How to Make Money As a Writer in 2021 (Infographic)

by Brendan Brown | April 16, 2021, 1:42 am

The world is quickly changing around us. With the progress of technology, industries are constantly evolving with the times.

The writing industry is no different.

And if you’re a writer, you’re in hot demand right now.

Go back 10 years and the only way to have a writing career was to get yourself printed in a magazine or write your own book. Definitely no small task.

Today, you can find yourself published online in the blink of an eye, with more and more avenues opening up to be explored.

Just about every business these days has their own website, blog and social media presence. These businesses are hungry for writers that know what they’re doing and can sell in the online space.

That’s you!

From catchy copywriting to writing for online publications to starting your own blog, there are so many different ways to make money as a writer in 2021. As long as you’re willing to explore different styles and niches, there are endless possibilities waiting for you.

Let’s take a look at exactly how much money freelance writers make, along with the top ways you can make money in 2021.

How much money do freelance writers make?

There are so many different avenues you can explore when it comes to freelance writing. You have the choice of following your passions, or upskilling yourself in certain areas.

When looking at average salaries, your chosen career path will affect how much you earn on a yearly basis. It can be anywhere from $32,777 per year as a Research Writer to $49,685 as a Book Writer and then up to $81,685 as a Speech Writer.

Our handy infographic below outlines 18 different career opportunities as a freelance writer, along with their average monthly and yearly salary. It’s a great insight into what skills are in high demand – and therefore pay better – and could have you changing your tune about your chosen career path.

But before you go ahead and make that decision, read on to discover the top 5 ways to make money as a freelance writer. Here’s a hint – they’re all online!

Top 5 ways to make money as online writer

It’s no secret that the online world as changed the freelance writing industry. And for the better! Us writers are now in much more demand that ever before and able to expand our resumes significantly when exploring the variety of tasks on offer.

So, what exactly are the top 5 ways to make money as a writer in 2021?

1. Write for businesses

Read on to check out our infographic, populated with handy facts about freelance writing in 2021. You never know, it might be time for you to explore new opportunities and find different ways to earn money as a freelance writer. If there’s one thing we know for sure – it’s a skill that’s in high demand right now.

So, how do you get started?

The best thing you can do is find a niche that you love. From parenting to gardening, finance, bookkeeping, health & wellbeing and more, there are so many different niches out there, all in need of expert copywriters.

By choosing a niche you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to dive in and discover more as you go. This will make you a standout choice when it comes to expanding your client base. After all, how can a bookkeeping company resist you when you’ve been writing nothing but bookkeeping for the past few years?

It’s a win-win.

Many people mistakenly think they need to land the big jobs when it comes to freelancing. They’re the ones that pay well. They’re the ones that will keep you working and make it worthwhile.

While this might be true in the long run, it’s about building up your portfolio. Many businesses start off with small tasks to work out whether you’re the right fit for them.

From there, most tend to keep the same copywriter on standby and the jobs grow from there.

It’s about getting your foot in the door and building your client base.

It also helps to build an online portfolio as you go. It’s a great collection of all the work you’ve done to date and makes it much easier to collate all your information when it comes to applying for jobs. Some of the top picks are Squarespace, WordPress, Journo Portfolio, and even ClickFunnels.

Your next question: where do you find these clients? Thankfully, there are plenty of websites out there to help you do just that. From Upwork to iWriter, scroll down to see them all listed in our infographic below.

2. Start a blog

I know, I know, you’re thinking it’s not for you. It takes a certain type to blog, right?

Wrong – anyone can become a blogger and when you take a look at what some of them are earning, you’re going to want to jump on that bandwagon as well.

There are three main ways bloggers earn money:

1. Affiliate marketing

2. Ad revenue

3. Creating their own digital product (such as a course or an eBook)

Want to know what some of the highest paid bloggers are on? Of course, you do.

Tim Skyes sells DVD courses on how to sell penny stocks and trade and earning 1,000,000+ monthly. Melissa Griffin sells courses and earns $200,000 monthly. Lachlan Brown from Hack Spirit uses affiliate marketing,  advertising, and eBooks to make $125,000 a month. The list goes on and on, and you can scroll down to see it.

But the message is there – there’s plenty of money to be made in the blogging industry.

You simply need to find your niche, work out your revenue streams and drive in and give it a go. You already have one thing going for you – you’re an awesome writer.

So use it!

3. Contribute to online magazines and websites

Unlike traditional magazines which go to print weekly or monthly, online magazines need to be updated daily. Not just once, but multiple times. If they’re hoping to stay fresh and current, then content is king. And they’re all on the hunt for amazing freelance writers who can provide them with it.

So, how do you go about getting published and getting paid for it?

We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list in our infographic of magazines that pay $500 or more for an article. Then there’s a second list with websites that will pay you up to $200 for an article.

All you need to do is carry out a little research and work out what sort of content they’re on the hunt for and get writing. It’s the perfect way to build up that online portfolio of yours, while getting paid for it in the process.

Include a short pitch with information about yourself and why you think the article is a good fit for their publication. The trick is to keep it short and snappy.

4. Be an editor

With all this extra content being published in the online space, it stands to reason that expert editors are also in hot demand.

You can earn up to $95,000 per year for these expert skills.

There are a number of different editor jobs you can explore, including:

  • Copy editor
  • Developmental editor
  • Substantive editor
  • Managing editor
  • Line editor
  • Acquisition’s editor.

And so many more!

But there are some key skills you’ll need to have up your sleeve if you’re hoping to stand out in the online world.

Businesses want to know whether or not you truly understand how this online world works. Do you know your way around WordPress? Would you be able to upload an article from scratch? Do you know what SEO is? It’s worth doing a little upskill before you dive into this career path.

Academic editing is also a niche that will never go out of fashion. If you have an academic background, then the demand for thesis editing and book editing is ongoing.

The more skills you can bring to the table, the more desirable you will be to businesses. They will be willing to pay more for your skills.

Bonus: Become a Kindle author on Amazon

Gone are the days of paper books. OK, that’s a bit drastic and isn’t quite true. But the Kindle has pulled many people away from paper books to enjoy the electronic variety.

What does this mean for you as a writer?

With Kind Direct Publishing, you can publish and distribute your books to readers around the world. It’s easy!

And there’s plenty of success stories about to motivate you.

Mike Omer writes mysteries and thrillers and has sold more than 200,000 copies. L.J. Ross has published 20 novels and sold more than 5.5 million copies. James Oswald has written in the crime mysteries genre and has sold 298,000 copies. Just check out our handy infographic below to discover more.

There are plenty of ways you can succeed as a Kindle author – and it goes beyond just writing an amazing novel (although this does help).

You need to choose a topic in demand, keep on writing after that first book, and make sure you do your market research.

Then, the world is your oyster!

It’s definitely an exciting time to be a freelance writer. It’s a skill you can use in so many different ways and has the ability to earn you good money in the digital world. It’s about discovering your interests and passions and following them. You need to sell yourself and your skills and watch your career skyrocket in 2021.

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