Believe me or not, you need three things to succeed as a writer. I mean, a writer in the digital age. First, you need knowledge, specifically the scope of the writing industry and your role in it. Second, know what preferred skill sets most people willingly pay for. Third, owning a professional website is better than a simple landing page or online portfolio for potential leads.
A. What Do You Need To Know About Making Money Writing Online?
The freelance writing industry is massive to such an extent that you can monetize this skill set in various ways. The most popular and, probably, easiest one to make money from is website content writing. That means you write or revise existing content published on a blog or a company website.
Either way, even without experience, you may or may not get writing jobs like that as there are hundreds of thousands of them out there.
On Upwork alone, you see how many jobs immediately pop out on the feed as you can see below. All you need to do is to sign-up on the platform and add your preferred payment method, and you’re set.
This may be the easiest way to start. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to attract the people you want to work with. I mean, those people who won’t likely exploit your writing capability for their advantage. It isn’t stable in the long run unless you are fine getting paid low, especially as a non-native speaker.
Most writers don’t tell you this!
Many of us have done it for a long time, including me. I was fine at getting paid for cents during the first few years as a writer. But there was a time when I felt that my efforts on producing such types of content they demanded weren’t reciprocated and appreciated.
More often than not, writers from developing countries I met and talked to aren’t fine with working hard for cents, given that they see other writers, who are mostly native speakers, succeed in a meaningful way. They make enough or even more money by writing about the things that they value.
It’s hard to accept that this isn’t the reality for most non-native speakers. It’s painful to realize that, though you work hard by doing something you love, which is writing, you start to feel uneasy and desperate for escape.
We write to survive and make enough money to feed our family – and not to be happy.
Little did writers know that there are still other ways aside from applying solely for content writing jobs, and hopefully escape the rat race. In other words, there is hope.
What are the 5 types of content according to purpose?
In my “Write Your First $5K: Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Writing Online” course, separating different types of content according to their purpose, form, or structure was intentional.
Instead of showing you the exact processes involved to make money online, I don’t want to overwhelm you with facts because the content writing industry is immense. Just so you know, in total, there are 35 types of content according to structure or form out there.
For a non-native speaker, it is necessary for you to have a bird’s eye view of the entire system by evaluating the connections between these 35 content types, which eventually lead to having 5 types organized through purpose.
This process will make it easier for you to remember how the writing industry works and get creative to stand out.
- Website content writing
- Self-publishing/eBook writing
- Content writing for media and entertainment
- Technical and academic writing
- Online courses/eCourses
What are the 35 types of content according to structure or form?
I mentioned earlier the 35 types of content, which is considerably gigantic and perhaps overwhelming. By the way, these are the same types needed to operate and fuel the entire content marketing system and produced consistently and strategically.
Here, we have a long list of those content types. If you want to dig into them deeper, you can read my separate post to see the examples as well. The link to that post is down below.
- Blog posts
- Website content (landing page, About Page, Contact Page, etc.)
- Long-form content (A piece of content with around 1,500 to 2,000 words)
- Case studies (Check out mine here)
- Client profiles
- Testimonials and customer reviews
- White papers
- Content images
- A lead magnet (Free worksheets, etc. in exchange for email addresses)
- Email marketing (Ex. an automated email sequence for new subscribers)
- Newsletters (Weekly email updates or news for subscribers)
- Photos (Featured images, content images, etc.)
- Promotions (Ex. upcoming course or book launch)
- Social campaigns (content for social media posts)
- Link building (networking with other writers or bloggers, guest post collabs)
- Ask Me Anything Format
- Reviews (Ex. Book review, writing application review)
- Interactive pages
- News releases
- Wikis (pays $100 if you can write a wiki for someone or a brand on Wikipedia)
- In-app messages
- Print (Ex. brochures for a local shop)
- Advertisement (Ex. social media ads, Google Ads, etc.)
- Application (Ex. UX content writing, UX copywriting)
Recommended Post: 35 Types of Content Every Writer Should Know + Examples
B. Do I Have The Skills To Make Money Writing Online?
Depending on your writing skill set and your writing preference, there’s no doubt that you can find a writing gig out there. Remember, you can’t underestimate the power of the internet. There’s a lot.
Yet, here’s the catch. Do you have what your prospective clients need? I mean, do you know how to write a blog post, a book outline, or an effective email headline?
If yes, great. But it would be tougher to compete against native speakers if you rely on the writing skills that you have. You have to have a more attractive skill set to attract more people to work with you.
I wrote in my previous blog post,
“To get into these competitive and high-paying writing jobs, we must learn, if learning the preferred writing skills required for these opportunities is possible..”
Another writer, Issa Mirandilla, a Philippine-based freelance writer, wrote an article that said,
“Apparently, many clients are under the impression that writers from the Third-World or developing countries are article-spewing robots who run on gasoline, rather than living, breathing human beings who need to shell out money every day to survive.”
What are the skills that will thrive in 2022?
According to the “World Economic Forum 10 Soft Skills to Thrive in 2022” list, it implies that a high-income content writer needs to possess the following 10 skills:
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Active learning and learning strategies
- Creativity, originality, and initiative
- Technology, design, and programming
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Complex problem solving
- Leadership and social influence
- Emotional intelligence
- Reasoning, problem solving, and ideation
- Systems analysis and evaluation
To give you a clear picture of how the content marketing industry evolves, the “World Economic Forum” provided a list of 10 skill sets in 2020.
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- People management
- Coordinating with others
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
- Judgment and decision making
- Service orientation
- Cognitive flexibility
Here’s the table to give you a clear comparison between the soft skills required from a high-income writer in 2020 and 2022:
World Economic Forum 10 Soft Skills to Thrive in 2020
World Economic Forum 10 Soft Skills to Thrive in 2022
1. Complex problem solving
1. Analytical thinking and innovation
2. Critical thinking
2. Active learning
3. Creativity, originality, and initiative
4. People management
4. Technology, design, and programming
5. Coordinating with others
5. Critical thinking and analysis
6. Emotional intelligence
6. Complex problem solving
7. Judgment and decision making
7. Leadership and social influence
8. Service orientation
8. Emotional intelligence
9. Reasoning, problem solving, and evaluation
10. Cognitive flexibility
10. Systems analysis and evaluation
If you take a closer look at each skill set, you will realize how the writing industry gets more competitive and tougher than it was before.
How much more for a writer from a developing country?
C. Why Do Writers Need A Blog?
Writers don’t need just a blog, but a professional blog. Do you want to stand out, right? So, you’ve got to look professional from any client’s perspective. You’ve got to have something to leave a positive and lasting impression.
Why do you need to exert more effort as a non-native speaker?
Look. We aren’t the apple of the eye for most clients. Thus, hiring writers from developing countries is a huge risk. To prove that, you need a blog to showcase your skill. You have to show them that, though you are not a native speaker, you can do as great as native speakers can or even better.
Earning $500/month as a non-native speaker was only possible when I began to take my website seriously. From 2015 to mid-2018, I only relied on writing for other websites as a guest contributor. I barely earned a dime. But that changed when I started www.mgaspary.com in November 2018.
The same thing happened in November 2020 when a client hired me as a ghostwriter, which eventually led me to earn $6,000 within a few months. He was also asking for a professional website link that I own. Had I not built it earlier, opportunities like these wouldn’t be possible at all.
A blog needs content to thrive.
You need to write to produce content because you need to set up landing pages and other important pages like the About Page, which showcases your achievement, writing portfolio, and feedback from previous clients you’ve worked with, and a Contact Page with your email address.
Chelsea Terry, a professional proofreader and editor of an independent editorial business in the UK, encouraged non-native speakers to have a blog to demonstrate their writing skills online.
“Most of the time, people assume that non-native speakers can’t speak a word of English. The best thing you can do is actively demonstrate that you can speak and write fluently, and display what you already know and have achieved,” she wrote.
“By sharing your skills and experience, and providing proof that you are capable, you’re giving yourself a much better chance of being accepted and hired for the writing project.”
Conclusion - Here's The Solution!
If writing is your passion, then, this course is for you.
In the past few weeks, I have been working on a course that will help you build a meaningful writing career. You don’t have to spend years of guessing games and do what works because I have done them all for you.
Believe me. I’ve been there where you are right now.
The “Write Your First $5K: Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Writing Online” course will have the following modules for free access:
Module 1 - Best Ways To Make Money Online
This module will have lessons that provide an overview of demand, as well as the major types of content most people need to build their businesses or their careers.
Module 2 - Blogging for Writers
This module will tackle the process of building a professional blog, specifically for writers. I will share the shortcuts to save you more time, so you can begin your success story sooner.
Module 3 - Roadmap + BONUS
This module will contain bonus lessons for writers. It will be revealed soon. But, if you want to be the first one who will hear the news, you can sign-up on my email list through the sign-up form below this post. I love to have you on board.
Right now, I’m updating the lessons with new video lectures and activities, and it will continue for the rest of the modules. It is why I’m encouraging you to sign-up and enroll in my course while the “Write Your First $5K” course is FREE for the first 50 students.
If you want to sign-up on my email list, fill in the required information in the form below this post. Once you sign-up, you will receive my latest updates right to your inbox. I hope to talk to you, too. (Hopefully soon. Fingers crossed.)
If you want to leave your thoughts about this post and the course, kindly write them down in the comment section. Don’t be hesitant to share them with me and the rest of the writing community.