How to make money as a writer

Increasing growth in technology has opened up massive opportunities for almost any creative person like you to make money as a writer and earn a living professionally, regardless of their location.

From rural communities in India, to the interior parts of Africa, a lot of people are taking up these opportunities and so many of them are now pursuing a robust career, after taking up writing as a profession.

As someone aspiring to earn a living as a writer, I can confirm that you’re on the right path because many other people before you have also achieved this successfully, in the past.

But before you get started on this very ambitious journey, there are certain key steps you must take. And I’ll be explaining each of these steps below in this guide.

Before Earning as a Writer

Before you think of starting to make money as a writer, the following are the key things you must put in place:

A niche is a specialized segment of the market carved out for a particular product or service.

As a beginner, one of the best steps you can take before you start to make money as a writer is to define your niche. This is very crucial because it makes it easier for you to actually get on the journey to earning an income as a writer.

Reason is because it removes arbitrariness. The moment you define your niche, it becomes easy for you to define your target audience.

When you identify your target audience, you get better positioned to target and create content that appeals to this audience that’s actually interested in patronizing you.

Defining your niche also gives you the chance to establish your brand or become a thought leader in a very specific niche, compared to targeting the entire industry. This makes it even easier to get more niche defined jobs.

PS: Defining your niche might also mean attending some trainings to get specific writing skills associated with that niche, getting writing certifications and real hands on experience you can showcase in your profile.

After identifying your niche, to further make money as writer, you need a brand that will distinguish you from other writers whether in your niche or outside of it.

So, you have to think carefully about creating a brand that is unique to you, distinct in your industry and one your audience can easily connect with.

This will also involve creating a profile, building your portfolio and getting your own professional website. Doing this sets you apart as a professional.

For so many aspiring writers, the social media is one of the top places to shape your writing skills and build your brand as a writer.

With an existing audience, feedback features and a community support system, the social media serves as a veritable platform where you grow your craft, build your audience and gather a few early days’ clients.

Beyond these, you can also use your social media platform as an avenue to experiment your write to earn goals, learn audience preferences and build credibility through storytelling.

Steps to Make Money as a Writer

The following are steps you can take or the things you can do to start, make money and earn a living as a writer:

Publish a Book

Although everyone may not have a story that will become the next Harry Porter series, if you’re highly skilled or experienced in a specific area then you definitely have what it takes to write, publish a book and make money as a writer.

Even where you don’t have an experience or you’re not highly skilled in any specific area, there are ways you can still create books and sell them online on platforms like Amazon, Lulu, Okadabooks etc.

These could be ranging from items like; low content books to books to tutorials, guides, ebooks and other kinds of books.

With the unprecedented avalanche of information and endless search for knowledge today, publishing and selling books online could actually be your best avenue to earn a living as a writer because there’s a ready market for these books.

And when done well, you can write, publish and get your books out there in front of your audience, using online stores, without paying anything upfront.

Write for Others

Another easy ways to make money as a writer is to write for others and get paid for it. And there are many ways to do this.

For example, there are a number of businesses looking for writers to boost their publications. These could be blogs, Newspapers, Magazines, Newsletters etc. And most of these platforms are willing to pay you to write for them.

There are also a number job boards for local and international firms in search of remote writers and contract writers for their projects. You can opt to write for these, in addition to others.

Outside these platforms, another way to earn a living as a writer is by writing for platforms, websites and blogs currently on the lookout for writers and content creators who are willing to manage and create content on their platforms.

Just like the others, this is an option you can consider. And you can negotiate how long you want to be writing or how often, based on your agreement with the firms.

Start a Blog

Starting a blog gives you a platform to create and share content with your audience. It is one of the popular options almost anyone can use to make money as a writer, especially on the long term.

After starting a blog in a particular niche, you can create and share thoughtful content with your audience. Overtime as your blog continues to grow in traffic, audience and web visits, you can get to start earning from it, using specific earning strategies.

To start blogging to earn a living as a writer, you have to take steps to identify and align your skills, research the niche you want to be blogging about, create a blog and start growing it with content.

As soon as the blog gathers a decent traffic over a period of time, you can then monetize it by creating ad spaces, engaging in Google Advertising, Sponsored advertising, Paid Content creation, amongst other means of monetization.

And of course, you can go as far as publishing your books and creating products that can be sold, using that platform. Here’s a guide on how to start a blog.

Ghost Writing

Ghost writing means to write on behalf of or for other people (who will become the real owners of the book or content) while you get paid in return.

It is one of the most well-known ways that you can make money and earn a living as a writer.

Make money writing in Nigeria
Ghost writing provides opportunities for you to write for others and get paid | Image Credits: Michael Burrows/Pexels

Considering that today, a lot of influential people, entrepreneurs, ministers, etc. are getting way too busy to sit down and write books, content etc. to share their knowledge, cement their expertise or for PR purposes; this gives you an opportunity to make a living as a Guest Writer.

To make things even better, you don’t necessarily have to sit and wait out your turn to get offers for jobs as a ghost writer; you can pitch books and content ideas to potential authors or send out mouth watering proposals that will get them hooked.

The good thing about Ghost Writing is that the market is quite broad and you can comfortably earn a living as a writer using a specific niche of your choice.

Manage Social Media

Be it text, videos or images, social media thrives on content. And as a creative writer, you’re one of the best fit to manage and create content for other people’s social media accounts while getting paid for it.

Naturally, most people expect to get into social media management merely for busy clients but that doesn’t have to be your story.

You’re not the average social media manager. You’re a professional writer and as a writer, you bring in an extra level of skills to the job of social media management and this in turn gives you an edge over the average social media manager.

Utilizing your creative and writing abilities, you can make money as a writer while managing social media accounts for brands in a specific niche or industry of your choice.

Also, with your skills as a writer and creative storyteller, you can set yourself apart in social media management by taking up your client’s goals and interpreting same to create content that drives engagement and delivers on their expected outcomes.

Become Employed to Write

Apart from working as a self-employed or freelance writer, a number of establishments do have roles exclusively for content writers.

Some of these roles are for local and international workers with flexible working options, including, remote, on site and hybrid alternatives.

If you’re someone that prefers a more formal working environment with steady income, this presents you a good opportunity to make money and earn a living as a writer.

Start a Writing Agency

Starting a writing agency is a great option for people seeking to make money as a writer.

As a highly driven entrepreneur that’s out to build a business out of writing, to earn a living as a writer, you can start an actual boutique writing agency, providing a range of writing aligned services to clients around the world.

This could range from providing services like Content Creation, Ghost Writing, and Social Media Management etc. to clients.

Although this may require more initial financial investment but this arrangement gives you more leverage, compared to a one man writing business.

As a writing agency, you are well positioned as an establishment that services different businesses. This affords you the chance to bid for and get jobs from entities looking for established writing firms.

The good part is that you can start this business with yourself and a few staff working on site or remotely while building from the ground up.

Another under rated step to earn a living as a writer is to sell your skills. This is one of the hidden strategies used by most experts.

As a writer with a decent set of skills, experience or specialized knowledge, using your strong story telling skills, you can amplify these skills and get people to know about it.

Personally, this is one of the key strategies that led to my first ever income online. A lot of established writers can relate to this.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, you can make money as a writer by writing about your skills, offering tips, guides and other articles around those skills. A lot of celebrities, influencers etc. are already doing this successfully.

And the best part of this strategy is that beside establishing you as a writer, it also positions you as a thought leader in that niche.

Final Words

It’s very possible to make money as a writer, regardless of who you are, where you are or your current financial status. As a matter of fact, a good number of people are already doing this. And what you just read here are the some of the secret strategies that got them to where they are today.

As you embark on the journey to earn a living as a writer, keep in mind that to set yourself apart, there are certain specific skills you must learn, experiences you have to gather and a level of expertise you must attain, before you can write for certain brands or in certain niches.

That’s why before you get started, you must outline your goals, set your niche and then learn the adequate skills that will transform your writing journey beyond the beginner level.

And of course, we have a range of these writing related skills and courses that will set you apart and get you the right mentorship, to start earning fast. Sign up here and join a class.

Now, it’s over to you. What’s the biggest obstacle blocking you from making a living as a writer? Drop your comment below.

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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