10 ways to make money from writing

Writing can be a deeply rewarding hobby, especially when it begins to generate income. In the following list, we’ll explore 11 of the most effective ways to earn money through writing.

Whether you’re looking to earn some additional pocket money or you’re striving toward a long-term career in writing, it can be a labor-intensive endeavor. Nevertheless, the rewards are certainly worth the effort.

Writing is an especially viable way to generate income while you’re in college. Not only will you make money, but you’ll also gain valuable experience that can prove beneficial when seeking writing opportunities after graduation.

To aid you in transforming your writing abilities into a lucrative venture, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective methods for making money through writing.

How to get paid to write

Here are the best ways to earn money as a writer:

1. Make money reviewing films, products, music and more

Earning money by writing reviews is a relatively straightforward process when you know the ropes.

Review writing often conjures up images of full-time jobs that require extensive prior experience, such as professional TV and film reviewing. However, you can start generating income through reviews quickly by joining various rewards websites. These platforms offer opportunities to review a wide range of products, from gadgets to music and stationery.

For instance, Slicethepie allows you to make money by crafting concise reviews of fashion items and songs. You can sign up and begin reviewing right away.

Alternatively, if you become a product tester or a member of a paid survey site panel, you may find yourself getting paid to review products that you would typically purchase. These products can encompass technology, clothing, cosmetics, and more.

As an additional perk, product testers sometimes get to keep the items they review, providing an opportunity to increase your earnings by reselling them.

2. Write articles for money

Journalism is a highly rewarding career choice for individuals with a passion and talent for writing. We strongly encourage pursuing it if it aligns with your interests and goals.

It’s essential to understand that journalism is a competitive field known for its prevalence of low-paid positions and unpaid internships, especially for emerging writers. However, it is indeed possible to earn money as a student journalist.

You don’t necessarily need to be enrolled in a journalism program to start getting paid for your writing. What’s crucial is your ability to write well, a keen eye for compelling stories, and exceptional attention to detail.

Building a robust writing portfolio is a smart step. You can contribute to your university’s student newspaper or magazine, showcasing your skills. Additionally, starting a blog (discussed later) is an excellent way to exhibit your interests and writing proficiency.

Once you’ve developed a substantial portfolio, you can pitch article ideas to commissioning editors, who are responsible for selecting articles for their publications. If they find your ideas appealing, they may hire you as a freelance writer. The compensation for each article can vary depending on the publication, article length, and style, but top-tier publications may pay £100 or more for commissioned pieces.

Pitching freelance article ideas to editors

If you’re ready to start pitching article ideas to magazines, here are some valuable tips to help you succeed:

  1. Follow Commissioning Editors: Begin by following the commissioning editors of your favorite publications on social media platforms like Twitter and connecting with them on LinkedIn. This can help you stay updated on their interests and needs.
  2. Pitch Trade Magazines: Consider pitching article ideas to trade magazines related to your field of study. You can easily find relevant trade magazines by conducting a Google search using terms like ‘[industry] trade magazine.’
  3. Pay Attention to Editor Calls: Editors often share their current interests and topics they’re looking for on their social media accounts. When you spot a call-out for an article that aligns with your skills and experience, plan your pitch carefully, tailor it to the publication, and send it to the commissioning editor promptly, ideally within an hour.
  4. Be Proactive: While it’s helpful to respond to editor calls, you don’t always have to wait for them. If you have a clear idea that fits a publication, feel free to pitch it. However, having a grasp of the type of content the publication seeks can increase your chances of success.
  5. Craft Persuasive Pitches: Keep your pitch emails concise but compelling. Clearly articulate why your idea is a good fit for the publication. Include a link to your online blog or website so editors can assess your writing style and capabilities.
  6. Avoid Sending Complete Articles: It’s generally best not to send full articles with your pitches. Editors often have limited time to review pitches, and they may want to guide the article in a different direction. Sending full articles in advance can lead to various issues, including potential duplication of content.
  7. Learn from Rejections: Not every pitch will result in a commissioned article, and rejection is part of the process. Use rejections as learning opportunities to improve your pitches and keep refining your approach. Perseverance is key to eventually securing paid writing assignments.

Remember that building a career as a freelance writer takes time and persistence. With each pitch, you gain valuable experience and increase your chances of getting commissioned for paid articles.

3. Sell your revision notes

woman taking notes

If you excel at crafting lucid and succinct lecture summaries, there is a potential avenue to generate a modest income from your academic revisions.

In our comprehensive manual on income generation, we propose a couple of online platforms suitable for those inclined to vend their educational notes to fellow students. These platforms typically offer a cost-free listing service for your notes, although certain companies may impose fees upon successful sales transactions.

Furthermore, individuals who possess exceptionally well-crafted revision materials have the opportunity to monetize their skills by establishing a studygram account on Instagram. An additional benefit of this endeavor is the preservation of motivation during the revision process.

4. Enter writing competitions to win cash prizes

Entering writing competitions might initially appear daunting, but there’s always a chance that you could emerge as the victor. Why not take that opportunity?

Adding a competition or award victory or even a highly commended mention to your CV can significantly enhance your profile. Moreover, winning such accolades often comes with financial rewards, which can provide a pleasant boost to your student finances.

Numerous writing competitions and awards feature substantial cash prizes, ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds. To get started, you can refer to this compilation of journalism awards and this list of creative writing competitions.

How to win writing competitions

These tips will help to increase your chances of winning writing competitions and awards:

Here are some tips to enhance your chances of success in writing competitions:

  1. Be creative: Captivate competition judges by making a memorable impression from the very first line of your entry. Consider beginning with something unexpected and experiment with unconventional writing techniques to present your ideas uniquely.
  2. Study previous winning entries: Review winning entries from prior years to understand the styles and arguments that have proven successful. While creativity is crucial, keep in mind the essential elements that judges typically seek in award-winning writing.
  3. Review the competition T&Cs: It’s vital to ensure your eligibility before starting your competition entry. Check for specific criteria, such as age restrictions, geographical requirements, or necessary writing experience, like being a published author.
  4. Proofread: Always thoroughly review your work multiple times before submission. Reading your entry aloud can help uncover typos or inconsistencies in your argument. Additionally, consider having friends and family review your work for any overlooked issues.

By following these guidelines, you can improve your chances of producing a compelling competition entry that stands out to judges.

5. Make money writing translations

Translating text is an excellent way to monetize your language skills, as many businesses require freelance translators. The potential income from translation work may vary depending on the language pair you specialize in. To get an idea of translation rates, you can visit platforms like Fiverr and see what freelance translators typically charge based on the languages they are proficient in. This can help you identify the earning potential for your language skills and set competitive rates when offering your services to potential clients.

6. Monetise your blog

Transfiguring your blog from a fervent endeavor into a lucrative enterprise necessitates a substantial investment of time and diligence. Nevertheless, the effort has the potential for tangible returns.

Upon achieving monetization, your website serves as an online compendium of your body of work while concurrently facilitating pecuniary gains.

A plethora of inconspicuous modifications can be incorporated into your blog, with the objective of commencing the generation of revenue. These encompass practices such as affiliate marketing, advertising, sponsored content, and more.

One platform at your disposal for website creation is Bluehost (avail a 70% reduction and procure a cost-free domain name by following this hyperlink). Further insights on this topic can be gleaned from our comprehensive manual detailing the process of website setup, consummable within a mere span of 20 minutes.

For a wealth of guidance concerning the monetization of your blog and the optimization of your fiscal prospects, we recommend perusing our comprehensive compendium elucidating the art of deriving income from blogging.

7. Earn money writing social media content

Woman on laptop with social media likes and loves

Crafting social media content can be a lucrative endeavor, particularly for individuals who possess a profound understanding of audience engagement and the creation of viral posts in the online sphere.

For those who hold a deep passion for both writing and reading, an avenue to explore is generating income on BookTok. Within the realm of TikTok, crafting captivating and compelling captions alongside book-centric videos can attract the attention of brands, potentially leading to lucrative sponsorship prospects.

An additional option to consider is venturing into affiliate marketing, the intricacies of which are comprehensively detailed in our expansive guide on deriving earnings from affiliate marketing. In essence, this entails incorporating a specific category of link into your social media posts while promoting a product or service. When individuals employ this link to make a purchase, you are entitled to receive a modest commission, without any adverse effects on the buyer.

Moreover, there exists the opportunity to receive compensation for the creation of social media content on behalf of enterprises. This may involve crafting tweets, formulating engaging Instagram captions, or enhancing the content of social media channel bios. To undertake such endeavors, it is advisable to initiate direct contact with small businesses, utilizing your own social media accomplishments as a testament to why they should engage your services as a freelance social media assistant.

Alternatively, platforms like Fiverr can be harnessed to seek potential clients. Additional insights on this topic are accessible in our guide to straightforward gigs offered on Fiverr.

8. Become a copywriter

If you’ve been exploring various writing opportunities, you’ve likely encountered job listings for copywriting positions. Copywriting is more of a long-term career path rather than a quick source of income.

According to Glassdoor, the current average salary for copywriters is approximately £30,000, which is £10,000 less than what technical writers typically earn.

For those unfamiliar with the role of copywriters, here’s a brief overview.

What is copywriting?

A crucial aspect of copywriting involves crafting written content for businesses, both in online and offline formats, that mirrors the brand’s identity.

As a copywriter, your role might entail composing content intended for customers, clients, or even internal company personnel. Regardless of the intended audience, the brand’s voice should resonate throughout the content.

When creating content for customers, it falls under the category of business-to-consumer copywriting (B2C). On the other hand, if you’re writing for a target audience of other companies, it’s referred to as business-to-business copywriting (B2B).

For an illustration of effective copywriting, you can examine the written content on ASOS. The tone of their product descriptions, confirmation emails, and newsletters is light-hearted, informal, and geared towards a youthful audience.

Another example is the dating app Bumble, which maintains a strong brand identity across its advertising, notifications, emails, and blog posts. This identity is characterized by wit, empowerment, and positivity, and copywriters play a significant role in maintaining this consistency.

Adapting your usual writing style to match a business’s distinct voice is a valuable skill. However, it’s one that can be honed with practice.

To prepare for a copywriting career, aim to contribute to a variety of publications targeting diverse audiences. Customize the tone and arguments within your writing to align with each outlet’s specific characteristics, and build a portfolio that showcases versatility and diversity.

9. Write a book

Crafting a literary work is undeniably not the swiftest route to amass wealth on this roster. Nor is it the most straightforward endeavor. Nevertheless, it remains feasible (and perhaps not as formidable as one might surmise).

A myriad of subjects may serve as the nucleus of your literary opus. You have the latitude to compose a fictitious opus or compile an anthology of verses and concise narratives within the confines of a tome. You might even opt for a non-fictional opus, such as a counsel compendium for scholars, predicated upon your personal academic odysseys.

One may contemplate embarking upon the path of securing a literary agent and procuring a publication contract. Nonetheless, it’s pivotal to remember that this isn’t the sole route to derive financial gain from a literary work.

Electronic books, more colloquially referred to as eBooks, proffer a relatively uncomplicated self-publishing option and can potentially yield a recurring revenue stream from your literary creations. It serves as an efficacious channel to bring your opus to light and commence the accrual of monetary compensation from sales expeditiously.

Perplexed on how to initiate the process? Peruse our compendiums offering insights into crafting and publishing an eBook, along with the preeminent platforms for eBook publication, along with strategies to monetize your digital tomes.

10. Work as a technical writer

Man on a laptop

Curious about the role of a technical writer? The precise scope of this occupation can vary based on a company’s specialization and the industry it operates in. However, in general, the primary responsibility is to elucidate intricate technical information through lucid and succinct prose.

One common duty for technical writers involves the creation of instructional manuals. This necessitates comprehensive research into the procedures being documented. Subsequently, you must articulate these processes in a manner that facilitates comprehension for the intended audience.

To embark on a career in technical writing, a substantial background in writing is typically required. As an initial step, consider exploring other opportunities on our list to amass a portfolio of written work.

Upon entering the field of technical writing, you can anticipate an average annual remuneration of approximately £40,000, as reported by Glassdoor.

If you possess adept research skills, effective communication abilities, and a comfort level with complex technical data, this profession could be an excellent fit for you.

Leave a Comment