How do I get Started Making Money as a Writer?

Have you been dreaming of making a living as a writer, but don’t know how to take those first few steps?  In this post I’ll go through the different methods you can use to earn money from writing online.  It will help you to understand what opportunities are out there, and also guide you along during the initial process of learning how to make money online as a writer.  Let me warn you though, writing for money online isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.  It takes a lot of time, work and dedication.  If you’re willing to put in the effort, and you have the ability to write well, you can easily make a good living writing from the comfort of your computer.

Do You Have the Talent?

Whether you are an English teacher with a doctorate in grammar, or you live in India and speak English as your fourth language, you can make money writing online.  The question is, how much can you make.  As with all markets, the more value you are able to provide to your clients, the more you are able to earn.  So, take a step back and evaluate your skills as a writer.  Try to be honest, and ask for the opinion of other people.  Being a great writer is more than knowing how to format sentences and use proper grammar though, it requires that you are able to truly engage the reader and hold their attention.

Once you’ve established that you have the skills as a writer to make money, you’re half way there. For most people, however, writing is only half the battle.  You’ll also need to be able to market yourself well.  Whether that means interacting with potential clients to land the job, or marketing your own blog to bring in traffic, this is an essential component of a successful writer.  If you’re not able to find customers or bring people to your site, you’ll never make a dime as a writer.  Fortunately, however, this is a skill that can be learned (and I’ll try to help you along the way).

What Type of Writing Do You Want to Do?

Once you’ve established the belief that you have the writing and marketing skills necessary to make money online, you need to decide what type of writing you want to focus on.  There are many different ways to make money online as a writer, and picking the right one for you is important.  The following are a few of the best ways to earn money for your writing, along with the pros & cons.  If you’re reading this and the bullet points below aren’t clickable links, come back soon.  I’ll be writing a detailed post on each of these earning opportunities soon.

  • Freelance Writing – This is, perhaps, the largest area of online writing, and has the most earning potential.  You will offer your services to other people who will hire you to write for them.  This can be difficult at first as you build your reputation, and learn how to properly market yourself.  Another downside to freelance writing is that you have to write on the topics your customers want.  It is possible to specialize only in subjects you’re interested in, but that will greatly limit the number of clients who can hire you.For those who can write high-quality content that will engage readers, freelance writing has a lot of potential.  Depending on the type of work you’re hired for, you can earn anywhere from $.01 to $.15 per word, or even more.  If you can write persuasive sales copy, you can make significantly more.  You can learn how to find private clients to write using my three part series on this subject.  Part one can be found HERE.
  • Niche Websites – Creating your own niche websites is an excellent way to make money as a writer.  In fact, most freelance writers earn a large percentage of their income writing for other people who own this type of site.  As a writer, you have the ability to eliminate the most expensive part of creating niche websites, the content creation.  You can write niche websites on virtually any topic, and make good money from it.  It does take some time to become successful, but with hard work and dedication, you can create sites which earn you passive income for years.  You can learn a lot about how to create niche websites using my exclusive guide I wrote just for writers, which can be seen HERE.
  • Blogging – Blogging is one of the most enjoyable ways to earn money online, because you get to choose to write on whatever subject you wish.  Most bloggers are passionate about their site, and really love working on it.  There are two main difficulties about blogging for money.  First, you need to know how to bring traffic to your site.  This will take some work, and quite a bit of time, which means you won’t be earning much money at first.  Second, you need to know how to properly monetize the site.  There are many different options for each of these things, and finding the one that works best for you will be primarily an issue of trial and error.  For a detailed introduction on blogging, read my post on this subject HERE.
  • Kindle Books – This is another great option if you want to be able to choose the topics you write on yourself.  Writing books and publishing them on Amazon (and other eBook sites) is far easier than you might think.  Many people publish dozens of books and are able to earn great residual income from the sales.  The biggest difficulty with publishing books is you have to be able to market them.  If you can’t market the book well, few people will ever find and purchase them.  This is especially true for the first few books you publish.If, however, you can write an engaging book that appeals to a wide audience, you can make a lot of money.  It is also possible to ‘get discovered’ by a major publisher and write printed books as well, though this is rare and difficult.  Kindle books are the perfect creative outlet for many people, however, and with a lot of hard work and a little luck, it can result in an excellent income.

Getting to Work

One nice thing about writing online is that you don’t actually have to choose just one of these options.  You can attempt to make money using all of them at first, and then narrow it down as you discover which ones you are best at, and with which ones you can make the most money.  Making money as a writer online isn’t as complicated as many people think, but it will take a lot of hard work and dedication.

Once you’ve decided which methods you want to use to make money online, you have completed the first step!  Now it is time to take some action and choose exactly what you’ll be doing.  This can be done by reviewing some of the links under each method to other pages on this site (if they aren’t there, come back soon and they will be!).  Remember, it is essential to take action to make money, but it needs to be the right type of action, which is why this initial planning phase is so important.

If you have any other types of online writing opportunities, please post them below, or email me at  I would love to include them in this list.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions as well.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it useful. I'd love to hear what you thought about it in the comments below. If you're interested in publishing this, or any of my content, on your site I'd love to hear from you. Just contact me using my syndication request form HERE.

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  1. says

    Hi Michael, Thanks for your posts which give a logical approach to writing. I am in my 70s and I have been writing since my school days. Ofcourse there were the usual rejections but now, as there is a boom in printed matter, many writers get accepted. I handle scientific and popular
    articles on health, foods and socially relevant topics. My articles have been published in a national news paper and in a health and cooking site. You may see some if you look up my name on the net. I will welcome your comments. I shall keep in touch. Regards, Malathi

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