Since rent ain’t cheap.
4 min read
I never thought I would get paid to write. Since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a writer, whether it was for TV shows or even just a business newsletter. While I did get to do it in some form throughout the years, being a full-time freelance writer seemed like a faraway dream.
But hey, it turns out it’s possible. It’s not always the most fun and it’s far different from the poems I wrote in high school, but it’s a career and 5-year-old me would be proud.
Of course, I don’t get paid to write poems (granted I did edit a poetry book once for a client). Thankfully, there are the types of writing you can actually get paid to do, and actually cover your rent. I know since I’ve done all of them at some point myself.
Here are 7 things companies will pay you to write for them:
1. Blog Posts
Most of my client work falls in this category. It can be anything from 500-word posts explaining a new feature of an online product to a 2000-word guide on publishing papers in academia.
In the last year, I’ve written thousands of words for tons of company blogs on every topic from product design to fancy wine. While finding clients can be tough, if you keep at it and have strong writing skills, it’s possible to make money writing blogs.
2. Social Media Captions
This was the second type of writing I did when I started out. My first client was a nail salon owner in a town in Ontario and she needed help with her captions. This can often can bleed into the role of a social media manager and you might be the one actually posting the content as well.
That’s all fine and dandy, but make sure it’s clear what you’re doing before you invoice them. More work=more money. Raise your rates if they start expecting you to post them, reply to comments, or even the source images.
3. Website Copywriting
While the home page and about page are what you think of first, there is a lot more to a website than just that. There are landing pages that push a user to an action (like signing up for a newsletter) and sales pages that sell company products (like one of the many courses out there).
It’s a much bigger beast than you can expect, so start with your own website to learn about writing everything from About Pages to Metadescriptions. Plus, that already gives you a portfolio piece!
4. Email Campaigns
There are tons of aspects of email marketing that you can learn to write and people need them for their business. From that first welcome email that you get when you sign up for a newsletter to the multi-day marketing campaigns selling products or pushing a new launch.
I even wrote an email course on anxiety once for a psychologist in the UK, so courses can sometimes fall in this category. Starting your own email list will also help familiarize yourself with popular email campaign software like MailChimp, Substack, and ConvertKit. It will give you an edge if you know them a bit already when competing with other writers.
Tons of YouTube channels, podcasts, and any type of ad — all start with a script. This is a more specialized type of writing and still competitive, but so is everything. I’ve only written a few scripts, but it can be fun depending on your niche or industry (granted… those are often the most competitive).
If you go this route, read some books on formatting since it’s different from other types of writing. I studied podcast scripts while in university which helped me have an edge when applying to gigs online.
These can sometimes be related to blog writing and many businesses rework their blog into the email. Others might have a separate piece of writing and a link to their blog to read the whole thing.
Tons of businesses have newsletters and often the person writing them doesn’t always like doing it (especially for a small business). When doing these, make sure you learn about writing strong subject lines since weak headlines mean no one will read them.
7. Press Releases
Briefly, I was working in Public Relations and had to write a couple of these. Similar to scripts, there is a particular format these need to follow, but overall they are pretty easy. At worst, they can be a bit dry, so try to write them to be more engaging if you can.
Once you learn the formatting, you can make this your specialty. Often, public relations has lots of other tasks like writing email pitches to send to news outlets and influencers. This can be a fun industry if you want to work more with traditional media as well, like with journalists.
Get Paid to Write Online
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to branch out, you can make make writing a kind of things online. I’ve done all of these and I’m sure there are more out there. Here’s a quick list to summarize:
- Blog Posts
- Social Media
- Website Copywriting
- Email Campaigns
- Press Releases
Learn any of these, pick an industry you know about, and you’ll be able to get started. Once you have the skills, then you can actually pitch yourself to companies and businesses. It’s not easy, but I promise you, it can be done.
Any other types of writing you’ve been paid to do?
Let me know in the comments!
About the Author
Victoria Fraser is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada who works with clients doing all things copywriting & content marketing. You can learn more at her website to work with her or say hello on Twitter!