Do passion projects pay the bill? They can. You CAN make money as a writer. And writing comes in many forms. You can pick some, or pick them all. Just remember, you can't write one book and expect to be a millionaire overnight. In order to make money as a writer, you've got to be versatile, and think outside the box.
# 1. Write books (plural).
You're not going to make money from only one book. Unless you're already famous, you need a few books out there so that if a reader likes your one book, they'll buy your others. Links at the back of your book, and social media, will help with your visibility, so it's always important to keep these up to date.
It doesn't matter if you're self-publishing your book, or with a publishing house, the only way to keep the money coming in, is to keep the books coming out.
The more books you write, the more money you make.
Written your first book but not sure where to go from there? We have a great course for that.
# 2. Start a blog.
A blog is an important part of being a writer (whether you're working in fiction or freelance).
It's not just a place to have a good rant. Although, it's fun for that, too.
It's also a place to make some money through advertising. It's not going to make you rich overnight, but it's a great way to get a bit of income coming in. And who doesn't love a bit of extra money?!
Find a niche market, and keep up to date with SEO. Remember, you'll be making money through affiliate marketing and advertising, so the more up to date and relevant your blog is, the better. Figure out the products you want to sell before you start your blog, and then grow your audience around that. And with everything, keep the content flowing, and interesting.
The more eyes on your blog, the more chance of people clicking on those links.
# 3. Write articles for magazines, and other blogs.
There are lots of magazines (both online and print), and blogs, who are desperate for content.
We live in a world where content is king, and the more we put out, the better our chances are of being seen.
There are lots of places looking for quality content in the form of long form articles. The process of getting in is quite simple: Decide WHAT you want to write about first (make a list of all the things you enjoy writing about - the more experience you have in them the better), then do a search for all magazines and blogs with these topics.
Most places will have a submission process, and if they don't you can email to ask about becoming a contributor.
Writing articles is a fantastic way to get paid to write, and it's even better when you're writing about what you love. As with everything, save all your contributions as they look great on your resume.
# 4. Become a ghostwriter.
What? Write for someone else without getting any of the recognition? It's actually better than it sounds.
In fact, there is a freedom to writing a book without your name on it that writing for yourself doesn't have. Imagine a world where you can write without judgement and get paid for it. Yep, that's the ghostwriting world. The only person you need to please, is the person you're writing the book for.
If you're confident in your writing skills, and understand the market you're writing for, you'll fit right in. But what about actually making money as a ghostwriter? Is it possible? It sure is. It can even be quite lucrative with the right sort of clients.
To get there, you might need to build up a decent portfolio using sites like Upwork or Guru.com to get started. They get a bad rap, but they're actually pretty good for those who are just starting out. I know several people who make a decent living writing for Upwork clients.
If you want to aim high, you have to market yourself.
There are lots of people looking for ghostwriters, so make sure they know how to find you.
# 5. Become a copywriter
Copywriting and content writing often get confused, but simply put - copywriting is what SELLS a product or service, content writing is what EXPLAINS it.
Both are important, and both take a very different skillset. Copywriting has exploded over the years, and is in high demand. It also pays well.
A copywriter writes copy. In other words, they produce written material for businesses and brands with the intent to sell or promote.
The other day my son wouldn't eat any fruit, so I looked at him deadpan and said, "but this apple is from the highest part of the tree, and is so super sweet it makes your mouth water." He ate it. He loved it. That is copywriting (well, in spoken form). I took something boring, and made it interesting. Mom win.
To be a good copywriter, and to find the right clients, you'll need to study it, and gain experience in the field. If you'd like to master the art of persuasiveness, then maybe copywriting is for you.
This is list can go on and on and on.
Truthfully, there are lots of ways you can make money as a writer. You can write podcasts, transcribe podcasts, you can offer social media services, you can write bios and landing pages for websites, you can become a translator, you can write courses (I've done this), you can write and submit your poetry, you can submit your stories to competitions, and the list goes on.
The more you write, the better you'll get, and the more opportunities will come your way.
Don't just stick to one form of writing (unless you're totally nailing it, of course). There are lots of ways you can do what you love for a living, often from the comfort of your own home (full disclaimer - I'm writing this in my pjs).
Good luck everyone, and happy scribbling.
If you're interested in any of my fiction books, check them out here.
And if you'd like some help with fiction writing, we have some courses.