5 Unconventional Ways To Monetize Your Writing

Dickie Bush & Nicolas Cole

Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

In this week’s Deep Dive, we want to talk about some of the unconventional ways you make money as a writer.

You see, there’s a myth in the writing and publishing world that “No one makes a living as a writer.” People in the legacy world like to believe that part of being a writer means living a hard life: working a dead-end job, slaving away on your novel-in-progress, stacking rejection letters on your desk, and eventually dying unpublished and alone. (As if there is some nobility in poverty.)

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

In fact, we believe there has never been a better time in history to be a writer—so long as you are a Digital Writer.

Because if you have even a reasonable foundation of writing skills, and can speak the language of the “digital world,” then you should have no problem monetizing your writing in some way, shape, or form.

Here’s how:

1. Helping industry leaders tell their stories.

  • Founders of startups
  • Department heads at large companies (with large marketing budgets)
  • C-level executives of publicly traded companies
  • Investors and venture capitalists
  • Internet entrepreneurs & small business owners
  • Digital Creators (with successful digital products, courses, and communities)
  • Public speakers, authors, even YouTubers

Basically, anyone who is thriving in their respective field is a prime target for you to lend your talents as a writer.

Remember: contrary to popular belief (and the rapid growth of video content), text is still the dominant form of content online. Which means every single creator and/or company looking to “scale themselves” wants and needs well-written text-based content:

  • Social media content
  • Newsletter content
  • Blog & website content
  • Book, eBook, and course content
  • Community engagement content

The list goes on and on.

Literally anywhere you see “words,” remember: someone had to create that.

And if you are someone whose business is growing, then chances are, you don’t have the time to be the one sitting there creating the text-based content yourself.

So, as a writer, keep an eye out for these people and companies online, and send them a DM or an email.

You’d be surprised how many would be delighted to have another fantastic writer helping them scale their message online.

2. Turning video & audio content into written content.

This will likely be the fastest-growing area of opportunity for new writers.

Especially if you are still learning the fundamentals of Digital Writing, this is an AMAZING way to get paid to learn without you needing to be a master of your craft.

Since video and audio content is growing quickly, that means there is a secondary tailwind and desire for turning these assets into text-based content as well. If you are a podcaster, you don’t just want your episodes in audio form. You want them in text as well! (Or, at a minimum, you want a summary of the episode in text form to help listeners figure out if this is an episode they’d be interested in listening to for 1-2 hours.) Or if you are a YouTuber or video creator, you may also want to extract the biggest insights from your videos and turn them into text-based content: blog posts, Twitter Threads, LinkedIn posts, etc.—driving readers from social platforms to your videos.

All of these are opportunities for you as a Digital Writer.

Find people (and companies) who are clearly growing online by creating video and audio content, and offer to turn their assets into text-based content. The beauty of this service is that you don’t even need their involvement. All you need is the video/audio for you to work from—which means you can pitch them on the idea of “putting their text-based content on autopilot.”

What an easy pitch!

3. Twitter & LinkedIn Ghostwriting

This is another category that is only going to keep growing over the next 10 years.

More and more industry leaders are realizing the power of building an audience. But these people rarely have the time to sit down and create their own content—let alone “get good” at the craft. So, if you can master the art of writing Tweets and Threads, and compelling LinkedIn posts, you can make an astonishing amount of money by “renting your pen” to other people.

There are 2 ways to land clients here:

  • First, if you want to pitch yourself as a Twitter/LinkedIn Ghostwriter, then you should be actively writing (and building your own audience) on Twitter & LinkedIn. Since typically with ghostwriting you can’t really share who you are writing for, then you need to be your own best case study. And besides, by being able to do it for yourself, you will be better equipped to do it successfully for other people—which means happier clients, which means they stay your client longer, which means you have more demand for your services, which means you can charge more over time, which means you make more and more money.
  • The second is, in order to land these types of opportunities, you need to DM people. Most industry leaders don’t even know this is an option yet (and there is a stigma around “searching” for a ghostwriter). So, in many cases, these people are sort of waiting around for you to show up in their inbox, letting them know you can help them behind the scenes. Find industry leaders, fast-growing creators, company founders, etc., on Twitter and LinkedIn, and send them a DM that says something like this:

“Hey {name}! I am a ghostwriter for {name your target / ideal client}, and I was wondering if you’ve been thinking about creating more content online and building up your thought leadership presence? If you are, would love to chat, hear a bit about your background and some of your core insights, and then show you how I can help turn those insights into valuable content online. Are you free later this week?”

You’ll be shocked how many people end up responding positively—or, at a minimum, curious to learn more.

4. Rewriting website copy.

If you want to print money as a writer, here you go:

99% of company websites are written terribly. Remember: most people never learn how to write well, and so the copy you’re reading on the home page was most likely written by someone inside the company (or someone hired at an ad agency) whose only writing experience was that one English class they took in college. (The worst websites are large B2B enterprise technology companies that use so much industry jargon you can’t even tell what the company does.)

You can EASILY make $100,000+ per year as a Digital Writer by exclusively helping companies rewrite the words they use on their home page.

  • Clarify the problem the company solves
  • Clarify the solution the company offers
  • Clarify the outcome the company unlocks for customers/clients

If you can rewrite those 3 things in clear, plain English (without trying to be “clever” and without using a gazillion industry buzzwords) you will literally have more work than you’ll know what to do with.

And the best part about these projects is: if you can rewrite the company’s home page copy, then there is a very high chance they will want you to take over all the rest of their internal writing projects as well.

Again, how do you find these types of clients/opportunities? Look for company websites that are poorly written, and email them sharing a few reasons why—and how you can help them.

5. Leveraging your library of content online into Amazon eBooks & print books.

This is a very unconventional way of monetizing your writing directly—but it’s surprisingly powerful.

All of your Twitter content, LinkedIn content, website & blog content, all your Atomic Essays, your Quora Answers, your Medium articles, etc. etc. etc., all of this is YOUR content. You own it. Which means you can do whatever you want with it!

What most people don’t know an easy way to squeeze even more juice out of this content is to organize your ideas by topic or category (“Here’s everything I’ve written about how to buy your first rental property,” for example…) into an eBook and publish it on Amazon. All you have to do is get a little creative around how you want to structure the eBook or book.

  • Can all your Twitter Threads on the subject be expanded into short chapters?
  • Can all your LinkedIn posts be short chapters?
  • Do you have 12 long-form blog posts that are essentially “done,” and just need to be linked together to be a book?

Chances are, if you’ve been creating content consistently online for even just a few months, you’re already sitting on at least 1-2 entire books just waiting to be published on Amazon.

All you have to do is:

  • Organize the content
  • Use the formatting tool on reedsy.com to prep your document for Amazon’s publishing platform.
  • Find a designer on Upwork to create a cover for you (or create one yourself).
  • Hit upload on Amazon.

For less than $200 and a couple hours of work, you can take a bunch of your existing content, group it together, and start publishing eBooks or print-on-demand physical books on Amazon.

Which unlocks another revenue stream for you and your writing.

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