10 Ways to Make Money as a Writer (Earn Your First $100)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 5th, 2023

Ways to Make Money as a Writer (Earn Your First $100) - featured image

I’ve been a freelance writer and blogger for many years, and in this article, I’ll show you different ways to make your first $100 through writing.

Writing has evolved dramatically in recent times. While creativity and talent remain central, modern writers also need to grasp new technologies to stand out. You might have heard of AI tools capable of producing content rapidly, sparking fears among writers about becoming obsolete. However, when used strategically, these tools can enhance creativity and efficiency. Instead of replacing writers, this tech age can amplify your unique voice and potentially increase earnings. Embrace this new era, combine your skills with innovative tools, and watch your writing soar. Ready to dive in? Let’s begin.

Here are 10 ways to make money as a writer:

freelance blogging

1. Freelance blogging

The first and most lucrative way to get paid as a freelance writer is through freelance blogging. Countless owners of blogs and websites desire fresh posts, articles, and essays. Indeed, content creators can now outsource a lot of work to text-generating tools like Chat GPT or Jasper, but there are a couple of issues with that. First, Google and other search engines openly stated that they will not index auto-generated content that doesn’t bring any unique value or human perspective to a given topic. And while some of the unedited AI content might slip through the cracks, this is not an approach that sophisticated content producers should use. Besides, robot-generated writing doesn’t have the creative spark that you possess. That’s why reputable websites are more than willing to pay $200-$400 for high-quality, SEO-optimized articles. If you don’t have a lot of experience, you can still start with $50-$100 gigs and then command higher rates as you grow in confidence and skill. You also need to calculate how much time each type of writing assignment takes. You may shy away from a gig that only pays $50, but what if you can complete it within an hour? Then, how about a project that pays $300, but you need five hours to complete it? Both jobs pay roughly the same amount per hour, so figure out what arrangement suits you best. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to pick the projects that are the best fit for your style, skills, and specialization. You can even dispose of clients who are too annoying to deal with. The best part about freelance blogging is that once you prove your worth, you can get repeat orders of 4-12 new assignments per month. This is a great way to build a sustainable stream of income and avoid the feast-and-famine trap that so many freelancers fall into. Ideally, you want to create a viable freelance writing business instead of earning a few hundred dollars here and there, right? You might be afraid to ask for higher rates or repeat orders, but it’s actually a must, and here is why. Like all of us, clients who hire you aim to make a profit. The regular calculus goes something like this: “I want an article that will rank high for the specific, high-value bottom-of-the-funnel keyword. Let’s say that each person who visits this article is worth one dollar. If I’m able to generate 500 visits per month, this is going to be worth $500 per month for my business.” So if a business owner might earn thousands of dollars from your work over months and years, it’s only natural that you should ask for a higher rate. Your work is valuable, and it takes time. It might take you five or six hours to craft a blog post that stands a chance to rank high for a competitive keyword. Hence, if you have the skills to write such a post, freelance blogging can be an excellent way to make a living as a freelance writer. We’ll talk about ways to attract high-value clients soon, so make sure you stick to it until the end.

copywriting

2. Copywriting

The next way to earn an income as a writer in the current freelance ecosystem is to become a copywriter. The job of a copywriter is to sell a particular product or service through persuasive writing. Just like freelance blogging, copywriting can be lucrative because, by creating copy that will lead to actual sales, you can command much higher rates. As a copywriter, you should be able to earn between $50 and $200 per hour or $500-$3000 per assignment. Of course, you need to have the right skills and experience, and a way to show your expertise to potential clients. Copywriting isn’t just about crafting engaging copy for sales pages and marketing offers. You could write scripts for sales videos, email newsletters, or special PDF reports that will go to thousands of readers. There are countless books and articles about how to become a successful copywriter, but the most important thing is taking the leap and trying to land your first copywriting client. Remember, nothing happens until you reach out to people, apply for new jobs, and start getting your first orders.

becoming a blogger

3. Becoming a blogger

The third way to earn your first $100 as a writer is by becoming a blogger. That’s one of my favorite ways, but it requires a longer-term strategy and more effort. It goes without saying that as a writer you should create your website. It’s an investment that’s going to pay off over the months and years. Your site is a great spot to showcase your work and prove that you are serious about your craft. Even if you don’t plan to earn money directly through your website, you should still develop it so it can serve as your portfolio. After a while, you can take it much further than that. If you’re passionate about a particular subject, you can create a series of articles and post them on your blog to build topical authority. Once you generate organic traffic, you can start earning money through display advertising, affiliate marketing, or digital product sales. You can also start writing an email newsletter, which allows you to get in touch directly with your subscribers. I am a big fan of working on this organic approach in the background while actively attracting freelance writing clients and working on other projects. In this way, it’s possible to build a solid income base that will take care of you even when you’re chilling at the beach or walking through the woods.

video script writing

4. Video script writing

Another great way to earn money as a writer this year is to become a video script writer. As writers, we may think it’s unfair that the world’s preferred format is video. But all these videos had to be conjured up by some creative mind, and the best ones require extensive scriptwriting. If you can pair your flare for writing with some video editing skills, you can step into a whole new domain that’s more multi-dimensional and engrossing. You can even script videos for yourself and reach more people with your message through YouTube or TikTok. You don’t have to appear in the video if you don’t want to. But learn how to integrate your passion for writing into the video format and I promise you that things are going to get much more interesting.

Becoming a content manager

5. Becoming a content manager

Becoming a content manager is another writing-related role you can explore. The role entails managing a team of writers and putting forward a long-term content publishing strategy. You usually do it within the context of a larger organization, but it’s also a hugely useful skill if you want to do it as a freelancer. The best part is that you can do this kind of job in a hybrid or remote way, so you have the freedom to work from any location. The role is similar to that of an editor-in-chief. It requires compiling a lot of research, sourcing the best stories, creating a content calendar, managing projects, and honing your remote communication skills. You would be in touch with your team of writers and need some serious SEO chops to release highly optimized and polished work. This is one of my favorite things to do, as it’s a combination of a variety of disciplines.

self publishing

6. Self-publishing

Self-publishing is another avenue that you can pursue to make money as a writer. If you have a knack for creating and marketing short e-books, you might generate a pretty good income. But don’t expect it to be huge, especially since publishing platforms take their cut from each sale, and you would need to generate a high volume of sales to go full-time. But if you want to become an author without too much headache, self-publishing is the way to go. You don’t need to ask traditional publishing houses for permission to bring your stories to life. And if you have a solid portfolio of published works, you can expect many new opportunities along the way.

Becoming an SEO writer

7. Becoming an SEO writer

Becoming an SEO Writer is a vibrant, exciting, and lucrative way to combine your love for writing and make money online. There’s a whole stack of sophisticated SEO tools and methods that aim to make your work more visible in search engines and attract users. It depends on the niche, but in the online world, you can expect to earn $15-$50 per 1000 visitors on a monetized website. There is a lot of competition for these highly prized keywords, so people who know how to win the search engine game earn a lot. You would need a variety of skills, the primary one being SEO writing, which requires you to create mesmerizing copy that will keep the readers glued to their screens for as long as possible. Then there’s a whole variety of on-site and off-site SEO strategies and optimization tactics that can push things even further. But all the tools you are going to use are ultimately language-based, so your writing skills are still crucial. You would need to engage with tools like Chat GTP, Jasper AI, SE Ranking, Surfer SEO, and Ahrefs, as well as headline analyzers, grammar-fixing tools, readability boosters, and various communication tools, which is pretty exciting.

Reaching out to sites that will pay you to write

8. Reaching out to sites that will pay you to write

Looking for websites that will pay you to write is another fantastic way to generate income as a writer. Dozens of blogs and magazines actively look for high-quality content, including stories, news, or even long-form essays. Quite often, these websites are receiving funding from government institutions, or other patrons, which means they’re not only interested in pure SEO content but also your unique point of view on an issue that needs to be addressed. It’s not always the case, of course, but there are many opportunities to explore here. The only thing is that you need to reach out to these websites and pitch your ideas. If you know what you’re doing, you can turn it into a numbers game and get new assignments. Better yet, you may start receiving regular content orders once you prove you can do the job and have something interesting to say.

Getting jobs from freelance writing job boards

9. Getting jobs from freelance writing job boards

There are many places around the web where you can find highly profitable freelance writing jobs that can turn into repeat business. One of the best ways to get started is by monitoring these freelance writing job boards for fresh opportunities. If you are perusing a popular board, you’ll find that dozens of other writers compete for the same gig. This can be a little disheartening, but if you try long enough and hone your approach, you’ll be just fine. Most writers applying for freelance writing gigs are using the same copy-and-paste pitch that gets them nowhere. Most of the pitches are boring and unimaginative, so if you come at it from a unique angle, you vastly improve your chances of getting hired. The key to success in freelance writing is consistency. You can apply for thirty different opportunities in a single day, not get any response, and give up, thinking that maybe you don’t have enough experience or aren’t creative enough. Bollocks! If you develop a habit of applying to as few as five new opportunities per day, you are going to get at least a few jobs within your first month if you keep at it. As you persist, you will tweak your approach and make it better with each try. And once you finally get your first freelance writing job, you’ll be able to reverse-engineer the whole process, so you can repeat it in the future. Like with many things in life, it’s about trying until you succeed. It’s also essential that you pick a thriving niche where you can get paid enough. This kind of focused approach will get you further and prevent you from stumbling around, accepting lower-paid gigs that are not worth your time.

Using AI-writing tools to boost your productivity

10. Using AI-writing tools to increase your income

Becoming an AI-writing maestro is a role that didn’t exist just a few years ago. It’s now a growing trend that isn’t going anywhere. You might have some preconceived notions about what it means to be a writer. You may think that true creativity comes out when you sit alone in your writing chamber in complete silence and conjure fresh ideas from thin air. You are right, and I love taking this approach to writing as well. Something is rewarding about it and it truly feels like creating art. But we’re talking about making money online as a writer, so I couldn’t leave out the trend that’s shaping the creative industry. AI-powered writing tools have become too powerful for you to ignore them. They allow you to produce a much higher volume of work, and it doesn’t mean that your creativity is worth nothing. As they say: AI will not replace you, but a writer who is using AI will. Writing tools can help you draft blog posts within seconds, write persuasive emails, rephrase sentences, fix grammar errors, come up with ideas, check for plagiarism, and manage your writing projects more efficiently. So while I’m in favor of writing in solitude, I also like to put these tools to use, especially if it means I’m going to save a lot of time and earn more money. Don’t think about AI as your enemy, but as something that will enhance your creativity. The possibilities to earn income online as a writer are nearly endless, and I’m exploring all of them this year and growing my international educational platform along with my blog. What are you going to do? Next up, you may want to explore a guide on the benefits of brand partnerships.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient writer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Dive into my journey here, and don't miss out on my free PDF guide 80+ AI marketing tools.