I’m super excited to be presenting again in January at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. The topic for my 2018 workshop is How to Earn More Money with Your Writing. I pitched this topic to the conference coordinator because, at this particular conference, most of the writers seem to be novelists wanting to leave their day jobs.
Getting a novel published, and making a living as a fiction writer, takes time. In the meantime, a writer could earn money writing other things. And if you get good at it, you could make a great living.
How to Earn More Money with Your Writing
When I first started freelancing, I ran into a fellow homeschool mom who I had not seen for a few years at a local festival. When I told her I was a writer she said, “Are you really a writer, or do you just have a blog?” In those days, blogging wasn’t respected as a form of writing. Today, bloggers are making six figures and more. While blogging is a viable way to earn money writing, I don’t want to discuss earning money from your own blog in this post because there are entire sites devoted to that topic. Instead, I want to focus on writing for others.
Five Ways to Make Money Writing
Make money copywriting
Writing copy to increase brand awareness or persuade someone to take a particular action (mostly making a purchase) is considered copywriting. Popular forms of copywriting include:
- Email sequences
- Website copy
- Case studies
- Social media posts/ads
- Ad copy
- Catalog copy
- Direct mail letters
- Commercial scripts
If you want to earn more money with your writing, and any of these forms of writing intrigue you, there are courses available to learn the ropes. I started to include a list here, for you, but since I’ve never taken a course that I could recommend, I decided that you could do your own online search and be the judge of their credibility.
As far as copywriting goes, this year I’ve earned money writing:
- Instagram ads
- Facebook posts
- Website copy and
- Advertorials for magazines
Make money writing for publications
I started my freelance career writing for magazines. With over 70 publications under my belt, this is my favorite form of writing. If writing for publications interests you, here are four quick tips to get you started:
- Pitch to a magazine you already read
- Learn to write a stellar query letter
- Have a servant’s heart (My favorite self-advice is “My words are not sacred.”)
- Take deadlines seriously and start your assignment as soon as you get it, even if the deadline is six months down the road.
Make money writing newsletters
Bloggers and online marketers are not the only folks that send out newsletters. Schools, doctors offices, farms, mission organizations, non-profits, and corporations all come to mind as places I’ve received newsletters from. To find a business that sends out newsletters, go to their website and see if they have a link to subscribe.
Make money writing e-books
If you have an area of expertise or special interest, why not turn that into an e-book and sell it on Amazon? What are your hobbies? A quick search on the Amazon Kindle page turns up how-to books for the following:
- Pay off your mortgage
- Stop worrying
- Brew great beer
- Work a room
- Hike the Appalachian Trail
- Make money in stocks
I found myself writing down the homeschooling lessons I used with my kids that centered around our homestead. Things like learning multiplication tables while planting corn and science while baking bread filled our days, so I took notes, turned them into a series of unit studies and published them as e-books. I sold enough copies that when I took down my homesteading blog, I was okay with no longer making those sales. But then a traditional publisher picked them up and I recently signed a contract with them. The book Lessons from the Homestead will be out sometime next year.
Make money writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles
If you are a great storyteller, why not channel that talent into telling true stories about real people, while helping them advance their careers? That’s how I think about writing resumes and profiles for sites like LinkedIn.
According to the American Writers and Artists, Inc. website, a resume for a minimally skilled person should pay at least $100, a college grad around $250, and a professional person making a six-figure income, even more. Add a cover letter to include with the resume and you could double your money.
As for LinkedIn profiles, that’s where the real storytelling comes in. Take a boring list of facts from a person’s resume and turn it into compelling prose that entices a prospective employer or client to make a call, and you’ve written a successful profile.
And that is not all…
Another way that I make money with my writing, but not exactly writing, is by editing and proofreading. I spent several years as the editor of a regional lifestyle magazine and am the current editor of a niche food blog. If you are familiar with AP style (or Chicago style for book writing) and can smell a typo before you turn the page, hang your shingle as an editor/proofreader.
What are some other ways you earn a living with your writing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.