Maybe you’re the type who welcomes Valentine’s Day with open arms — and a slew of candy hearts for good measure. Or maybe you’d rather ignore Cupid’s birthday entirely, rebranding the event S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day, that is).
But whether you struggle with or celebrate this annual festival of fondness, one thing’s for sure: making money as a writer can be just as trying as navigating a romantic relationship…and just as blissful when the stars align.
In honor of the season of love, we’ve put together a few fun ideas for earning cash as a writer, even — or maybe especially — if you’re a little love-sick. (In either sense of the term.)
Below, find five dreamy ways to win a wage for your words.
1. Help the lonely find love as a professional dating profile writer
Just as we do for delivery meals and taxi rides, many of us turn to the wide world of the internet when we’re in search of Mr. or Ms. Right. (Or even Mr. or Ms. Right Now.)
But crafting a well-written online dating profile can be a serious obstacle for those who aren’t linguistically inclined.
Which is why “professional online dating profile writer” is now a real job title — and a uniquely 21st-century way to make money writing copy. You could offer up your services freelance on a platform like Fiverr or try to find a gig with a firm focused on this kind of content, like DatingProfileWriters.com.
You might also just reach out to the singles you know in person and ask if they’d like to give their OKCupid “About Me” section a bit of a professional spit-shine. Besides, most online dating profiles would probably be more objective (yet still attractive!) if they were written by a third party.
2. Bring others’ romantic sentiments to life by writing greeting cards
How many lovestruck — or lovelorn — people turn to the staid stanzas of a pre-written greeting card when attempting to express their emotions?
You can use your way with words to help a stranger say what they really feel by writing those heartfelt, if generalized, sentiments.
There are many large greeting card manufacturers who hire full-time writers and offer internships to those who are still studying. That’s how poet and short-story author Keion Jackson ended up as a senior writer at Hallmark Cards. You can also write for major card companies on a freelance basis, earning a flat fee for each accepted submission.
And thanks to DIY sales platforms like Etsy, you could even strike out on your own, writing and selling artisanal greeting cards of your own creation — though in this case, it’ll probably help if you’re as crafty as you are literary.
3. Find work as a freelance romance writer
Yes, it’s true: finding any work as a freelance writer is already complicated. But it’s also true that you can get paid to write romantic fiction on a per-word basis.
Check out, for example, this listing from Radish Fiction, calling for freelancers who are “interested in the romance genre and serialized storytelling.” At $50 per 1500 words, the pay isn’t exactly stellar… but it is paid!
Romance writers are also sometimes in demand on freelance platforms like Upwork. This listing offers between 3 and 6 cents per word for “high quality romance writer[s],” and you’ll be provided an outline. Again, not exactly bread-on-the-table money, but a fun way to bring in a little bit extra!
4. Or pitch and pen your own piece about love
If you’ve got your own heartwarming (or heartrending) story to tell, you might be able to make significantly more than a few cents per word to tell it. You can earn a more substantial chunk of change, not to mention exposure and name recognition, if you successfully pitch your story to one of these literary outlets, which pay quite well for personal essays.
Just be sure your piece fits your prospective publisher’s submission guidelines, and ideally relates to any recent pitch calls the editors have made.
Keep in mind that editorial calendars tend to run several months ahead of publication, so you’ll probably want to reach out by December at the latest with a story you think would work well in February.
5. Feeling feisty? Self-publish your steamy fiction
Find yourself weaving wandering tales of courtship — or even out-and-out smut? No need to be embarrassed. In fact, you may be sitting on some serious earnings potential.
There’s a huge market for romance novels, which accounted for about 15% of adult fiction purchases in 2017, easily beating fantasy and sci-fi combined. And thanks to the accessibility of self-publishing, you don’t necessarily need to do the time-intensive footwork of finding an open-minded agent.
Whether you’ll spend February 14th smiling in pink or scowling in black, we wish you the best of luck — both in love and in lucrative writing!