Editor’s note: This post was written by Jennifer Parris, career writer at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Jennifer provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.
From the time you could hold a crayon in your hand, you knew that you wanted to be a writer. Writing is not only your career, but the way you express yourself to the world. Thing is, freelance writing jobs can be sporadic at best, so you need to be creative when it comes to keeping a steady income. Put pen to paper—and get paid—with these six ways to earn extra income through writing.
Use your network.
Some people might think that they’re the next Hemingway, but as a writer, you know the real deal. So if you have friends and family who are in need of a writer, offer up your services. Let them know the specific type of writing you do (after all, no two writers are created equal) and your rate as well. That way, when they speak of your services to their own nearest and dearest, they have the most accurate information.
Reach out to local businesses.
Just because you’re looking to work from home doesn’t mean that you can’t venture out to local businesses and offer your writing skills. Look for companies close by that might be in need of some writing help; perhaps their website needs some sprucing up. Identify what the company’s needs might be—and how you can help it—and then reach out. Finding a neighborhood business that needs an occasional writer might translate into having a steady freelance client in the future.
Use niche job boards.
If you’ve ever searched through generic job boards, you’ll spend a lot of time weeding through hundreds of job postings to find the few that you want to apply for. (And that’s not counting the numerous job scams you might come across, either.) So it’s best to use niche job boards, such as FlexJobs, where you can find legitimate work-from-home writing jobs. It will save you time, stress, and money in the long run.
Create an online portfolio.
You might be surprised how many hiring managers are crawling the web looking for a writer just like yourself. But if you don’t have anything online that spotlights your work, you’ll definitely get passed over for any potential position. You can easily create an online portfolio that includes links to your published articles, or a basic website that showcases your writing skills.
Establish yourself as an expert.
When you are looking to freelance, it’s important to be as social as possible. Create a Facebook page for your business, as well as a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile, too. It’s not enough to set up your social media channels unless you’re actively involved in them, though. In addition to posting all of your new published works, you can offer advice, writing tips, and answer online questions that you come across that pertain to writing. By being active on the Internet, you’ll create a name for yourself—and attract the attention of potential clients, too. That can lead to extra income.
Think outside the box.
Sure, you may be primarily a magazine writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write for other outlets, either. For example, you can create content for websites, or even write press releases for companies. You can get in touch with your softer side by writing for greeting card companies or even be a social media manager for an organization or individual.
There are many, many opportunities for writers to find side gigs. It may require a little extra effort, but you could soon be writing your way to extra income in no time.