If you’re passionate about writing and want to make it your career, you need to be resourceful, professional, determined and self-motivated to succeed. Writing for a living isn’t easy and unless you’ve already landed a five-figure book deal for your latest novel, you need to be as creative in generating income as you are with your words. To help you profit from writing, here are a few opportunities to explore:
Writing for Magazines
This is the starting point for many freelance writers who want to be published and paid. Magazines require good content and many editors still rely on freelance writers to provide it. Although the market is competitive, if you can produce well-researched, original articles to suit the magazine’s style and readership, you’ll have a greater chance of winning a commission.
Tip: Focus on writing about what you know, drawing upon any specialist knowledge or interests. Use the Internet to study publications all over the world to increase your markets.
Write Greetings Card Verses
Greetings card companies often seek original verse or prose for their range of cards. If you have a forte for writing short humorous or meaningful passages, this could provide a successful opening for you.
Tip: Take a look at the verses in greetings cards to study their style. Create a few sample verses. Note the name of the greetings card publisher and contact them for their current requirements.
Create Copy for the Business Sector
One of the more lucrative writing opportunities is copywriting for businesses and public sector organizations. If your writing is concise, clear and fresh, you’ll find there is a market for your services producing leaflets, guides, press releases, advertising copy and web content.
Tip: Produce a portfolio of your work to show the diversity of your skills. Attend a business network event to market your services.
Take a Staff Writing Job
Freelance writing is great but if you prefer the relative security of a regular income and the warmth and vitality of a creative office environment, you might consider applying for a staff based writing position. Many opportunities exist for journalists, copywriters, web content writers, editors and feature writers. Recently, a major company even required the services of a dedicated letter writer! The skills of a quality writer are in demand and you’ll find that most salaries reflect this.
Tip: Spend time writing a professional CV and produce some sample writing. First impressions count!
Become a Ghost-writer
Some writers make a reasonable living ghost-writing other people’s life stories. You can receive payment on a work-for-hire basis or on a royalty share agreement. If you enjoy interviewing people and writing at length, this will have great appeal.
Tip: Speak to other ghost-writers and research the book publishing field so that you gain a reasonable working knowledge of the current trends.
Compile Crosswords, Puzzles, and Fillers
Writing short filler material, from anecdotes to puzzles, can be quite rewarding. Many publications feature a regular crossword to entertain their readers. Although considered to be quite a closed-market, it is worth approaching publications with ideas or samples for consideration.
Tips: Research your markets carefully. Target new publications where there may be openings. Offer fillers and puzzles relevant to the target readership.
Expand Your Range of Services
Some writers find it easy spotting typos or English grammar mistakes. If you’re one of them, consider taking a course in editing or proofreading to expand your range of wordsmith services! There is often a decent demand for these services so it will provide an additional source of revenue.
Tip: Take a course and gain a qualification. Contact publishing companies as many now use the services of freelance copyeditors and proofreaders.
If you have specialist knowledge, consider writing and self-publishing a book or a series of guides or newsletters! With the right topic and good marketing, you can build a niche publication. For example, some authors have turned their hobby of walking into providing guidebooks and newsletters on local walks. You could do something similar, whether your interest is sewing, cycling, cooking or woodworking.
Tip: try print-on-demand publishing or publishing electronically to keep costs down while you’re building your publishing venture.