Freelance writing is an excellent way to make extra money! And the great thing about it is that there are always plenty of freelance jobs for writers available if you know where to look. Best of all, you can earn a nice side income or become a full time freelance writer earning six figures! Once you build a reputation as a creative writer who can deliver copywriting jobs on time with excellent quality, you can make as much money as you want writing content online or in print!
Even with little or no experience, you can make $1,000 or more per month as a freelance writer in a short period of time.
But that’s just the beginning!
Some of the go getters I know earn as much as $100K- $200K a year from freelance copywriting jobs (more about that below)!
What Does a Freelance Copywriter Do?
A freelance copywriter is simply someone who writes copy for clients on a self-employed basis. Copywriting is a general term that covers a host of applications from writing marketing pieces, brochures, articles, webpage content, jingles, catalogs, billboards, emails, online ads, or other content for the internet or print.
Basically, copywriting encompasses most any kind of writing that involves getting people to take some form of action. Some have even called it salesmanship in print.
Writing copy can be as simple as a few words to convey a simple feeling or message, all the way up to articles of several thousand words.
How Do You Get Started as a Freelance Writer?
To get started as a freelance writer, you need to take stock of who you are and what motivates you in life. Writing about anything and everything is a sure way to practice copywriting mediocrity!
One of the best things you can do is find a niche that interests you- one that you’d be happy to write about frequently. Preferably you should already have some knowledge in that area. You should at least be interested enough in it to want to do the research needed to write knowledgeably on the subject.
Why Should You Choose a Niche for Your Freelance Writing?
Choosing a niche is extremely important because some are moneymakers and some aren’t. A profitable niche makes the difference between making thousands of dollars a month writing articles and making almost nothing.
Think about it, if a potential client sees your profile and it says:
“I’m a freelance writer who specializes in writing for businesses”, that’s kind of a generic description.
Here’s what it looks like when you niche it down and focus on specifics:
“I’m a freelance writer who writes in-depth marketing articles for businesses that want to attract high end customers”
If you were a business owner, you’d be more likely to hire a writer who focuses on the niche you’re looking for. You wouldn’t hire a generalist who may or may not be able to provide what you need.
So How Do You Choose a Writing Niche?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you get some ideas for your writing niche (you’ll want to write these down):
- What motivates you most in life (politics, religion, business, leadership, relationships, education, etc.)?
- Do you have any hobbies that you love (scrapbooking, hiking, cycling, archery, antiques, etc.)?
- Do you have any special knowledge, training, or degrees (marketing, IT, software coding, investing, entrepreneurship, medicine, nursing, business, military, etc.)?
- What are some interesting subjects you want to learn more about (tiny house living, travelling full time, blogging, operating an online business, app development, etc.)?
Write down 2 or 3 ideas from each of the categories above on a piece of paper and see if any of them overlap or complement each other. Then you’ll start to get some focus about where your interests and strengths come together.
How to Find a Profitable Writing Niche
The most profitable niches for freelance writers are the narrow ones. Writing about general business, parenting, or other generic topics gets you nothing but low pay and lots of competition for writing jobs.
Check Out Job Boards for Freelance Writers
One of the best ways to find a profitable niche is to go to some of the job boards for freelance writers and see what types of jobs are listed. If there are 50 job listings for tech writers and two listings for parenting articles, then you can be sure demand is strong for tech writers!
Here are some writing job boards you can check out:
- Problogger– One of the best job boards for writers.
- And plenty of others (just do a Google Search for Content Writing Jobs and you’ll find plenty of good leads!)
Figure Out How Much Your Writing Niche Pays
Once you find out what the demand is for your particular interests and expertise, look at how much they’re paying per article or per word. If there’s a large demand for one kind of content but all the writing jobs only pay $.04 a word, you’ll be a starving writer if you stick with that niche!
Not all of the job listings will show the rate they are willing to pay, but some do. Look at enough listings and you’ll get a feel for what they pay from the low end to the high end.
Writing Experience Matters
You don’t have to be highly experienced to make money as a writer. But if you’re an inexperienced writer, you’ll probably need to take on some of the lower paying jobs to build up a portfolio of articles and build a reputation. As you build a good reputation you’ll be able to score higher paying content writing jobs and make some serious cash!
There are Plenty of Ways to Make Money with Freelance Writing Jobs
There are quite a few ways you can make money writing content for others. While researching this article, I was quite surprised by the variety of ways to make money as a creative writer.
Below are some of the more popular ways to make money writing and eventually turn freelance writing into a full time job!
Start With Smaller Writing Jobs in the Beginning
Unless you’re an experienced writer, you’ll need to start with smaller writing gigs. Then you can work your way up to higher paid freelance writing jobs as you get more experience.
It may be necessary to start small, but if you work hard and treat it as a business, the sky’s the limit! You could even be like Holly Porter-Johnson and earn $225,000 a year as a freelance writer! That doesn’t include the money she makes from her blog at ClubThrifty.com!
Holly even offers a killer online course called Earn More Writing where she shows you all the strategies she used to go from $0 to over $225,000 writing full time!
Write for Magazines
Magazines, whether online or print, constantly need quality articles for their publications. Most of them advertise the writing gigs they have available on the websites I mentioned earlier. It’s a great way to get your name out there and build a writing portfolio that helps you sell your skills to larger publications as you progress in your writing career.
Writing for Companies to Promote Products/Services
Most companies these days produce online content to promote their products and services. They need people like you to produce that content!
They may hire you for a one time writing assignment or for the longer term to write multiple articles and marketing pieces for their company.
The more you build a reputation, the more you can charge for your writing services. The cool thing is, larger companies tend to pay higher fees!
It’s not unheard of for highly experienced and motivated writers to earn $1,000 or more for each article! Of course, you won’t start out making that kind of money. But with hard work and the right strategy you can definitely build up to a higher income!
Start a Blog
Most freelance writers have their own blog. In fact, many writers have successful money making blogs in addition to their freelance writing income.
You can start a blog about whatever you’re passionate about. It’ll act as a reference that potential clients can view to get a good feel for your style of writing.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to diversify your income. You never want to earn money from just one source.
I wrote a couple of in-depth posts about why you should start a blog and how to start your own blog in 6 easy steps. They will show you everything you need to know to get up and running quickly. Here are the links to those articles:
Self -Publish Books on Amazon
Want to write books? It’s never been easier to do! You don’t need to get a hundred rejections letters from publishers before you get published.
All you have to do is self-publish your book with Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing platform and start selling your creations immediately! You don’t have to write 300 page epic novels either. You can write short books about focused subjects, short stories, or whatever you like!
I wrote a detailed article about how to write and self publish “How to” books not long ago. You can find it below:
Be a Ghost Writer
Did you know a lot of “authors” don’t even write their own books? Many authors employ ghost writers to write their books for them. There are several reasons someone might hire you to ghost write their book for them:
- They don’t have the time.
- They don’t write well and would rather hire someone who does.
- They'd rather collaborate with a writer instead of writing the book by themselves.
Ghost writing is kind of a different animal. You can make a large amount of money for each project, but it takes a lot of work.
Your client will need to be intimately involved in the project. They will have to work with you to make sure the voice of the content is right, and the information presented is accurate.
You’ll need to screen your clients and make sure you can work well with them. If not, it can end up in disaster pretty quickly!
Ghost writing can be a long, drawn out process, and in the end your name doesn’t appear on the book’s cover. Therefore, you’ll have to be ok with not getting credit for writing the book.
There are tons of online news sites needing writers to constantly pump out articles for them. You’ll probably have tight deadlines and need to write a ton of articles quickly. But if you like that kind of intensity and know how to verify sources and accurately fact check your content, news writing may be right up your alley!
Writing Video Scripts
Publications and businesses are producing more and more video content. They need good, natural sounding scripts to work from to make their videos into top notch productions.
This can also include writing scripts for
- Video games
- Marketing videos
- Technical videos
- “How to” videos
- Video content for social media
- And more…
Make Money Writing for Large Blogs
Large blogs also hire freelance writers to produce articles for them. Some of the largest blog sites bring in millions of dollars a year in revenue. Because of that, they can afford to hire multiple writers to produce money making content for them.
Writing for a large blog is usually a pretty steady gig, although it probably won’t produce a full time living. Most will require that you write just a few articles a month.
Making Extra Money as a Freelance Writer- the Sky’s the Limit!
Freelance writing is a great way to pick up some extra income. But if you want to put in the time and effort, you can make a great living writing full time!
Just think, you can leave the 9 to 5, make your own schedule, and potentially make a better living with the right work ethic and strategy in place!
If you’d like to turn freelance writing into a full time income, I strongly recommend Holly Porter Johnson’s online course that I mentioned before. It’s called Earn More Writing, and it’ll show you all the strategies she used to go from $0 to earning over $225,000 a year as a freelance writer!
It’s a great investment that’ll pay for itself many times over with all the freelance writing gigs you’ll get!