Let’s say goodbye to the myth of the starving artist.
Every writer and creative professional deserves to get paid… and there’s no reason why you can’t.
In this week’s mini-episode, I cover 5 great ways writers can get paid for their hard, creative work, list the pros and cons and offer some ways to get started faster.
Bryan Collins: Would you like to get paid to write? Getting paid what you’re worth for your hard creative work is something that we’re going to talk about in this week’s podcast episode. I’m actually going to talk about five different ways you can get paid for writing, whether it be directly or indirectly. I’ve used each of the five ways for getting paid as part of my business over the years. I’ve learned about the pros and cons about what works and what doesn’t work. I’m going to share that with you.
Bryan Collins: Number one, the first way that you can get paid from writing, and it’s probably the quickest way to do it, is to become a freelance writer. Basically, a freelance writer is somebody who writes for publications and websites and gets a check or deposit into their PayPal account for her hard work. To become a freelance writer, you’re going to need a few things. You’re going to need clients, you’re going to need a niche to specialise in, and you’re also going to need a willingness to work with editors and accept critical feedback about your work.
Bryan Collins: Years ago, I actually worked as a freelance writer, as a technology journalist for a number of Irish publications in Ireland. It paid relatively well at the time, but then the recession happened and this was back in 2008-2009. As you can imagine, who was the first to be booted out the door when the recession happened? Well, it was freelance writers. That meant I was very quickly out of work. Now there’s no recession today and there are lots of opportunities for freelance writers online. I still dabble in a bit of freelance writing for publications like Forbes and so on.
Bryan Collins: If you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer, I’ve actually put together a resource that explains how freelancers can find work and get paid. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Or you can simply visit, becomeawritertoday.com/writing-jobs.
Bryan Collins: Now the next way you can get paid from writing is a little bit like freelance writing, but it’s a bit more specialised. You can become a copywriter. Basically a copywriter is somebody who writes words that sell. What do I mean by words that sell? Well, you could be writing a long-form sales letter for a client, or a customer, or even for yourself for your blog, which I’ll get to in a few moments. Or you could be writing emails that are used to sell products or services. Or you could be writing a blog post or a product review that talks about something that customers and readers can get value from.
Bryan Collins: It takes training and experience to become a copywriter and if you’re interested in getting started, I’d recommend checking out copywriting training by American Writers and Artists Inc. I’ve taken a number of their training courses over the past year and they really are excellent. You can find them at awai.com. Just look for their master’s copywriting training program.
Bryan Collins: Now the pros of being a copywriter are that it can become extremely profitable if you specialise in a niche. It could be technology, which is what I specialised in. It could be healthcare, it could be personal development, it could be sports, and so on. You’ll also need to find clients and that’s something that takes a bit of training, too.
Bryan Collins: The downside of becoming a copywriter is not every writer feels comfortable with writing something that’s so commercial and that is more about somebody else’s business or product. Rather than an idea that they have for a story. Copywriting is also a little bit scientific, so you need to bring a bit of analysis into this type of writing, too.
Bryan Collins: Number three. The third way that you can get paid from writing is by writing and publishing books, and this is one of my favorite pursuits. Now I love writing books. I love the feel of a book in my hand and the sense of accomplishment when you reach the end and when you upload it to stores like Amazon and Press Publish. Then a couple of days later you get the copy back. You can say to yourself, “I did this.” It feels a bit more permanent than an article, than a sales page, or a blog post or anything else that you can spend your valuable creative hours on.
Bryan Collins: The other great thing about writing books apart from them being fun to write, is it helps you build credibility as a writer. Because you can call yourself an author. That’s a great way of finding clients if you want to build your freelance business. Or finding students, if you’re going to offer coaching or courses, which is something I’ll cover in a moment.
Bryan Collins: The downsides of writing and publishing books are that it’s one of the more time-intensive ways to earn an income as a writer. Because it can take many months to take a book from the initial idea to something that you could publish on Amazon. You also need to invest in the book to get editing, a book cover designer, and also a proofreader, and all those things which will turn it into a product that you’d be proud to sell. But writing books is still something that’s close to my heart. I actually created a tutorial that you can find at becomeawritertoday.com, How to Write a Book.
Bryan Collins: The fourth way that you can earn an income from writing is through blogging. Blogging is a skill in itself. But basically if you set up a blog about a particular area or specialism and you write about that consistently. Over time, you will attract readers who are interested in that