Writing online is a creative and rewarding way of being your own boss. Many online writers only want to make some residual income from a hobby they enjoy, but you can start a home business and write full time provided you have the clients and the skills to provide high quality, search engine friendly copy. Writing online also has the benefit of not requiring any money to start your own business, except maybe enough to purchase a computer and set up your own office at home.
How to make money writing online
There are several ways of making money from writing online:
- Writing books
- Editing, translating and proofreading
- Article writing and website content generation
- Content writing to promote affiliate products
- Monetising a content website
- Pitching content to newspapers and magazines
The skills required will be different for each of the above ways of making money online, and some are easier than others. Some will offer you an upfront payment, and others will produce residual income over time. It’s wise to never put all your eggs in one basket, and diversify your writing sources of income as much as possible.
Book publishing online
The Internet offers many possibilities for writing for money. Publishing your book online and get the lion’s share of any profit is one of the most profitables. Amazon’s Kindle ebook platform, Yudu or Smashbooks allow publishers to publish their self edited books for free, and just keep a percentage of each sale. If you want to actually publish a paper book, self publishing services such as Lulu will allow you to sell print on-demand books, but it’s often much more expensive than doing it online. You can also try to approach editorials with your manuscript, but it’s a very competitive market. If you decide to go this way, invest in a copy of Writer’s Market to find legitimate editors and publishers.
Finding private clients
Many website owners will pay to get search engine optimized content for their websites, written to their specifications. Other writing services that are popular include sales copy for websites and newsletters, editorial content, blog management, reviews and press releases. If you are a talented writer or a good sales person you could make a living working full time generating content for those who aren’t so lucky. There are many freelancing marketplaces such as Elance or Guru where you can find clients, but often finding decent paying writing gigs is difficult and there is a lot of demand for high quality, original copy paying 1$ for 500 words. You may be better off trying to market yourself privately as an online writer, exactly as any other business would do.
The first step to getting private writing clients is having a business website and a writing portfolio. This can be done in many ways:
- Using WordPress with a professional WordPress theme
- Creating a portfolio in a writing site, such as Infobarrel or Hubpages
- Getting a free business website with Google or Weebly
The key to succeed as an online writer is making sure your business website looks professional and displays a representative sample of your articles and writing skills. Pay special attention to things such as display errors or unreadable text (this is where a choosing a professional WordPress theme), bad formatting or typos, since that could destroy your credibility as a writer in the eyes of a potential client.