Interested in learning how to become a paid writer?
When most people think about professional writers, they imagine someone in a cabin in the woods, typing away on an old-school typewriter.
You might be surprised at all the different options available for professional writing. It’s not just books!
Not only are there a wide variety of career options, there are a wide variety of styles as well. You could be more creative, more professional, get to travel, work in your pajamas, or anything else you want to do.
The possibilities for becoming a paid writer are truly endless.
This article will dive into a ton of options for people who want to become writers and will go over some of the ways you can get started with each.
How to Become A Paid Writer – The Options
Keep in mind, even with all of these options there are different niches and paths you can take where different types of writing will overlap.
For example, you could be a freelance technical blogger instead of just a general freelance writer. Finding ways to mix and match can also help you stand out as a writer as well.
Let’s dive into each of the types of writing, how to know if they might be a good fit, and how to get your foot in the door so you can learn how to become a writer.
With freelance writing, you’re pretty much able to get your foot in the door of any industry or type of writing you choose.
You could choose to start freelancing until you find a company or niche that lights you up and then choose to become an employee again. You could also just choose to ride out the freelancing journey.
What makes freelance writing different, though, is that you’re captain of your own ship and need to treat your work like a business.
That means, you’ll need to find clients, learn how to keep track of your own finances, and stay on top of your deadlines.
For the most part, you can be a freelance writer in almost any of the type of writing we will list down below. That’s exciting, but you’ll also need to narrow down the options you want to try so you know what you want to pursue first.
If you want to get into freelance writing, you’ll need to be self-disciplined and feel excited about the thought of pitching clients and networking. You might also consider finding a niche or specialty so you can stand out from other freelance writers.
With choosing to be a blogger, you have two main choices: you can run your own blog or write blogs for other companies.
Of course, you also have the option to do both, but you will want to keep both options in mind as you think about getting into blogging work.
Keep in mind, they both have their challenges but if you choose to run your own blog, you’re going to have to learn a lot more skills than you would just as someone who writes for blogs. You’ll need to learn SEO, you’ll have to buy a domain and hosting, and you’ll need to learn general marketing skills to get your website off the ground.
On the flip side, writing for blogs means you’ll need to be able to find clients and you’ll have to have some kind of initial portfolio to show off.
If you want to get into blogging, you’ll need to learn about SEO, how to style blogs to interest and attract readers, and figure out which industries or niches you want to write for so you can start pitching.
Nonfiction writing includes a wide variety of writing industries from journalism to nonfiction books. You could write biographies, historical books, instructional-type writing, humor, life stories, philosophy, and more.
Essentially, nonfiction writing includes all writing that doesn’t have a fictional narrative. It’s based on real events and real people.
As you can imagine, this covers a lot of different industries and types of writing out there.
If you want to get into nonfiction writing, you’ll have to love the art of research and putting true stories together in a way that is interesting or helpful to other people.
Fiction writing is narrative writing that often includes a story. If you want to get into fiction writing, you will need a creative mind and a story to tell.
If you are that person who dreams about writing a story that inspires others or lights up someone’s imagination, this is where you’ll focus.
You’ll have to write out your story and start putting it together piece by piece. Once you do that, you’ll need to either start finding a publishing company or choose to self-publish.
Writing children’s stories might be a great fit for you if you have a creative mind and you love to tell children’s stories.
Similarly to getting into fiction writing, you’ll need to come up with unique stories, but it needs to be ones that children love to read. You will also need to either have some kind of artistic skills or pair up with someone who can draw your story to make it come to life.
Almost all children’s books have art or pictures inside of them, so that’s an essential piece you’ll need to include.
For anyone who loves to deep-dive into software, products, or services, technical writing might be a good choice.
You will need to break down complex topics, such as how to install software on a computer, into understandable, easy steps that the average person could follow.
To break into this type of writing, you’ll need to study technical manuals and possibly pick an industry or type of technical writing you want to cover.
If you’re a creative person who doesn’t want to write technical jargon, diving into the creative writing world might be a perfect fit for you.
You could do anything from poetry to short stories to even creative advertisements.
There are so many ways you can use creativity and a joy of storytelling in almost any kind of writing. You just need to know if you’d rather be a creative writer or a more professional writer, since that will help you narrow down what kind of opportunities to pursue.
Proposal and grant writing
Proposal and grant writing is rewarding because you are often helping nonprofits raise money through grants.
If you want to get into grant writing, one of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to start to network with nonprofits you feel passionate about so you can get on their radar.
You will also need to learn how to format proposals and grants correctly, as it is a strict industry where even the slightest error can disqualify a nonprofit. You’ll need a sharp eye to catch any errors along the way.
Business writing and copywriting
If you have an interest in business, marketing, and psychology, you might succeed in the world of business writing.
Business writing is a bigger umbrella for all kinds of writing that a business could need.
Copywriting is also under this umbrella, as it’s persuasive writing with the goal of getting readers to take action. Both of these types of writing will require you to understand marketing and buyer’s psychology.
If you want to get into this type of writing, you will need to study marketing and sales. Along with that, you’ll need to start networking with companies to get your foot in the door to write for them.
There are so many ways you can get started as a paid freelance writer and ultimately make a career out of writing. More than ever before, you have options. Now the hard question is: What will you choose?
Don’t be afraid to try a few or all of them out to find a good fit!
If you’re interested in becoming a paid freelancer, check out the Freelance Writers Den.