4 Ways to Start Making a Living as a Writer Now

When a writer — or aspiring writer — asks me about the single hottest opportunity for writers, my answer never changes …
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Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

When a writer — or aspiring writer — asks me about the single hottest opportunity for writers, my answer never changes …

4 Paid Writing Gigs

No matter the season, the year, economy, or the individual’s background, passion, interests, degree — or lack of — the answer is always copywriting.

There simply isn’t another writing skill that even comes close to the income potential and variety of paid writing gigs …

In fact, there are literally hundreds of ways to live the writer’s life using copywriting as your foundation.

And you can choose the type of writing that fits your style and goals …

Short copy … social media updates … product descriptions … long copy … websites … it’s completely up to you.

Of course, so many options can be a little overwhelming. So today I’m going to give you four ways to get started making a living as a copywriter …

#1: Manage and Write Social Media Campaigns

This copywriting opportunity is exploding! In just a few years, it’s grown from being referred to as “social media” to now often being called “the social web.”

It’s integrated into everything we do online.

Because of that, companies need more social web content than ever … to the tune of social media revenue reaching $34 billion by 2016! (Gartner Inc.)

And that’s up from $11.8 billion in 2011 and $16.9 billion in 2012.

Huge growth!

Plus, check this out: According to a recent article from social web expert, Nick Usborne, “88% of companies know they’re not doing well on social media.”

Additionally, “Fewer than 15% of companies have dedicated social media experts on staff.”

Social media might as well be an opportunity on a silver platter!

The demand is so high, yet this is another area of direct-response copy where just a few clients can keep you completely booked.

What does a social media writer do, exactly?

As a social media writer, you work with companies to manage their social media campaigns. This can include a range of services from creating initial social pages to the day-to-day management and updating of the accounts.

There are also posts and updates that need to be written and scheduled, shareable content that needs to be found and re-shared, and fans and followers who need to be engaged with.

And since social media requires ongoing attention month after month, you could have a full-time project — and full-time pay — simply managing a company’s social media strategy.

Get started today by setting up or optimizing your own social media channel. In other words, prove that you understand social media and participate in social media.

Then, share (or re-share) valuable content, tell people about your services, and use social media to attract new clients.

#2: Revise Web Copy So It Can Be Found

SEO (search engine optimization) is a copywriting opportunity that sadly does not receive the attention it deserves.

Yet it’s something every writer should learn …

  1. Even if you’re a brand-new writer, you can jump in right away and start making solid money from day one. It’s likely the easiest and fastest way for a web writer to start working with paying clients.
  1. SEO skills will make your services more valuable — meaning higher rates and better pay. So — if you are doing any writing for the Web at all — don’t miss out on the added value of SEO.

But, let’s back up a little to make sure we’re on the same page …

In order to sell anything online, a website needs to attract people (commonly called “visitors”). The number of visitors a website receives per month is called its “traffic.”

As a business gets more traffic (or people visiting their website), they increase their selling opportunities.

And, it just so happens that SEO is a great way — if not the best way — to get more traffic …

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

A search engine is a tool that helps a person find what they’re looking for online. You’ve certainly heard of Google, Yahoo!, or Bing …

You type something into one of those search engines and they return a list of recommended sites. These are known as “search engine results.”

SEO is the process of tweaking a website so it appears higher in those results … increasing the website’s exposure to more potential customers.

That’s where you, as the SEO copywriter, come in …

What does a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writer do?

The way a search engine ranks all of the websites on the Internet can be a bit complicated … and, it changes from time to time …

As an SEO writer, you would follow these changes and ensure your client’s website copy is written (and revised) in a way that allows the search engine to find and rank it high in the results.

Depending on your preference, your service might include writing all the copy and content for a website, or simply tweaking existing copy to optimize it.

For your clients, more Search Engine Optimization equals more traffic. More traffic means more profits. That’s why just a few clients can keep you busy writing (or enhancing) content that will improve their SEO ranking!

Get started today by exploring SEO. Try going to your favorite search engine and searching for something you’d like to buy. Then, review the results to see how the websites use the words (called “keywords” in the SEO world) that you searched for on their website.

You’ll find that the most optimized sites (those that are most relevant to what you searched for) appear first …

What about those other sites? The ones who aren’t ranking well are all potential clients just waiting for you to help them.

#3: Write Online Content (Like what you’re reading now!)

This copywriting opportunity ties everything we already talked about together … and it’s an easy opportunity to break into …

You see, most companies are desperate for content — like articles, blog posts, case studies, free reports, reviews, and more — because this content attracts new prospects, helps them make purchase decisions, builds rapport, increases credibility, and more.

Content — or “content marketing” — is now a major part of the sales process. In fact, I discovered that 9 out of 10 companies in North America are using content marketing to boost their sales.

And, get this … 60% of them plan on increasing how much they’ll spend on content!

Writing content is one of the easiest, fastest-growing opportunities there is …

And, for the most part, you’ll be writing short pieces of copy that are informative, engaging, and entertaining. No need to “hard sell” or be hype-y.

Get started today by writing an article about a topic you are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be long — aim for 500-800 words. The point of this exercise is for you to see just how easy content writing can be.

As an example, let’s say you enjoy yoga. You could write something like, “4 Ways Yoga Changed My Life.” That’s exactly the kind of content a yoga studio, yoga supply website, or yoga instructor would need to market their business.

#4: Write Emails

Last, but certainly not least, on my list of copywriting opportunities, is email writing.

This opportunity is so huge because email is one of the main ways that smart companies stay in contact with their potential prospects as well as past customers.

You may have seen sign-up forms on various websites … companies asking for your email address in exchange for a free report, discount, insider information, or access to their newsletter. In the world of email, that’s called “building a list” of prospects.

Once a company builds this list, they want to follow up with it often — sometimes even daily — to prompt the reader to take an action …

That action could be to visit the website, request more information, or purchase something.

But, here’s the thing that makes this a huge opportunity …

Companies don’t want to mail the same email twice!

They need someone to write a unique email — or even a whole series — for every product they launch, every new email list they create, and every new affiliate offer they want to promote.

They also need emails for upsells, discounts, holiday promotions, and more.

Every time they reach out to their list, they need a new email.

If they like what they see from you, they’ll keep coming back. That’s why you can live the writer’s life just by writing email copy and nothing else.

Get started now by signing up for an offer on a website you like. Then, follow their emails to see their process. If you think you can write a better email, why not reach out to the company and propose it?

2015 Will Be a Bright Year for Writers!

There you have it …

Four wide-open, enjoyable, potentially profitable writing specialties: social media campaigns, search engine optimization, content writing, and email.

Whether you’re writing an article, helping a company with their SEO or social media strategy … or even convincing a reader to support a cause, download a special report, buy a product, or request more information …

You’ll always be in demand!

It doesn’t matter what your background is, what your passions are, or even if you have experience.

All that matters is that you’re willing to take the first step …

Choose one of these four copywriting opportunities and do the “get started now” step as soon as possible.

Just don’t spend too much time deliberating. After all, any of these four opportunities can be your ticket to making a living as a writer.

And if you’d like to learn how to take advantage of – and write – all of the projects I shared with you today, check out the Home Study from our recent Web Copywriting Intensive. You’ll get incredible professional-grade training on all of these writing opportunities, taught by the industry’s top experts, from the comfort of your own home.

Next week I’m interviewing a writer who has made millions – both as a published author AND as a copywriter. He’s a brilliant writer … but more importantly he’s a wonderful teacher who has mentored dozens of other writers over the years on building successful writing businesses of their own.


He’s promised to give useful and actionable advice for writers looking to follow in his footsteps. You won’t want to miss it!

Until then,
Rebecca Matter

P.S. If you have any questions for me, or have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future issue, I invite you to contact me on Facebook, through AWAI or via my website, rebeccamatter.com.

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