Whether you’re a seasoned writer looking for more ways to make money, or a newbie starting your writing career, we hope this post can help you out.
We have compiled the 22 best side hustles for writers today that are highly relevant to your skills and creativity.
So without any further ado, let’s check them out…
1. General content writing
Content writing is the first entry on our list because any writer can make money with this gig, regardless of experience.
There are countless websites and blogs out there, and believe me, they could use your expertise in written words.
As a content writer, it will be your job to provide them with the most relevant content to connect to their target audience, whether for business or other purposes.
And like we mentioned at the start, website and blog owners don’t care if you’re a new writer. As long as you can provide them the quality content that they need, they will be happy to pay you.
And if your clients like your work, they may hire you as a regular author for their site.
My favorite copywriter once said, copywriting is simply “writing words that sell.”
From that statement alone, you can guess that this style of writing focuses on promotion and marketing contents.
As a copywriter, you will be tasked to write marketing emails, advertisements, sales pitches, and articles of a similar nature.
The good thing about copywriting is that it is one of the most lucrative and highest paying side hustles for writers.
However, copywriting requires specific skills so you can come up with a compelling copy that will lead to sales of whatever your client is promoting – which is why copywriting is more suited for skilled and experienced writers.
Nevertheless, newbies can still land copywriting jobs. Many clients don’t mind hiring less-experienced writers as long as you can produce a compelling copy that meets their needs.
3. Technical writing
You need to be well-versed and knowledgeable about the topic you are writing about as a technical writer. You must also be familiar with the common terms and jargon within that specific industry.
Some of the documents you might be asked to write are white papers, case studies, technical reports, terms and policies, and more.
Many technical writers are professionals who have experience in the field that they are writing about, such as medical practitioners, accountants, lawyers, or engineers.
But there are other technical writing gigs that don’t require a specific profession.
For example, you might be asked to write about product descriptions, maybe for a camera or a smartphone; thus, you only need a deeper understanding of the product you are writing about.
If this is within your scope of abilities, you might be happy to know that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the salary of technical writers in the country ranges from $35,000 to $70,000 per year.
Senior technical writers can easily fetch $90,000.
4. Write reviews
There are plenty of sites online that will pay you for your honest written opinion, insights, and feedback.
Here are some of our top picks:
- Books – Booklist, Online Book Club, reedsy, Kirkus, US Review of Books, Writerful Books, Women’s Review of Books, and Publisher’s Weekly.
- Movies – AnimationArena, Taste Of Cinema, and ScreenRant
- Software and Apps – G2 Crowd, Capterra and Apperwall
And in case you didn’t know, Amazon sellers also pay writers to write reviews about their products.
Another good option for this gig is one that falls under content writing and its writing reviews for blogs.
There are plenty of review sites that will hire you to write reviews about products, services, and even business opportunities.
Ghostwriting is when you get paid to write original content about various topics under someone else’s name. After you complete the job and get paid, the client will own the rights to your work, and they can use it whatever way they want.
This is a very popular online job for writers because most of the time, your clients won’t require reputation or experience. As long as you can provide a quality article for the topic they provide, you can earn a good amount of money.
Of course, if you’re a seasoned writer, you may strike a deal with clients about minimum rates depending on the complexity of the topic you’re writing about.
You might be asked to ghostwrite an article for a blog, magazine, newspaper, and among others, depending on the client you’re working with.
You can also visit small businesses and establishments within your area and ask if they need someone to ghostwrite for their websites or social media pages.
6. Write resumes and cover letters
If you know how to write a killer resume and cover letter that has landed you plenty of jobs in the past, how would you like to help other people land their first jobs?
One key element of an effective resume (or cover letter) is that it doesn’t just tell the academic accomplishments or the job history of a person. Instead, something that also sells the person’s skills and makes him appear as the perfect candidate for the position he/she is applying for.
You can offer your services to your friends and other people within your area, or you can advertise using your social media account.
7. Join content mills
Content mills (also writers mills) are websites where you can submit any article you write and make money.
When you join these sites, you can upload your articles and get paid whenever someone purchases your work. You may also get clients to specifically request that you write for them, or work together with a team of writers.
Some content mills will pay you per word, while others will pay you depending on your writing skills.
On that note, most content mills use the ghostwriting approach. Therefore, you will lose any rights and affiliation with the articles you sold.
Nevertheless, this is a good side hustle, especially for starting writers to make money while honing your skills and building your rep.
And the best part about joining content mills and other freelance websites for writers is that you will have plenty of choices on what you want to write and how you want to make money.
8. Write for magazines
You can apply to write for recognized magazines if you have a professional, well-developed, and superb writing skills. You can get paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars per assignment.
Many magazines from various niches still hire freelancers (to date) for their content. Some of the best-paying ones include:
- Alaska Beyond Magazine
- American Association of Retired People (AARP)
- The Atlantic
- Earth Island Journal
Now, while less-experienced writers are also free to try their luck on this online job, keep in mind that the competition will be very high, so you better bring your A-game.
You can also Google “write for magazines online” to get more options if the niches of the magazines above aren’t related to your knowledge and expertise.
While this is a different approach, this gig is not possible if you don’t have a passion for writing nor a skilled writer yourself.
Proofreaders help various clients ensure that their written documents don’t have misspelled words, and are free from grammatical, typographical, and formatting errors.
10. Audio or video transcriptionist
This one doesn’t require you to be a writer, but given your familiarity with the English vocabulary, this can be a very profitable side hustle.
As a transcriptionist, you will be tasked to listen to audio files, webinars, or podcasts and convert them into written documents.
You may also be asked to write subtitles for non-English videos and movies when creators want to tap into the English speaking market. This is a common thing for Korean or Indian films and Japanese anime.
You can also Google “transcribing jobs online” to get additional options.
11. Self publish eBooks
Self-publishing is a goal all writers desire. But many aren’t able to do so because of the amount of work and dedication this side hustle requires.
Nevertheless, having published your eBook is a rewarding accomplishment for a writer.
A vast majority of writers have failed to do so, and this can help boost your reputation.
You can work and publish an eBooks about courses, a novel, guides, or even short stories for kids. Who knows, your eBook can become the next bestseller.
12. Create online writing courses
This is a good way for talented writers to share their expertise with other aspiring writers out there.
Selling online courses is an excellent way to make passive income. It’s also not hard to get started, and it doesn’t even cost much.
Heck, you can start recording your first writing course after reading this article if you want!
You just need to decide on the topics you want to teach, invest in a good microphone, a recording camera, and you’re good to go.
You can create courses about writing in general, like the “4 different writing styles,” “how to write captivating headlines,” etc., or discuss specific topics based on your expertise in copywriting, ghostwriting, or blogging.
Which brings us to the next profitable side hustle for writers…
13. Start a blog
Starting a blog is a good way to take advantage of your writing skills and use it to create a passive income stream. You can work on your blog in your free hours and wherever you are as long as you have a computer and Internet connection.
Having a blog is also a good way to make money when some circumstances arise that requires you to spend most of your time at your home. (Remember the COVID-19 pandemic?)
There are many ways to monetize a blog, and some of the most profitable ones include paid advertisements and affiliate marketing.
Another good way to make money with your blog is by selling your own products or services like the ones mentioned above.
Do you have online courses for writing or an eBook you are selling? Or perhaps you are an excellent copywriter or a ghostwriter?
All these things you can advertise on your blog to generate more revenue.
These blogs provide ideas, tips, practices, tools, and hacks on becoming a competent writer in your chosen niche. You can follow on their lead, or you can try a different approach and base your blog on your other passion and interests. That is a good angle too!
Nevertheless, the important thing is to start a blog based on something that you have knowledge about or on topics that you are genuinely interested in.
And to help you out, we prepared a list of 240 profitable blogging niches that you can make money from.
That being said, click here to learn how to choose the perfect niche for your blog.
14. Sell short stories
If you’re a movie enthusiast and fond of writing short stories or novels during your free time, have you thought about selling your work to movie producers?
I know this idea seems crazy and too far fetched, but what’s that saying again? You wouldn’t know until you try, right?
The idea is to write something original, something that people haven’t seen yet or maybe something that you’ve been longing to see in a movie but hasn’t been produced yet.
And although a huge majority of screenwriters and movie writers don’t make money for their work, you could still be the next George Lucas, George Raymond Richard Martin, or JK Rowling. Who knows.
And even if your pitch got denied by movie producers, you can still sell your written stories on sites like Carve, The Iowa Review, Glimmer Train Press, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Apex.
You can also Google “sell stories online” to get more options.
15. Speech writing
Have you always admired how well-written many of the speeches of CEOs and politicians are? Would you believe if we tell you that most of them didn’t write those?
And while some personalities write their own speeches, many of the celebrities and politicians you know to date rely on the ability of their writers to either get a “woo” or a “boo” on their talks.
Even the famous Tony Robbins pays someone to write for him.
So if you know how to write speeches that can make the audience agreeable even when involving controversies and hot topics, there’s plenty of clients out there that will pay a premium for your services.
You can advertise your services via your social media account or your blog. Another option is to look for speech writing gigs on freelance writing sites online.
16. Write personal bios
Believe it or not, many people don’t know how to write short yet compelling bios for themselves. Maybe it is because most people aren’t comfortable writing good things about themselves as it feels a little boastful and egotistical.
Fortunately for you, bios are needed for different contexts, and this is especially true for business people, artists, company owners, and politicians.
And if you take a look at the “About” page of company websites and blogs, those are examples of bios.
If you know how to use fancy words without harming a person’s image, this side hustle could be perfect for you.
You can start by looking at freelance sites for writers and see if anyone needs a professionally written bio.
17. Write obituaries
Whether we like it or not, we as human beings will pass away at some point. And along with that fact is a side hustle for talented writers like you.
There are clients out there who will pay a good amount of money for a well-written obituary for their deceased loved ones.
But because this is a sensitive matter, you must be very careful in the words you use. You also need to ensure that the facts you share are factual and free from mistakes.
You must also be able to highlight the amazing moments of the deceased’s life as it’s something that can bring a smile to the bereaved family members.
Some ideas to get started for this gig is to contact newspaper publishers and ask how you can write for their obituary.
Another way is to promote your services on your social media account or create a blog specifically for this niche.
Finally, joining organizations of professional obituary writers like The Society of Professional Obituary Writers also allows writers to make money.
18. Write student essays and research papers
If you use to ace your writing courses in school or simply learned great writing skills over the years, you can offer to write essays and research papers to struggling students.
While some people may consider this as a gray area (because in a way, you’re helping students cheat), there is a high demand for this service.
We’re not condoning cheating in school, but the fact is, students are sometimes forced to take up elective courses (like writing) that weren’t related to their major just to meet the required semestral academic unit loads.
Some colleges and universities will only offer a subject for the semester if a minimum number of students enrolled. Otherwise, they will not open the course.
As a result, some students will have to fill a vacant slot on their schedule.
I have a scholar friend in college who is an engineering major, but he took two writing classes in place of his major or else, he will be underloaded and will lose his scholarship privileges.
So in these rare instances, it’s likely that those students will hire someone to write essays or complete a research paper for them.
Again, we are not condoning cheating in school, but we’re just giving you as many resources as possible.
19. Become a social media manager
Every business in the world today has come to realize that an online presence is absolutely necessary for them to avoid the dreaded Chapter 11.
So if you are well-versed in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you can work as a social media manager and help entrepreneurs and businesses establish a competitive online presence.
Your job may include regular updates on your clients’ business page, uploading images, and launching advertising campaigns. But it’s mostly about creating captivating social media posts that will cause people to click and find what your client’s business is all about.
Some good ideas to get started is to approach local businesses within your area and pitch them your services. You can also advertise on your social media account or blog.
20. Teach writing
If you’ve been writing for a long time now and have acquired valuable skills that can only be learned through experience, how do you like to teach your craft to other people?
There are various ways to make money while teaching writing.
First, you can offer to provide personal coaching for kids and aspiring writers near you. You can conduct your lessons every night after office hours or during weekends.
Finally, and this is an option if you really love teaching, is to become a part-time creative writing teacher or adjunct professor in a school near you. However, a degree in education or literature is required to become an adjunct professor.
21. Start a YouTube channel
Another good way to impart your knowledge about writing to other people is by starting your own YouTube channel. You can create training videos about writing and anything related.
You earn money on YouTube by sponsorships, selling merch and products, and by promoting affiliate products. And once you manage to get at least 1,000 subscribers, you can start earning through Google AdSense.
The advantage of teaching writing through a YouTube channel is that you only have to discuss a topic once and record it – no need to keep repeating lessons next week or next month.
It is free to create a YouTube channel, and all you need is a valid email, although you will need to invest in a good microphone and a camera to record your videos.
And for introverts who don’t feel comfortable teaching in front of a camera, you can use screen capture apps, infographics, or PowerPoint in your videos.
22. Start an affiliate marketing business
We included affiliate marketing on this list because it is an excellent way for writers with entrepreneurial skills to earn passive income online.
If you want in-depth information on affiliate marketing, here’s a guide for you.
Many people are enticed to start affiliate marketing because (1) you won’t need to work for other people, and (2) you don’t need to create or sell any products.
With affiliate marketing, all you need to do is start a blog or a website and recommend other people’s products to your readers. When your reader purchases any of the products (or services) you’re promoting, you will earn a commission.
There are also multiple ways to make money with affiliate marketing, including…
- Selling your own products or services (like the ones we discussed above)
- Joining an ad network
- Promoting affiliate products
You can get access to millions of affiliate products that are related to your niche by joining affiliate networks.
If your affiliate marketing website or blog is about writing, you can promote books and courses that you think can help your readers become better writers. If it’s not about writing, you can recommend other products that you believe can help your readers.
Finally, what we like about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to be an expert to make a lot of money with this opportunity. It also doesn’t cost a lot to get started.
Of course, there are specific things you must learn, such as this affiliate marketing guide, to become successful. There is no such thing as a get-rich-quick program.
But with a proper guide, the right attitude, and perseverance, it’s possible for you to make a 6 figure income in the next 3-5 years – you’ll never know unless you try.
And if this interests you, here’s how affiliate marketing works:
So, did you find a few side hustles that you can make money with your writing skills? We sure hope so.
And if you know any other good side hustles for writers that we might have missed, we would appreciate it if you can give us a head’s up in the comments section below.
Thank you for your time, and we wish you the best of success in your future plans.