How can a writer generate income out of side projects?

I have passion for words. I love writing and I believe I'm here to write novels. I'm working on my first novel -- I also have a 9 to 5 job but it's not exciting and doesn't pay well like the rest of entry-level jobs. (I'm a fresh grad) Lately, I've been thinking about running a side project that enables me to make $1000/month. I value entrepreneurship but I don't have enough experience to draw my own idea and have a solid business plan to generate monthly revenue. All I know is this: writing is my strongest asset. Any idea/help?


Loving something and being passionate about it, doesn't always mean you are good at it. Fictional writing and professional commercial writing are two separate things. If you are a good writer, there are opportunities for freelance writing gigs (copywriting, technical writing, catalog work, long form, short form, blurb, sales, etc.). It is a competitive space, but a good online portfolio with writing samples and consistent perseverance can lead to more work. If you don't have any commercial experience or samples, proof-reading jobs are a good place start.

Answered 9 years ago

If you're a strong writer and willing to learn some new skills, I'd recommend that you consider writing white papers for B2B companies. White papers are typically 5-12 page reports (including basic graphics) that discuss a solution to a business or technical problem for about 85% of the document and how a company's service, product or technology solves it for the last 15%.

As a new grad, you are unlikely to successfully "author" a white paper, but you could use your writing skills to capture, organize and present a subject matter expert's information. Two great ways to do this are 1) interviewing the people at the company who know the material but don't have time to write or 2) using information from one of the company's webinars as the basis for the white paper. You could offer add-on services like blog posts and social media blurbs to promote the white paper.

Unlike freelancing blog posts, which is popular among new grads but typically only pays $25-50 per post, you can typically charge $400-$800 for a well-written white paper.

To get started, you should choose an industry area that interests you and start reading as many white papers in that niche as you can find. Get a feel for the language, the style, the length, the approach, etc. Try writing one or two from webinars on spec to practice your style and get some experience. Then start reaching out to marketing directors and marketing consultants in the niche to build a clientele.

Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago

Hey - I would highly recommend checking out Contently or one of the other content marketing companies that uses contract writers. The company Contently is amazing and they have like 50,000+ contract writers like you.

Answered 9 years ago

We're co-passionate then.

Pity we're addicted to what is rarely remunerative, but there are ways to parlay your writing into a side income. Nearly every commercial industry depends on writing in some form or other. And content marketing is quite important online these days for any website.

Contently is probably a good suggestion. I can't speak from experience, since I'm not a freelance article writer. But many people earn well above $1000 per month that way.

You could become a specialist: technical writing, grant writing, editing. Editing pays very well, I believe, if you can stomach it.

I might be able to suggest a few other directions for you to consider if I knew more about you. Don't know if that would be worth a 15-minute call or not, but that's how I'd handle it.

What's the 9-5 job? Apart from being a novelist, what other hobbies, interests, experience, knowledge do you have?

Answered 9 years ago

A writer generate income out of side projects by using following ways:
1. Make Money by Creating Collateral for Content-Hungry Businesses
More and more businesses are getting into the content game. This has created a market for smart writers who can write for a specific audience. Breaking into this market can be tough without a few contacts to get you started, but it is not impossible. One smart way to differentiate yourself is to build your own platform, using blogging and guest blogging to demonstrate the expertise you hope to harness for others.

2. Get Paid to Write by Becoming a Best-Selling Kindle Author
Ten years ago, writing a best-selling book was a distant dream for most writers and self-publishing on Kindle was often dismissed as a vanity exercise. But today, thanks largely to Amazon and Kindle, the self-published book market is gigantic and making money from writing books is far more achievable. To succeed, you need to be commercially minded and target an established market with proven demand from readers. However, according to a report earlier this year from Author Earnings, 1,600 indie authors are earning $25K or above from Amazon book sales, and 1,000 published their first book three years ago or less. Nonfiction is the most natural fit for the average blogger, and if you are blogging in a popular niche, the chances are that books covering similar topics will also be popular. If you want to find success as a self-nonfiction author, check out Steve Scott. Fiction writing is arguably tougher, but there is no denying that your earning potential if you do hit it big, is much larger. And it is no coincidence that the most famous self-publishing successes are all fiction titles. Joanna Penn is a prolific fiction author, and her site is rich with information about making it as a fiction writer. But in either case, you need to be led by the market for topic selection. One major advantage of this route is that you continue to earn money from your back catalogue, sometimes far into the future.

3. Make Money Writing as a Conversion-Focused Copywriter
Copywriting, in a nutshell, is writing that is designed to make readers take a specific action. Copywriting may not seem fundamentally different to other forms of writing, but in practice, it is a discipline all its own. So, unless you have a copywriting background be prepared to invest a lot of time in learning the fundamentals. The most famous training course on copywriting is probably AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Notwithstanding the steep learning curve, the rewards of copywriting can be significant. A high-converting sales page might earn you $2,000, plus a slice of the revenues too. As a bonus, a foundation in copywriting will also be valuable should you ever decide to sell your own products.

4. Build a Niche Blog and Promote Third Party Products
So if your dream is to build a six-figure blog, you'd better be as excited about the prospect of running a business as you are about writing your next post. But there is a path to making money from a blog where you still spend a good proportion of your time writing. Promoting affiliate products is a much smarter way to start earning money from a blog than creating your own product. With an affiliate product, someone else has already done the hard work of validating the market, building the product, and enhancing it based on customer feedback. Someone else gets to handle the pre-sales inquiries, payments, refunds, and product support. Ideally, you will know what products you will sell even before starting your blog because then you are growing an audience that perfectly matches your offer. Once you are in a groove, you can think about adding your own products to the mix, using your writing skills and topic knowledge to deliver a specific result that readers are willing to pay for. But when you are starting a blog, promoting affiliate products is the most realistic, and least risky, way to make a living from writing.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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