17 Proven Ways To Make Money As A Freelance Writer

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17 ways to make money as a freelance writer | Be The Budget

Are you looking to make money as a freelance writer? With so much content being published these days, your timing couldn’t be better.

In the not-so-distant past, earning a living as a writer wasn’t easy. In the years before the internet, the only real way to make money writing was through journalism or book deals for authors. But now, since almost everything has gone online, the freelance writing world is ripe for the taking. 

From blog posts to eBooks and everything in between, if you have a way with words, you can earn money as a freelance writer. But where do you look for work? And how do you find out about current writing opportunities? 

This article covers 15 of the best ways to make money as a freelance writer. Whether you choose to  utilize several of the following methods, or stick to one or two, I am confident that this article will help you find your niche.

1. Create A Gig On Fiverr

Fiverr is an excellent platform on which to start your freelance writing career.

To get started, you have to create a profile, link your payment details, and create a ‘gig.’ It’s totally up to you what you include in your gig and how you structure it. 

But remember, Fiverr was created so that people could find someone to do almost anything for five dollars. While the pricing of gigs has undoubtedly evolved since the platform was launched, you should price your services appropriately, particularly when you’re a new seller. 

You can also market your services in a particular niche, thanks to Fiverr’s categorization of sellers. 

For instance, you might market yourself as a travel writer or a fiction author. 

Fiverr affords you excellent flexibility, and providing your profile is appealing and well presented, people will find you and ask you to work for them.

It’s an excellent starting point for your freelance writing career.

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2. Sell Your Services On Upwork

Similar in some respects to Fiverr, UpWork is another platform for freelancers.

Companies list jobs and projects that they’re looking for someone to complete, and freelancers submit their interest and apply for the work. 

Although there is a lot of competition on Upwork, it’s often seen as a level up from Fiverr. The projects tend to be ongoing and bigger than those found on Fiverr, and freelancers also  tend to command a higher fee on the platform. 

The more work you undertake and the more diverse your portfolio, the more chance you have of securing ongoing projects. 

3. Start A Blog

One of the best places to start making money as a freelance writer is on your own blog. 

Writing for your own blog is a great way to showcase your writing skills and start building up a portfolio. That way, when you want to write for someone else or pitch an article to a publication, you’ll have some writing samples to show them.

In addition to giving you writing practice, a blog also allows you to make money with your writing. 

There are several ways to monetize your blog, and you may want to choose some combination of these options depending on what your blog is about.

Here are some ways you can earn money with a blog:

Affiliate Marketing

That’s right, you can make money through your blog just by promoting products you already use and love. And the best part is that many affiliate networks accept applicants who have little to no blog traffic. These networks pair you with companies who will pay you commissions whenever someone makes a purchase from their website after clicking on one of your affiliate links.

How do you start affiliate marketing? After you have been accepted to a few affiliate networks or programs, you can promote affiliate products on your blog. Some of the best ways to promote affiliate products are through review blog posts, comparison blog posts, or in the sidebar sections of your website.

Display Ads

If you sign up for ad networks, you can place advertisements on your blog. 

The payouts from advertisements aren’t very substantial unless you have a lot of blog traffic, but you can start when your traffic is low and then work on bringing in more traffic.

Donations

Include a simple “Donate” button on your blog where people can support you in exchange for all the great content you provide.

Product Sales

Another option is to create a digital product and sell it on your blog. 

As a freelance writer, you likely have more knowledge than the average person about writing or certain other topics you write about. If you find a way to package that knowledge and sell it through your blog, you can make a great living as a writer.

If you’re interested in starting a blog, be sure to check out a few of our other posts:

4. Write Website Content For Small Businesses

Content creators are highly sought-after. 

As a talented writer, you can offer your services to small businesses and entrepreneurs and write the content for their websites. You can approach small business owners that you know or reach out on social media to offer your services. 

When you’re seeking to work with small businesses, be mindful that their budget is likely to be limited, so adjust your prices accordingly. 

Small business owners will also want to see proof of your previous work before taking you on, so make sure you have a portfolio that you can share with them.

17 ways to make money as a freelance writer | Be The Budget

5. Apply To Job Postings On Problogger

ProBlogger is a fantastic resource for freelance writers. Companies post a range of job listings on the site and accept applications from freelancers to complete the work.

Some of the postings are for one-off assignments, whereas others are for long-term, ongoing projects. You will find a wide variety of postings on ProBlogger, but not all of them will be suitable for you. 

Keep checking the site regularly or subscribe to receive updates when new jobs are listed. 

The best part about ProBlogger is that once you’ve completed one project, the same client is likely to hire your services for future work, providing you’ve done a great job! 

6. Partner With A Marketing Agency

Marketing agencies are always looking for freelance writers to create content for their clients. As such, they work with freelancers to create content when they’ve already won the business. 

This provides an excellent opportunity to writers, as they don’t have to worry about sourcing business from individual clients. If your work is of a high standard, you could easily become the go-to writer for all of their clients.

7. Join A Content Network

Have you ever heard of a content network? 

It’s a collective of sites that provide content and permit advertisers to show ads alongside it. 

As you might imagine, a significant proportion of the content required is text, presenting the perfect opportunity to freelance writers. 

There are plenty of content networks out there, but if you’re looking for a good place to start, we recommend iWriter and ContentFly.

8. Write Blog Posts For Other Bloggers

If you want to make money as a freelance writer, you should consider writing blog posts for, well, bloggers. Many accomplished bloggers hire writers to help them produce great content and keep up with demand. And this is actually one of the most common ways to make money as a freelance writer. 

You can find work via freelancing sites like Fiverr, or you can take a more direct approach.

If you follow a popular blog in a specific niche, get in touch via the contact page or through a direct message on social media. 

Many blogs promote the fact they’re looking for writers, so look through the different pages on their website to seek out opportunities. 

9. Ghostwrite A Novel Or E-Book

Thanks to the rise in popularity of self-publishing sites like Kindle Direct Publishing, lots of people are making money from books they didn’t even write. Really? Absolutely! Ghostwriting is an incredibly popular business.

Freelancers can find work ghostwriting for a variety of topics, including fictional pieces, self-help books, and industry-specific guides and e-books. 

Lots of entrepreneurs hire ghostwriters to research and write on a specific topic so they can then sell the e-book on their website. 

10. Write/Sell An Ebook Of Your Own

Maybe you want to write an ebook about the life of a freelance writer! As mentioned in the previous point, self-publishing and promoting e-books has never been easier. The most difficult thing about the whole process is the writing itself. 

However, if you want to provide an insight into a particular topic, then go for it! Just think carefully about how you will market your ebook, how to price it competitively, and also how to make a decent return on your investment.

You can find fellow freelancers to help you with everything from copy editing to ebook cover designs, which makes the whole process a little less daunting. 

Although writing an ebook takes time, I imagine there are few better feelings than seeing a published book in your name. 

11. Create/Sell An Online Writing Course

If you’re a talented writer with a strong grasp on english grammar, you could create an online writing course and sell it through your blog. If you have relevant qualifications like an English major or a creative writing degree, it will undoubtedly help you attract clients. 

You should also be clear about what the course will help people achieve. People might sign up for writing courses to help them with the following: 

  • Creative and fictional writing
  • Writing tutorials for non-native English speakers
  • Journalistic and article writing
  • How to get started as a freelance writer 
  • Academic writing and research 
  • How to start a successful blog 

Your course could be about a whole host of things, so think carefully about your skills and talents. Bear in mind people will probably want to see your credentials, and probably read some of your writing, which is why blogging is so important for freelance writers. 

12. Write Blog Posts For Podcasters

There’s a podcast on pretty much every topic these days! From dating tips to ancient history, you can find something to put on in the car on your drive home from work. We all have our favorite shows, and some of us follow our preferred podcasters on social media. 

Although talented orators, not all podcasters are skilled writers. 

As such, they’re often looking for help writing blog posts and researching topics for their upcoming shows. That’s why, if you want to make money as a freelance writer, you should reach out to podcasters directly on social media and offer to help them with their writing. 

Who knows, you might soon tune into an episode of your favorite podcast that you’ve helped to write! 

Now there’s an exciting prospect.

How to make money freelance writing | Be The Budget

13.  Write For Magazines And/Or Online Publications

Although print media is a lot less popular than it once was, many of the traditional magazines and periodicals have migrated to offer online services only. 

They’ve also changed the way they hire writers. In fact, many of them depend entirely on freelancers. 

If you visit the website of an online magazine, they will publicize the types of articles they’re looking for, for upcoming editions. Alternatively, you can send an article that you’ve written and researched already if you think it would interest the readers of a particular magazine. 

Writing for magazines and online publications is an excellent way to build your portfolio. You can also share links to your published work with prospective clients, which will help you win more projects.  

14. Offer Technical Writing Services For Complex Services

Depending on your major or professional experience, you can earn money as a freelance writer by writing about complex technical issues. Some topics like law, math, and science, require a high degree of background knowledge and understanding in order to produce a high-quality article. 

If you are experienced in a technical field, you can put your expertise to good use. 

You can either search for writing jobs that are available in your niche or create a gig on a site like Fiverr advertising your service, so customers can find you. 

Whichever way you decide to go about it, you can charge a premium for technical expertise. 

If you’re able to produce consistently compelling technical articles for a particular company, you could even win a long-term contract.

15. Write Email Newsletters For Bloggers Or Small Businesses

There’s a trick to writing engaging email newsletters. Considering how much junk people receive in their email folders, a newsletter has to pique their interest to even be opened. 

To ensure they get the tone right, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and even bloggers look to freelance writers to produce their email newsletters. 

If you’ve been hired to create a website or social media content for a specific company, you could also offer to take on their email campaigns. After all, there’s a great deal of money to be made in email marketing for businesses that do it well. 

16. Write Fan Fiction

Nowadays, you can make money by writing fan fiction. 

Amazon Kindle Worlds pays authors for licensed fan fiction about your favorite television shows and movies. Amazon will pay you 35 percent on the sales of your book.

If you love television and want to take your favorite characters through a storyline of your own making, this is the perfect option for you. 

Not only is it a great way to make money as a freelance writer, but it will also be fun!

17. Offer Conversion-Focused Copywriting

One of the most lucrative forms of freelance writing is conversion copywriting. 

You may not yet consider yourself a conversion copywriter, but it’s not hard to make the switch from writing content to writing sales copy.

Conversion copywriters are in the business of writing material that helps businesses market and sell their products and services. 

After all, writing and brand messaging are a huge factor when it comes to the success of product launches, website conversions, and brand awareness.

Businesses know this, and many of them are willing to pay a pretty penny to get it done right for them. These types of services are easy to pitch because they have a direct effect on a company’s bottom line.

How To Find Freelance Writing Clients

Now that we’ve discussed a plethora of ways you can make money as a freelance writer, the next question is, how do you get clients?

Well, here are a few tips to get you started.

Choose A Writing Niche

Whether you’re writing for your own blog or dream of being a freelance writer for other businesses and individuals, it helps to narrow down your focus to one niche. Focusing on one area of expertise can help you grow more quickly as a freelancer than if you write for more general projects.

When choosing a niche, consider your own interests and background in addition to which niches are profitable. Not all niches are high-paying, so do some research to find out which niches pay the most.

It helps to think through a monetization strategy from the start, that way you won’t dig yourself into a hole after writing 50 articles about a certain subject. 

You don’t have to figure out where every dollar is going to come from, but at a minimum, you should verify that there are writers out there who are making money in your chosen niche.

Some examples of profitable niches include personal finance, investing, travel, and digital marketing. 

That said, don’t just choose a niche because it’s profitable, otherwise you’ll probably burn out after a short while. Pick a niche that you enjoy writing about and that has an existing base of people who want to learn more about it.

Pitch Guest Posts

Start with the blogs you love to read. If you don’t read blogs, take a look around the internet and browse the blogs on websites of companies you like.

Oftentimes, other bloggers, influencers, or businesses will allow other writers to guest post on their blogs. This is a great way to gain exposure and to get more eyes on your writing. 

While guest posting is usually an unpaid gig, it can help get your name out there and be a springboard to other lucrative writing opportunities.

Some blogs do pay for guest posts, so you can earn from your submissions. 

Search online for blogs in your niche that pay for guest posts. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each blog’s specified guidelines for blog posts, and write a solid pitch to send along with your article.

If everything goes according to plan, you’ll get a byline on their website, a piece for your portfolio, a link back to your own blog, and some cash in your wallet. 

Not a bad deal!

17 ways to make money as a freelance writer | Be The Budget

Cold Pitch Clients

If you want to make money as a freelance writer, the most straightforward way to do so is to get some offers in front of people. 

Many companies would benefit from consistent content on their blogs, well-written product descriptions, or help defining their brand voice. And many companies don’t have the budget to hire a full-time in-house writer.

That’s where you step in. 

Browse the websites of small to medium-sized businesses that you’re interested in writing for. 

Notice whether or not they have a blog, and make note of the date they last published an article.

Or, if you’re more interested in writing branded content for their website, comb through their site and write down any areas you notice could be improved.

Then, it’s time to pitch your services. When sending a cold pitch to someone, it’s important to do two things – be human, and emphasize the value your writing will add to their business.

When you email a pitch to a business, remember that a human being is on the receiving end. It’s entirely up to the person who reads your pitch whether a company considers your offer or sends it straight to the trash bin.

With this in mind, make sure your pitches sound like they were written by a human. Don’t send out mass form letter emails. It takes little to no thought to put these together, and people are aware of this.

Instead, focus on stating the benefit your writing will bring to the company. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and specifically state how you would help them improve or grow.

Scout Out Popular Job Boards

Keep your eye out on job boards for any freelance writing opportunities. Job boards that are specifically for writing, such as the Problogger Job Board, have opportunities for writers in all sorts of different niches.

You can also set email alerts on traditional job sites like LinkedIn, so you can be alerted whenever someone posts about a writing or copywriting job in your area. 

While many of these are full-time jobs, employers also post part-time and contract jobs on these sites.

Look On Craigslist

Craigslist is full of unique opportunities for writers. 

To find your next writing gig, search in big cities, and look in the “Jobs” section under “writing/editing.” 

There tend to be a variety of different writing jobs on the site ranging from writing product descriptions to transcripts.

However, always beware of scammers on Craigslist, and make sure you secure a contract before performing any work for someone.

Promote Your Work On Social Media

Social media is a valuable tool to market your writing. 

It gives you the opportunity to share your work with more people, and this, in turn, could provide you with more writing clients.

One of your Facebook friends could work for a company desperately in need of writing help. Or, an editor could stumble upon one of your social media posts and reach out to you with a writing gig.

If you want to grow your freelance writing career and start earning more money, people need to know about what you’re doing. 

You don’t have to have a huge following for this to work – it just takes the right person seeing your content.

Final Thoughts

There are so many ways you can make money as a freelance writer.

And whether you choose to pursue one of the ideas in this article, or something entirely different, just be sure to maintain exceptionally high standards and create a portfolio to showcase your work. When presented alongside positive customer testimonials, these are vital to helping you secure future business. 

The only thing left for you to do now is to jump in and try out some of these methods. Providing you work hard and offer a great service, you’ll be earning money as a freelance writer in no time.

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About The Author

About The Author

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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