Interested in finding ways to make money writing online?
Of course you are, or you wouldn’t be here, right?
Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money online. Whether you’re doing it as a side hustle or you’re running a full-time business, it’s possible to make a great income from your writing skills.
I’ve been writing online for money full-time since 2014 and it’s changed my life. Starting a freelance writing side hustle, then turning it into a business has allowed me to create financial freedom and security for myself and my kids.
And maybe that’s one of your goals, too. The great thing about freelance writing is that there are so many ways to make money doing it!
And that’s what this post is going to cover. I’ll walk you through some of the best ways to make money writing online and how to get started!
Related post: 15 Best Freelance Writing Sites That Pay Well
Benefits of Writing Online for Money
Before we dig into the “how” of making money writing online, let’s talk about why you’d ever want to try it.
There are some great reasons to try freelance writing if you want to earn money online. Here are some of the best reasons to consider a career as a freelance writer:
- It’s flexible. Being a freelance writer means you don’t have to follow a 9 to 5 schedule. You can set your hours and decide when you want to work (or don’t).
- It’s creative. If you have a creative streak, getting paid to write online is a good way to put it work. If you’re passionate about your niche, you can easily build a six-figure career writing about it.
- You don’t need a writing degree. One of the biggest myths about becoming a freelance writer is that you need a journalism degree to get paid to write. Not true! My undergrad and graduate degrees are in political science and criminal justice but that hasn’t stopped me from becoming an expert freelance writer.
- You don’t need experience either. This is another big freelance writing myth: that you can only get freelance writing jobs if you have experience. And I guarantee you it’s possible to land paid writing gigs even when you’ve never been paid to write before.
- It can pay really well. Freelance writing can be one of the most lucrative side hustles or online businesses out there. I make well over six figures writing online and other freelancers are doing the same so if you think you can’t earn a full-time income this way, think again!
Related post: 20 Freelance Writing Niches That Pay The Most Money
How Can I Make Money Writing Online?
If you want to make money writing online, then it helps to have a game plan.
When I first started freelance writing, I had three things which I think are still essential for anyone who wants to launch a writing career:
- A laptop (I mean duh, of course you need that so you can write stories, blog posts or whatever your client requests.)
- Reliable internet (Again, a no-brainer.)
- A PayPal account or bank account for getting paid.
Wait..is that it?
Yep! I started my freelance writing side hustle with just those three things. And even now that my side hustle has become a full-time business, I still rely on those same three things to get things done.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few other things I use like QuickBooks for doing my taxes as a freelancer and this freelance writer contract template from Amira at A Self Guru. And I rely on web hosting from Siteground and Converkit to help me run my various blogs.
But otherwise, starting a freelance writing side hustle is something you can do with little or no money!
Aside from the tools of the trade mentioned above, there are a few other things that are good to have if you want to make money writing online:
- An online portfolio of freelance writing samples
- A freelance writer website or blog that you can use to market yourself and create samples for your portfolio
- A killer LinkedIn profile
- A highly profitable freelance writing niche
Those things can help you build a solid foundation as a beginning freelance writer. For more on how each one of them fits into the six-figure freelance writing formula, be sure to check out this ultimate beginner’s guide to freelancing!
Related post: How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience (10 Practical Tips)
20 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Writing Online
Alright, ready to learn how to make money writing online?
Great! That’s what I want to help you with.
So here are 20 legit ways to make money from your writing skills!
1. Freelance blogging
Freelance blogging is one of the easiest ways to make money writing online.
As a freelance blogger, you create blog posts for businesses, bloggers and brands. You can get paid per post or per word – I make anywhere from $300 to $900 writing blog posts!
You can cold pitch websites to offer freelance blogging services. Or you can check out freelance writing job boards to find paid blogging gigs.
If you want to start freelance blogging, check out this list of 14 ways to find paid freelance blogging jobs online!
2. Start a blog
Starting a blog of your own is another way to make money from your writing skills.
The different ways to make money blogging include:
- Running ads on your site
- Selling affiliate products
- Writing sponsored posts
- Developing and selling a product
- Selling your services through your blog
I have three blogs that make money through a combination of ads, affiliates and sponsored posts. Creating a product is next on the list. 🙂
If you want to make money blogging, then it’s super easy to get started. I’ve got a simple-to-follow guide to starting a blog you can check out here!
And if you want the TL;DR version, you can head on over to Siteground to get your new blog up and running!
Copywriting is a fancy way of saying sales writing.
As a copywriter, you can make money writing online by creating website copy, email marketing content and other sales content for clients.
Copywriting can be highly profitable; remote copywriters earn as much as $130,000 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
If you’re looking for online copywriting jobs, check out sites like FlexJobs or Contena.
These are both premium job boards that feature high-paying online writing gigs you won’t find anywhere else!
4. Article writing
Article writing is exactly what it sounds like – you get paid to write articles for websites.
In addition to blog writing, I also write articles for some of my personal finance niche clients. And finding these gigs isn’t that different from finding freelance blogging jobs.
If you want to start making money as an online article writer, check out this list of 50+ places to find paid writing jobs!
5. Write and sell eBooks
Creating and selling ebooks is another genius way to get paid to write online.
You can create an ebook using a tool like Canva and download it as a PDF to sell digitally.
Some of the best places to sell ebooks include:
Also, don’t forget that you can sell ebooks or other digital products through your blog if you have one!
6. Make thousands writing whitepapers
White papers are sort of like really long, detailed blog posts.
I’ve done white paper writing for clients in the past and each one paid $2,000 at a minimum. And that’s a low end; some white paper writers charge $5,000 to $10,000+ for a single project.
White papers pay so well because they can take time to research and create. You have to back up what you write with facts from credible sources and make sure that you’re covering the topic in detail.
If you’re wondering how to get started with writing white papers, I’ll be covering that in a future post. But for now, be sure to check out this guide!
7. Try technical writing
Technical writing might appeal to you if you want to get paid to write and you’re super detail-oriented.
Technical writers create guides and reports that explain complex topics in an easy-to-digest way. Some of the things you might get paid to write as a technical writer include:
- User manuals
- Annual reports
- How-to guides
- Installation guides
That’s just a short list. For more on what technical writing is and how to make money doing it, give this guide a read!
8. Become a ghostwriter
Ghostwriting is another excellent opportunity to make money writing online and a lot of it!
As a ghostwriter, you’re tasked with creating written content in the voice and style of someone else. For example, I used to ghostwrite thought leadership pieces that were published on high profile websites for the CEO of a real estate crowdfunding platform.
Ghostwriting can pay well for a few reasons.
For one thing, you don’t get a byline. And because you don’t get the credit for what you write you can charge a little more for that.
For another, ghostwriting can be tricky to master since you have to learn how to adapt your writing voice and style to fit that of the person you’re writing for.
Some of the ways you can get paid to write as a ghostwriter include creating:
- Blog posts
You can find ghostwriting jobs on job boards like Contena or FlexJobs but it’s also worth scouting out free job boards as well. Here are a few worth trying it you want to make money as a ghostwriter:
9. Try resume writing
Resume writing is a great money-making skill to have as a freelance writer.
A solid resume can help job-seekers get hired but writing a winning resume isn’t always a piece of cake. That’s where freelance writers like you can help!
If it’s been a while since you’ve written a resume, snag this book to help you brush up on the basics.
10. Make money proofreading
Proofreading is another way to make money as a freelance writer if you’re a total grammar nerd.
As an online proofreader, you review content from other writers and check for things like:
- Grammatical errors
- Punctuation errors
- Spelling mistakes
You’re doing more reading than writing but it’s worth mentioning here because proofreaders can make a ton of money!
And it’s also really easy to get started with online proofreading jobs. In fact, there’s a free general proofreading course you can sign up for to learn the basics!
The course is lead by Caitlin Pyle who’s a proofreading pro. So if you’re at all interested in learning how to proofread for money, be sure to check it out!
11. Become a grant writer
When nonprofits and other organizations need to raise money, applying for grants is one way to do it. And they can pay professional grant writers to get the job done.
Grant and proposal writing can easily generate a six-figure income if you know what you’re doing.
This book is an excellent resource for learning more about how grant writing works!
12. Write social media content
Businesses and brands rely on social media to drive traffic to their websites and get people to buy their products or services.
If you’re social media savvy, this could be a low-stress way to make money writing online. You can find social media content writer jobs on some of the job boards already mentioned here or check out sites like Indeed and SimplyHired for paying gigs.
13. Offer writing services as a virtual assistant
Before I was a freelance writer I made money online as a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants essentially help business owners run their businesses. As a VA, I primarily did writing-related tasks like:
- Writing email marketing copy
- Creating articles for a small business website
- Writing property listing descriptions for a real estate company
If you want to start making money as a virtual assistant, you’ll definitely want to check out this guide from Gina at Horkey Handbook.
Gina has built an insanely successful business out of VA work and she coaches other would-be VAs on how to make money online. Her course, Fullly Booked VA, is a comprehensive roadmap to making money as a VA!
14. Write for magazines
Magazines hire freelance writers to create digital content and content for their print editions. And it can pay really well, too.
I’m talking $2 or more per word, which can easily add up to $1,000 or more for a simple 500-word piece.
A simple way to find magazine writing jobs is to check the magazine’s masthead or website to see if they work with freelance contributors.
But if you’re serious about making money writing online for magazines, then purchasing the latest edition of Writer’s Market is a must! It’s an ultimate resource for finding high-paying magazine writing gigs.
15. Become a product review writer
Have you ever been set on buying something but wanted to read a few reviews first to make sure it’s worth the money?
If you’re reading reviews on a site like Tom’s Guide or CNET, chances are those reviews were written by a freelance writer.
Product review writing means you have to dig into the details of the product and cover all the pros and cons – basically everything someone would need to know to decide whether to buy it.
But if you’re detail-oriented, this is another excellent way to get paid to write!
16. Try real estate writing
Real estate companies hire freelance writers all the time to create content.
For example, you might get paid to write:
- Blog posts for a real estate firm’s blog
- Sales or marketing copy for brochures or email campaigns
- Property descriptions for real estate listing sites
If you want to make money writing online for real estate companies, cold pitching is a great strategy to try.
When you cold pitch, you’re essentially putting yourself on a real estate agent or broker’s radar and offering your services as a writer.
If you’ve never cold pitched before, you’ll want to read this detailed guide on how to create a winning pitch!
17. Write press releases
Press release writing is something else I’ve dabbled in as a freelance writer.
Companies hire freelancers to craft press releases highlighting things like the launch of a new product, the announcement of an acquisition or merger and other major milestones.
Press release writing can take some skill to master since you have to be concise and it’s a lot like copywriting.
But if you can hit it out of the park, it’s another way to make $100,000 or more a year writing!
18. Sell your notes
If you’re great at taking notes for college courses, then you could make money selling them to other students.
Sites like Nexus Notes and Stuvia make it easy to sell your study materials, including:
- Class notes
- Study guides
- Textbook summaries
It’s possible to make $75 or more selling notes, depending on the website you use and the number of pages.
Just be sure to check your school’s policy on note-selling first, as some schools frown upon it.
19. Get paid $100 to write lists
Do you love writing lists?
I’m a big fan of list-making, including to-do lists and goal lists.
If you like writing lists, you could make money writing online for Listverse.
This website pays writers $100 for each top 10 list they publish. This site is a fun way to make money writing online since lists can cover virtually any topic.
Check out Listverse and submit your first top 10 list.
20. Get paid to write fiction
Do you like writing short stories, poetry, novellas or novels?
If so, you could make money writing online for outlets that publish works of fiction.
Some of the sites that pay writers for fiction include:
When submitting stories, poetry or creative nonfiction be sure to read the guidelines first. And remember to follow up on your submissions as it can sometimes take a while to hear back.
Final thoughts on how to make money writing online
All the ideas here can help you get on the fast track to getting paid to write.
You can try these methods to make money writing online whether you’re a new freelance writer or you’ve got some experience under your belt.
What are your favorite ways to get paid to write? Head to the comments and let me know.
And don’t forget to share this post!
7 thoughts on “20 Awesome Ways to Make Money Writing Online [2021 Edition]”
Love this Rebecca! I make money writing blog articles too and can’t believe I get to make money doing something that I love every day. This is a legit list of ways to make money writing online and totally avoid content mills like so many of us started off at. Avoid places like Upwork and Fiverr at all cost.
I would love to become a pro in writing. Do you assess beginners article and content writing?
Writing is one of the best way to make money online an educated person easily be a wirter if he want however thanks to Rebecca for this valuable information
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts.
you website is very nice thank you so much