How do I get paid for my writing?
A queer guide to pursuing your passions.
One of the most common query that writing coaches get asked is how to find ways to get paid for writing.
If you’re passionate about writing, and you want to devote more time to it, it makes sense to try and generate some income from it, right?
Not many people make a living out of writing. There’s lots of easier ways to make money. But, if you’ve got a passion for writing, there are a number of ways to monetise that are worth exploring.
Let’s start with a with a few questions.
What do you want to write about?
Reflect on your past writing, reflect on the writing that you think represents you at your best. Imagine pitching that to a potential reader or an editor who might be commissioning work. What do you write about? Are you writing about travel, or food, or family, or dating, or something else? What are we going to get when we read your work?
What makes your work unique and valuable?
There’s a lot of writers out there, and no matter how niche you think your subject is, there’s bound to be plenty of other people also writing about it, mostly giving their words away for free. You have to be able to articulate what’s going to make your writing stand out from the crowd? Why will audiences want to read what you’ve written?
Factors could include the following:
- Social Media Following
Don’t rely on your self-evident genius, you have to understand your value and you have to convey that to other people.
How will you present your portfolio?
If you’re asking to be paid for your writing, it’s helpful to be able to show people examples of the type of work that you can deliver.
There’s a range of ways that you might do that, including:
- Published work
That’s why it’s important that before you start thinking about generating some income from your writing, you’ve already got a solid body of work under your belt, and it’s published somewhere that people can read it.
How do publications commission freelance writers?
Most publications will have a section on their site describing how they commission work or how to submit pitches. If you can’t see that information on their website, send them a message and ask what their process is.
What people are often surprised about is that – if you want to get paid for your writing – one of the key skills is networking and relationship building. Building strong working relationships with editors and people who commission or publish work is essential. If someone knows you, knows your work, and finds you easy to work with, then you’re going to have a foot in the door. If they don’t know you, you’re back to square one and trying to get noticed in a crowded marketplace.
Alternative options to established publications?
The content distribution marketplace is evolving, and there are a number of routes to market that don’t necessarily involve an established publication.
Here’s some suggestions:
- Medium – members-only articles can generate revenue.
- Vocal Media – publishing content on their platform can generate revenue.
- Upwork – you can pitch for writing jobs.
- Patreon – you can build a fan-base of people keen to financially support your work.
- Gumroad – you can create content or writing services that people can pay for.