Most people think that you can’t make a good living from freelance writing. The starving artist stereotype is pervasive, and, it’s convinced a lot of people that creative pursuits don’t lead to cash.
But these days, writers can make a lot of money. They can use their knack for storytelling to write marketing collateral. Good case studies, white papers, and ads lead to sales. So, companies are willing to pay a big chunk of change for them.
There’s also a market for book ghostwriters, bloggers, and magazine writers. Thus, if marketing isn’t your thing, you can still earn a living from your writing.
In no particular order, here are the most profitable freelance writing niches that you should try to break into if you’re ready to turn your dream of being a writer into reality!
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Copywriting is a broad niche that covers everything from writing the text for a company’s website, to crafting persuasive sales emails, to writing product descriptions.
There’s such a wide variety of work that you’ll never get bored, and, it all pays well, too! If you can write catchy marketing collateral and get your customers results and sales, you’ll have them coming back again and again!
Most copywriters earn between $50 and $150 an hour. You can charge more once you’ve gained enough experience. A small percentage of copywriters earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, including this guy on Reddit who makes $300K as a direct response copywriter. Impressive, huh?
Niching down will help you command higher rates. You could specialize in writing product descriptions for natural food companies, or creating email sales funnels for SaaS companies. If you show potential customers that you’re an expert in their industry, you’ll be able to raise your rates and rake in the moolah!
Another niche for freelance writing is White Papers. White papers are kind of like those research papers you used to write in college. They’re long, heavily researched papers that have a pretty serious tone. They’re totally different from conversational blog posts like this one!
White papers present a problem and then provide a solution for it. They’re used by companies in every industry to build their authority. They’re also subtle sales documents because the problem that a company highlights is usually one that their product or service solves.
If you think copywriting is too salesy and you loved writing papers in college, this is the niche for you!
Companies are willing to pay a pretty penny for good white papers! Beginners charge around $3,000 per white paper. However, more experienced writers may make $7,000 or more on each one they write. Cha-ching!
Consumer magazines like Glamour and Health pay their writers pretty well— they make $1 per word or more — but the competition is fierce! They get pitches from great writers all day long. So, it can be a hard niche to break into without connections.
But trade magazines, on the other hand, are much easier to write for. They get fewer pitches. So, there’s a better chance of your article getting published. That means more money in your pocket!
I didn’t hear about trade magazines until recently, so let me take a second to explain what they are in case you don’t know! They’re magazines that publish articles about different industries, like the restaurant industry, for example. They’re a great resource for professionals who want to stay updated on industry news and best practices.
Some trade magazines only accept pitches from experts. Others are open to writers who don’t have expertise in the industry they cover. You can find trade magazines to pitch to by doing a quick Google search. Focus on industries that interest you—you don’t want to get stuck writing about landscaping or roofing if you think it’s boring!
Ghostwriting books can earn you some serious coin. Inexperienced ghostwriters can make $12,000 to $15,000 on a 200 to 300 page book. Writers with more experience can command rates of $20,000 to $60,000 per book! Isn’t that crazy? My eyes bugged out of my head when I saw that figure!
Writing a book isn’t easy, though. It takes a ton of research, and, as many authors will tell you, your book can kind of take over your life!
But if you can find a way to strike that elusive work-life balance, writing books is a great way to make money as a freelance writer! The demand for good ghostwriters is pretty high. Lots of people want to publish books, but just don’t have the time to write them.
Working professionals like doctors and lawyers want to publish books to build their reputation. Politicians and celebrities often need ghostwriters to work on their memoirs, too. Even authors hire ghostwriters. Word on the street is that Stephen King creates an outline for his novels and then hires a ghostwriter to finish them up. What a dream job!
Businesses need to have websites with blogs to stay competitive in 2019. Blog posts are the best way for a company to drive traffic to their website and get their products in front of new potential customers. They help build brand authority and trust, too, so they’re a powerful marketing tool. That’s why some companies are willing to pay writers hundreds of dollars to write them just one informative, engaging blog post.
Some business owners don’t understand the value of blog content and will try to pay you as little as possible. They think anybody can write a good blog post. ou and I know that’s just not true! Stay away from these kinds of clients—they usually hang out on content mills and Craigslist, so they’re easy to avoid.
Emailing companies directly will earn you a much better rate. If you skip the content mills and job boards and approach potential clients yourself, you can earn $0.10 to $0.25 per word or more, which equates to hundreds of dollars per post!
Case studies are types of freelance writing that are like testimonials. They tell the story of a satisfied customer and explain how that person was helped by a company’s product or service. To write a good case study, you have to come up with a list of questions for the customer, conduct an interview, and tell their story using graphs, visuals, and great copy, of course!
Case studies may be a few paragraphs long to a few pages long. They pay pretty darn well because a good case study can be the thing that convinces a potential customer to pull the trigger and buy the product. You’ll get anywhere from $400 to $2500 depending on your experience and the length of the final case study.
Every business needs them, so get out there and send out some cold emails if this is the niche you want to work in!
We hope that this post has convinced you that being a writer doesn’t sentence you to a life of tiny studio apartments and ramen noodles!
Now, what are you waiting for? Pick one of these niches so you can get out there and start pitching!
If you’re interested in other ways of making money as a remote worker, check out our 140+ guide with 10 different money making categories. Just click here.