So often we hear that writers can’t earn a decent income so go wait tables. Many authors also found out that self-publishing wasn’t the goldmine experience they expected. So then how can we earn a living while we pen our great American or international novels?
- Professional Blogging–You have probably seen the ads on Craig’s List or perhaps you have joined any number of job sites for writers such as Pro Blogger and Media Bistro. Professional blogging is often a freelance gig, but not always. The pay I’ve seen ranges from $25 to $200 per blog article. And I have seen a variety of topics and expertise requested on the professional blogging lists.
- Magazine Journalism–Again, unless you live in a major publishing hub like New York City, you’ll probably look for freelance gigs for magazines. I haven’t had a lot of luck pitching to magazine editors, but some writers make a living by befriending editors. Obviously, writing for arts and fashion or prominent magazines is extremely competitive, but you can pitch to crafting magazines, home and architecture, or trade magazines for best results. These magazines don’t pay much for articles, but I’ve earned between $200 -$300 writing for lesser magazines.
- Copy Editing–These jobs are advertised on Media Bistro and the professional blogger job lists that are e-mailed to your in-box. You will have to take a copy editing test. Many smaller book publishers hire freelance copy editors.
- Assistant to a Literary Agent–I don’t know how to land this position. I imagine starting out as an intern opens doors as does living in a major book publishing hub. BTW, many literary agents are also published authors. You will do more reading than writing with this position but at least you’ll make contacts in the industry.
- Public Relations Assistant or Director–You can usually find these positions in major cities with large advertising and public relations firms. However, even though writing skills come in handy, so does excellent verbal communication and ability to make public presentations and to put out proverbial fires especially if you represent controversial people and companies.
- Copy writing–I have seen in-house and freelance copy writing positions advertised on the job lists for writers. Sometimes you have to relocate to a major city. I’ve seen a few positions available in Portland, Oregon which is a great place for younger writers (ie: millennials).
- Ghost Writer–Last, but not least, I’ve seen both magazine and book publishers seeking ghost writers. This is not something I would enjoy doing, but ghost writing sometimes pays the bills, even if you receive no notoriety from your efforts. It’s definitely bread and butter work with no glamor attached. No one ever became a New York Times Best-Selling Ghost Writer.
So there you have it, a list of writing opportunities that you might have or not have considered in the past. And some writers are still finding work with newspapers, though this is rare these days.
Photo credit: Patricia Herlevi All Rights Reserved