One of the ways I’ve continued to explore earning income beyond the confines of a traditional office job is through freelance writing. Have you ever seen that person hanging out at a Starbucks during a weekday hammering away at their laptop while sipping on a latte? It’s possible they are a writer of some sort and the coffee shop is the closest they are going to come to setting foot in an office. It seems like an enviable position to be able to work where you want and when you want. But how are they getting paid?
Well, when you step outside the traditional means of office W2 income you may find that there isn’t just one standard way of getting paid as a freelance writer. So what the ways some people are doing it? Here are some examples below.
1. Start a Blog
There’s an extremely low barrier to entry for starting your own blog or website. In fact, the only thing you really need to do to have a blog is basically
- Find an available domain name, and buy it,
- Then get hosting for your blog which typically runs between $50 to $100 a year.
- Choose a theme and start posting.
So while this is a bit of a gross oversimplification of the process, this is basically all you need to do to self-publish your writing on a blog. But you’re published; so now what?
2. Earn Affiliate Marketing Income
Well if your content is good enough and you start to gain some traction, you start to gain readers and eventually you find yourself with an audience. An audience has the potential to be a customer and as a blogger your in the position to direct a message to your audience. That could be to try a product or service you recommend as an affiliate. It’s not hard to do if you have their attention. Do I have your attention? If so and you want to start a blog you could do so just by clicking here. See what I did? I just recommended Siteground as a host because I’m an affiliate. They’re good and I use them. So imagine you, dear reader, signed up. I’d make some money. Just like that.
If one of your readers signs up for one of your affiliate products or services, you earn a commission. If you have a large audience you may start to receive several commissions a month, a week or even daily.
3. Write for Others
So writing is entertainment and it educates or informs but first and foremost, it should captivate the attention of the reader. And if it’s doing so, that writing has value in a way that is similar to the way that TV, Netflix, movies, or the news captivates. So just as studio’s pay directors and writers and actors to produce content that has value, there are website owners, news organizations, and publishers that are willing to pay for others to write content. If you want to be a writer, you’re going to want to do two things:
- Find the people willing to pay for your writing. (or let them find you)
- Demonstrate that you can write by showing them a bit of proof.
Now if you are reading this, you may be detecting a bit of irony in that this writing is probably a bit on the mediocre side. Well, what can I say, it’s like I said, there’s a low barrier to entry to blogging. So while my writing might not be Shakespear, I’m confident my ideas are good. Hopefully, I’ll continue to improve and look back on this in a few years as a shining example of how far I’ve come. If nothing else we can at least say I used the word “ironic” correctly which is more than I can say for an angsty 90’s singer.
4. Find the People That Will Pay You
If you’re looking to do #1 and find the clients that could use you as a writer you’ve got to recognize that to some extent, like so many things in life, it’s a numbers game. So do your best, but also put yourself in front of as many people as possible.
- Getting your writing out through your blog is one method.
- Reaching out to others that might be interested in your writing is another method
- Marketing your writing services on various sites like Upwork and Fiverr is another method. Sign up for Fiverr with this link and you’ll get up to $100 credit.
5. Show Them You Can Write
If you’re looking to do #2 and demonstrate you can write by showing some proof, you’re going to want to be published. Early on, it’s not going to be easy. But creating a blog has almost no barrier to entry. The next step will be reaching out to others and seeing if they will allow you to guest post for them. It’s a bit of a quid pro quo. They get some free content which is hopefully your best writing, and for your efforts, you get a bit of exposure. Exposure means reaching a new audience which means the potential to reach new customers or clients.
But what if your writing isn’t that good? Well, you could stick to the office job. Or you could remain unemployed. Or you could push yourself to practice and get better. There are tools out there like Grammarly which aims to help improve your writing. It’s definitely helping me.