Freelance writing is the ultimate side hustle. It’s flexible, it pays well, and it’s enjoyable.
In fact, freelance blogging helped me go from earning $1,600 per month to earning more than $5,500 per month. This profession was my golden ticket to bigger and better opportunities.
The flexibility and sheer amount of opportunity that comes along with freelance writing makes it a fantastic side hustle for anyone who enjoys to write. It can be worked into any college student’s schedule and can be a great side income for everyone looking to accelerate student loan pay-off.
If you want to get your foot in the door and start earning some extra cash here are 14 ways to get paid to write.
Blogs That Will Pay for Your Tips and Stories
If you love sharing your tips and stories and are looking for some one-off ways to get paid for your words, writing for blogs can be a very lucrative endeavor.
The benefit of this side hustle is that you can get paid well but have no commitment to submit articles on a recurring basis. If you have a great idea just pitch it to one of these blogs to get paid!
The Penny Hoarder – The Penny Hoarder is a blog dedicated to unique ways to both make and save money. The Penny Hoarder pays a flat rate per post (must be pre-arranged with the editor) and also offers bonuses of up to $800 if your blog post reaches a certain number of views.
The Dollar Stretcher – The Dollar Stretcher is a long standing frugal living website with a monthly print newsletter. You can earn $0.10 per word for stories or tips published in the monthly print version.
ACHS – American College of Healthcare Science is look for posts that are 600-1,000 words long related to your favorite topic on holistic health and wellness. They pay $50 per post.
World Start – World Start is looking for general computer, email, and software tips for their newsletter. They pay anywhere from $15-$35 per post depending on length.
Income Diary – Income Diary is a blog about making money online. If you’re a marketer or successful entrepreneur this could be a good fit for you. They pay anywhere from $50-$200 per post payable via PayPal.
Back to College – Back to College is looking for articles in regards to older students heading back to college. They pay anywhere from $32.50-$65+
Great Escape Publishing – This outlet is looking for articles about travel. They pay anywhere from $50-$200, depending on the type of assignment you take on.
iWorkWell – iWork Well is a website for businesses covering a broad range of topics. This site will pay you up to $200 per post.
Breaking Into Magazine Writing
One high-paying writing niche that’s a little tougher to break into is magazine writing.
Writing for a magazine can net you anywhere for $0.10-$2 per word. That can add up to a lot of money. If you’re successful in this niche you can make a lot more versus freelance blogging. The only downside is that your work may be a little less consistent.
If you want to break into magazine writing one of the best places to begin your search is the Writer's Market. This book contains hundreds of different publications that will pay you for your words. Not only that, but the Writer's Market has the name of editors to pitch as well submission guidelines and pay.
This is one book I’ve had on my shelf for a couple of years now and is a wealth of information.
Getting Jobs Off of Popular Job Boards
When I first embarked upon my freelance writing journey job boards were my go-to. I scoured my favorite job boards daily applying to as many writing jobs as I could.
You can find jobs like blog post writing, resume writing, and more on job boards.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
Problogger Job Board – The Problogger Job Board has many opportunities in many different niches on a weekly basis. Scour this job board daily and apply to anything that seems like a good fit to you.
Freelance Writing Gigs – Freelance Writing Gigs is a blog that scours the web and curates all the best new job offers on a daily basis.
You can find a list of other freelance writing job board sites here.
*Tip* When applying to job boards it’s extremely important that you’re only applying for jobs that you have specific knowledge in. Job Boards can be extremely competitive so the more you can position yourself as the “expert” the higher your chances of snagging that job will be.
Finding Unique Gigs on Craigslist
Another one of my go-to places when I was a beginner freelance writer was Craigslist.
Craigslist is a place you can find unique opportunities. There’s also the possibility of getting scammed on Craigslist so it’s important to do your due diligence and sign a contract before performing any work.
To find writing gigs on Craigslist simply search big cities (like New York or L.A. for example) and then go to the “Jobs” section and click “writing/editing.”
From here you’ll be able to look through the listings and find the work from home opportunities.
My favorite job from Craigslist was writing business descriptions for directories. I would write 100 word descriptions of various business (everything from AstroTurf companies to high-end hotels) which would be submitted to directories. I only received $2 per description, but since they were fairly easy to write the money added up quickly.
I usually netted at least $300 a week doing this in my spare time.
Cold Pitch to Find Your Own Clients
After going the job board and Craigslist route for months I finally transitioned to finding my own clients. I found this method to be the absolute best for creating a steady stream of clients who I actually enjoyed working with.
While finding your own clients is probably ideal, there are a few things you’ll need to do to make this work:
Choose a Writing Niche – Pinpoint exactly what you want to write about.
To get jobs you need to establish that you have expertise in a particular subject. Choose a topic that you enjoy writing about but also are very knowledgeable in.
Build a Freelancer’s Websites or Blog – The next step is to make your own little “home” on the internet. If you already have a blog in the niche you want to write in you can simply add a “hire-me” page to your blog.
If you don’t have a blog then create a freelancers website with the domain as your first and last name. You can then add an about me page, a services page, and also be sure to list contact information.
Collect a Few Writing Samples – If you have published work in the niche you want to break into then you’re in good shape! Simply link to those pieces from your writer’s website.
If you have no previous work then you’re going to need to find a blog or business you can submit a couple of articles to for free.
Start Pitching – The next step is to narrow down business and blogs that use freelance writers and pitch them. Be sure to make your pitches customized for each particular business or blog.
Rinse and repeat!
Cold pitching companies can sound a little overwhelming at first but once you get the process down it becomes very simple. If you’re serious about making a living freelance writing this is one of the absolute best ways to get a steady stream of paying clients, I promise!
If you need help building up your freelance writing business you’re in luck. My super-successful freelance writing friend, Cat Alford, has created a video course that will walk you step-by-step through building your own freelance writing business.
This course is $497 which is a bargain considering the value you’re getting! Seriously, if you hustled hard enough this course could pay for itself in a month.
Get Paid to Write
If you’re interested in earning some extra income by writing I hope that one of the ideas above has inspired you to take action!
Freelance writing can be a fantastic way to earn money and can even lead to full-time income if you can consistently produce quality work.
Do you have any questions about earning money through freelance writing?