50 ways to make money as a writer.
Once upon a time, a teacher told me: “There’s no money in writing.”
I am happy to report that this particular teacher was… wrong.
It is absolutely possible to make money as a writer.
If you love playing with words and stories — and want to make a career out of it — you’ve got infinite options.
For starters? You can make money…
: As a biographer.
: As a blogging and social media consultant.
: As a book-writing coach.
: As a book, film or restaurant reviewer.
: As a comedy sketch writer.
: As a consultant who helps entrepreneurs write business plans.
: As a copywriter.
: As a ghostwriter.
: As a grant writer.
: As a greeting card writer for a major stationery producer.
: As a journalist.
: As a keynote speech editor or story-shaping coach.
: As a librarian or digital archivist.
: As a literary agent.
: As a memoir writer.
: As a podcast host or radio host.
: As a poet and spoken-word performing artist.
: As a political speechwriter.
: As a proofreader.
: As a résumé and cover letter writer.
: As a sponsored blogger.
: As a technical writer.
: As a transcriptionist.
: As a writing tutor for kids and teens.
: As the host of your own webTV show.
: By creating guidebooks, toolkits and workbooks.
: By creating your own cards, notes and journals.
: By designing paintings and posters with uplifting words.
: By designing exciting classes and teaching online.
: By doing historical research for novelists.
: By getting a traditional book deal.
: By helping people to write their Kickstarter campaign descriptions.
: By helping people write their online dating profiles.
: By inventing a new word-game that unlocks creativity.
: By leading a global writing challenge or starting a letter-writing revolution.
: By leading writing workshops.
: By packaging your knowledge into an e-book.
: By recording the life history of exceptional people, so their stories are never forgotten.
: By self-publishing a beautiful hard- or softcover print book.
: By starting a word-focused community art project — with grant funding.
: By starting an advice column and leveraging its success into a book deal.
: By starting an online writing circle and secret clubhouse for other writers.
: By teaching in a traditional school or university setting.
: By teaching students in another country.
: By working as a communication manager.
: By working as a publicist (… and teaching people how to get ready for the media spotlight.)
: By working in public radio.
: By writing, recording and selling inspirational mantras and meditations.
: By writing essays that inspire people to think deeply and live bravely.
: By writing sexy stories that make people blush.
: By writing wedding vows.
: By writing obituaries.
: By writing song lyrics.
: Plus lots of other professions and projects that I haven’t listed here — or that haven’t been invented yet. But will soon. Because of you.
I have a lot of friends who are professional writers, and I’ve yet to meet a pro writer who does “one thing” all day long, every day.
Most professional writers have at least three or four different sources of income at any given time.
A few clients on a monthly retainer… a couple workshops… and a summer gig as a college professor, for example.
(I recently met a New York Times bestselling author whose book rights just got purchased by a major Hollywood production company… and she was asking for my advice on how to find more copywriting clients. Yep. Even emerging celebs still have to pay the bills — which often means juggling several roles and projects at once.)
If you want to be a professional writer and make money doing it…
Hone your skills. Do good work. Be generous and kind. Establish an impeccable professional reputation. Treat your clients and readers like they matter. People will take notice.
You can do this. Start writing. Start charging. Keep going.