Why do you want to get stuck in the house to make money as writer? You have other options to earn more. You can apply in any corporate job with higher pay. You can proceed to online businesses as there are many people doing it. Why writing? Writers are known for their vows of poverty, right?
In 2014, I left my professional life as a full-time high school English teacher and decided to dedicate myself to the boundless online world. For whatever reasons I had back then, I decided to become a hermit. *face slap*
Working online isn’t usual in the Philippines though. Many parents wanted their children to work hard at school to get a mundane job to ensure the “future.” I bet 95% of the Filipinos believe they will earn more if they simply follow the convention. Besides, not all are courageous enough to break it.
The fact that you’re here means you want to leave the boring 9 to 5 and simply try a new endeavor while you try to prove that online jobs work. You want to make money as writer.
That not all income comes after the 15th and 30th-day basis. Out of all the income opportunities you choose, writing comes into your mind.
So, How To Make Money As Writer?
In this post, you’re going to get all the information you usually get in several articles worth. Hence, it’s going to be epic for both of us. I will share everything that I learned over the past 5 years in one single post and teach you how to make money as writer. From $0 to $500 per month.
Does it sound impossible?
It’s not. As long as you are tenacious, hard-working, patient, and consistent with applying the principles that I write here, you’re in the right track. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
1. Practice Writing As Contributor.
This is going to be the first thing that I want you to do. You may have the background as an English major or of related studies. But you still have to practice the craft, especially in various formats.
What do I mean by that?
Not every single website accept the same writing style. You have to be flexible with what they require from you. I learned this principle when I started writing as a contributor to various websites like Lifehack, for example.
I had an English major and graduated from the course. However, what I thought was enough in terms of my writing skills isn’t enough to satisfy the editors. It took me a lot of time – even now – to practice my craft. I didn’t stop practicing since then. And it’s been 5 years.
What are you going to do first to practice your writing skills?
You have options. A lot of them. But first, search for websites that offer free contributions. You say, what? “Am I supposed to write an epic post for others for free?” Yes, dear. You have to. For what purpose? How do these relate to make money as writer?
- It serves as your online portfolio when you apply for jobs.
- It serves as your practice under the supervision of an editor.
This website was one of a few I contributed during my writing career. in fact, this aided me in building my earliest porfolio and in making money as writer.
Like Lifehacker, it’s a self-development blog established by Leon Ho that tackles a handful of topics such as relationships, motivation, among others.
Until now, they still look for contributors, who are willing to share their wisdom to millions of their users particularly in positive change and fresh perspectives. You may go to their official website and scroll down to find the “Become an Author” link.
Established in 2005, Huffington Post is American news and opinion website and blog, intended for localized and international audiences. From there, you could get an idea of what kind of blog post you could propose to their current editor, Lydia Polgreen.
There are many bloggers I met in the past, who found success in submitting guest posts, along with the links from their respective blogs to drive traffic. If this works for others, it would work for you as well.
Buzzfeed is a New York-based internet media, news, and entertainment company founded in 2006 solely focused on digital media. That means they rely on creating viral content on most of their posts.
Having that said, you need to have that concept in mind to get your posts accepted. Although it’s a bit competitive, you could try and learn how to create content that’s worth sharing across the American audience. Besides, there are also many bloggers who contributed to the website as part of building their own online writing endeavors.
Founded in 1917, this long-time influential and one of the leading global media that focuses on various topics like business, investing, technology, entertainment, leadership, and lifestyle.
Many bloggers use this as an opportunity to show off their writing prowess and to promote whatever they have on a global scale. However, if you aren’t ready for this, keep practicing your writing craft until you get a slot for a guest post.
Disclosure: This option is a bit tricky since the editor/s need to filter which ones are the best to get featured on their page. That means your topic should be catchy enough to get their attention and your writing should already be competitive enough against the best writers fighting for the same spot as yours. It’s like Hunger Games, you know.
Lorene Deschene rarely opens a guest post slot on her website unless if you already have a previous connection with one of her editors. If it’s your first time, you need to keep in touch with any of the staff-in-charge for publishing your work as many times as you can until they publish it.
Like Lifehack, it focuses on the self-development niche. If you want to upgrade your writing skills in such a way that it touches people’s hearts through personal stories (especially sensitive and stigmatized topics), this is where you can get started.
Unless if you want to share something about minimalist and self-development topics, you can submit your proposed guest posts to any of the editor-in-charge. You can simply submit them on their on-site contact form.
Before you do that, make sure your topic coincides their mission and it should be comprehensive and catchy enough. This is because they don’t only feature it on their page but they also share it with their social media and newsletters with a massive following.
If you want to develop your writing skills on a personal level, writing for Thought Catalog could be the best option aside from Tiny Buddha. Yet, like Forbes, you need to keep in touch with either the editors or the active writers to get your work published on the site.
While you’re at it, you have to write as many interesting guest posts as you can and try to submit them. You might not know which of these could be approved and featured. Patience and hard work are the keys to succeed in this option.
I recently did it on Raelyn Tan’s blog, a Singapore-based personal blog, and shared 30 strategies to engage your readers regardless of their backgrounds. The process is easier if you have your own personal blog because it requires building a relationship with blogger-to-blogger to keep the pace.
Related Article: 30 Tips To Create Engaging Content That Excites Your Readers
If in case, you possess your online asset i.e. personal website, you can simply email her and send a lot of proposed titles for guest posts. Once the website owner approves any of the submitted topics, you can immediately proceed to the next step: the writing.
Steps to get accepted as a contributor:
- Email the editor or active writer and ask about your guest post. Use their on-site contact form or their email written on the website.
- Ask them about the guidelines (if there weren’t stipulated on the website per se) as well as the titles you propose. Make sure you have a lot of ideas in mind before you send an email. Also, ask them about the featured image or content image (ex. infographic), if they require it.
- If they ever get back to you, confirm that you received the email and tell them you’ll start with the writing process immediately. At this point, there’s no rush in finishing the post as long as you follow the guidelines. It should be as perfect as possible.
- During the writing process, including the links of the idea source and content image/s (if applicable). When using headings, adjust it into H2 to allow the title to be the H1 immediately. Usually, they require Arial 12 or 13 for the post just as I do most of the time.
- Upon submission, you have to patiently wait until they review your post and send a response with the inputs based on your work. If they didn’t get back at you for around 1 week, send a follow-up email. Don’t be dismayed. It’s just that they are receiving a lot of posts and they need time to review each of them.
- In case if the editor wants to revise, make sure you’re in constant contact. This is true if you write for Lifehack. An editor-in-charge will work with you all throughout until the post gets published. For personal blogs, usually, the website owner will do the work and only email you for other concerns.
2. Search For Writing Job Opportunities For Small Payments.
Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, it’s a global freelancing platform where the high- or top-quality freelancers find someone or a company to collaborate and connect to get more tasks done.
It’s where I started my writing career. I had no idea where to begin at the time. The same year as to when I left my professional life to stay at home.
When I landed to this website, it was Elance, a separate company from oDesk. A few months after that, I applied for oDesk.
From there, I found some small gigs from private individuals in search for competent writers for their websites or their companies per se.
If you are a Filipino, you can directly visit the website and hover over the comprehensive list of updated jobs. That is if you wish to get hired by private individuals or companies in the search for the highly competent writers,
Like Upwork, you need to search for the ones that belong under the category in which you’re interested in and see the massive list of those who are looking for you in their teams.
Actually, this is the website I got into for the past 5 years in my writing career and had met a lot of employers here. If this worked for me, it would work for you, too.
For $5 per project, you can make money by doing gigs from people that need your help. Fiverr is a hub established as an online marketplace of freelance services in 2010. Since then, over 3 million services have been offered by the platform.
When I started as a writer, I also built my reputation on this platform and provided a few accomplished projects to people for a short time. The system starts when the client arrives at your dashboard and begins communicating with you.
Afterward, if they were satisfied with your portfolio (in which you have to build first to convince more clients to work with you), they will immediately pay half of the price (of the project’s worth) and the rest when the project is done.
The thing is that you don’t pay refunds of the paid 50% because it’s part of the terms and conditions if ever they weren’t satisfied with you. If they did, you get the rest of the amount in your account and work to the next pending gig.
Based in Germany, Great Content is the leading European editorial content provider established in 2011. It specializes in SEO-optimized content to serve its purpose for e-Commerce and other website content requirements.
Like Fiverr, you’re getting offers from different private individuals and/or companies to work with you for the task/s you specified on the dashboard. However, Great Content sets apart when it comes to the sole purpose of writing content. That’s it.
You don’t do web designing or graphic-related gigs. You merely write SEO-rich content for your clients for a small amount. The price of each blog post depends on how much the client pays and the duration you accomplish the work, as well as the length of the post itself.
I had my personal experience working with clients on Great Content since 2013 and stopped around mid-2015 to focus on my news writing job. Hence, you can guarantee to earn more here if you have more offers on your account.
Since I built my reputation as a writer for years, LinkedIn has been helpful to me. Potential clients often seek aid to this platform to search for competent writers. I had a few, who hired me for writing jobs and paid me with a fair amount of money.
Yet, I don’t recommend this if you are looking for a stable source of income. But it’s a big help if you want to have some side income as a writer though. All you need to do is to build your profile on LinkedIn and be active on the platform.
In your profile, make sure you provide complete descriptions of your background as it serves as your online resume most clients ask. Regardless if the client came from OnlineJobs.Ph or Upwork, they do search your online resume through LinkedIn.
Given, you have to make your online profile as comprehensive as possible. Post a professional photo of yourself, too. Once done, start following people and make engaging conversations.
Might as well post some blog posts and invite people to read them. You can do a lot of things there as they added more features today, which are indeed helpful in connecting B2B.
3. Start A Free Blog.
Around 2011, I knew I had a hunch in earning something from my writing skill. At the time, I was a 2nd-year college student and had no idea how to make it possible. On top of that, my academic background pressures me to conform to what’s the norm, get a good job and get paid high.
It was intense and blogging became my sole vent to my frustration. I had no friends to talk to, to console me, whatever. I was a loner for God’s sake. From there, I started to build my own free blog and simply write whatever I had in mind. I didn’t know that this will pave the way to earning more than an average employee as I was.
As I mentioned earlier, I was a professional for a year and quit for the sake of uncertainty. Making money online as a writer was a certain lost but hidden paradise for me. Fortunately, the previous blogs I made back in my college days helped me realize that there’s money from them.
Because of that, I really recommend that you have to start building your own writing portfolio by creating your own personal blog.
For what reasons?
- Your potential employers and clients review your writing style before hiring you and paying you.
- You need to keep practicing your writing though you’re already hired and keep improving (adding vocabulary, improving amateur-ish writing to pro).
What are the platforms you could maximize for this purpose?
There are a lot. Yet, the following are the websites I recommend since I’m using them myself:
You can go through these and review them. You don’t have to have a lot of blogs. Just choose one of these and focus on building your reputation there. If you choose Medium with at least 25 million unique monthly visitors and 95% of them are college graduates, start there.
The same principle applies with the rest of the recommended websites I listed. Remember, less is more. Stay focused and keep writing until someone discovers your craft and your expertise.
4. Start Your Professional Blog Via WordPress.Org.
One of the best investments you could do to make money as writer is to build your own professional website. And that’s done through WordPress.Org. Not WordPress.Com, but the dot Org.
If I were completely honest with you, I’ve had 4 failed websites and wasted hundreds of dollars of my money to keep my vision alive. I wanted to write and that’s it. Everything else failed except my will to keep going as a writer. This website where you’re reading this post is my 5th website.
My experience doesn’t mean to replicate yours. To get serious with this craft, there is a lot of experimentation and to save money with buying a lot of domains, buy a domain with your own name in it. It takes a lot of courage, I know. Seeing your name on Google entails a lot of responsibility, I know. I had that, too.
But you know what? This forces you to get serious, my writing buddy. You want to make money as writer, right? This is what you should do to get started as a professional writer. Not some amateur writer-wannabe.
How to set up your own professional blog?
1. Search for web hosting companies to buy your first domain.
What’s a domain?
A domain, as the name suggests, is your own online property in which is available for web purposes and is searchable via internet sources. In simple terms, it’s your own unique online property that’s searchable through search engines.
You can only avail this asset through web hosting companies to make your property live. It’s like you buy a piece of land from its owner and you need the discretion from the government to make it legal under your name. From there, you need a set of people or a company to build your house or whatever you plan for the land.
The same thing with your website. You buy your domain with your desired website name in it and you need the web hosting companies’ aid to make your website publishable and searchable through the internet.
Given, you have 4 recommendations. You have:
- NameCheap (recommended)
I have been buying my domains on NameCheap since I started my website back in 2015 and I faced no troubles with setting up everything here. On top of that, they offer the best price. I often spend more or less $10 for web hosting packages. Of course, you have another add ons to keep your website safe.
You either buy Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates to secure your website and its users. This is to prevent any persons, who try to harm your site, in general. Especially if you plan to ask your users any confidential information such as their email addresses (for subscriptions), among others.
2. Set up a Gutenberg-ready blog through StudioPress Themes
To make this more understandable to you, searching for blog themes is already a headache. Nowadays, website users wanted to have a responsive website that does look good not only on the PC or laptop but also on mobile.
Also, you have Google to consider. To keep your website visible, you have to make sure it can crawl to your website without problems. I have had a lot in the past when I didn’t invest in Gutenberg-ready themes that StudioPress Themes create for serious bloggers like me.
Each theme cost more or less $100 and if you want to purchase an unlimited theme, you could save as much as $1,700 off + other features you couldn’t enjoy if you only purchase theme-by-theme.
Once you choose StudioPress Themes for your blog, you get 3 months FREE when you sign up today.
(Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link. So, I earn from this as well. But I’m not selling the themes without my recommendation. I’m using their themes for this website).
On the other hand, if you are in a tight budget and simply want to have a feel of it, choose one theme and customize based on your personal taste. Don’t limit yourself and let the ideas flow since you just started.
The important things about building your website comprise the following:
- About Page
- Contact Page
- First 5 epic blog posts
- Email subscription option
This is the only page where you introduce yourself to your readers. Basically, you’re telling your potential clients what you do, your background, your books or works (if you have), and what you have to offer. Of course, you want to make money as writer. So, you state you write for a living.
You don’t have to so comprehensive about this as long as you give out the most important details about you to the world. If ever, you plan to make a giveaway or course in the future, this is also the place where you state these as part of your offer. In summary, simply look into these questions and answer them to create your about page.
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Do you have any writing background or accolades to share?
- Do you have books or works to share?
- What do you have to offer to your readers or clients?
You don’t have to fill in so much blah blah on this page except a few words to inform your readers how you can get in touch with them. So, you can simply say like the format below or you can add more spice to it.
“If you want to say your thoughts about my posts, any concerns or issues you want to tell me, you can fill in the required information below. Looking forward to your messages.”
For the on-site form, you can download a plugin. If it’s included in the theme package, you can take advantage of it as well. Make sure you adjust its settings to the default email to yours to ensure you receive messages right through your inbox.
First 5 Epic Blog Posts
Why 5? Why epic?
Others set off with fewer blog posts, yet they are epic. Why do you have to write epic blog posts? Simple. You want to market yourself as a professional writer. You aren’t an amateur blogger but a person with an ambitious vision.
Do you want to promote yourself to your potential clients and employers with blog posts you aren’t even proud to share? This is why you have to guarantee the length of your posts reaching 4,000 words. Not only to attract Google’s attention but also to prove you aren’t creating a crap online.
To start writing blog posts, you have to adhere to your vision and mission. Why are you blogging? What are you trying to tell the world? What kind of message or personal experience do you want to share with your readers? There should be alignment.
For instance, my website intends to teach writers like you how to write that touches people’s hearts. That means I’m not here to simply teach you how to write but to write with a core message and the process involved.
If you take a look at my posts, the topics I published here but they all related to writing. In your case, plan ahead (but don’t be a perfectionist here) and make your vision and mission clear. To execute that plan, your first 5 blog posts will cement that on your website.
Tools To Use:
As the name suggests, this tool aids you in perfecting your writing through scanning your work’s errors. In case if you misspelled a word or any grammatical errors, Grammarly does the job of proofreading those for you before you publish your blog posts.
Just so you know, if you keep publishing content with a lot of errors, that makes you appear amateur rather than being a pro in your craft. Bear in mind that you want to make money as writer. And to do that seamlessly, you have to ensure you don’t commit a lot of mistakes or utmost, 100% free from those.
Yoast for SEO
If you have previous experiences with Great Content or if you have encountered the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before, probably, you already have an idea of why I have to include this on the list.
That’s because you have to make friends with Google and other search engines to be visible to your clients and employers if you were searching for online jobs. From there, you need to at least know its basics and download this WordPress plugin to check your post and your website’s ranking potential.
If the lights go green, that means your post qualifies to the SEO standards Google requires. So, as a writer, you’re not only concerned with your content per se but its indexability.
Brian Dean’s Basic SEO Tactics
This is in relation to my previous point wherein I tackle the importance of learning and mastering your SEO prowess. I studied it since I began writing for an international web news company. That every post should be Google-friendly to attract more traffic.
And if your post passes the SEO standards, chances are the potential of your post to generate a large amount of traffic and its prospective conversions could be highly expected.
To learn more about how this works, I highly recommend Brian Dean’s step-by-step training on how to implement the tricks to keep your website indexable and boost its visibility online without hassling too much on social sharing and other short-term marketing strategies.
Disclosure: Everything will be alienating to you. But as long as you dedicate to building your reputation online through your website, you have to learn SEO and its fundamentals. I once had a hard time learning about it, too. It wasn’t an easy start for me.
Jon Morrow’s 52 Headline Hacks
I didn’t have any idea that by having powerful headlines, a blog post can attract more readers because of playing around their emotions. Given, it’s a must that you learn how to construct headlines that provokes the internet users to click on your website than the rest on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
To do so, I also want you to check out one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Morrow, and download his 52 Headline Hacks. I had my copy in 2016 and until now, I’m still using it. It’s not only applicable to blogging but also to other online endeavors as well.
You aren’t to simply write without considering the graphics to keep your readers engaged. You aren’t writing a book though. You’re writing a blog post.
To cope with your reader’s interest and to prevent them from exiting your page, you need to use some images in your content. For that, I use Canva in my blog, which has been a very important tool for my writing life. It’s not only for my blog but also in my full-time writing job as well.
If you plan to maximize your blogging career, you can use the same application to create nice PDFs with free layouts as well as optin designs to attract your readers to subscribe to your email list and keep them updated with your latest blog posts.
One of the leading email service providers, MailChimp provides both free and paid services, which is useful in collecting your user’s personal information to your subscription. If you have any blog updates or if you have a new blog post published lately, it automatically updates them.
The same principle applies when you plan to make a free course, downloadable, or a paid course, MailChimp does its job on informing your readers about it through their respective inboxes.
As a writer, you don’t have to make a fuss about sending each of them a message because this platform does it for you. All you need to do is to focus on creating epic content and other necessary tasks to sustain your blogging career.
Sales Funnel Applications
I included this on the list because of mentioning the email subscription before. If you aren’t familiar with a sales funnel, it’s a consumer-focused model in which you provide a path for your future clients or readers from simply following your blog and read your posts towards your sales page.
This is only applicable if you plan to sell something like a course or to invite them to buy your recently published book. For example,
Blog post >> Sign up for email >> Receive emails informing about your latest book >> Register to become a beta reader (for example) >> Goes to Amazon or Barnes & Noble >> Purchase the book
If you want them to purchase your online course, you can follow the same system as long as you provide a path for your consumers to arrive on your page and get their email as subscribers.
To implement this seamlessly, you need the help of the third-party platforms. You may have to spend a little to get all the features you need to execute this plan well. Really well. I experienced this myself and it’s going to be tough. But it’s all worth your while.
Anyway, I recommend you to see these sales funnel platforms for your review and see which of these is best for you and your business.
- Thrive Themes
Disqus For Comment Moderation
This is optional if you rather stick with the comment section WordPress provides on your website. But if you want to have full control and customize, installing Disqus is the best. I used it here as well, which you can see below.
It’s not only you who will benefit from your commenting system but your users as well. As long as they have Disqus accounts, which most active internet users have, they can easily share their thoughts on each blog post as easily as possible.
To build your career online and make money as writer, it’s not an easy path. It’s not for everyone’s taste buds. I swear to God it’s never easy. I wasn’t for me and it won’t be for you, too.
But here’s the catch.
I tell you that what you gain online is better than working your butts off in a dreading 9 to 5. I was a starved full-time high school teacher, who barely manages to keep ends meet with more or less $100 per month salary.
My collapse in front of my students was a big wake up call for me to get a life and search for more opportunities. Those that were far better than what I had. And working online was the best decisions I did.
In comparison to working 9 to 5, I enjoyed these:
- I earned 5X than before.
- Full control of my time when I want to work and not.
- I can do everything I want with my free time.
- As an introvert, I didn’t have to leave my lofty home.
- I didn’t have to suffer from commuting every single day.
- I explored my writing, including writing a lengthy book.
- And more!
If I managed to get off my parents’ professional dream for me by making more money without leaving the house, you can. If you are an introvert like me, you understand my situation better. You know how unfathomable it is to leave the house and suffer from rush hours every day. Only to get low salary than your skills’ worth.
With that said, I encourage you to take this option a second look. Think about it. You can always go back to this post and learn how to make money as writer by reviewing this ultimate guide I wrote for you, my friend.
I managed to earn $0 to $500 per month now. If I did (as an overachiever myself), so can you. Convinced?
If so, click the link to subscribe to my list. You will receive a comprehensive guide to write your first book (principles of writing fiction and nonfiction are similar). It teaches you how to get started and save more time. Just so you know, we’re writers. Writing a book is worth an experience.