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5 Ways You Can Earn an Income Writing

How You Can Turn Your Passion for Writing Into a Career

By Ashlyn HarperPublished 5 years ago 8 min read
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Technically, this list could be 50+ ways you can earn money writing. There are so many outlets out there for creatives to make a profit doing what they love. While it might be hard work, I find following my passion one of the most significant rewards of all time. I am so incredibly grateful that I get to wake up every single day and do what I have fantasized about since a little girl. This life might not be what I envisioned, but I can assure you it is so much better than I thought.

I do want to point out that these options are not the only way for you to make money. These are just the five ways I have found successful for me and my business. If these don't feel like a good fit for you, don't stop at this article! There are loads of sites out there and references for anything you are trying to get into in the writing field. With a little research, I promise you can find the right path for you and your career. This article is more for anyone wanting to expand their business or needing a starting point. If they work for you, great! If not, that means you need to dig deeper to find your path. Just remember to enjoy the journey, because it is indeed the best part of the experience.


I just started this platform, so I'm still in the beginning stages. From my research, I have found that this can be a great way for creatives of any type to make a living doing what they love. This platform is not just for writing, but any form of creative outlet. If you have something to give the world, you can share it on Patreon. If you are unfamiliar with how this works, I'll give a brief description.

You can use Patreon in a few ways, but the most popular is giving readers something for a monthly subscription. For example, I write articles and pieces that I don't write on any other website of mine for my Patreon readers. In return, they can subscribe for a monthly price of $5 or $10 a month. Not only do they get unique content, but they also get a little reward (created by myself) for subscribing to my page. You can have payments come monthly or for each piece, depending on what you have to offer.

You can also use this as more of a tip jar. Plenty of people I follow have a Patreon, but all of the content on their page is for public consumption. They merely use this platform as a way for fans to donate to their business and support them if they want to. If you are doing something that is a bit more of a "one and done" type of project, you can still use this or use crowdfunding options like GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

Create a blog.

This method is my primary source of income and where a considerable source of my passion resides. Creating a blog is a cheap and easy way to get your work out to the public. Most blog sites have an easy to use interface and require little to no money to get started. I use Blogger for my website. I pay only a few dollars a year for my domain name, and they give me the tools I need to be a boss. You can also use Squarespace, Wix, Wordpress (the most popular), or any of the other countless sites out on the internet.

Don't feel ready for this type of website? Don't worry! I'm by no means a professional and continue to improve my work on the daily. You don't have to be an expert to create a site. As long as you have something unique to bring to the table, the rest will come later. The great things about this are that you have a few ways to make income off of a website.

One of the commonly known methods is Adsense. This program is where you have ads appear on your site and, once clicked, gives you some money in your bank account. Be warned; you typically need a large audience for this to make you enough money to live off of each month. Most people don't use this as their primary source of income but as an extension. You can also do affiliate advertising where a company pays you to put their ad on your website (pays a little bit better).

Other options include sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and guest posting. Let me dive into each of these with a little more detailed. Sponsored content is when you (or the company) reaches out and is willing to pay you to talk about a specific product or event. You usually have a few rules to abide by (talking points, how many words, etc.) and have to promote it on other social media outlets. For this, I cannot stress enough to pick companies that you truly love. Sponsoring a company just for profit is a great way to lose viewership fast.

Affiliate marketing works similarly to sponsored content and ads. This income stream is a type of performance marketing strategy where a company pays you a certain percentage of the traffic you bring to their site. For example, I use ShopStyle Collective for all of my fashion and beauty products on my website. I create a widget for a particular post and, if someone clicks on the item and purchases it, I get a certain percentage of that sale. This method is one of the easiest ways to make a profit off of your site. While I use this for individual posts, you can add one to your home site, to your social media accounts, or anywhere that works best for you.

Guest posting is a great way to get your name out there and possibly make some money. A lot of blogs out there are willing to share one of your posts on their site and pay you for it. Do some research and learn guidelines for specific websites if this is something you think you would enjoy. Even if you don't make a profit, it is sometimes a great way for starters to get there name onto a site that has a large audience. With this, don't be scared to pitch ideas. The worst thing that will happen is they turn you down, which means you merely try another site.


If you are reading this, then you already know about Vocal. I've been using vocal for roughly a year and loved it. Not only does it help me come up with ideas for articles, but it also is a great outlet to make a little extra cash. Vocal is a platform for writers to do what they do best and get paid for each person who reads it. While low, every person who reads your article puts a few extra cents into your pocket. They have a fantastic range of topics to write about and are always willing to add a new item if you have something to bring to the table.

Again, this one takes a while to accrue a decent amount of money. One great thing about this site is that it gives your readers the capability of tipping you for your work. Instead of leaving comments, if someone loves what you wrote they can give you a few bucks as appreciation. There are a few guidelines you have to follow for each article, but they are incredibly simple, and Vocal gives you fantastic ideas to help you out on your journey.

Publish a book.

This method is one we all know about, but don't think we can do. While you can go through a literary agent, you can also do this yourself if you want. Self-publishing a book has become a lot more popular in recent years due to how simple it is. You get to be your boss, make your prices, and turn your passion into a career. While I haven't personally done this yet, I have a book that I'm about to send to a few literary agents and another one I have planned to self-publish.

You can quickly go to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing site to learn more and get an easy step by step guide on how to do things yourself. Who knows, you could even have your book end up in a physical copy or movie deal (these things do genuinely happen). One major thing I can stress about self-publishing is creating a marketing strategy with it. While Amazon helps you out with this, you should also make sure to share this as much as possible. You can even create a tab on your site for people to go and purchase your book.

Freelance Writer

Do you have information that other companies would be willing to pay for you to write? Then write about it! I use nDash for all of my freelancing projects and love it. You create a profile of your work and can pitch to the thousands of companies who have signed up to this site. While there are a few companies that readily say what they need, this website requires you to do most of the work (as in reaching out and offering an idea). From there, you two can talk about what they need, how much time it will take to complete, and the amount you wish to receive from the article.

No matter what site you use, make sure not to sell yourself short. Too many times I see people give their articles to companies for little to no money. While you shouldn't ask for a considerable amount right out of the gates, be realistic about how much your writing is worth. Again, for you to be successful, you need to be willing to put yourself out there and pitch ideas.

Find something you like? Try it out! The worst thing that could happen is it isn't the right fit for you. A few other ways to make money is:

  • writing contests
  • writing fanfiction
  • copywriting
  • paid reviews
  • creating lists (look up ListVerse)

Whatever you have to offer, there is always some way to make a profit from it. What are some ways you earn money writing? Not a writer? What are the ways you make money for the field of work you do? Sharing is always caring, and one size does not always fit all. The more you know, the more informed you are of what is out there.


About the Creator

Ashlyn Harper

A chaotic room of stories. My curiosities lead me in all types of directions, creating a chaotic writing pathway. I want this place to be for experimenting, improving my craft, and sharing new ideas with anyone willing to read them.

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