A smiling woman with dyed red hair sits at a table and types on a laptop. Beside the laptop on the table are an open book and a plate of thumbprint cookies. The room behind the woman is a large open space with gray walls, a dark gray sofa, a set of shelves, and a large window letting in bright daylight.
Opportunities for writers are much wider than some may realize. The written word is essential to marketing, politics, and business, in addition to entertainment and journalism. — Getty Images/Xsandra

Words are everywhere, from informative product descriptions to compelling advertisements. Consumers read fiction and nonfiction content on their devices while listening to their favorite motivational podcasts. Brands pay agencies and contractors to turn words into their desired end product, whether that’s a social media post, whitepaper, or blog post.

Indeed, there are many ways to make a living by writing, and the demand for excellent content isn’t slowing. Technavio predicts the content marketing market will grow by $269.24 billion from 2020 to 2024. Explore 10 methods for generating income from writing.

Use writing job boards

Businesses often post freelance and full-time positions online, and many writers start out by responding to job board posts. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 50% of respondents to its survey “outsource at least some of their content marketing.” Content creation is the main activity outsourced, used by 84% of respondents.

Find freelance jobs on:

Write articles for blogs and magazines

Want to share your short story or poem with a literary audience? Looking to reach fans who share your passion for German Shepherd dogs or crocheting? Search the phrase “magazines accepting submissions” in your web browser to view options for nonfiction and fiction writers. If you already have a publication in mind, review the website to see if the company has a “write for us” or pitching guidelines page.

[Read more: Building Your Brand? Tips for Becoming an Expert Content Contributor]

Make money writing books

Self-publishing isn’t the highest-paid gig, but authors can earn passive income from writing books. You can write books guiding people through various life stages, such as parenthood, or delight them with comical tales. Alternatively, create physical and digital books to become an authority in your industry.

Check out platforms for authors, such as:

Join an agency as a freelancer

Marketing agencies and branding firms hire contractors to handle overflow work. Some need occasional assistance, whereas others provide a steady income stream throughout the year. Freelancers may write blog posts for one or more brands, and some clients offer bylines.

Offer copywriting services

Effective sales emails and landing pages generate revenue for companies. Although some people use the terms "copywriting and "content marketing" interchangeably, copywriting focuses on sales. This type of writing involves the few sentences that you read before signing up for a new subscription or the subject line that convinces you to open the email.

Copywriting services include:

  • Emails.
  • Infographics.
  • Landing pages.
  • Newsletters.
  • Advertisements.
  • Brochures.
  • Webpages.

Self-publishing isn’t the highest-paid gig, but authors can earn passive income from writing books.


Create content as a ghostwriter for brands or individuals

You can skip the intermediary (agency or content platform) and go right to the business. From solopreneurs to enterprises, many types of companies hire freelancers to write content. Most projects are ghostwritten either in the brand’s or the individual’s voice.

Content for brands may include:

Become a speechwriter

Give leaders the right words to make their public speech or presentation pop. Like with ghostwriting, speechwriters must assume the voice of their clients and convey their message effectively. Writers can offer additional services, such as sales pitch decks and visuals if they are adept in this area.

Develop video and podcast scripts

Scriptwriting is an excellent way to leverage the popularity of podcasts and videos. Agencies, brands, and solopreneurs hire contractors to write segments for their audio and video content. Of course, you can also start a podcast and become a writer, podcaster, and producer.

[Read more: How to Monetize a Podcast]

Monetize your work through subscriptions

Share your passion with an engaged audience and grow your following to make a living through writing. You can go through a third-party platform or sell subscriptions on your website. Plus, connect with followers on social media to drive traffic to your blog posts or newsletter sign-up page.

Create newsletters, emails, blog posts, or a community on these platforms:

Participate on digital content marketing platforms

Content marketing platforms connect brands and agencies to freelancers. These typically provide a portfolio to showcase your work. Unlike working directly with agencies or brands, a content platform is the go-between and handles all payments from clients and payouts to you.

A few content marketing platforms include:

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Published August 29, 2022