Creating content with the written word is arguably the easiest type of content to start online. There is no barrier to entry, all you need is a platform to share your thoughts on and you are set.
You don’t even need a computer, written content can be shared from a mobile phone or tablet with just as much impact and potential for growth.
Written comes in different forms. You could be creating a short story, sharing your opinion on Twitter or Facebook, engaging on forums, or writing for websites. No matter how other platforms grow there will always be space for writers to share their thoughts and build an audience.
Whilst written content has a lower barrier to entry, it is also one of the most difficult fields to gain traction in. Simply sharing your content online on a blog or social media platform will not necessarily get you noticed, and monetizing that content can be even harder when compared to other mediums of content creation such as video or live streaming.
There are many different types of written content. The most commonly known would be traditional publications such as books and magazines along with digital publishing on websites and blogs. Even making a Twitter post or taking part in a discussion on a forum, leaving a review, or writing feedback can fall under this category.
Traditional publishing refers to any form of traditional print publication, so writing for a newspaper, a magazine, or even writing a novel would come under this category. Traditional publishing describes print media as opposed to publishing the content that you create online. Even in the digital age, there is still exceptional value in creating content for traditional publications, and the skill set required, although less focused on writing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly content, is much the same.
If you have always dreamt about being publishing in a magazine or a book then this is a very achievable goal, although the barrier to entry can be higher than simply publishing online, if you are able to create engaging content then there are 1,000’s of magazines that would be willing to pay for your work.
Digital Publishing refers to the process of publishing content online, either publically or to a fixed audience. This can be anything from writing on a personal blog to social media, creating copy for websites, or writing e-books.
The great thing about digital publishing is that there is no barrier to entry and almost no restrictions as to who can start doing it. A great example of this would be to start a micro-blog on Twitter where you can share your thoughts with the world and engage with an audience. Twitter is completely free, you can run the account from a mobile phone and if you can grow your following to be big enough there are plenty of opportunities to monetize the account down the line.
How to make money writing content
There are many ways to make money from publishing written content. For traditional content creators, your options are a little more limited as to make money from your craft, however, there are plenty of magazines that can pay a decent amount of money per page that you provide. Alternatively to writing for somebody else you always have the route of trying to pitch your work to publishing companies in hope that one of them will pick up your work and offer you some kind of book or publication deal. These kinds of deals are very few and far between, making them extremely hard to come by. It would be my advice if you are looking to get into content creation by using written content that you aim to start out by creating a solid income online to support future publications through traditional methods.
A good comparison to this would be if you wanted to be an actor but started your own YouTube channel or took part in an online series to hone your skills and help generate an income to support your dream.
Making money with a blog
Blogs are a great way to make money online, however, unless you are willing to put in a lot of work the chances of making serious money from doing it art stacked up against you. I will be honest, if anyone tells you blogging is dead in 2022, they are wrong. There is always room and time to come into the blogging space, however, the process of growing your audience has now changed.
There are a few ways that you can make money online through a blog…
Advertising — advertising on your blog is a great way to start making some income from your blog or at least start to cover the costs associated with running a website.
Memberships — Memberships are a fantastic way to generate income. By creating areas of your website or content on your blog that are tied behind a paid membership you enable your followers to support your work and provide added value to those who choose to support you. With memberships don’t overvalue your product, make sure that you provide enough quality content for people who may not be able to afford a subscription to your blog whilst also providing enough bonus content to keep people subscribed. Finding a perfect balance of combining high-quality content for both paid and free members and enough of a reason for people to pay to find out more is an art, to be honest, it is more of trial and error.
One of my company’s websites has 130,000 members however only around 8% of those members are paid subscribers but the amount of income generated from the paid subscribers allows us to pay our team to continue the work that they do in developing our tools.
Affiliate Marketing — Affiliate Marketing is a difficult one. The reason that I say that is that it is the one area in digital content creation that I have never really had a great deal of success with. While I know that some people manage to make a decent income or side hassle from affiliate marketing, from personal experience, I truly believe that it is easier and more efficient to pursue the growth of your own content without having to rely on selling products through affiliate links.
So what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of advertising links to other people’s products on your website, blog, or social media. When your users click those links and make a purchase you will receive a small commission for the sale.
One extremely popular solution for affiliate marketing is Amazon’s affiliate program. The reason that this platform is so popular is that anyone can use it. There are no real requirements to get set up with amazon affiliates, however, their commission splits are also extremely low. Once you have an established audience there is a wide range of higher-paying affiliate networks that you will be able to apply.
Personally, I would treat affiliate marketing as an additional revenue stream rather than trying to make it a primary source of income from your content.
Yes, affiliate marketing can be extremely effective, however, it requires a very large audience to be worthwhile.
Sell an e-book
Believe it or not, ebooks are still a fantastic way to make money online. This is just like the traditional print media route, however, instead of trying to approach a publishing company you can write an ebook to sell directly or you can even have it listed for sale on platforms such as amazon.
While ebooks do not retail for as much as traditional print books the costs to produce them are not there either. You can produce and publish an ebook without anybody else taking a cut from your work.
Writing an ebook can be a great way to grow your audience as it can be a great reason to drive traffic to your other content. Another alternative to actually writing an ebook from scratch is to create a blog and over time you will be able to compile the information that you have blogged about into an ebook. You can then publish that ebook and either sell it or offer it as a free bonus to members who sign up to your email list.
Sponsorships and Promotional Work
Although this is not something that you will have at the start of your journey, as you grow and expand your audience you will start to gain interest from companies who would like to leverage your influence. Sponsorships can be extremely lucrative, however, be very careful with them as you do not want to damage your reputation with your audience as that can have a negative impact on your future growth.
Don’t want to create your own website or blog? Well, that’s still not a problem, although, I would recommend that if you do want to create content online then you do it yourself. Established websites need a consistent flow of content to engage their audience so are always on the lookout for new content writers. Many news websites will have a link in their footer where you can find out about contributing to their website’s content.
Usually, this will either be supplemented by paying you for the work (usually per word or per project) or by offering you a split of the advertising revenue generated through your work. This can be a great way to get into the flow of writing content as you do not need to focus on building the audience from scratch, instead, you will focus on creating content for somebody else’s audience.
As with guest posting, copywriting can be extremely lucrative. This is especially true if you are bilingual and have exceptionally good written English. Many companies, websites, and product developers will outsource the copywriting on their websites or blog to somebody else. The main reason that people outsource copywriting is time, the process of writing takes time, and learning to write content in a way that informs and keeps people engaged takes even longer to master.
A great place to get started with selling your copywriting skills is Fiverr. Many people turn to this website for quick and efficient content work, however, it is also very hit and miss with the quality that you will get on Fiverr so if you provide great content, great service, and are happy to write about anything then you can quickly build a reputation and repeat work through the platform.
How to write good content
Writing good content is subjective and there is no cut-and-dry answer to what makes written content engaging. When writing content for the web it is important to break up your paragraphs to allow them to be easily digested by the reader. There are certain rules that you should follow with the way that the content is structured but that falls more under the subject of SEO or search engine optimization. This subject in itself is so massive that it would make far more sense to cover it in a different post, however, for now, understand that google ranks the quality and unique content above all. So, the best practice is to start writing, share your writing and try to reflect your personality in what you write. Over time you will develop your own writing style and become more efficient with it.
Creative writing skills are a muscle that needs to be grown, nobody is born knowing how to read or write, over time we learn these skills, and the more that you do it the better you will get.
Content writing tips
Here are a few tips to help you get started with content writing.
- Plan and research your subject before putting pen to paper
- Try to set aside 1 hour each day to write
- Publish your writing at least once a week to get feedback
Proofread and use tools to improve your grammar. A great tool for this is Grammarly. Grammarly is a free advanced spell-check software that not only checks for mistakes it can provide you with suggestions for improving the readability of your content at the same time.
Listen to your work. By this I mean read it out loud or use a text-to-speech software that will read it out loud for you. Microsoft word has this built-in under the review section and will allow you to hear how your writing sounds out loud. This can be particularly useful for spotting mistakes in your sentence structure, repeated sentences, and words.
If you are looking for more tips on getting started creating written content then I would love to hear from you. Hop over to my Twitter and send me a message to let me know what you are planning. I try to respond to everyone possible so be sure to share your work with me there.