9 Ways to Turn your Pen into a Money-Making Weapon

Today’s guest post is by Alice Calch:

You’re stuck. Maybe you’ve been stuck for a few month; maybe you’ve been stuck for a years. You’ve been writing that best-selling novel all this time, but it’s really only a hobby now. Life happened, and you had to make a living.

So you took a job to keep your stomach from growling and your dog from growling at you. You gave in and “settled.” Oh, the novel comes out every once in a while and you gaze at it; you write another half chapter, and life calls again. You have “settled.”

Here’s the problem. You’ve never really thought of yourself as a writer. You haven’t called yourself a writer. You’re just a person with an “okay” job who writes as an occasional hobby. You haven’t considered all the possibilities that the pen actually offers.

If you really want to be able to call yourself a writer, then make the paradigm shift right now. And here are nine ways to do it!

  1. Get Just One Gig – Any Gig. This is where to begin. Get online. Find a place that will pay you to write, no matter what the pay. Craigslist.com has writing/editing as a category. Get one gig. Register with some online writing services – there are lots of them. Keep the “day” job for now, but, as soon as you get your first payment, start calling yourself a writer, and go after some more.

Here’s how one person, who is now a full-time freelancer writer, did it. She got one job from Craigslist. The ad asked for a native-English-speaking writer to produce five articles about online casinos. She sent in a short sample of her writing and got hired. Pretty soon, more jobs were coming her way from that same person. And that person recommended her to others. It took about a year, but she quit her job and now freelances from home.

  1. Research Paying Blogs. Blogs are big business now. Entrepreneurs have established blogs that are making them huge amounts of money, and they pay contributors well for guest submissions. Get online and search for those blogs. Get their submission guidelines and go for it. Some blog writers get as much as $200 per post. You have to be willing to research topics, and you have to be really creative in style.
  1. Become a “Citizen” Journalist. Newspapers are closing their doors. They’re going online, and terminating most of their full-time salaried staff. If you’ve got a niche, submit an article to an editor. If it is good and it gets published, who knows? You could end up being a regular paid contributor.
  2. Become a Freelance Content Writer. Most small businesses that have a web presence are owned by a single person or a partnership. Chances are these entrepreneurs are not good writers. Start going through small business sites and read their content. Do they have a business blog? Do they have a Facebook page? Take some of the content they’ve published and rewrite it so that it absolutely shines. Send it to them and tell you can do this for them on a regular basis. 

If you don’t want to take that kind of initiative, then contact writing services that do this kind of work, send some samples, and get on their freelance staff.

  1. Start Your Own Blog. Are you an expert in something? Knitting, raising goats, fixing small appliances? Start submitting posts and articles to blogs and forums solely related to your area of expertise. In the bio section of your posts, include a link to your blog. Grow your mailing list so that you can keep your readers informed of your writing projects. As your “expert” reputation grows, you might be able to garner good pay from the articles you offer to other blogs and ezines.
  2. Want to Be Published? If you don’t want to aim for traditional publishing, consider self-publishing some books. They don’t have to be novels. Think about that expertise we just explored. Many writers are making a good living putting out small ebooks that are informative and fill a niche. By developing a line of books on a topic, the more chance there is that your customers will buy all your books. If they like what they read, they will recommend your books to their friends. 

Of course this takes time, but you have all those other writing gigs to keep your stomach from growling. Just be sure to provide top-notch quality content your customers will benefit by.

  1. Write Reviews. Website entrepreneurs pay for people to write reviews of their products and services so they can publish them on all the consumer review sites. They pay pretty well too. You can do this on your own by signing up with a company that is in the review-writing business. Local restaurants and other entertainment venues also look for reviewers and usually advertise on Craigslist.
  2. Write for Greeting Card Companies. They all have websites. Take a look at their submission guidelines. If you have a great sense of humor and can come up with creative short jokes, limericks, etc., this is a fun way to make some quick cash.
  3. Write Resumes and Cover Letters. You would be amazed at the number of people who cannot produce these for themselves. You can either freelance on your own or join a resume writing service.

Diversity is usually the key to writing for money. If you have several different venues going at once, you will eventually generate steady income. By paying your bills and feeding your dog, you may just find time to take that novel out of the drawer and get back working on it.

Alice Calch head shotAlice Calch is a passionate blogger and writer from San Francisco with a master’s degree in journalism. She’s interested in self-development, health, and sports issues, and covers these topics at her blog Ghost Professors. Follow Alice on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

Feature Photo Credit: dave lewis 88 via Compfight cc

3 Responses to “9 Ways to Turn your Pen into a Money-Making Weapon”

  1. Mary Kate September 21, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    Incredibly helpful post, thank you! I have a feeling I’ll be referring back to this many, many times in the future!

    • Alice Calch September 22, 2015 at 1:31 am #

      Great. I’m extremely pleased you like it.

  2. J. Eliot Mason September 23, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    Fiction writers need to remember that writing nonfiction is still writing. There are tons of writers who worked in journalism and the like. Great article!

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