To make money writing content online, you don’t need extraordinary writing skills. Let me break some good news. You can get rich with content writing or at least get paid to write to pay your bills.
Here comes bad news for many. Not everyone will be a writer and not every writer will get paid to write sufficiently. Moreover, good content writing is not a sure-fire way to make money online. You must be good at learning and marketing yourself.
Be consistent in getting the work done. What kind of work am I talking about? Well, I’m talking about learning, testing, working, and marketing your stuff. Your stuff means your skills. In my case, it was content writing.
I Never Thought I Could Make Money Writing
I dreamed of enjoying a laptop lifestyle when I was out in the market, doing a typical sales and marketing job. It’s not that I hated my job. I actually loved it and learned a lot from it. But I always had something good about online business in my mind.
I never thought I could make money writing to replace my ‘full-time’ job because of many myths. I will discuss them later in some other post. For now, let’s focus on getting paid to write without platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.
Why Have I Never Used Fiverr or Upwork to Get Paid to Write?
There might be loads of reasons for a freelance content writer not to go for Fiverr, Upwork, or related platforms. I have my reasons, and you might disagree with them. But these are my reasons why I have never taken these platforms seriously.
1. I Don’t Want to Fight A Crazy Bidding War
Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are overloaded with freelance content writers who work for cheaper. I know, if you live in countries like Pakistan, peanuts in dollars mean a lot. You feel a lot better when working for foreign clients on Fiverr or Upwork than with local clients. That’s why I stumbled upon Fiverr and Upwork.
Sooner I realized that there is a crazy bidding war to win over clients, especially for newbies. I am not against competition. It’s just that the competition should not favor a few. The algorithm of Fiverr or Upwork may be suitable for a marketplace but not for a good content writer. And I’m not alone who thinks this way.
Highest Gigs Get the Most Jobs
Yes, the highest gigs on Fiverr get the most jobs. It doesn’t matter how good your writing skill is. Top sellers have an entire team working for them. It’s more of a business for someone else rather than a writing opportunity for you. Quantity wins over quality, and you get lost. Have a look at this meme I found on Facebook.
I know you might be thinking I am wrong because there are many people making even 6-figure income. You think if you work hard, you will get there. For instance, there is a kid in Greece who earns around $2600 a month using Fiverr. And he needs to deliver 200 orders within two days. Imagine the work pressure and compare it with your earnings.
Decide it for yourself. Like I have decided not to give it a shot. I don’t want to fight a crazy bidding war on platforms like Fiverr. In the longer run, I don’t think it’s a dream worth pursuing. If I put the same time and energy into something of my own, I will make more money.
2. Fiverr and Upwork Don’t Care for Sellers
There are tons and tons of sellers out there. And you might already know that. All the platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork have more sellers than buyers. In such a situation, you lose power as a seller.
You are working your ass off. And you have crushed it on Fiverr. But then a bad thing happens. Read this Fiverr review to know how a regular order turns into a hostage situation. A freelancer completes her task and over-delivers it. The client demands more work. And he threatens for a one-star rating if she doesn’t do it. The freelancer contacts the support.
Conversation between Freelancer and Fiverr Support
The freelancer responds to the client.
She also contacts the support.
This is the response she gets. All the rules are against the seller. It was the seller who bore the loss despite the client threatening a one-star rating. Believe me that It’s about one case only.
And it’s not just about sellers. Buyers on Fiverr also don’t get what they want because of Fiverr’s cheap sellers and weak policy.
And have a look at this feedback on SiteJabber.
Fiverr is not alone here. Have a look at the feedback by a PeoplePerHour buyer.
But every company has negative reviews, right? Yes, but the problem lies within some logical reasoning. Fiverr, Upwork and related platforms are overloaded with sellers. Even a top seller might not provide you a better quality because of the work-loads s/he might get. The policy of these companies is not sound enough.
3. I Want to Make Money Writing For My Online Ventures
This must be the number one reason why I don’t use freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr. I guarantee you that if you put the same energy and time to make money writing content for yourself, you will make a lot more money in the long run. And it’s not about the money only. However, money is a colossal inspiration. It’s about time efficiency and scaling as well.
I want to create content for my online ventures. And this reason is enough for me to reject Fiverr-like platforms. As a content writer, you research a topic, refresh your thoughts, and then write on it. You do a lot between these things. When you create some websites to make passive income, you do pretty much same things. You can also create content for your portfolio website.
What do I mean when I say, “create content for yourself”? It means creating a niche website or blog and developing content for it, and monetizing it. Or you can start some other online business based on content marketing. I know it takes longer than making money writing for Fiverr or Upwork clients. But it’s worth it.
How I Make Money Writing Content
I make money writing content online without being on Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, or Upwork. It may be surprising for many people, especially living in my country, Pakistan. Let’s find out how I do it.
1. Extract the Power of Social Media to Make Money Writing
In the early days of my career as a freelance content writer, I searched for Facebook groups about content writing. Finding a legit writing job post is a bit of a challenge on social media. I have used LinkedIn and Facebook to get the right clients. Using Twitter and Instagram is also excellent.
But LinkedIn is my favorite to find credible clients. I send a message to the potential client I already know. I mean, not literally. But I do research about him or her. I explore the work history and overall social presence of the client. If she or he seems credible, I go ahead saying something like
“Hi, I have been working with writing challenged clients for years on [niche]. Working with me is exciting because of the super-engaging, crispy, and SEO-friendly content I create. Recently, I wrote about [niche-related topic]. I wonder how I can be helpful. Have a look at my portfolio. Looking forward to working with you to boost your online presence.”
The message is for general purpose. If I apply for a specific writing job, I read the instructions carefully and then apply for it. I let the potential client know the exact reason why I’m a perfect fit for the job. Using social media to get clients is great, but not enough. That’s why I also use cold emails to pitch my writings.
2. Use Emails to Pitch to Make Money Writing
Clients you get with cold emailing are far better-paying clients than the clients you get on Fiverr or Upwork. Cold emailing is one of the best ways for freelance writers to attract clients. No, you don’t need to send thousands of emails per day. I don’t believe cold emailing is a number game. It’s more about how you get the email addresses and write to the clients.
Ignore the idea of content mills like Fiverr or Upwork and get better at cold emailing. What I do is research for a company or a credible person like an editor, pitch, and get paid to write. It’s not easy, but when I compare it with the effort you put into the content mills, it’s more practical.
Email Marketing Takes Time but It’s Worth It
Email Marketing will grow your writing business faster than any other marketing medium! I recommend GetResponse for that. I may earn a little commission if you purchase through my affiliate link. This is how you make money as a content writer.
Tell your clients how you can add value and help them achieve their goals. Using examples or experience in your cold emailing also increases the chance of hearing back from a client or a company. Before you do cold emailing, let me give you a success formula: research, research, and research.
3. Work For Yourself to Get Paid to Write
Working for yourself to make money writing content is the best thing in the world. What does it mean? It means you should
- Learn a bit of SEO (life-changing for you as a content writer)
- Create a niche-focused website or a blog (not a rocket-science)
- Monetize your blog with ads network or affiliate program
- Or you can also sell your info-products or services
I created an affiliate website and optimized it for search engines. I wrote one post and made $17 within three months. Now the good thing is, I will keep on getting paid as far as it keeps appearing on search results. So, the $17 is not for one-time. I might get a few hundreds of dollars every month for writing a few more posts.
Start Writing for Yourself and Good Companies
Affiliate marketing attracts me a lot. But, you can also start selling your info products or services. On this website, I sell content developing services on my website. ‘Working for yourself’ also means to write content for good companies. Even if they don’t pay, they will make you visible. You can let your clients know about it when pitching them.
I don’t use Fiverr or Upwork because I surf my time to curate content for my online ventures. Why? Because it’s worth more than anything else in freelancing. It’s like leaving your job and start your business. It’s the number one reason why I don’t use content mills and why I am not running after clients.
Practical Ways to Make Money Writing Content
Let me share some practical ways to get paid to write online.
- Write guest posts for popular blogs or online publications. You need to pitch them first, but it’s worth it. Popular blogs are always looking for brilliant content.
- Create a partnership with some content-hungry online businesses. Again, you need to pitch the idea in a unique way to have a win-win situation.
- Write a Kindle book and market it to make money writing.
- Start copywriting to convert more visitors into customers of online businesses.
- Create a niche blog or website
- Start writing infographics, tables, and charts. The visual content is more appealing without a doubt.
- Apply for a content writing job on Problogger Job-board, Indeed, LinkedIn, and others.
FAQs for Making Money Writing Content
Answering frequently asked questions is the best idea on how you get paid to write content. Let’s give it a quick shot.
1. How can I make money with my writing skills?
I have already told a lot about it. Write content for blogs, websites, and magazines. Enter writing competitions to win some cash prizes. Get paid to write fillers and snippets for ranking sites. Write a book and publish it on Amazon. There are many other ways to make money writing content online.
2. Do writers make good money?
It’s a tricky question to answer. It really depends on a lot of factors, including your perspective of ‘good money.’. According to PayScale.Com, a content writer earns an average total of approximately $2500. A copywriter makes roughly about $51,000 per year. Some writers don’t make money at all. And some traditional writers like JK Rowling make millions. As per Publishing Perspectives, 5.7% of hybrid writers reported earning more than $100,000 a year.
If you ask me, I am not getting something even close to the stats given above. But, I make enough money as a freelance writer that I don’t have to do a typical full-time job. And I’m excited to make more money using the ways I have already discussed in the post. It’s important to realize that you need to ramp up along the way.
3. Is writing a good career?
In a word, yes. You can make writing your career if you have the skills and attitude to make it. I have replaced my full-day job with freelance content writing. A good content writer or a copywriter can make from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars a month. If you know how to convey your ideas to the right reader, you can make a lot more.
4. Is there a demand for writers?
Hell yeah. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for technical writers is expected to grow by 10% by 2024. It is faster than the average of all occupations in the world. Content writing is a billion-dollar industry online. There is a colossal demand of writers today.
5. What are the highest paying writing jobs?
The highest paying writing jobs include the jobs of a columnist, grant writer, reporter, copywriter, social media manager, communication specialist, etc. The point often overlooked here is that how much a writer adds value to a business. If you want to choose a writing job for you, explore yourself first. You need to know your inner powers for content writing.
6. How do I start a writing career?
Read. Write. Learn. Read. And write. Do not quit. Start writing about your passions. Create your writer’s website and look for opportunities. Network with clients and market your skills. That’s how you start a writing career. Make sure you are a niche-specific writer because of the fierce competition out there. Save or bookmark this infographics I have created for you.
7. How hard is it to become a writer?
If you feel like you can write, it’s not that hard. But if you want to make good money off it, it becomes tricky. You need to focus on its business side. Why would someone give you cash for your words? Think about adding value, and you will become a professional writer. Make sure to market your work, and you will earn a lot. It’s not hard to become a writer. But you cannot be enormously rich without making your writing business-centric.
8. Is a writing degree worth it?
Yes, because you get to network with fellow writers, get feedback, and read a lot to finish it. But when I compare the benefits with the degree expense, I doubt if it’s worth it. I recommend going for some online courses or degrees from credible learning platforms.
9. How do I become a writer with no experience?
If you have no experience, gain experience by writing about anything. Start a blog. Do the guest-posting. Or write on the niche of your interest and send the file or a Google Drive link for a sample. You can also start a social media page to market your writing skills. Sign up for a Contently portfolio and collect your write-ups there. Pitch your writings and rock.
10. How do I start freelance writing?
Read the entire post. Choose your niche. Set up a blog or website even if it does not give you quick money. Write some excellent sample work and start pitching. Learn and collect testimonials. Avoid content mills like Fiverr or Upwork and go for the pro-writing job boards like Problogger Jobs.
Websites to Get Inspiration and Learn to Make Money Writing
There are many websites where you can learn content writing and making money from it. Let me share some of my favorite sources below.
If you want to make a living writing content, this blog by Carol Tice must be a go-to source. The posts are about how to break in, move up, and earn a full-time living from freelance writing. It’s a premier online resource for content writers without a doubt. By the way, I won a writing competition worth around $1500 on MakeALivingWriting.Com 🙂
Founded by Joanna Wiebe in 2011, Copyhackers must be the number one recommendation for copywriters. You can learn a lot of things, even if you are a typical content writer. There is a ton of knowledge available about copywriting, freelancing, and growth marketing. I learned brilliant copywriting formulas on Copyhackers.
I know Backlink is all about improving SEO. But I have enlisted it here because it also teaches you how you can add value to your readers. The founder, Brain Dean, talks about long-lasting strategies like the Skyscraper technique. You, as a content writer, must learn a lot about content writing based on search engine optimization. And Backlinko is a significant place for that.
Best Courses to Start Your Content Writing Career
Let me share some of the best courses for you to start making money writing content.
Shani Raja has created this course on LinkedIn Learning. He has worked for the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Microsoft, and the Financial Times. It’s a wonderful course to improve your content writing skills. The course takes you on a journey of understanding user intent and writing.
It’s a free, comprehensive email marketing course that covers everything you need to know to grow your list by up to 10,000 subscribers in as little as 90 days. It was designed to help content marketers maximize their email marketing efforts by enhancing their lists with new, engaged contacts. The course is unique and created exclusively for GetResponse customers, both free trial and paid accounts that have less than 10,000 contacts. You will also receive the GetResponse University Certificate of Performance.
If you want to sustain as a content writer, you must get into content marketing. If you cannot market your content, you will not make sufficient money with content writing. To become a certified content marketer, you need to get this course right away. Did I tell you it’s free?
Final Thoughts on Making Money Writing Content
It’s time to choose your path to make money writing content online. A lot of people are earning a lot from Fiverr or Upwork. But I have rejected the idea of getting on these content marketplaces. In conclusion, writing for myself and a bunch of selected clients is my way to rock my life in the longer run. What are your thoughts about choosing the path for getting paid to write? Share in the comments below.