15 Side Hustles for Writers to Make Extra Money
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Are you looking for ways to make extra money? If you enjoy writing, there are plenty of side hustles for writers to help you bring in some extra cash.
From freelance writing to copywriting to social media marketing, writers have plenty of opportunities to make money outside of their day jobs. So if you’re looking for a way to earn some extra income, check out these 15 writing side hustles.
Looking for more ways to make money? See our list of 150+ side hustle ideas.
Side Hustles for Writers
1. Freelance Writing
One of the most popular ways for writers to make extra money is through freelance writing. Freelance writing gigs can involve writing articles for blogs, websites, magazines, and more. If you’re a good writer and have a knack for research, you can easily find work with this writing side hustle.
Some freelance writers take a generalized approach and write on just about any topic, while others specialize in a specific topic or niche. For example, some freelance writers specialize in writing about health, fitness, and nutrition. Others may choose to write about business, finance, or technology.
Taking a specialized approach is the best way to maximize your income since you’ll be able to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Of course, finding gigs in a specific niche or industry may be a bit harder when you’re first getting started. Some new freelance writers get around this by starting with a broad or general approach and gradually narrowing their focus.
There’s a lot to like about the opportunity to work as a freelance writer. It’s extremely flexible, and you can do the work whenever it fits into your schedule, although you’re likely to have deadlines that need to be met. You can take on as many or as few clients as you’d like, and it can be done part-time or full-time.
The income potential is also very attractive. According to ZipRecruiter, the average freelance writer makes $66,690 per year or $33 per hour. When you’re getting started, you may need to take some lower-paying freelance writing jobs for beginners to gain experience. But with a bit of patience, the income potential is excellent.
Want to learn more about getting started? Freelance Writing 101 by Brad Merrill is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to become a freelance writer.
2. Technical Writing
Technical writing is another great option if you’re looking for ways to make extra cash as a writer. Technical writers create user manuals, how-to guides, and other documentation for products and services.
Compared to general freelance writing, technical writing is less creative but more precise and detailed. This type of writing can be done full-time or part-time, and working from home is often possible.
If you have experience with a particular software program or product, you may be able to find work as a technical writer. Technical writers need to have strong attention to detail and excellent research skills since they need to understand and explain complex topics in simple terms.
The income potential for technical writers is also very good. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a technical writer is $72,414 per year or $35 per hour. And like freelance writing, the opportunity to work as a technical writer is also quite flexible since many technical writers work remotely.
To learn more, please see Technical Writing: Getting Started.
Copywriting is another great way for writers to make extra money. Copywriting involves creating persuasive, interesting, and compelling copy for businesses to use in their marketing materials. This can include sales letters, website content, brochures, email campaigns, advertisements, and more.
Copywriters need to have strong writing skills and be able to capture the voice of the client’s brand. They also need to understand what sells and what doesn’t. Being able to write in a concise and to-the-point manner is also essential.
If you’re a good writer and have an understanding of digital marketing, copywriting could be the best side hustle idea for you. And with some success, it could quickly become a full-time business with a significant income.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average copywriter makes $72,982 per year or $35 per hour. Skilled copywriters are in high demand because businesses need compelling copy to help them sell their products and services, and the right copy can drastically improve revenue and profit. And like other writing side hustles, copywriting can be done full-time or part-time, and many copywriters work remotely.
4. Self-Published Author
If you’re a writer, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about self-publishing a book at some point. And why wouldn’t you? Self-publishing is a great way to get your work out there without having to go through the traditional publishing route. Today, anyone can become an author without the need to land a deal through a publisher.
Of course, self-publishing does require work on your part. You’ll need to write, edit, and format your book, create a cover, and possibly hire an editor or proofreader. You’ll also need to market your book and get the word out. But once you’ve done all that, you can start earning money from each book sold.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the most popular self-publishing platform. With KDP, you can sell your writing in digital ebook or paperback format. When a customer purchases a physical copy of your book, Amazon handles printing, shipping, and customer service.
As a result, you don’t need to deal with inventory or purchase large print runs of books that you may or may not be able to sell. It’s possible to start this writing side hustle without spending any money at all.
The income potential from self-publishing can vary greatly. It depends on how well you market your book, the price you set, and the demand for the type of book you’ve written. However, with a little effort, it’s certainly possible to make a significant income from selling your books.
5. Start a Blog or Niche Website
One of the best ways to make extra money is to start your own blog or niche website. This is a great way to build an audience and share your knowledge and expertise with people who are interested in what you have to say.
Blogs and niche websites are very similar, and the names can sometimes be used interchangeably. The biggest distinction of a niche site is that the content is very tightly focused on a specific topic.
To make money from your content-based website, you can sell advertising, become an affiliate for other companies, publish sponsored content, or sell products and services that you create. For example, many bloggers create digital products such as ebooks, courses, and templates that they sell on their websites.
The income potential from starting a blog or niche website is significant. It takes time to build up traffic and revenue, but the earnings can be huge once you do. Some bloggers earn six figures per year, and others actually make that much each month.
Of course, not everyone is going to achieve that level of success. But it’s possible to make a full-time income from your content-based website if you’re willing to do the work.
One of the benefits of this opportunity is that you can start a site and write on a topic that interests you (rather than needing to find a client who will hire you to write on your topic of choice).
To learn more, see my Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Website.
6. Start a YouTube Channel About Writing
YouTube is an excellent platform for sharing your knowledge and expertise. And if you’re a writer, you can start a successful YouTube channel about writing.
This opportunity is similar to creating a blog or niche website, except that you’ll be producing video content instead of writing a blog post. The process for making money is also similar. A successful YouTube channel can earn money from advertising (the YouTube Partner Program), direct sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or product sales.
The big benefit of starting a YouTube channel is that the popularity of video content continues to increase. Although there are a lot of YouTube channels already out there, there are far fewer YouTube channels than blogs. As a result, this is an ideal time to start your channel.
Ghostwriting is another popular option for writers who want to make extra money on the side as a content creator. Ghostwriters are hired to write articles, books, blog posts, speeches, and more – but they don’t get credit for their work. Instead, the content is published under someone else’s byline or name.
The client usually takes the credit and gets all the royalties or fees associated with the project. As a ghostwriter, you’ll need to capture the client’s voice and writing style, so it’s not obvious that someone else has written the piece. You’ll also need to be comfortable with not getting any credit for your content writing.
Since ghostwriting won’t help you to build up your name recognition (because your work is published under someone else’s name), many ghostwriting gigs pay more than a comparable freelance writing job that would provide attribution to the writer. It’s also possible to combine standard freelance writing and ghostwriting, depending on what your client is looking for.
Some ghostwriters specialize in a specific type of writer or for a particular audience. For example, you could be a ghostwriter for business leaders or politicians.
8. Write for Magazines
If you want to get paid to write, one option is to write for magazines. This can be a great way to get your work out there and earn some money, although it’s not always the best-paying option for writers.
Many magazines pay per word, meaning you’ll need to write a lot to make good money. But if you can land some good clients, it can be a decent way to earn extra cash with a writing side hustle.
Of course, there are magazines on almost any topic you can imagine, so there are plenty of possibilities here. To get started, check your favorite publications to see if they provide details about submitting articles or instructions for contacting the editors. If you cannot find the right person to contact, try searching for one of the publication’s editors on LinkedIn.
9. Create an Online Course About Writing
If you’re an expert on a particular topic, you can make money online by sharing your knowledge with others through a course and earn passive income. This is a great option for writers because you can package your skills and knowledge into a course that people will pay to take.
Your course could provide written content, video lessons, or a combination of both. You can also offer additional resources like templates, worksheets, or downloadable PDFs.
To get started, determine what you want to teach and who your target audience is. Then, create a course outline and start creating your content.
Once everything is ready, you can launch your course on Teachable or Podia. Both options make it easy to create a website that converts visitors into students, allowing you to manage and market your course.
10. Write a Newsletter
Another option for writers who want extra income is to start their own newsletter. Substack makes it easy to create a website and begin publishing your content as an email newsletter.
You can write about any topic and decide how often you wish to publish your newsletter. Some Substack newsletters are published daily, while others are published weekly or monthly.
Substack also allows you to set up a membership system to charge readers for access to your content if you prefer. You can also make the content freely accessible.
To get started with this online writing job, sign up for Substack and create an account. Then, start writing your articles and publishing them on your Substack.
And while Substack is an ideal option, it’s far from the only option. You could also use a service like ConvertKit to manage and grow your audience.
11. Publish on Medium
Medium is a popular platform for writers, and it can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Anyone can begin writing on Medium or even start their own publication.
Medium pays its writers based on the number of views their stories receive (among other factors), so you can potentially earn some good money if your story is popular.
To get started, create a free account on Medium and start writing your stories. You can choose to publish them publicly or keep them private.
If you want to make money on Medium, you’ll need to sign up for their Partner Program. Once you’re accepted, you can start earning money from your stories.
12. Write Greeting Cards
If you’re a creative writer, you could make money by writing greeting cards. This is an excellent option if you enjoy writing poetry or short messages.
Many companies produce greeting cards, each with its own submission process. But generally speaking, you’ll need to submit your card idea along with a sample of your work.
If your creative writing is selected, the company will pay you for the rights to use your design. And while the pay isn’t always great, it can be a fun way to make some extra cash as a writer, while gaining experience.
13. Resume Writer
Many people struggle with writing their own resumes, which is where you can come in as a resume writer. As a resume writer, you’ll help people improve their chances of getting hired by crafting well-written resumes and cover letters.
To get started, you’ll need to understand what employers are looking for in a resume. You’ll also need to be familiar with different resume formats and styles. It helps if you have experience in human resources (HR) or as a hiring manager who has reviewed many resumes from job seekers.
Once you have the necessary skills, you can start offering your services to clients. You can find potential clients on job boards or through networking. According to ZipRecruiter, the average resume writer makes $42,150 per year or $20 per hour.
14. Social Media Marketer
With almost 4 billion people using social media, writers have a lot of opportunities. Businesses need content to publish through their social profiles. Many need talented writers to craft content that will get results.
Social media writers create posts, tweets, and other types of content for businesses to use on their social media accounts. They may even create and manage Facebook ads. This can be a great way to get started as a writer and develop your skills.
To be successful as a social media writer, you’ll need to have strong writing skills and be able to capture the voice of the client’s brand. You’ll also need to be familiar with the different social media platforms and how to use them effectively.
ZipRecruiter reports that the average freelance social media marketing manager makes $52,815 per year or $25 per hour.
15. Write for Content Mills
Content mills are companies that hire writers to produce content on various topics. As a content mill writer, you’ll write for clients on their chosen subject. Many clients who hire content mills will order a large volume of content at one time. This type of writing can be suitable for beginner writers because it doesn’t require much experience.
However, the downside is that you won’t have much control over the topics you write about or the deadlines you’re given. And because content mills charge low rates to their clients, the writers are also typically not compensated very well. However, you can quickly get a lot of experience, develop your skills, and then move on to a higher-paying opportunity.
To get started, look at some of the popular content mills like Textbroker and iWriter. Then, create an account and start taking on assignments. Just be sure to read the reviews before signing up for any content mill, as some have a bad reputation.
If you’re a skilled editor or proofreader, you can make money by offering your services to writers who need help with their work. You can offer many different editing and proofreading services, so there’s sure to be something that fits your skills and interests.
One option is to offer developmental editing, which involves providing feedback on a piece’s overall structure and content. Another option is to offer line editing, which involves correcting grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. And finally, you can provide copyediting, a more detailed form of editing that also involves fact-checking and ensuring the style guide is followed.
To get started, create a profile on sites like Upwork or Fiverr. Then, start bidding on jobs and working with clients. You can also look for opportunities through job boards or by networking with other writers.
You can expect to earn about $20-$25 per hour as a proofreader.
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Final Thoughts on Side Hustles for Writers
There are many ways for writers to make extra money. Whether you want to work as a freelance writer, editor, or proofreader, there’s an opportunity for you. And with a little effort, you can find the perfect side hustle to supplement your income.
So if you’re looking for a way to make some extra income as a writer, consider one of these 15 side hustles for writers. With a little effort, you can start making money in no time!
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