Writing online is one of the best ways to make money online.
Writing is a great way to make money online because there are literally so many ways to do it and it’s a skill you can learn to hone over time.
The better you get, the more you can demand (I mean, make).
You can either go the client route or write for yourself and make money writing and publishing to rev share sites like Medium and Hub Pages.
But we’ll go into further detail in a minute.
10 Hottest & Most Lucrative Writing Jobs Right Now
1. Content Writing
Content writing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Now that companies see the value in creating amazing, high-quality content, there’s an increase in demand for writers that can deliver this highly valuable skill.
If you can create different types of content that businesses need, you can get paid thousands of dollars to do so (if you position yourself for that kind of client).
You’ll need to create content that serves your target audience and draws in clients. Start creating content that you know they’d pay for — content that they’d put on their own blog.
So, if you wanna write marketing content, start writing blog posts about different marketing subjects. For example, if you’re an SEO specialist, you can create a ton of articles about keyword research, reviews about keyword research tools, SEO best practices, etc. You get the idea.
Create a website to promote and market your services. You can use Medium to drive traffic to your website.
Content creation is a very lucrative writing business that can generate $10,000 a month or more (after a few months or years of working on the business, getting all the kinks out, finding your footing, etc.).
2. Magazine Writing
Magazine writers pitch ideas to magazines and then research and write stories for magazines. As a magazine writer, you’ll be expected to pitch interesting and relevant ideas that align with the audience of each magazine. Magazine writers have to have strong attention to detail and be able to write accurate articles according to the guidelines set forth by each publication.
While it’s not likely you’ll get a full-time job writing for magazines these days (not saying it’s not possible), you’re more likely to get a freelance position where you can just submit articles at your leisure (but usually on a weekly deadline at minimum).
If you’ve never published anything online, it’s best to try to do that first to increase the chances of your pitch being accepted. Editors like to see writers that have experience. So do a couple of guest blog posts and then you can start getting paid the big bucks once you have enough content to add to your portfolio.
The salaries of magazine writers in the U.S. range anywhere from about $10,339 to $274,036. The median salary is $49,910.
Magazines you might consider pitching to include:
- Travel & Leisure
- PTO Today
- Writer’s Weekly
- Reader’s Digest
- Eating Well
- Early American Life
- Business Insider
- Good Housekeeping
- Consumers Digest
- Psychology Today
And those are just a few. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of publications you can submit to. Make it a goal to send out a certain amount of pitches per week, depending on your schedule.
3. Grant Writing
As a grant writer, you’d be responsible for writing grant proposals, usually for non-profit organizations that need funding.
Grant writers can make between $32,000 and $73,975, according to Glassdoor.
As a grant writer, your job responsibilities might include:
- Preparing proposals by determining concept, gathering and formatting information, writing drafts, and obtaining approvals.
- Determining proposal concepts by identifying and clarifying opportunities and needs, studying requests for proposals (RFPs), and attending strategy meetings.
- Meeting proposal deadlines by establishing target dates and priorities for information gathering, writing, review, approval, and transmittal.
- Entering, monitoring, and tracking data.
- Gathering proposal info by identifying sources of information, coordinating submissions and collections, and identifying and communicating risks associated with proposals.
To get a job as a grant writer, you’ll likely need a college degree because most organizations want to hire someone with a degree.
If you don’t want to get a degree, you could also try the certification path. Then, you could volunteer at an organization to get some experience under your belt.
Optimize and update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your new career and start networking. You can even start posting regularly to try to get noticed by potential employers. You never know — someone might come to you!
4. Technical Writing
Technical writers are responsible for writing:
- Product manuals
- How-to guides
- Journal articles
- Website FAQ sections
Technical writers usually specialize in one of the following subjects:
- Other technical areas
If you don’t mind writing about this kind of thing, you could make good money with technical writing.
In fact, technical writers can make anywhere between $44,000 and $92,000 per year, according to PayScale.
Most companies prefer that you have certain qualifications before you’ll be hired as a technical writer. Some of those qualifications might include:
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant technical field
- 2–4 years experience as a technical writer
- Excellent verbal and written skills, with a great eye for detail
- A firm understanding of the systems development life cycle (SDLC)
- Certification with a professional organization like the Society for Technical Communication
- Experience using XML tools to create documents
Take a look at some technical writing programs that might be able to help you get a technical writing job afterward. If you already have an English degree and some experience creating similar content, you might not even need to get a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing. Some companies might hire you without one, as long as you can prove your writing ability in some way.
5. Speech Writing
A speech writer does exactly what the name implies — writes speeches, usually for government officials, political leaders, or entrepreneurs.
As a speechwriter, you’d be responsible for writing speeches according to the speaker’s background, speaking style, and the audience you’re writing for.
You’ll also have to complete revisions according to feedback from your clients and remember to meet all deadlines.
You might also be expected to analyze the voice and tone of the speaker and prepare a speech based on that.
If you want to be successful as a speech writer, you should have great attention to detail and great research skills.
Specifically, though, you’ll likely be doing some of the following tasks:
- Following written briefs and attending client meetings to discuss the specifics of the speech (including structure, points of emphasis, content, style, and potentially a little bit of humor)
- Submitting speech outlines and drafts for approval
- Making sure the speech is conventional enough for the audience and speaker
- Making sure the speaker knows how to use visual aids or props in their speech (if applicable)
- Rehearsing the speech with the speaker and giving them advice and tips for improvement
The overall goal is to make sure the speaker is getting his points across to the audience clearly and concisely.
The requirements to become a speechwriter include:
- A bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, literature, communications, creative writing, or something similar
- A master’s degree is often preferred, but not required
- Experience performing extensive research
- Knowledge of public speaking as a whole
- Experience in a similar role
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Analytical skills are also useful in this type of writing job.
The average salary for a speechwriter in the United States is $140,905, according to Salary.com. But you can make anywhere from $92,238 to $216,169 per year.
Screenwriting should probably be at the top of this list, but I didn’t put these in any particular order. I only say that because screenwriting can be pretty lucrative if you’re consistent with selling your screenplays.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for writers and authors, a career path that includes screenwriters, is $69,510 per year as of 2022.
One thing to know is that screenwriters get paid in installments. So you probably won’t get the total amount upfront when you sell your screenplay.
But if you want to be good at this, you’ll need to read a few books or take a course on screenwriting to get the basics down.
I just read Save the Cat and I highly recommend it. Another good book to use is The Screenwriter’s Bible (which is a bit longer, but very thorough). I’m using both to get a better understanding of the structure of screenplays.
And I also recommend reading lots of scripts in the genre you want to write in. For example, if you want to write rom-coms, spend some time really digging through top rom-coms and try to study the structure (more on that in Save the Cat).
7. Writing Novels
You might not become the next great novelist writing novels, but it can be a very lucrative writing “gig” if you wanna call it that.
Even without a publisher, you can build a following online and sell your novels on Amazon KDP.
Figure out what genre you want to write and what genres are selling the most on Amazon (tip: romance is a big one), and then find a middle ground so that you know your books will actually have a chance at making money.
Once you’re done writing, consider getting it professionally edited (if it’s within your budget).
For a cover, head over to Canva to create one from a template (or from scratch).
If you don’t exactly have an eye for design, you could also hire someone on Fiverr to make your cover for you.
Create a KDP account and upload your manuscript, fill in the details, and publish it. It’ll take about 24 hours before it’s live on Amazon, but keep going with this and you’ll eventually build up a catalog of books that pay the bills.
Ghostwriting is another great option if you don’t mind not having a byline or getting credit for any of your work.
If you’re just starting out, you can expect to make between $2,000 and $4,000 per book.
But if you’re an expert, you can earn upwards of $100,000, but the average is about $55,561 per year, according to Zip Recruiter — or even more if you write for celebs and public figures. But those gigs are hard to come by.
To get clients, you should have a portfolio of books you’ve published yourself, and/or books written for others.
You can start by offering your services to family and friends and build your portfolio from there.
Make sure you’re getting what you’re worth and not short-changing yourself. Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort and you should be properly compensated for every word you write.
9. Travel Writing
Travel writing can be pretty lucrative if you write for travel magazines that pay well.
Travel and Leisure is just one example. They pay $1 per word, so for a 1,500-word article, you’d get $1,500! Not bad for one article.
Find more travel magazines that pay in that range and you could start submitting pieces.
Make sure to capture unique details about your trip that might not have been written about before. Find new angles and new ideas and you’ll find that you’re getting a lot more of your travel articles accepted at larger publications.
It’s not really all that hard to find something that catches a magazine editor’s eye. Take a look at each publication you’re submitting to and figure out what kind of content they publish most of the time.
Pay attention to the tone, style of writing, content, etc. Then, try to match that.
The average salary for a travel writer is $78,549 per year, according to Zip Recruiter.
10. Medical Writing
Medical writing is a little more complex than other types of writing because you have to have specialized knowledge of the medical industry — or at least medical terminology.
And Grey’s fans, watching the show on repeat endlessly doesn’t count as knowing medical terminology (as much as we’d like it to).
Trust me, I’m a Grey’s-aholic and even I feel like I’d need some sort of training before going into medical writing.
Even though I took a medical transcription course way back when, I feel like this type of writing is best for people who’ve worked in the medical industry (or who currently work in the medical industry).
Only so you won’t get so easily get stumped by big, medical words and have to guess their meaning. You’ll already know. Or at least have some idea.
Medical writers can earn about $101,558 per year, according to Zip Recruiter, or $57.95 per hour, according to Indeed.com.
What writing jobs have you tried? Which ones are you considering? Let me know in the comments.
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