Poets, novelists, essayists, and journalists, listen up! Not only can writing earn you extra cash, but it’s one of those skills that will help you get into college (hello, essay). After college, quality writers are always in demand across an enormous spectrum of industries and fields.
Ready to get started on a fulfilling and fun writing career? Let’s go!
1. CONTENT WRITING
By reading this blog, you already know what content writing is. Businesses all over need writers for blog posts, landing pages, and ads. If you have friends starting their entrepreneurial journeys, offer to write some content for them for free just so you have something to show on your portfolio website. (More about setting up an online portfolio later.)
Let’s face it: most people feel like they have a book inside them that needs to get out but aren’t as good at slinging words together as you are. You can get paid to write novels, non-fiction books, and even product reviews. So long as you care more about the paycheck than the credit, this could be a lucrative business for you.
Newsletters help people be part of a community! Not sure where to start? Write a family newsletter! If your school has a newspaper, check out ways you can contribute. Newsletters can be as quick and simple as a wrap-up of what happened during the week or as complicated as having different sections. Add games, product reviews, interviews, and whatever else you think people would enjoy reading. As you get better at this, expand your newsletter to your street, neighborhood, or online community. Once you have a decent audience, you can start selling ad space.
4. START A NICHE BLOG
Whatever your interests and passions are, we guarantee there are others out there like you. There are any number of hosting sites for your blog. All you need to do is get started! Once you establish yourself, you can start monetizing your blog through programs such as:
5. SOCIAL MEDIA WRITER
There’s an art to posting content on different social media platforms. As you probably know already, Instagram content isn’t the same as Snapchat content. And while this may seem obvious to you, it’s not that obvious to older social media users. Small companies will pay you to run their social media accounts! Remember that posting on behalf of a business isn’t the same as posting for your friends. However, the fact that you know how to do it at all is a huge plus on your job application.
Ok, so technically this isn’t writing. But good writers are nearly always good editors, too. As an editor, you can offer your (paid) services to classmates working on their college application essays or regular school essays, middle schoolers, and even adults who need an extra set of expert eyes.
Just as writing isn’t for everyone, neither is public speaking. You can offer your services to those who need to talk to large crowds but aren’t sure what to say. Someone may be the world’s leading expert on a topic, but that doesn’t mean they know how to present it to a room full of regular folks. Help others make their speeches more relatable (and less boring). You can also help write speeches for weddings, corporate events, graduations, and parties.
8. WRITE NOTES AND SUMMARIES FOR PODCASTS
Those of you who listen to podcasts know that there are always show notes, summaries, and descriptions for each episode. If you’re good at summing up long content into easily digestible bits, you can get paid to write for podcasts.
9. COMIC BOOK WRITER
Have a graphic design friend who wants to start a comic book but can’t write dialogue? Have an idea for a comic book of your own? Comics are graphics-heavy, but they still need writers.
10. UPDATING OLD CONTENT
The internet has been around since before you were born. And so has some of its content. Businesses will pay writers to take old content and rewrite it fresh and new. This means fixing links that lead to dead pages, researching and updating facts, and streamlining content for today’s shrinking attention spans.
11. GAMING STORY WRITER
Attention gamers! Those games you love to play don’t come out of thin air. Not only do they require graphic designers, but they also need scripts and storytellers. If you’ve always had ideas for games, this could turn into a great career for you!
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
As with so many other art forms, good writing goes beyond natural talent. You may be a great storyteller, but if you want to get paid to write you also need to hone your craft. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Learning how to tailor your voice and style for different audiences
- Understanding the difference between long-form and short-form content
- Showing, not telling
- Informal versus formal writing
- How to write for a business audience
- SEO best practices
- Quality headlines and titles
That’s why it’s crucial to use editing and content tools. Some free ones to get you started:
- Content SEO Checker
- Content Analysis
- Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
- Hemingway Editor
- Ubersuggest Keyword Tool
WHERE TO FIND WRITING GIGS?
Snagging a gig as a writer is often easier said than done. In addition to creating your website or portfolio of writing samples, try looking for freelance gigs at the following sites:
The eleven suggestions listed above are just a small handful of ways you can make money through writing. As you get started in your professional writing career, you’ll naturally come across more gigs and jobs. Soon, you’ll have a portfolio full of quality pieces you’ve worked on and can start expanding your writing empire. You’ll make connections and network with people who can help you land the writing career of your dreams.
The Kantner Foundation is proud to offer college scholarships to Florida’s high school entrepreneurs. To learn more about our program, and to start your application, click here.