Where the Writing Money Is

Writing-MoneyYou may already have a pre-conceived notion of what type of work a writer does.

In the past, if you told someone that you were a writer they would probably think that you had written a book or wrote a column in a newspaper or magazine.

In this Internet savvy age, many writers create content for websites. A few writers who do this believe that web content creation is where most of the writing opportunities are today.

While it is true that there is a huge demand for web content, there are still many other opportunities for writers.

Writing in Corporate America

As someone who wrote for corporations for many years, I know that there are high paying writing opportunities in the corporate world that many writers don’t think about when they are starting out. In general, these opportunities pay more than the average web content job and are longer term.

Companies use writers in ways that you may not even realize. The average annual pay for the positions listed below ranges from around $29,000 for an inexperienced writer to over $100,000 for a person experienced in that type of writing.

To learn more about pay for a specific writing field, check a source like Payscale or Salary.com. (Those are the sources that I used.) Also, many professional societies conduct their own salary research.

12 High Paying Writing Jobs

Here are a dozen writing jobs that you may not have thought about:

  1. Technical communicator–A technical communicator creates materials to help the customer who purchase a high technology product (hardware or software). A professional society for technical communicators is the STC.
  2. Instructional designer–An instructional designer designs effective training materials to help students master a particular subject. A professional society for instructional designers is ASTD.
  3. Marketing communications–A company’s marketing communications may write advertising copy, press releases, or even sales proposals. A professional society for marketing communications professionals is AMCP.
  4. Editing— An editor may find themselves working in a publishing company evaluating books or magazines before they go to press or, an editor may work privately for a writer or celebrity to help them develop their book. A professional society for editors is the ACES.
  5. Medical writer–Medical writers create documents that have to do with medicine and health. A professional society for medical writers is AMWA.
  6. Science writer–Science writers may work for scientific publications or create articles on science for general publications. A professional society for science writers is NASW.
  7. Financial writer–Financial writers create articles and web content that addresses financial, economic, or tax-related topics. A professional society for financial writers is NYFWA.
  8. Grant writers–Grant writers help entities such as non-profits and educational institutions apply for federal and private grants. A professional society for grant writers is AGWA.
  9. Speechwriters–Speechwriters create speeches for other individuals, such as politicians or prominent individuals, to deliver. I couldn’t find a professional association for speechwriters. If you know of one, why not share?
  10. Copywriter–Copywriters write the words used to promote and advertise products or services. A professional association for copywriters is AAAA.
  11. Script writer–A script writer creates scripts for television, radio, and movies. A professional association for script writers is WGAW.
  12. Writing teacher–Many writers find a rewarding career teaching writing skills to high school or college age students. A professional association for English teachers is NCTE.

(For more helpful information on various types of writing positions, you should also check out Deb’s post, 30 Types of Freelance Writing Jobs and How to Get Them.)

Good News for Freelancers

The good news for freelancers is that every one of these writing fields is open to qualified freelance writers. When I worked in a corporation as a technical writer, we often brought in independent contractors to help out on specific projects. Even now, I have several business clients who send me recurring gigs writing and updating training materials.

Earlier, I wrote about how you may have to offer more to earn more. In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about the type of freelance writers that companies look for and what kind of companies are most likely to hire freelance writers. I’ll also draw upon my own experience as a technical writer, training developer, marketing communications specialist, and editor.

Feedback Time

What corporate writing position sounds most interesting to you?

Do you have corporate clients right now? What type of writing do you do for them?


10 responses
  1. allena Avatar

    Translation! Not sure it counts as “writing” per se but there’s some money there!
    .-= allena´s last blog ..Breaking Into the Lucrative Book Ghostwriting Business =-.

  2. Laura Spencer Avatar

    Thanks Allena!

    I thank that’s an excellent addition. 🙂 There are lots of opportunities out there in translation.
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Are You Trapped in the Writing Web? =-.

  3. Cindy Starks Avatar

    I am an executive speechwriter and know of a group for speechwriters. It’s called Quintilian Speechwriters Group — don’t have the url handy, but just search them on Google.

    Good site, thanks.

  4. Laura Spencer Avatar

    Thanks Cindy!

    I was sure that there probably was such a group, I just didn’t know what they were called. 🙂
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Are You Trapped in the Writing Web? =-.

  5. adeel Avatar

    thanks laura, very nice post. first time come across different categories for writers. i think one should work out in at least one category to get mastery. Can you guide me any source paying for rewriting. or you can guide me that can we rewrite article by making them past copyscape to earn something. I am a newbie and have develop some skills in rewriting at least.
    .-= adeel´s last blog ..Men and Women – How Do They Use Internet? =-.

  6. Nichole Avatar

    Corporate writing is something that I’m looking into actually. I’d love to branch out. I read Bob Bly’s book on copywriting and I’m most drawn to the newsletters, case studies and things of that nature. I don’t think I could persuade anyone to buy anything (I can barely talk myself into spending the money on a new laptop!) but I’d love to do corporate writing, especially for financial companies and nonprofits. I’d love more information on how to get started!
    .-= Nichole´s last blog ..Why Company Feedback Never Hurts =-.

  7. Brian Avatar

    Many freelancers become de facto project managers. If you have this set of important skills from a corporate job or from your freelancing experience, use it to your advantage. Show your clients up front that you know how to take a content project from planning to delivery and they’ll often gladly pay for those services.

  8. Laura Spencer Avatar

    Hi Adeel!

    Generally speaking, article rewriting jobs don’t pay much. It’s actually much better ethically and practically to create original articles, but even those opportunities don’t always pay enough to reflect the work that goes into them. Stay tuned to Deb’s blog. She does a good job of listing Freelance Writing opportunities.

    Nichole, I’ll be talking a lot more about corporate writing jobs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. 🙂

    Brian — Project management can be a good path for writers. The bottom line is that good communication skills are very marketable and can lead to success in a number of fields.
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Are You Trapped in the Writing Web? =-.

  9. Jeanne Avatar

    Good post…NCTE is more for high school/degreed and full time English teachers though. That was my experience with them when I worked in education publishing.

    1. Laura Spencer Avatar

      Thanks Jeanne! Although, some writers may wish to become teachers. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.