Getting rich through content writing is no easy task. It’s difficult to constantly come up with fresh ideas that people will want to listen to.
Content writers are first-movers – they ideate and conceptualize content before you even see it. Writers have the power to influence thoughts and reshape perceptions of reality – which leads us to the next question: Can content writing make you rich?
Content writing, when done to a certain standard of excellence, can make you rich. Many freelance writers fall above the $100,000 a year range while, according to Zip Recruiter, the average salary of a content writer stands at around $50,000. Though this will take hard work and experience, there technically is no limit to the salary you can earn through content writing.
I’ve been part of the freelance writing industry for half a decade and in that time, I’ve gotten to know hundreds of freelance writers from around the globe and learned more about how they make their living.
This article will be the culmination of their answers.
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How People Make Money Through Writing
Contrary to popular belief, best-selling books aren’t the only way to make a living off of content writing. Here are some of the most highly profitable methods that earn people hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
The best part? You don’t even have to do it full-time.
1.) Creating Content For Businesses
Over the past decade, content marketing has gone mainstream. With the rise of social media, so many new businesses are entering the content game.
Whether or not they have an actual strategy is entirely up to them but the end result of this process is a new market filled with businesses looking for freelance writers like you and me.
Whether it’s for a press release, a white paper, or case studies, there are thousands of businesses across the globe looking to build and scale their online presence and influence.
While the actual pay will depend on the quality and quantity of the work you provide, Glassdoor estimates that the top 10% of freelance content marketers earn as much as $90k a year.
If you’re looking to build your own business where you have uncapped earning potential, look no further than blogging and affiliate marketing.
The problem with a lot of blogging gurus out there is that a lot of the information they provide is based heavily on outdated tactics. Essentially, they talk about what worked for them way back in 2011 and assume that it’ll work for you.
Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
When you start a blog to make money, make sure that you’re starting a blog to make money. A lot of bloggers write about their passions or their hobbies even when it’s not profitable.
That’s a problem because you’ll quickly burn out once you find that you can’t make money off of it. This is the reason why 95% of blogs fail: they forget to make money off of it.
Adam Enfroy, a full-time blogger and entrepreneur, suggests that you choose your niche based not on passions but actual tangible business factors such as audience budget potential, professional leverage, and market demand.
If you do this right, you could easily upwards of $100,000 a month.
3.) Direct Response Copywriting
Direct Response Copywriting is perhaps one of the more stable and higher-paying jobs on this list. Why? Because it’s an up-and-coming position that not a lot of people understand but a lot of businesses are looking for.
ZipRecruiter, for example, reports that the average Direct Response Copywriter earns around $65,310 a year with top earners earning around $85,500. The total amount could vary depending on your payment plan – some copywriters ask for a percentage of the total sales of the company while others will instead ask for fixed rates.
I genuinely believe that copywriters and digital marketers are in the same position that programmers and developers were in 20 years ago.
With digitalization and more businesses operating online, it’s only become more important to stand out and find ways to scale your business – direct response copywriters are the backbone of your marketing efforts because all their efforts are focused on bringing your businesses customers and generating more leads.
4.) Sell Your E-Book
Internet entrepreneurs have gotten creative with how they make money online. One example of this is the rise in popularity of e-books, both free and sold.
No longer do you need to go to an actual publisher to have your book printed for people around the globe. You could now self-publish using Amazon or sell it on your website. Where large publishing houses have big offices filled with editors, writers, admin, and large machinery, you have the internet.
There’s not a lot of information and statistics that tell us about how much someone can make off an e-book. However, we do know that the global market worth of the e-book space now stands at around $18.13 billion as of 2020. If ever you’re looking to sell your e-book, I don’t see why you shouldn’t get a piece of that market.
What To Do To Get Rich Writing
Talk is cheap so let’s explore a little bit more about how you can get started. In this section, I’ll provide actionable steps you can take to get rich writing, either as a freelance content writer, a blogger, or a published author.
I’ve actually written a more extensive and detailed guide outlining a step-by-step process to start earning money through writing but for now, here’s a quick overview of what you need to do:
1.) Snap Out Of It and Start Writing
There’s a saying in investing that goes, “the best time to invest was 10 years ago, the second-best time is now.”
The first step to start earning money through writing is to begin writing.
What a concept, right?
Well, it’s easier said than done because finding that first client or sale is tough. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into every book or every article and behind every successful writer is thousands of hours of research and editing.
Unfortunately, a lot of people get stuck and give up before they even write the first paragraph. They’re obsessed with finding the perfect title, perfect niche, or perfect plot that it stops them from just getting started. They’ve given up before they’ve even begun.
So, the first step you need to do is find your niche and just start writing. Worry about the other stuff later and just get your foot out there.
I’ve always been a big proponent of starting before you’re ready and I genuinely believe that you could learn so much more simply by doing.
So if you’re waiting for the perfect idea to strike before you start writing that book, be prepared to face the reality that the perfect idea or storyline might never come.
Sit down and start writing.
2.) Leverage Competitive Advantages
This ties in nicely with what I said earlier about finding your niche.
If you’re not sure about your article topic, your blog niche, or your ebook genre, take a step back and take a look at yourself. What have you done with your life? What skills and hobbies have you taken an interest in?
Now, it’s important to remember here that not all your hobbies are monetizable. Take my passions, for example, I enjoy personal development, financial investing, gaming, coding, and pizza.
Now a lot of these are monetizable but they’re very hard to get into.
There are so many personal development and trading gurus out there that it just wouldn’t make sense for me to focus on writing about them. I’m nowhere near good enough to give advice on programming or gaming and pizza just isn’t a monetizable topic.
While I do ghostwrite for other blogs and businesses on these topics, I would never dream of creating a full-on blog or ebook on any of them.
My point here is that when you take an inventory of your skills and hobbies, don’t forget to take into account how monetizable your skills are – then leverage them as your competitive advantage over other writers.
3.) Start Valuing Yourself Higher
This holds true especially for freelance writers out there. When I started, I had no idea the value of the work I was creating.
With blog content being a “digital asset” in that a business can post a blog once and then recurringly generate leads so long as it’s up, you need to understand that you’re creating for a business.
Say, for example, your 1,500 word blog post generated 200,000 page views over the course of its life, and because of your blog post, 1000 people went on to purchase a 50 dollar course or product from the businesses. Would it be fair to you if you were to charge that company 50 dollars for the 1,500-word post? I don’t think so.
You need to look at it from a value perspective and see the larger picture instead of charging your time by the hour.
On Content Writing For A Living
Becoming an independent content writer will be tough. You have a rough path ahead of you that will require hundreds of hours of upfront labor before you’ll see a single penny, this is true especially if you decide to build a blog or write an ebook, both of which may never be profitable at all.
That said, content creators have risen to become some of the highest-paid individuals around the globe whose line of work allows them to detach from a specific location and permits them to live the life they choose anywhere in the world.
YouTubers, bloggers, social media influencers, and authors have the capability to live anywhere they want while also earning extravagantly more than the average working-class individual.
So can content writing make you rich?
The answer is a resounding yes.