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How to Earn Funds as a Writer

I am a professional teacher, writer, researcher, and learner. I always try to learn because there is no age for learning.


How do you earn funds as a writer? It’s one of the most common questions I get asked, and it deserves an equally thorough answer. Whether you want to be able to pay your bills or just take on freelance projects with zero financial risk, there are multiple ways you can use your writing skills to earn some cash in your spare time. However, not all of these strategies are created equal — so how do you know which ones will make the most money and which ones won’t? Let’s find out!

Young Lady Writing Thoughts on Note Book

Write About Something Readers Care About

If you want to earn funds, you’ll need people reading your content. People aren’t going to come back to your site if all you do is talk about how hard it is being a writer. Unless you have an exceptionally interesting story, writing about something that many readers are already interested in—but insightfully—will get more people reading your work than anything else. Then once you’ve got them there, start pitching guest posts and other advertising opportunities; just make sure it fits into your editorial mission or values statement.

Ask People To Support You

If you’re looking for funds, turn to your friends and family. If they aren’t supportive of your career choice, write them off. Unless you want to fall into an endless pit of writer’s block, don’t let negativity get in your way. Even if it feels weird at first, put up a donation page on Kickstarter or another crowdsourcing site and ask for funds from strangers. People are often more receptive than you think. When we started asking for donations, I was floored by how many people showed their support. It was incredible! I still have posts scheduled weeks after our initial campaign ran out because people keep donating. You’ll find that even if you feel nervous about asking people to donate, that everyone loves being a part of something new and exciting—especially when there is potential profit involved.

Be Consistent

Writers, like all other freelancers, need to be able to establish and maintain steady work. No matter what type of writing you do (freelance or staff), building that steady stream will require hard work—but it’s worth it for long-term success. You might want to set up some sort of framework around your ability to earn money from freelance writing; are there certain days you can devote more time than others? Will you write on nights and weekends? If so, how much? Developing a routine is key for getting started—and making sure that your schedule can accommodate any extra assignments is important for establishing credibility.

Writer with Feather Note Pad and Table

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Use Merchandise

Merchandise is often overlooked as an income source, but it shouldn’t be. If you have popular ideas for t-shirts, mugs, posters, or other unique merchandise (think: funny tees) and someone with an audience willing to pay for them (bloggers come in handy here), you can earn some extra cash on your ideas. However, don’t expect these ventures to become particularly profitable if you’re using drop shipping and marketplaces like Etsy. You’ll likely end up spending much more upfront than you make selling products. When selling physical products online, price matters. And remember that people are more likely to spend money when they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into—so consider offering discounts or bonuses for purchasing multiple items at once (if relevant). You could also set up deals with affiliates who promote services related to your niche or offer perks when they share specific information about your product on their social media accounts.

Get Speaking Gigs

Speaking engagements are one of the fastest, most consistent ways for writers to earn extra money. Whether you write for The New York Times or work in communications at your local elementary school, there’s likely someone out there who would pay you (or give you free swag) for an hour-long speech on whatever it is that you do. Speaking gigs are so lucrative because they combine two things writers love: writing and public speaking. Find a venue—be it an association, company event, or educational institution—and submit some speaking proposals! It’s not as scary as you think; I speak about social media once a month and last year earned over $10k from 10 speeches.

Think Long Term

Successful freelancers think long-term. Freelancing is so lucrative that you’ll earn more by thinking five or six years down the road than by trying to get some quick cash. Before you begin working on any project, make sure you can see yourself doing it for at least five years. This thought process will keep your clients from taking advantage of you and will also help you avoid taking on projects that don’t align with your goals. But first you need to know what you want: If you haven’t already done so, take some time now to figure out exactly what kind of freelancer you want to be—by making a list of everything that motivates or excites you about freelance writing. Perhaps money isn’t your priority; maybe good healthcare benefits are important to you.

Man and Woman While Using Laptops

There is More Than One Way To Fund Yourself As A Writer

If you are looking for ways to fund yourself, there is more than one way. This can include writing grants and selling merchandise, but it doesn’t mean that you need to do both of these things at once or separately. The important thing is that you make sure that your financial needs are met while doing what makes you happy and writing in your career path. You can create residual income from royalties by writing information-packed products about topics like grant-writing or freelancing. You may also be able to sell self-published books online if you do so through Amazon KDP.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon

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