They say the first step to becoming a writer is writing. And what better way to write than to do it for a living? If you want to make money from writing, there’s no better, or more direct way of doing it than freelancing.
But freelancing can be confusing, and it’s not always clear what the best option is. It can take time to make a name in a particular filed, and difficult to move out if you don’t like it once you’ve committed. But a preemptive look into what areas you can add the most value into can be incredibly helpful. Let’s talk about the different avenues you can take to achieve your goal of being able to earn money online from writing:
BREAKING: First item on the list of part-time jobs for writers involves writing
This is where most writing happens. News. It happens every day, every hour and every minute. News agencies need freelance writers because it’s practically impossible for most of them to have staff writers everywhere. And this means you could even cover news reports for international agencies, or at least, other states in your country. Everything you consume, from The New York Times to a celebrity post on Twitter, is either news or can be made into news.
Job for the dress you want
Granted, writing about clothes, accessories, and makeup isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but it is in demand and it does pay. Another advantage of fashion blogging is that it’s okay to be opinionated. Fashion is subjective and for every reader who doesn’t agree with what you write, you’ll find that there’s probably a reader who does. Fashion is a fast-paced industry that doesn’t stop for anyone or anything, so there’s always something to write about, too. As a bonus, you’ll also always be up to date with the latest trends.
Compared to fashion, reviewing technology requires a little more than a fundamental level of understanding of what you’re writing. The good thing is, it’s not rocket science and for the most part, if you stick to the guidelines, you can’t really go wrong. However, technology reviewing is becoming especially competitive, so your level of understanding and people’s acceptance of your remarks could have a real impact on the kind of gigs you get. This also has the very real possibility of turning into a full-time job. So if that’s your end goal, this is a good option to look into.
Netflix and Bill
Celebrated movie director Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.” As long as you’re comfortable using words to describe intense, blood-pumping moments, as well as soft, emotional ones, you’re going to have a good time reviewing movies. Of course, you’ll have to spend some time taking notes during the film or TV show, but it’s well worth your while and you get to watch Netflix while doing it.
It takes skill to critique food, but he who does is a savior of mankind. No one likes bad food, even when they’re hungry. Websites are desperate to find writers who not only understand food but can express it in words as well. So take your passion and skills to food, describe aromas and mouth-watering cuisines. And get some free food while you’re at it.
If you’re not a gamer, it might seem easy to brush this one-off, but the gaming industry is actually quite similar to other industries in the entertainment sector. And for all you know, it’s probably a bigger part of your life than you think. Games have their own celebrities and hype-trains that readers are dying to know even the tiniest smidgen about.
However, writing about games does require some investment in terms of time. Most games today are by no means small or quick. They’ve evolved from being something to do in your free time, to something you can follow like a sport. They’re nuanced and have delicate intricacies that take time to get into and be able to write about. Or you could just write about PUBG.
On a more serious note, if you have some sort of technical background, you could look into technical writing. This is an area where you can show off your knowledge on technical topics you know like the back of your hand. It could be engineering, mathematics or anything else that requires precise descriptions — like manuals and documentation. Just make sure you know the field, the lingo and the style of writing required.
There’s an old saying which goes, “If you know three languages, you’re trilingual. Two, and you’re bilingual. One and you’re English.”
According to studies, there are over 6500 spoken languages in the world, while only 20% of its population speaks English. If you know more than one language, this could be an area where you can flex your linguistic muscles. You could translate articles into a local language to attract readers from that region, or translate articles from a local language to bring the story to a wider audience. Just remember to use a lot of swear words and don’t copy from Google translate.
Copywriting is everywhere, from the pamphlet you got from that guy on the street to the slogans in ads and on billboards. You need to be witty, creative, and most of all, understand your target audience. If this sounds up your alley, there’s a good chance that someone needs your services. Fair warning though, this is one of the more difficult and time-consuming jobs, as it has less to do with writing and more to do with coming up with ideas.
If none of the categories above really float your boat, there’s always the option of just signing up for a freelance website and doing whatever work comes your way. Sure, you have less control over the kind of work you’re doing, but it’s still writing that brings in money. It will also take you considerably longer to create a client base if you’re not specifically going to be writing in a particular field.
If you really want to write, the best thing you can do is just that. The more comfortable you get with your writing, the more value you can add to your content. If your end goal is to write for a living full time, the first thing that you need to do is to start calling yourself a writer. Put the pen to the page, see what happens. Bleed your thoughts onto the page. Practice. Tell your friends that you’re writing. Ask around your network for part-time writing opportunities.
Remember not to burn yourself out. Writing can be interesting and fun, but too much of it can lead to creative blocks, which can further hinder your process. Take a break, read a book, look at some memes and remember to relax.
Writing is a very open place, and we welcome everyone with open arms. There’s no discrimination or clear rules that define good or bad writing. Think about who you are and be that person. Write as that person. Pour your soul into a bucket and paint the walls with it. Because that’s when you’ll know it’s real.