3 Different Ways to Make Money as a Writer (While Staying In Control)

Ways to make money as a writer and taking controlThere are of course a number of ways to make money as a writer, particularly with all the possibilities that a little invention called the Internet has opened up for us lucky wordsmiths.

While you’ll no doubt know many of the most common ways to make money as a writer in the online world, the aim here is to look outside the realms of bidding sites, content mills or even pitching directly to potential clients.

Instead we’re going to look at ways to create your own revenue streams, and as a result keep the bulk of the profits from your efforts. The aim is to take control of your freelance writing career and the income that it generates for you.

Sound good to you? Then let us begin…

Ways to make money as a writer while staying in control:

1.   Write a book

I know, I know – this sounds like a huge task that you could never possibly accomplish what with all the other writing work on your agenda, right? Wrong! Don’t skim over this as one of the obvious ways to make money as a writer just because of the perceived enormity of the task.

I’m currently writing a non-fiction book aimed at freelancers and entrepreneurs (more of this in future posts) and I’m writing as little as a thousand words per day. This takes me around an hour. which means I should be staring bewilderingly at a completed first draft in as little as two months.

Staying  in control: Then I’ll be endlessly sending out my manuscript in the hope that some big publisher will love it, right? Wrong again! Remember this is all about different ways to make money as a writer while staying in control. I’ll be going through the process of marketing and selling a book in later blog posts but for now let’s just say that while I’ll certainly be hiring talented individuals to work on different aspects of my book (cover design, final editing etc), all marketing and promotion of said book will be managed by yours truly.

2.   Create an information product

This is something I haven’t got around to doing yet but something that has definitely been thrown into the half ajar box labelled ‘Future Projects That Can Help People and Will Make Me More Awesome (& Hopefully Richer).’  An information product can consist of anything of your choosing; be it an in-depth ‘How to’ eBook guide, or a fully fledged video course in one of your areas of expertise.

Think about what clients already request from you. If this doesn’t happen much yet then think about what you see over and over again when looking for writing gigs online. What do people need? Could they benefit from templates for this from an expert (that’s you) for a one off fee? Or if you have experience in a certain area, could you even help your fellow writers with a guide on how to hone their craft and make more money in this particular niche?

Staying  in control: The possibilities are truly endless with this one, as are the formats in which you can deliver your final product (think audio files and video tutorials in addition to good old fashioned written content). Initially it will be hard work and you will most certainly need to do your research (see this article on creating information products for tips) – but once the hard work has been done, this can be one of the most rewarding and profitable ways to make money as a writer.

3.   Bundle your writing services into packages

After repeatedly completing the same type of work for clients, I realised that one of the most obvious ways to make money as a writer was to bundle what I already do into packages and charge a monthly fee for them.

This cuts down on time and hassle for both me and my new clients, which means I can concentrate more of my efforts on actually writing and they can get back to making money from their enterprise.

Staying  in control: Your services will instantly be much clearer and therefore easier to advertise and market. Don’t over-complicate things – there’s really no need, and potential clients won’t thank you for it. If you want one of your packages to offer one blog post per week with no frills for X amount then just state that. Don’t feel the need to jazz it up with industry jargon or fluff it out with blurb people tend to skim over anyway.

So there you have it – three different ways to make money as a writer. If you have any comments please leave them below.

Get more hints and tips on how to make a living from freelance writing, plus your FREE eBook on how to build a writing portfolio from scratch: click here now

4 Comments

  • William

    Reply Reply August 8, 2013

    Hi Kirsty

    Love your new blog. Really like the look. I am just wondering. I notice that some copywriters say not to reveal your prices on your blog for your services. I notice some bloggers don’t and some do. I was wondering what your thoughts on it are? I want to get into freelancing as well and leave my job so I really like your story over the last year.

    William

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply August 9, 2013

      Hi William,

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog. I do reveal some of my prices – I don’t see any reason not to. You can see an example of how I bundle packages with costs on my writer’s website: http://www.kirstystuart.com. If you don’t undersell yourself and know you’re worth there’s no reason not to give example prices like this. All the best with leaving your job to go freelancing full time and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.

  • Lisa Finn

    Reply Reply April 21, 2014

    I agree with Kirsty when she says there’s no reason not to if you’re confident in what you should be charging. However, there’s one reason I don’t reveal prices: I like to know who’s considering my services. If a potential client has to send me an email asking what I charge, I can give those same confident prices, but then also follow up with an email in a week to see if I can answer any questions (you know, to try and seal the deal). If a potential client doesn’t have to ask, then I might lose the chance to sell myself. Also, and I know this isn’t good, I do change pricing depending on who is contacting me (YIKES). I know, I know, I shouldn’t. But the reality is that a smaller mommy blogger probably can’t afford to pay what a corporation can — and that mommy blog might be exactly the client I need to get other clients in the same industry. It’s not good in the long run because, as Kirsty states, I’m underselling myself. But isn’t there something to be said for getting your foot in the door with clients that I might not be able to write for otherwise? Or, no? Maybe I should just list my prices and be done with it.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply April 24, 2014

      You raise a good point there Lisa. Nothing in life (and especially making a living from writing!) is black and white after all. I think setting your prices acts as a sort of guide for potential clients – gets rid of the time-wasters right from the outset – but that doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. I guess that’s a happy medium between the two?!

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