Do you know that two million articles are published on the web every day? Some are for leisure reading, some are not and some can actually make money. I didn’t know it was possible to get paid writing online until I earned my first dime. So if you are interested to do the same, read on to find out how you can get started.
1 – Create A Blog
Fact number one – you don’t need to have awesome writing skills to begin with, but you do need to know what you want to write about. Often times, the topics are inspired from things that we already know about like our jobs or hobbies. These are good areas to start with as familiarity can lead to more writing ideas.
Other times, it’s about finding a profitable niche, writing about topics that people are eagerly wanting to read about in the online space. The logic is that, when there’s demand, there’s likely more money to be made. If you have a particular skill set and want to turn it into a long term business, then this is the route I would recommend you to choose.
For publishing a blog, I always prefer a paid platform versus using a free one, simply because it gives you more control over the distribution of your articles. With a self-hosted WordPress, for example, your blog will look more professional and has more advantage of being found on the internet.
To set it up, you just need to purchase a custom domain, connect it to a host and your blog can basically go live within minutes. Use the plugin below to test it out yourself.
Technically, you can’t just make money by simply creating a blog, but when you have one in place, it serves as a foundation for all the writing works that will take place latter on. So it’s always good to have a platform for practicing even when you don’t have any experience.
2 – Write Articles for Website
The context of a website here could mean a web company, a brand or an organization who’s willing to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for a content in a particular topic. Often times, there are specifications to follow like meeting a number of words, using a targeted niche keyword or abiding to a certain writing style.
Some may even want to see examples of the portfolio (that’s where creating a blog of your own is important) or profound qualifications (Journalism, Communication, Online Marketing and etc.) in the writing field. Writing articles for other people are basically called freelancing and you could be hired to work part-time, full-time or based on contract.
To find them, you could browse for jobs/projects posted by clients on freelance online marketplaces. The pay usually ranges between $50 to $300/post (if not more) but some sites also encourage bidding whereby writers who can offer the cheapest service, get the job. If you are just a beginner, bidding sites might work, but if you are someone with experience, they may be underpaying for your skills.
Alternatively, you can also set up a profile on these marketplaces and get interested clients to contact you based on your credentials and desired hourly rates. It usually contains your work history, customer feedback and also a profile link that can be shared with other people.
Here are some popular marketplaces that you can explore, but keep in mind that they do charge a small percentage of service fee on your earnings so make sure to compare and see what works best for your situation.
Another option is to search for freelance job ads if you want to bypass the service fee. Many companies from all over the world advertise on these boards in search for talented writers. To apply, you need to fill out an online form and send in writing samples for evaluation. If shortlisted, you’ll most likely be contacted for a one-to-one interview.
Here are some public ad boards that you can check out.
- Blogging Pro
- Writing Jobs Canada (Not just for Canadians)
- Freelance Writing
3 – Write for Online Magazine
Writing for magazines is a more intensive affair than writing for blogs because it requires rigorous research in a very specific industry. It also demands more structured content that is appropriate for web journalism versus the informal tone that are often found on regular websites.
This type of job is more appropriate for those who can write about serious stuff and share expert views in fields like business, home decor, sports and all the other topics that are regularly seen on the magazine racks. Most of the time, you’ll be working closely with editors of the company in a consistent manner to produce interesting content for their targeted readers.
However, magazine jobs aren’t always very transparent in nature and don’t frequently advertise on freelance marketplaces. Your best bet would be to search for the editorial contact on their website or look for any links that say ‘content contributors’ or ‘write for us’. Alternatively, you may also google for writing job with the magazine’s name on it and see what opportunities are available.
4 – Write an eBook
But perhaps, you are more of an author than a writer. There are specific skills and ideas that you want to communicate with your own set of audience, whether it is through storytelling or tutorial guides. In this situation, you may want to consider publishing and selling an eBook online.
Most of the sales revenue usually goes to you and is also recurring in nature, if you dabble a bit into online marketing. This is a great method to get paid for writing if you want to establish your own brand, working for yourself, instead of others.
Self-publishing platforms like KDP has enabled many aspiring authors to sell their works to millions of customers on Amazon. It’s easy to set up and there are numerous tools to help with promotion.
However, the Kindle marketplace is full of competition and it may be difficult to stand out (or make any sales) if no one knows about your presence. That’s why some people start with blogging first (another reason to create a blog), which lets them refine their writing skills, understand their audience better before pre selling their books to potential readers.
5 – Write Product Review
So, what if you are not a storyteller or an expert of any kind? The good news is, you can still make money through writing product reviews. First-hand experience in using any type of new products or services in the market can translate into very influencing content because it provides the nitty gritty details that benefit the consumers.
It is becoming a trend nowadays to read online reviews before buying something and as eCommerce continues to expand globally, the demand for product reviews will only continue to rise. For you, the reviewer, it couldn’t be more fun than doing the things you like while earning at the same time.
There are several ways to go about this. First, look for a specific genre/product/brand that you are interested and see if any opportunities pop up. I have seen a few coming from hotels, restaurants and even beer companies so never underestimate what you could find with a simple Google search.
Second, join affiliate programs that can offer support and substantial reward if you intend to generate long term income with your writing. All that is usually needed is a blog (see how handy it is to have one? 🙂 ), some basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) and you are pretty much good to go.
Affiliate programs can usually be found on major retailer websites (like the Amazon marketplace) with a link in the footer area or you could also browse the following affiliate networks to search for relevant advertisers in your niche.
- Clickbank (mostly digital products)
- CJ Affiliate (previously known as Commission Junction)
- Rakuten Linkshare
What you basically do from here is to frequently write informative articles that are engaging to read, point them to your product review(s) and earn sales commissions when someone purchase the product through your affiliate link(s). This type of income is often recurring due to the fact that articles get indexed and ranked for a variety of keywords on the search engines, making it visible to many online readers over a long period.
Frankly, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to get started because you don’t need any higher qualifications. As long as you know the ins-and-outs of a particular niche and dare to write in your own voice, you can earn a pretty good income from writing product reviews.
Turn Your Writing Skills Into a Business
From content ideas, expert opinions, storytelling to product reviews – these are just some of the best ways to get paid writing online. Each has its own merits to fit your style, so take the opportunity to explore them and see which one suits you the most.
However, instead of just doing gigs, I highly encourage to take your writing skills a step further and turn it into an online business. Whether you want to be a full-time freelancer, an author or a niche blogger, you are an entrepreneur the moment you pen your thoughts in the online space. Take full advantage of that, raise your values and create something that’s rewarding for many years to come.
I hope you’ve found values with these tips. Remember, go create a blog and you may follow the training on my recommended writing platform to learn more about making the most out of your skills. Hope to see you inside.
Questions – What experiences or opinions do you have about online writing jobs? Please share your comments below.