First of all, I want to give a shout out to the people who have started following me on this blog! Both on WordPress and Twitter, I have seen a growing following of people interested in my writings, even though I may sound like a maniac sometimes! I appreciate the support and I’d love if you would share, like, comment, retweet, Pin, whatever you want to help me spread the word!
Now, let’s dive in!
You’ve all probably heard about the many ways to start making money online. In fact, if you’ve read my other posts, you know I’m a big advocate of getting a side hustle and beginning the path towards financial independence. There is no reason to rely solely on one income or the whims of your employers to build your wealth.
One of the most widely touted avenues for developing a side hustle is writing, and for good reason. If you have a solid grasp of the English language and a strong internet connection, you can get started writing immediately and develop not only a steady income source, but an impressive one.
The main question I get is “how do I get started?” and that’s very valid. It may seem daunting to get started making money by writing. But I’ll show you 10 legitimate, tried and trued ways to start making money with an online writing side hustle. These require no experience whatsoever, you just have to have the chops to accomplish what people are looking for.
The first on the list is a bit different from the other options because it is specialized and it is short form. Enotes is a site that takes people with some sort of general knowledge (typically in literature, history, and science) and gives them an opportunity to answer student questions for pay. All this requires is an application and a test question to get started. As long as you meet their requirements and give an insightful and helpful answer, you should have no problem gaining access. The pay varies per question, but it starts typically around $7 for 200 words and you receive raises as you gain experience.
Textbroker is the gateway site for people who want experience and payment from blogging and writing copy. For those who don’t know the difference between blog content and copywriting, just think of copy as the general writing you’ll see on websites, while blogging is like speaking directly to someone from your own voice. Textbroker has both options available. As long as you can pass their English literacy test, you will be able to start writing immediately. The pay is low to start, but you increase your earnings with more experience, and there is a treasure trove of writing pieces available.
Upwork is more of a traditional job site, where companies or individuals will post writing opportunities and you can bid on them. A portfolio is not necessary on Upwork, but it helps you get more and higher paying jobs. The benefit of Upwork is that you can find long-term partnerships and companies that will give you lots of material to write. Once you get your first writing job, you can recycle it into your portfolio for other companies to vet.
Fiverr is a very similar freelance site to Upwork. Instead of being pull-oriented like enotes or textbroker, fiverr ‘s jobs are pushed out from clients and you can make bids and offers. The downside to this is that companies will usually accept the lowest bid, which can leave you short on money.
Problogger focuses on uniting writers with companies looking for long-term blogging opportunities. They post long-term job prospects, sometimes 10,000 to 20,000 words weekly for six or more months (which is a huge amount of content, especially starting out). There are tons of opportunities available, and this site will help you find some of the best leads for starting your online writing career. However, you’ll also need a portfolio of a couple of articles to get started on here, as you are unlikely to get hired without being able to immediately show your skills.
6. Blogging Pro
Much like Problogger, Blogging Pro lines up numerous job advertisements for bloggers to find their dream fit. Many of these jobs are one off opportunities or are admission based (meaning you submit an article and you will get paid if the editor likes it and decides to use it). Blogging Pro is a great way to get started if you’re willing to write some articles without the promise of pay.
Metro is a site that does product reviews and copy. You’ll be writing reviews and web copy for a number of different products and companies. Applying for this site is easy, but you have to pass strict tests to be able to do higher functions (including research, writing, and editing). Once you have been approved, however, they pay very well (sometimes above $.05 or $.06 per word). The work with Metro comes in spurts, however, and while there is typically a large quantity of work available, there are occasional droughts.
Rev is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s not strictly writing. Rev is a captioning service for captioning videos. With a simple application process and training module, Rev is great for beginners who want to try their hand at writing captions for extra money. They have recently raised their pay for captioners, and it is a very reliable way to generate extra income.
This one may come as a surprise, but I’ve personally had my most success with Craigslist, of all places. I have found numerous blogging clients who are willing to work with me as a beginner and help me with the editing process. Be forewarned, it takes a lot of cold emailing, but you can generate some excellent leads if you’re patient. The work will vary, but you can search in the Writing Gigs and Writing Jobs sections of the site for any city in America, since all the work will be remote.
10. Your Own Blog
You could start your own blog! That’s your goal, right? In reality, this isn’t the most lucrative option immediately because you have to do the development and marketing yourself. However, it is an option if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Seriously though, setting up your own blog is a piece of cake – you can jump on WordPress and get started for free. As you generate more content, your blog will be more prominent and people will find you more easily. With ad and affiliate revenue, you can start to net a tidy sum pretty quickly.
A Word About Portfolios
Here’s the kicker that I mentioned earlier – a portfolio. A portfolio of writing or samples of your work will help you land jobs more quickly, and it can help you get better paying gigs. But how do you get a portfolio or writing samples without experience?
Your first option is something like Textbroker or Metro, because they don’t require a writing sample to get started. However, these aren’t ideal for blogging sites that you’ll find via Craigslist, Upwork, and Problogger. So how do you get started?
The easiest way I’ve found is, once again, start your own blog. Here’s the thing – you don’t need to actually do the promotion and advertising for your blog yet. Just get started with a free one and make stellar content. Then, when a customer asks for samples of your work, you can send a link to your newly published, crisp blog.
That’s how I got my first writing jobs – by sending links to my brand new DIY blog for people to see. The few that liked it started working with me, and I began generating blogging income, without having a fully fledged, advertised blog yet. It took me less than 48 hours from the time I built my blog to the time I received $150 for my first article – with an entirely different blog.
Everyone’s experience will be different, but this is the blueprint. Seriously – if you want to get started making money blogging as a side hustle today – do it. I have laid out the game plan and I have tried every one of these options.
If you don’t start making money writing today, it’s on you, because there are way too many options out there to ignore. Get started today. If you have any questions or need any help, comment below!