How to Get Paid For Writing (7 Legit Ways)

Get paid for writing?

Even better: get paid for writing you love.

The key is to find the quickest platforms where you can get discovered in your niche and hustle!

Writing can be a lucrative side hustle, but as with anything worth doing, it won’t be easy.

But if you’re persistent, you’ll unlock a lucrative side hustle for as long as you choose.

Here are seven legit ways to get paid for writing you love. If you apply any of these tips, I’m confident you’ll be on your way to landing your first writing gig.

Let’s begin!

How Mindfulness Is Essential to Earn a Living With Freelance Writing

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Many people have tried their luck with freelance writing and have succeeded at earning a sustainable amount of income from the comfort of their homes.

And the best part is that they’ve worked at their own pace.

But as they say, nothing good in life comes easy; there are certain things you need to be mindful of before stepping into the world of freelance writing. 

Set Realistic Timelines and Expectations

You can’t expect to write today and get paid for it tomorrow.

Like everything, getting the hang of writing and earning from it takes time.

The more you write, the more you improve, and the greater the chances of you getting hired or finding the perfect client.

If you expect to get paid right away, you might meet a disappointing end and give up too soon.

Therefore, set realistic timelines and expectations.

Set Boundaries

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The key is to start with small, less-paying jobs. 

Initially, if you apply for writing jobs on freelance websites, the entire focus should be on building your writing portfolio.

Once the work kicks in, you will have a better chance of getting hired for the next job you apply for.

That is where you can set boundaries for yourself.

Apply for jobs better catered to your niche and requirements.

Try to work your way up to making long-term working relationships with your ideal clients. It will give you a better chance at negotiations later on. 

Another very significant factor to keep in mind is to specify your work hours not to distort your work-life balance.

This is something that you are entirely in control of in your freelance writing career. 

Choose Your Niche

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Decide what topics you love to write about and build your portfolio around them.

Apply for more and more jobs that demand writing in your niche. 

When the work is related to your niche, you can do more work in less time while also enjoying it. 

It is one of the utmost benefits of freelance writing; you can choose to work and write about the things you shine in. 

Build a Portfolio

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Your writing portfolio should reflect your niche, tone, and unique voice.

The type of written work you include in your portfolio will also reveal the nature of your desired job. 

For example, an academic writer hunting for scholarly work will include research papers, essays, and analysis reports in their portfolio.

There are two simple ways you can approach your portfolio:

1. Use Medium (easiest option)

2. Build a blog using WordPress

You can also choose to build your portfolio on the platform you are working on. For instance, Upwork allows its freelancers to build their portfolios on their Upwork profile. 

Alternatively, for bloggers and content creators, WordPress is a fantastic tool to portray their writing expertise. 

Be Open-Minded and Accept Smaller Jobs if the Opportunity Arises

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It always helps a writer to expand their writing experience and niche. 

Therefore, if an opportunity for a smaller or different job arises, be open-minded about it and gradually add to your skill set. 

Guest Post on Popular Blogs in Your Niche

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If you want to stick to your forte and work within the topics you are more adept in, you can search for popular blogs relevant to your niche and write a guest post. 

Now, you have to be very cognizant that not all popular blogs may pay you for a guest post; however, some do.

Do your research. Talk to different bloggers and see which blog suits you best.

Google “top + Your Niche + Blogs” and create a list of the top ten most relevant blogs you can reach out to.

Build Authority on Social With Your Writing

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Another top trending way these days is to use your social network sites to endorse your writing.

There are immense chances of someone reaching out to you over LinkedIn and TikTok.

You can use these platforms to promote your writing services. 

Network

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Alternatively, you can benefit from your social circle as well.

Attend Local Meetups

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If you are a blogger, a content creator, or a writer, you might have a social circle of people with similar interests or even mere connections nearby.

Use these connections to attend local meetups and grab the opportunities that come along the way. 

Attend Writing and Niche Blogger Conferences

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There are multiple writing and blogging conferences held all year round if you have an eye for it. Be a part of these conferences and look for fair chances for yourself. 

Here is a list of blogging conferences you can check out.

Similarly, you can also discover many writers’ conferences too and try your luck at them. 

Now, let’s jump to the seven ways to get paid for writing you love:

1. Build a Blog and Do Affiliate Marketing

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For any talented writer who wants to earn, blogging is a great way to start.

However, monetizing from blogging is a time-consuming process and will only happen once your blog has grown with organic traffic. 

Make sure you keep writing for other blogs and applying for relevant gigs simultaneously. 

Write about the things you love in your niche, but make sure that whatever you are writing adds value to the readers and allures them into staying on your blog and returning later for more. 

Encourage interactions on your posts and focus on marketing while you can. 

To speed up earnings, use your blog for affiliate marketing, which almost every blogger is doing these days. 

In simple words, affiliate marketing is the practice of using your blog as a platform to promote the products and services of other people. In return, you earn a percentage-based commission on every sale you make.

Once you build a community that trusts you, you can use your platform to market products and services to benefit your audience.

Of course, every sale leaves you with a monetary benefit, too.

Start with this; first, be very particular and pick out the right product to sell to your audience and help them make a wise decision. 

The next step is to set yourself as an affiliate either directly through a merchant or via an affiliate network. 

The merchant will provide you with an affiliate link and some essential tips on marketing the product. 

It’s your job to sell the product smartly through your blog to benefit yourself, benefit the merchant, and benefit the audience. 

To boost your confidence, here are real-life examples of people earning from affiliate marketing alone:

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income earned over $2 million in 2017, and John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire earned $25,865 in June 2020, all by affiliate marketing alone. 

2. Write for Popular Blogs

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Anyone looking for answers to “How to make money writing from home?” should know that they can always resort to popular blogs with their guest posts. 

All popular blogs, magazines, and journals are always on the hunt for unique and engaging content; otherwise, they are as good as dead in no time. 

The content fatigue drives them to be constantly on the lookout for raw talent, and many of them pay as well.

You can easily search for websites, blogs, and magazines that pay you for writing and then cut it down to the ones related to your niche.

Take your time to understand and scrutinize the publications of the website of your interest. 

Once you have grabbed the idea and figured out the content they desire, write a focused and clear pitch and reach out to them at their given address for correspondence.

You can skim through the list, pick out the ones that attract you, and directly reach out to them with your clear and concise pitch. 

Another fantastic way to find a suitable writing gig for yourself is to use Craigslist.

Craigslist can be tricky to find writing jobs directly because it lacks a search tool.

You have the option to go for an advanced search after adjusting the location on Craigslist. It displays a section on jobs, where you find writing jobs somewhere toward the end.

Go through the ads and apply for positions that appeal to you. 

3. Write for Local Businesses With an Online Presence

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There are several local businesses in the market, but they aren’t all flourishing how they wish to. 

What is the reason behind it?

They have great content to share but little time or don’t connect with their audience consistently.

To create a loyal audience, a business needs well-written and captivating content so that it can allure the customers into buying its product.

This is where most local companies seek outstanding writers to get this job done for them. 

With several freelance writers competing for the position, it may be tricky for you to get the part; however, it is possible.

Hit them up with the right pitch.

Understand and offer what these companies are seeking through your writing. 

Don’t solely pitch businesses from a writer’s perspective.

Instead, show them how your writing can help increase revenue and, ultimately, their exposure.

Many local businesses turn to platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Craigslist, Freelancers, etc., to hunt the right candidate.

It is always wise to make a writing profile on at least one of these platforms to look for the appropriate gigs. 

Alternatively, you can search Google for all the local businesses around you with a freelance writer’s vacancy. 

Look for the owner’s email address and reach out to them with your offer.

You can use hunter.io to search the email addresses instantly if they’re not mentioned. 

Keep in mind to target the right audience. For example, you don’t want to target new entrepreneurs as they most likely won’t have the budget for your services.

Instead, target established companies earning 200K-10M in annual revenue.

4. Write for Popular Magazines and Journals

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If you are creative, witty, and fanciful with writing, becoming a copywriter and aiming for popular magazines is an excellent idea. 

But before deciding which magazine or journal you want to work for, it is pertinent to define your copy niche first and then target the magazines or journals accordingly. 

The most significant advantage of writing a piece for a magazine is the amount they pay, but be clear in your mind about what you want to charge as well. 

Many consumer magazines pay $500 or more per assignment.

How exceptional does that sound?

But you need to be smart about where to find these $500+ assignments. 

Here is a list of magazines that pay $500 per assignment. 

Find the ones you think will provoke your creative side, and then study their submission guidelines carefully.

Do thorough research, interview others if you have to, and develop a sound idea to pitch to the editor.

5. Write Best Selling Kindle Books From Home

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Anyone with a thing for writing has more than once given thought to writing a book. 

But what held them back from going for it?

Of course, the tremendous and never-ending process of getting it published. 

But there is good news for you!

Thanks to places like Amazon and Kindle, it is easy and practical to self-publish a book and earn money.

However, I would not recommend you rely on it for consistent income. 

Take this option along with others. Once you finally start giving the thought a practical shape and begin writing a book, know that you can’t just write one and expect to retire on its profits.

It takes time and several publications to build an audience and solely depend on this option for earning money

Writing a book starts with a prominent picture in your mind about writing fiction or nonfiction.

Fiction generates more outstanding sales, but nonfiction is easier to start with and comparatively less demanding.

Pick your option wisely.

Once you have decided on this, it’s time to work on your themes, storyline, plot, and characters. With a rough sketch in mind and on paper, start planning your chapters. 

When you finally write your Kindle ebook, you will have a clear vision of where each chapter ends and the next starts. You can also choose to add an appropriate call to action in your ebook. 

Now it’s time to decide where to publish your book.

74% of ebooks are sold on Amazon since it’s easier to buy Kindle books.

However, you can also go with Apple iBookstore and Google Books. 

According to the website Author Earnings, only 3% of Amazon authors consistently make $10,000 a year.

This stat isn’t meant to discourage you. Instead, it’s aimed at setting realistic expectations that you’ll have to work hard to earn a sustainable income from Kindle ebooks.

With consistency, dedication, and hitting the audience at the right spot, you can make your place in the reader’s heart and pave the way for full-time earnings. 

6. Write Persuasive Copy as a Copywriter

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A copywriter is anyone who writes to market for assigned products and services that include things like:

  • Sales pages
  • Email funnels
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts/articles
  • Social media posts
  • White papers
  • Case studies

The more experienced you are, the better chances you have of earning well.

It means the more you work, the better you will get, and the more money will start flowing in.

However, it’s essential to know what it takes to become a skilled copywriter. 

The initial step, like in all others, is to pick your niche. 

While a copywriter can write about anything, it is better to pick your niche, depending on your interests and knowledge.

If you are serious about taking up copywriting as your profession, get your knowledge up.

There are many great courses on copywriting available online; always choose to polish and gain new skills.

Now start looking for clients to work for and copywriting jobs available on freelance websites.

It’s okay to start with smaller projects or low-paying jobs initially. The key is to practice and polish your skills so that you can earn more with them later.

The earning potential with copywriting varies, depending upon the level of your skill.

You can expect to make at least $10,000 each year if you are moderately skilled. 

7. Proofread Other People’s Writing

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If you are adept at writing, you have a great shot at becoming a talented proofreader as well.

But what is a proofreader, and what is proofreading?

Proofreading is usually the last step in the editorial process. It means going through the text vigilantly and looking for errors in the text before it can be published. The person who does this is called a proofreader.

Mistakes that a proofreader usually corrects include:

  • Typing errors or typos
  • Punctuation and spelling mistakes
  • Inconsistency in style and layout
  • Formatting

A proofreader also corrects everything that will make reading an incredible experience. 

So how can you sharpen your proofreading skills and consider it from the point of view of earning?

Here’s how:

As with writing, it is also best if you define your proofreading niche first.

Proofreading a thesis will require a unique set of skills different from proofreading a novel or a blog.

Once you know what your proofreading forte is, it’s time to master your skills, which happens with a lot of practice. 

A proofreader has to be very careful of even minor glitches in the document.

Their concentration and scrutinizing power can take them way ahead of the game.

And this happens when you adopt a practice of reading.

Look for excerpts, pieces of blogs, or journals and read them as a proofreader.

Find mistakes and do this regularly. You can also pick up a proofreading course online and get a certificate to add to your accreditation. 

Now it’s time to look for proofreading jobs. 

At first, you might have to settle for less-paying proofreading jobs on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, which have many new, relevant jobs daily.

You can also find remote proofreading jobs on various Facebook groups, and if you are thinking of proofreading books, you can take a look at Reedsy. 

Once you have gained some experience and can call yourself an established proofreader, you can quickly expect to charge as much as $25 per hour for proofreading. 

You can eventually raise it to $35 per hour once you have more experience and skill. 

The Opportunities Are Endless if You Opt for the Freelance Writing Career

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If writing is where your interests and skills lie, you won’t go broke.

There are many opportunities you can explore related to this skill. And the good news is you can do it all by working from the comfort of your cozy chair at home.

Another significant thing about freelance writing is defining your own work hours, rates, and clients. 

Creating your blog and using it together with affiliate marketing is the best option to earn a fair amount by writing.

You can also opt to write a guest blog on popular blogs or hunt for big magazines and journals that pay well.

So pick up your laptop, look for opportunities right now, and let the magic of your words bring you the income you desire.

Financial freedom doesn’t have to happen when you’re 65. It can happen much sooner.

Author: Christopher Alarcon

Title: Journalist

Expertise: personal finance, side hustles, time management

Bio:

Christopher Alarcon is a journalist with a deep passion for personal finance. He has contributed to major online publications, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Business Insider.