3 Proven Sources of Extra Income for Writers

Get paid for something you’re already doing for free.


Jeff Trewhella

3 years ago | 5 min read

Are you tired of having to do battle in bidding wars on sites like

Sick of spending precious time on queries to various publications, only to hear, “Not for us at this time?”

Do you wish you had a better answer whenever someone asks you — as if it were some silly hobby — how the “writing thing” is going?

Well, I have good news for you.

I can help you leave all this behind and have a much better life.

We’re going to look into 3 additional sources of income for writers like you and me.

These are things you can do from home, or anywhere you have an Internet connection.

They involve the written word.

You can work on your own schedule. Work as much or as little as you want.

The money is much better than you can get from the usual hustles like Uber or TaskRabbit.

A couple of these can even provide you with a full-time income — and a very substantial one, at that. It’s up to you how far you want to take it.

Better still, they can be started on a shoestring.

Lastly, you’ll not only be doing good for yourself, you’ll be doing good for society.

I’ll explain that.

You’ve probably heard of these income sources, but have you seriously considered giving them a shot?

If not, hopefully I can help you rethink that. After all, chances are that you’ve done all three of them without even thinking about it.

And I’ll prove that point in a moment.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

You snooze, you win

What I’m talking about here is affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing isn’t hard to learn, and once you’ve got it down you can literally earn money while you sleep.

No kidding.

Simply put, affiliate marketing is where you introduce people to products or services as an affiliate of a company or individual and get paid a commission when a purchase is made.

Have you done this before? I bet you have.

If you’ve ever recommended a product or service to someone, you have acted as an affiliate.

There’s just one problem: you didn’t get a commission.

Maybe it’s time to change all of that.

The ads and content you write work ‘round the clock for you, making sales.

And you can feel good knowing that you introduced someone to a reputable product or service that he or she may not have ever discovered.

Here’s an example: Say you live out in the country and you’re shopping for a dependable back-up power generator. You visit a site that compares generators side-by-side and these reviews help you make the best choice.

The owner of that site was probably an affiliate marketer. You can do the same, and people will love you for it.

Finding affiliate marketing courses is easy. Just do a Google search for “affiliate marketing courses.”

Affiliate marketing courses aren’t that expensive, either.

Be sure to shop around and read reviews. Check companies’ records with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And make sure to get a money-back guarantee.

After that it’s just a matter of finding reputable products and services to promote, and you’re on your way.

Get paid for something you’re already doing for free

Have you found yourself agonizing over poor grammar?

Grinding your teeth at misplaced, unnecessary, or missing apostrophes?

Bemoaning the poor spelling that is so rampant in our society?

Then you have been a proofreader. Only without pay.

If you’re finding these mistakes anyway, why not get paid for doing it?

It’s kinda like a “gimme”, isn’t it?

It isn’t as easy to earn a full-time income from proofreading as it is with the other 2 income streams I mention here, but it can be a great second (and enjoyable) income stream.

And you’ll be performing an essential task — seeing to it that what is written actually makes sense. It helps contribute to a vital communication structure for society.

If you feel like you need to brush up on your proofreading, you can find plenty of online and in-person courses.

You should Google “proofreading courses” and narrow your choices by reading reviews, checking with the BBB, and making sure you get a money-back guarantee.

A good course should also show you how to market your services.

Do the unthinkable

I’m about to suggest something that a lot of journalists and fiction writers consider “sleazy.”

Maybe you do, too.

But just open your mind for a minute and hear me out. Because this isn’t sleazy. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

I’m talking about copywriting.

Copywriting is simply writing to persuade someone to take an action.

That action can be to donate to a charity, buy a product or service, request a free report, sign up for a free trial, etc.

And even if you take a dim view of selling, consider this: you yourself have acted as a salesperson, whether you realize it or not.

Have you ever written a love letter? Applied for job? Tried to convince someone of your point of view?

Have you marketed your own fiction pieces or ideas?

Then, guess what?

You’re busted! You’ve engaged in selling. (Gasp!)

And you continue to do it, even to this day. After all, you do find yourself having to convince others of your point of view almost daily, don’t you?

So you might as well snap out of it, and start profiting.

Some purists think that copywriting is “selling out.” Actually, it isn’t. It’s simply selling, and that is key to any healthy economy.

Try chewing on these points:

— Jobs are created and saved. Businesses are resuscitated and grown. Nonprofits broaden their reach, changing and saving lives.

All thanks to copywriters.

— The ad that convinced you to buy your computer, toaster, or something else?

A copywriter wrote that.

— Your favorite novels had to be marketed and sold, didn’t they? That required a team of copywriters, salespersons, and PR people.

Starting to get the picture here?

And copywriting can pay very well. A lot better than content mills and for-hire sites where writers are underbidding each other, scraping to make money or even a meager living in a price-driven hell where the prices are always being driven in one direction — down.

Think copywriting isn’t creative? Try it sometime. You may be surprised at how challenging it is.

You can make a great living as a copywriter and have plenty of time to pursue your own fiction dreams. I know people who do just that.

One last thing: some writers complain that copywriting breaks several of the established rules of writing.

We know this. It’s done for a reason.

As with the other 2 income sources I’ve mentioned, there are plenty of courses available. It’s just a matter of Googling “copywriting courses.”

Then, as usual, you want to do your research and read reviews, check with the BBB, and make sure you get a money-back guarantee.

The most reputable courses will give you tips on marketing your services.

Where will you be a year from now?

You now have a starting point from which you can improve your income and take control of your life.

But you have to take action.

Because if you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the same place you are now.

Start by asking yourself which of these sources appeal to you, and then do Google searches related to your interests.

You can accomplish an awful lot in one year’s time.

Sure, it’s hard starting a business. It’s a lot of work up front.

But it’s even harder to wake up each morning to a life of stress and financial uncertainty.

So, get started. Today.

You’ll thank yourself a year from now.

This article was originally published by Jeff Trewhella on medium.


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Jeff Trewhella







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