5 Most Realistic Ways To Earn A Living Writing


Want to earn a living writing? Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s a tough field to enter. Though there are realistic ways to make money as a writer.

Turning a writing hobby into a career is a dream for many people from all walks of life, but it is also one of the most difficult ways to make money.

Want to know why? Millions of people would love to get paid if their only responsibility was to write.

The problem is that whole supply and demand concept. Since there is a great supply of writers looking for work it lowers the demand (how much they get paid).

Most writers aren’t going to become bestselling authors or a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, but that doesn’t mean that earning a living doing something we love isn’t possible.

Thanks to the Internet, in particular, it has never been more possible to write for a living.

You got that? There’s hope for you and your writing career. If you’re committed enough, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t make this dream become a reality.

Keep reading to see the blueprint on how to make this happen.

How To Separate Yourself From Other Writers

Hunger, drive, willpower (whatever you want to call it) is one of the most powerful traits human beings possess.

When harnessed in the right direction, I’d say it’s almost unstoppable. Believe that.

And assuming you want to become a professional writer as bad as you say you do, this means you already have a key ingredient of what it takes to make money writing.

Hunger isn’t the only key ingredient though. And these next two components are where the real deal writers separate themselves from the pack.

Besides willpower, hard work and patience go the farthest in separating the people who want to be paid writers from those who just wish it happens but don’t follow through.

The dedicated individuals who are working hard to write every day (if even for only 15 minutes) and always keeping their head up for new opportunities while remaining hopeful in the midst of struggle go the farthest in this field.

Take this to heart: if you feel you were born to be a writer, then it shouldn’t matter how long it takes to make this your profession. It shouldn’t matter how many odd writing jobs you have to pick up to make progress.

You’d be living a lie if you stopped pursuing your writing craft or gave up your aspirations early. Live true to yourself by sticking with it through the thick and thin moments.

The writer and individual you become through this process will be the best gift you give yourself. I promise you.

And for inspiration, look at the less than glamorous positions of these now legendary writers while they were writing on the side trying to make it a career:

  • Stephen King worked as a janitor
  • Nicholas Sparks sold dental products as a telemarketer
  • Harper Lee worked as a ticket agent
  • John Green was a chaplain

These guys never gave up on their passion of creating sentences out of words and you shouldn’t either.

That means if you have to work a day job to support yourself before your writing does, then that’s an obvious decision to do it.

However, maybe even better, who says your day job can’t be writing?

Earn A Living Writing

Before your hard work and patience gets enough time to work its magic, in the beginning of your writing career you have to be realistic about the sort of work you’re likely to get. 

Here are 5 of the most likely ways you could start working as a writer, right now.

1) Freelancing

Working as a freelance writer is maybe the easiest way to start out as a professional writer.

You simply sign up to freelance sites like peopleperhour.com and Upwork and start bidding for gigs you think you can handle. Once you’ve built up a reputation for producing quality work to deadline, you should see more offers of work coming in.

Perhaps, the best thing about this route into writing is that it’s highly flexible and can be carried out from any location with an internet connection.

For those impatient, here’s a warning that the freelancer route can be a difficult road until you build your portfolio and secure more profitable work.

I encourage you to stick it out when times get tough. If writing is truly your thing, you’ll be glad you did in only a year or two from now (not a long time in the grand scheme of things).

2) Content Writing

As businesses rely more and more on their websites and online marketing to draw the customers in, there are more and more opportunities for budding writers to find their first jobs as content writers.

The good thing about content writing gigs is that they are often employed positions. So you will get a regular wage for creating web copy, articles, and blog posts for your employer.

That’s not a bad gig at all—especially if you find yourself in a position where you get to write about topics you’re already interested in. Then life’s good.

(Fun fact: My new digital marketing company has signed content marketing deals with companies and we’re actively paying writers to publish content. This alone proves you can make solid money writing.)

3) Academic Writing

If you have an academic background or you’re a graduate, you could sign up to a research paper writing service, where you will be tasked with writing papers in your particular field of knowledge.

The work will likely be taxing, but it certainly meets the criteria of getting paid for putting fingers to keyboards.

Speaking for myself only, this seems like the least enjoyable writing work on this list but there are nerdier people than me who love academic writing. If that’s you, go for it!

4) Blogging

Blogging for a living is by no means an easy way to make money, especially if you want to bring in a regular income.

But it is certainly one of the easiest ways to get started.

To start your own blog, all you need is an idea and a few dollars for a domain name and hosting package.

You can write about anything from your life as a mom to your passion for photography and make a living from it. Then follow these blogging tips to rank on Google.

To begin with, you might only bring in a few dollars each week, if that, but if you stick at it, produce quality content and fill your site with quality affiliate links and ads, you can turn a hobby into a full-time gig.

Related: 11 Signs You’re A Newb Blogger

5) Become An Author

It can take years for your first novel to garner the interest of an agent, let alone for it to be published, if it ever is. That’s why this method is slightly outdated in the age of the Internet.

When you write and self publish your own book on Amazon, you can start selling it, and making money as soon as it goes up for sale. Talk about convenience people!

No agent or publishing company can stop you now.

Sure, it might not have the same cache of being published by a big company, but you’ll be earning a living as a writer if you’re good enough and market yourself well.

At the end of the day, for true die hard writers, that’s all that really matters.

Do you earn a living as a writer? What exactly do you do?

Brian Robben

Brian Robben is the founder of Take Your Success, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs grow a profitable business and reach freedom. For in-depth training, visit: brianrobben.com