Writers want to get paid. They also reach out to me weekly asking how to make money writing online. The majority are hoping for a magic answer that ensures instant success and cash flow. It doesn’t exist. But, I’m always happy to show them the true path to making it in the online world.
The quick answer: Diligence and perseverance will get you that writer’s paycheck. No, there are no shortcuts and you won’t make money overnight. You have to put in the work to build a business. Yes, it takes steps to build a writing business.
The long answer: Becoming a paid writer will not happen instantly, and anyone who promises you can start from scratch and pay your mortgage by the end of the week isn’t being honest with you.
To land clients, they have to want you. You need to build a reputation and samples of your work online. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to take forever and with a strategy in mind, you can make this a full-time income. I have.
So, here’s a collection of some of the best writing advice on the web today. I’ve read (or written) each article suggested and find value in the actionable and honest advice within their pages.
How to Make Money Writing: A Resource List
Take a breath, commit time each day to building your business, and the writing assignments will start flowing. As long as you work through these steps, you will make progress and get closer to your writing business goals. Hint: Bookmark this post!
Setting up a Business
Avoid fines from not paying self-employment taxes and figure out how to set up your writing work as a legal business in the United States if you plan to make more than $400 per year (as of 2017) from your word skills.
- 5 Legal Steps for Starting Your Business
- Start Your Own Business
- Paying Quarterly Self-Employment Taxes in 3 Steps
- When to Start a Business: 5 Signs You’re Ready to Launch
- Laid Off From Work: How to Turn Lemons Into Freelance Lemonade
Making a Name for Yourself
When companies hire a writer with a byline, they are looking beyond your writing samples. Stand out by creating a solid online presence. Hiring managers want to work with writers who promote their company’s social posts, network with clients and have a positive attitude online.
- 10 Things to Know Before Starting a Writing Website
- Should You Promote Client Work?
- What Does Your Digital Presence Say About You?
- Want More Website Visitors? Learn How to Build Your Brand With These 6 Tips
Building an Audience
More often than not, when I apply for writing jobs, I’m asked to share social media statistics that show how engaged I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond. As a freelance writer, you are more apt to get offers if you have a built-in audience. You’re being hired for your skills, and your readers. So, actively nurture your readers to keep them coming back for more.
- Self-Promotion for Introverts 101
- 21 Things a Freelance Writer Must Do to Land Jobs and Thrive as an Entrepreneur
- How (And Why You Should!) Tag Sources on Social Media
Creating Writing Samples
Many new writers feel stuck in the chick-egg scenario. Stop. Thanks to the power of the Internet, you can write online daily and show off your skills with a virtual resume. Start your own blog. Write on Medium. Write on LinkedIn. Do whatever you need to get URLS that you can share with potential clients to show off your talent.
- Should You Write for Free?
- Need a Writing Sample? 8 Places to Get Published
- Land Online Writing Jobs With Two Magical Digits
Pitching Potential Clients
To get writing jobs, you have to ask for them. The trend towards pitching publications is growing and becoming more dominant in the freelance writing marketplace, especially for new writers.
- 7 Ways to Find Freelance Gigs and Get Your Business Started
- The Pitching Game: 4 Freelance Pitch Examples and a Template
- 5 Things Never to Include in Your Blog Pitch
- New Freelance Writer Checklist to Get Writing Jobs
- 5 Ways to Make Your Writing Job Application Stand Out
- Pitching: The Writer and Editor Relationship [PODCAST]
Working as a Freelancer
Once you get your first writing assignment or two under your belt, you’ll have new questions pop up. How do I maintain my productivity? Do I need a schedule? And you might begin to wonder why there’s so much work involved in freelancing. You’re not alone. I put in more hours as a full-time independent contractor than I ever did at the local newspaper, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
- How to Tackle Freelancing From Home: A Sample Weekly Schedule
- Meeting Deadlines Is the Mainstay of Your Business
- 7 Time Management Tips for Building Healthy Habits and Steady Work
Getting Paid to Write
Let talk about invoicing, receiving payments and dealing with contracts. Remember, this is a business. Protect yourself and know what your process is before you start writing or turn in a project.
- 7 Ways to Follow up on Invoices and Get Paid
- A Crash Course in Writer’s Contracts
- 11 Invoicing Terms for Freelancers to Learn Right Away
Keeping Your Business Going
Once the projects start piling up, there’s is quite a bit you can do to steady your momentum. Learn a bit about crippling procrastination and career burnout. Working 24/7 to build your business or leaving things until the last minute are both recipes for disaster and could cost you everything.
- Freelance Burnout: Symptoms and Solutions
- Writers: Why You’re Procrastinating (And 9 Ways to Snap Out Of It)
Growing Your Business
After you figure out how to get jobs, the hardest thing about starting a writing business is jumping over major milestones, like hiring help, discontinuing services or trying new opportunities. It’s all part of the usual growing pains!
- How to Scale Your Business When You Worry About Quality Over Quantity
- Hiring an Accountant? Look for Someone With These 5 Characteristics
- How I’m Growing My Business in 2017
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