Approximately 43 percent of the US workforce works from home at least part of the time. For roughly 20 percent of the American workforce, their home is their primary office.
For many, the idea of working from home is incredibly enticing. Often, it comes with thoughts of achieving better work-life balance, feeling more comfortable during the day, and even saving money.
Writing is often a popular option for those looking to work from home, largely because handling the tasks almost exclusively online is possible. However, the ability to make money writing online has been around for quite some time, and some may fear that it’s too late to take the leap.
Is It Too Late to Make Money Writing Online?
Many people wonder if they missed the boat when it comes to earning an income by writing online. This is especially true since, as of 2018, there are an estimated 30.6 million bloggers in the US alone. Add to that the number of writers who produce online content for something other than blogs, and the amount of potential competition is significant.
While the segment may be competitive, that doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option. In reality, it isn’t too late to make money writing online.
However, that doesn’t mean it is easy to start in the field, particularly if you don’t have much professional experience as a writer. Like any profession, you have to showcase your worth to potential employers, readers, or other possible revenue sources. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble landing paying gigs.
Best Ways to Make Money Writing Online
When you’re looking for the best ways to make money writing online, you actually have several options available. Beginners may be better served by pursuing specific routes while professional writers or those with an existing portfolio typically have more options from the beginning.
Start a Blog
If you’re new to the writing space, starting a blog can be an excellent option to get your feet wet. Not only does it give you a platform to hone your skills, but it also allows you to create examples of your writing.
By running a blog, you can show potential clients what you have to offer. They can review your writing style, knowledge level in a particular niche, or otherwise evaluate your capabilities. Plus, it is possible to start a blog for free, as long as you choose the right platform.
For example, WordPress has a free platform that you can use to display your writing and express yourself. It’s a strong option for beginners since your only investment is your time and energy. If you want to be able to customize your blog on your own domain and need hosting service, we recommend trying BlueHost. They offer powerful hosting services for $3.95/month!
In fact, if you want to start blogging to build your reputation, you can do that here at SavingAdvice. The process is incredibly simple, allowing you to create a portfolio and showcase what you have to offer.
Many free blog platforms are somewhat limiting. For instance, you may not be able to place ads on your page. This can restrict your revenue potential from your blog. But, you can use them to showcase your writing and connect with paying clients, so they do provide value.
If you want to generate ad revenue, you’ll typically need to create your own website. This means securing a host, a domain name, a theme, and other features that can come with a cost.
Additionally, you’ll either need to design the website yourself or pay someone for help. There is a learning curve when it comes to creating your own site, but there are numerous free guides and tutorials that can help you navigate common options.
Choosing to start your own site can make your website seem more professional, as your URL isn’t associated with a free platform. Plus, you may be able to deduct the cost on your taxes, which may make the investment worthwhile.
It’s important to note that ad revenue doesn’t come quickly in the beginning. Typically, you’ll need to develop a readership first, so your blog might not even pay for itself right away.
However, with some time and diligence, you can make money from a blog. Not only can you access increasingly lucrative advertising opportunities, but you may receive compensation from companies who want you to review their products or services. Similarly, you can use affiliate programs to earn a bit of money each time someone makes a purchase through a link on your site.
Often, these revenue sources are small in the beginning. But, if you have a strong following, even pennies add up fast.
Freelancer sites help connect people with clients looking for services, including writing. These platforms can help you earn money by writing online, though the requirements for using each one can vary.
Some writers have a significant amount of success on Upwork. However, Upwork doesn’t allow just anyone to sign up as a writer. Instead, each application is reviewed before a person can start looking for work on the platform, and not everyone is approved.
Generally, if you want to write on Upwork, you will need an existing portfolio that shows you have the right skills. As mentioned above, a blog can function as a portfolio, showcasing your talents. Similarly, being successful on another platform, like Textbroker, may help you gain entry.
Freelancer.com and iFreelance can also help you find writing gigs, making them a great option to check out. FlexJobs is another site worth exploring. While the platform focuses on telecommuting opportunities instead of freelancing, there are writing jobs on the website.
In some cases, you may be able to secure paying work by pitching an idea to an existing site. Many blogs and companies allow guest posts (articles written by someone else that are added to their website), creating another potential revenue stream.
Here are a few sites that pay for guest posts, at least occasionally:
However, not every site that allows guest posts pays for them. In fact, some charge for the right to have an article shown on their website. Before you pitch an idea, you need to figure out if they will pay you or if you have to pay them.
At times, even paying to submit a guest post can be beneficial. It allows your name to appear on a reputable site as a byline, which can help your reputation. Additionally, it gives you another example to show potential clients, but the cost may not be worth it if you are just starting off as a writer.
But, guest posts aren’t your only option. Some websites maintain a writer (or a few) to create content for their blogs, landing pages, downloadable guides, and more. This means you can make money writing online in arrangements that mimic traditional jobs.
You may find these opportunities on regular job boards, company websites, or social media. However, like most writing positions, you’ll need to showcase that you have the skills if you want to land the job.
Ultimately, it isn’t too late to make money writing online. However, you do need to be ready to demonstrate your capabilities, so consider starting a blog or building a portfolio before you make the leap.
Do you know other great ways to make money writing online? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Looking for more great articles about making money? Here are a few to get you started:
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If you enjoy reading our blog posts and would like to try your hand at blogging, we have good news for you; you can do exactly that on Saving Advice. Just click here to get started.