Tips for Making a Living as a Writer

by | Jul 14, 2022 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

When I tell people I’m a freelance writer, they sometimes feel the need to tell me that it’s not a real job or suggest that making a living as a writer is impossible. I guess that means I’m paying my real bills and making a real living with imaginary money.

If you desire to become a professional writer but are hesitant about ending up working as a barista, know that it’s entirely possible to be your own boss, set your own hours and make good money while writing articles for a living.

how to make a living as a writer


How To Make a Living as a Writer

The truth is that there are thousands of freelance content writers out there writing articles for a living and loving it, too. If earning a living as a writer is something you’ve always dreamed of, then it’s time to go for it! So, without further ado, here are some tips for how to make a living as a writer:


1. Start Writing As a Side Gig

The first thing to know about making a living as a writer is that doing so takes time. So before you quit your current job (if that’s what you’re thinking of doing), it’s best to treat writing as a side gig and build up a foundation before cutting the traditional job cord. You’ve got to pay your dues, which may take longer than you might like. Cultivate patience and stay hungry to start writing for a living full time.


2. Create a Writing Portfolio

Making a living writing fuels off of past work you’ve done. Start creating a writing portfolio of work you’ve done, or create original work for the sole purpose of keeping it in an online portfolio. Of course, if you have work you’ve done for real clients, then you’ll want to prioritize showing that off. But you’ll need permission in many cases, especially if you were a ghostwriter for a client or content writing service.

writing for a living


3. Write Articles

One of the absolute best ways to start making a living as a writer is to craft articles for blogs, journals and magazines. Most SEO companies are consistently looking for new writers, and many professional publications accept content from freelancers. Note that some publications may pay you in exposure rather than actual money, which could pay off if your material is seen by the right people.

There’s also the fact that even if you do work for free, you can still add it to your professional portfolio, which can net you paying clients.


4. Find Your Niche

To truly make a living as a writer, you’ve got to enjoy the material you’re writing. No matter your interest area, there are bound to be more than a few publications in need of quality content; you’ve just got to dig deep enough and know where to look. Readers are sure to feel your passion in your words, and the same is true of editors. It’s that passion that will get you consistent gigs, meaning you spend more time writing (and getting paid) and less time looking for work.


5. Self-Publish

Between writing articles, you can work on a book if you’d like to expand your writing reach. Amazon has made it easy for writers to start a self-publishing career. Even better is the fact that you don’t have to write a full-length novel to take advantage of the trend; you can publish shorter content, such as articles you’ve written in the past on a single subject, or even a series of tweets that received a high amount of traffic.

The possibilities of writing for a living are endless if you’re willing to get creative and put in the work required to produce a high-quality product.

how to make a living as a writer


Making a Living As a Writer Is Possible!

This is just the beginning of making a living as a writer. If you like, you can also double up and become a professional editor or proofreader and put your skills as a grammar snob to use where they’ll actually be appreciated, but that’s a GrammarSpot blog for another time.

If you’ve got additional ideas, tips and resources you’d like to share about how to make a living as a writer, by all means, scribble them down in the comments section below.

O'Brian Gunn
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