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Two years ago, I turned my freelance writing side hustle into a bona fide business—one that allowed me to quit my full-time job as a pharmacist and start working for myself.
And the year before that, with the help of a professional blogger extraordinaire, I started a blog—one that helps me pay a few bills each month.
Having multiple income streams is #goalsAF…wouldn’t you agree? Especially when you don’t have to go anywhere to do the work.
Sure, the consistent paycheck you get from your part-time or full-time gig is important, but how would you pay your bills if that job went away? Wouldn’t you feel much more secure, empowered, and excited to have money coming in from elsewhere, too?
Fortunately, the Internet offers tremendous opportunities for making money online, and many of them aren’t technical or complicated at all. That’s right – you don’t have to be a computer scientist or an IT guru to make money on the Internet (but more power to you if you are)!
You can use a skill as basic as writing—a skill you began learning in kindergarten—to help you earn some extra cash on the side.
By no means am I implying that becoming a good writer is easy, but it’s definitely something that can be learned and improved upon. And once you’re ready, you can use that skill to set up another income stream!
I started writing online (for money) last year. Before then, I knew it was possible to make money writing online, but I didn’t really know how and I definitely didn’t know the hard numbers.
After just 3 months of freelance writing, I’d made almost $1,500. And that was on top of having an infant, working full-time, and spending lots of my free time on my first blog. Less than 2 years later, I was able to drop my full-time gig and start writing full-time from home!
Not bad for a side hustle, right?
7 profitable Ways to Make money writing online
1, 2 & 3. Become a freelancer
Bet you didn’t know this one was coming 🙂 Joking. But seriously, freelancing is a broad term. It just means you offer some sort of skills-based service in exhange for money.
There are plenty of skills you can freelance – graphic design, website development, makeup artistry…
For the purposes of making money with words, there are at least 3 skills you can freelance: writing, editing, and proofreading.
If you decide to become a freelance writer, you could specialize in different forms of writing. For example, maybe you only want to write blogs or maybe you prefer web copy (the words that you see on the pages of websites). You could even specialize in scriptwriting for YouTubers.
On top of the forms of written products you can create, many freelance writers also choose a specific niche or topic to specialize in.
Don’t get me wrong…you don’t have to choose a specific niche, but I’ve found it helpful to specialize so that you can establish (and charge for) a higher level of expertise as you gain more experience writing on that topic.
For example, I specialize in health & medical writing, but even more specifically, I primarily write for pharmacies and digital health companies.
If you’re good with words, freelance writing is a great way to bring in some extra cash, but I’d be lying if I said all you have to do is write. There’s a lot of effort that goes into finding freelance writing jobs, landing them, and making a nice chunk of change.
Before I began officially freelance writing, I decided to invest in a course that taught me the ins and outs of how to navigate the Internet and use it to maximize my freelance writing success.
The course – Write Your Way to Your First $1K – is taught by Elna Cain, full-time stay-at-home mom of twins who makes a living by freelance writing online! (I figured if she could make it happen with that busy home life, I definitely could!)
I attribute my success to Elna’s course, so I’d highly recommend you check it out. You can learn more about it to see if it might be a good fit for you.
If you have any questions about freelance writing or the Write to $1K course, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I’m happy to talk more about my experience!
Like the idea of making money through words, but not interested in writing from scratch? You could definitely freelance your editing skills.
Now the big question: what exactly is editing?
Like most things, “it’s levels to this.” Plus, editing can mean different things to different people, so if you become a freelance editor, you’ll need to be very clear on what your client wants from you.
Broad? Yes, but that’s because there are various types of editing.
To learn more visit, Writer.ie, the online writing magazine. See if any of these types of editing jump out at you!
Warning: Don’t get proofreading confused with editing. They’re not the same thing. I know – why is life so hard?
Proofreading is strictly about correcting at the word and sentence level – spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocab. It’s the last review before a piece of content is ready for its intended audience.
Remember when you were in school and your teachers always told you to proofread your work before turning it in? This is that.
Proofreading is less intense than editing, but still very important.
Becoming a freelance proofreader might be up your alley if your friends always asking you to look over their work or if you’re really good at quickly spotting mistakes in writing.
Plus, the market for proofreaders is definitely ripe. Just think about how many people and organizations are producing information online. If they want people like you and me to trust them, they need to have information that is clear of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
You could be the proofreader to help them put their best face forward!
Caitlin Pyle is an amazing and super successful proofreader who grew her freelancing business from scratch. After her success, she created an online course called Proofread Anywhere where she teaches people like you how to make a living proofreading from anywhere in the world. To see if proofreading might be right for you, check out Caitlin’s free workshop.
4. Write for paying websites/magazines
This next option is definitely similar to freelance writing. I’m including these in a separate list because you don’t necessarily have to build a relationship with these companies to pitch your writing directly to them.
Here’s a list of several websites that pay for articles:
- Listverse – Create a great Top 10 list of…pretty much anything…get $100 in return
- The Penny Hoarder – Get paid for a 700-900-word article on budgeting/money and similar topics
- Make a Living Writing – You could get paid to write about writing
- FreelanceMom – Contribute your case study or mom story about freelancing as a parent
- Upworthy – Your 500-word story may be exactly what Upworthy’s looking for
5. Manage social media accounts
On a smaller scale, you can combine your love of language with your social media savvy to make money!
As millennials, I think it’s safe to say we pretty much dominate the social media world.
That means the world of social media is ours – at least for now. And since pretty much all companies have some sort of social media outreach (or are in dire need of it) that means the opportunity is perfect for you!
Bonus: If you can learn and get really good at paid social media traffic (think: Facebook ads, IG sponsored posts, etc.) you can REALLY make a nice extra check.
spend that check and get it right back.
6. Create slogans
Now, I’ve mentioned creating slogans a couple of times to my LaziMILLENNIAL Letter subscribers, but this is one of the most fun ways to use your words and writing to make money online.
When a company needs a slogan or tagline, sometimes they decide to shift the fun of coming up with that slogan or tagline to the public! Then they’ll choose a winner from all the options people submit.
All you do is figure out what the company wants in a slogan, turn on your creative brain, and enter your unique ideas into the competition. If the company selects your slogan, you win the prize money!
The Penny Hoarder compiled a list of sites where you can put on your creative cap and shoot your slogan shot.
7. Start a blog
Here’s why “starting a blog” is different from the previous 4 options I mentioned.
If you wanted to start making money writing online next week, freelance writing/editing/proofreading, writing for websites, social media, and even slogan competitions might be a good bet.
Blogging though…Blogging is a long game. Yes, it’s possible to make money blogging, but it isn’t quick and it doesn’t come easy.
That’s why I chose to invest in a comprehensive course (here’s a link to the free version) to teach me the ins and outs of blogging as a business before I jumped into the deep end!