few hundred dollars more. You have to be consistent and understand how to go viral but in the end it only takes once. If even one video gets a million views, at least a few thousand people will buy your product, so you can easily earn an annual salary in one go. For now, keep your feet down and just think about getting started.
10. Self-Publish a book
Writing a book is complicated and you will have to spend a lot of time on it. Sometimes years. But once you have your book in hand, depending on its quality, you can make a lot of money with it. To start with, before you jump into self-publishing, see if you would be interested in traditional publishing.
If you then find that it is not for you, self-publish your book. In this case, every single sale you make will be a product of your marketing, because the hard truth is that after you put it on sale, you actually have to spread the word.
A publishing house would do this for you but in this case it is all in your hands. Social media and reading blogs (hey 😉 ) must become your best friends.
You must spend energy and, if you want more chances, money, on marketing your book. If you can attract the attention of many readers, even with simple tiktok, you can make a lot of money.
Some self-published writers even make it into the best-seller category (James Redfield, H.M Ward, Lisa Genova.) And even if you do ‘badly’ attract little attention through your marketing, you will still make a few hundred a year. What are you waiting for? Hurry up and write!
11. Create blog posts (for others)
I have already told you that starting a blog is a great way to make money online. However, not everyone has the will and time to write interesting content every day.
This is where you come in. To earn money on a blog you have to write a lot of articles, which is why many rely on writers found on the internet to make up the numbers or to satisfy Google’s SEO. This is also a job that is easily found, but I recommend that you write a few test articles first.
So that you have something to show possible customers to build their loyalty. Once you learn how to write articles and optimise them so that they reach the top ranks of Google searches, no one can stop you. This work allows you to earn thousands of dollars in a single month and the more positive reviews you get, the more customers will fight for your attention.
Red flags to watch for with online writing jobs
- A customer asks you to move to another site, they often use telegram to scam people.
- A client asking you to send money before you can start working with them. NEVER send your money to someone who wants to ‘hire’ you.
- A client who offers you very little for a job and tells you they will raise the price after that
- A client offers you too much for the work you should do. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.
Websites you can use to make money by writing
You have to register to apply for job offers. Companies apply to Problogger looking for writers to write articles for their website. From what I have seen they pay well and offer work in any niche.
Upwork is a great site that offers writing jobs in any field. You can write articles for blogs, short stories, ghostwrite books and much more. This site is not exclusive to writing, many sell video editing or language translations.
You have to register to create your profile and then you have a search page, you can use filters to find exactly what you are looking for. Some will pay you per project and others per hour. In addition, hundreds of advertisements are published every day so there is bound to be something for you.
Fiverr is the ‘original’ Upwork. In fact, it is the world’s largest freelance services marketplace. Fiverr has recently removed the option of being able to bid on offers (not a big loss, it had only become a den for spam).
In Fiverr, after creating a profile, you have to create Gigs. In these gigs you say what you offer and why customers should choose you. Fiverr will then take care of showing these to possible customers and when they choose you, you will receive a message from them in your inbox.
Before writing your Gig take a look at those of your competitors who are more successful. I also recommend you buy from your competitors to see what they offer and how they satisfy their customers. Click here to subscribe to the site.
Also on Fiverr you can offer any kind of service, it is not restricted to writing.
On Upwork they offer more money on average but on Fiverr you reach more people without having to send each application by hand. I recommend signing up for both.
Freelancer is very similar to Upwork. You have to search for the job and send the various applications. You have many filters at your disposal to find exactly what you need.
In addition, you can choose whether you want to be paid after you have delivered the job or by the hour. If the customers like your work, you have a great chance of finding full-time work.
Initially, you will have to take a grammar test and then you will be assigned a profit per word. Like 0.02 per word. This site prefers article writing. Once you register in this marketplace you have to build your profile. You have to choose a niche to write in and preferably, add a small portfolio to show your work.
The more customers you get, the more they will pay you per word. Some manage to earn hundreds of dollars every month without much effort.
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