This post will introduce you to 13 excellent writing side hustles you can pursue to make an additional $1,000 to $10,000 per month.

The better question is, which one should you choose

To help you make a decision, we’ll evaluate each writing side hustle by answering these two questions: 

  1. How scalable is this? Some writing side hustles allow you to earn passive income, whereas others are service-based, where you’re trading your time for money. 
  2. How long will I have to wait to make money? Some writing side hustles allow you to make money immediately, whereas others require a significant time investment before you’ll earn a dollar.

For each writing side hustle, we’ll also give you the first action step you can take to get started today.

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1. Affiliate Marketing 

Plenty of companies have products and services but no customers.

As an affiliate marketer, you build a loyal audience of readers through blogging.

Then, you can promote products and services from other companies on your blog and earn a commission when your readers buy a product.

An excellent example of an affiliate marketing website is The Spruce. They write articles that rank for keywords like “best crockpots” and “best rice cookers.” Each of the blog posts contains affiliate links to the products mentioned in the article. Whenever a reader purchases a product, The Spruce earns a commission.

The Spruce is an example of a multi-million dollar affiliate marketing website, proving that affiliate marketing can scale to be much more than just a small writing side hustle. 

Additionally, affiliate marketers don’t have to deal with customer service or product delivery. The downside is that affiliate marketers can’t control product quality, so recommending a bad product can reflect negatively on your brand.

Building an audience also takes time, so you probably won’t make money immediately with affiliate marketing. However, once you have built an audience and strong website authority, it’s a truly passive business model. Therefore, you can take a break from publishing content, and you’ll still earn money from existing blog posts.  

Scalability

Affiliate marketing can scale as brands like The Spruce are worth millions. Additionally, you can hire other people to write the content for you, making it a fairly passive business. However, The Spruce is a rarity and according to ZipRecruiter, the average affiliate marketer in the United States makes about $82,000 per year

Time To Money

Affiliate marketing relies on ranking for keywords, so if you’re starting a brand new site with no previous authority, it might take anywhere from six months to over a year to see a substantial ROI. 

How to Start Now

To get started with affiliate marketing, set up a website, select a niche, and begin writing content on your blog to build an audience. 

2. Content Repurposer

Content repurposing is republishing a single piece of content, like a video or podcast audio, in a different format, like a blog post or social media clips. 

Many companies pay freelancers to repurpose content because it helps them maximize the reach of a single piece of content by publishing it on different platforms.

For example, Ahrefs repurposed its video on keyword research for affiliate marketing into a blog post:

Here’s an example of a freelancer who offers content repurposing services at different pricing tiers:

Additionally, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to get content in front of the right audience, so there’s a growing demand for content repurposing. 

Scalability

The only way to scale content repurposing is by building an agency, so it isn’t a great side hustle if your goal is to scale it into a multi-million dollar business as a solopreneur. 

Additionally, most clients looking for content repurposing want a solution to maximize their content marketing investments, so they typically aren’t interested in paying top dollar and you might find yourself competing with cheaper freelancers on Upwork. According to Zip Recruiter, the average content repurposer makes about $60 per hour

Time To Money

Content repurposing is currently in high demand and you can start making money immediately as it’s a service-based side hustle.

How to Start Now

Find companies with long form video and audio content and create a blog post and four social media posts from their video/audio content. Send it to them and offer to work for free with the option to later charge.  

3. Blogging

Bloggers select a niche, such as food or traveling, and then write blog posts on the topic to build an audience. 

After building a loyal following, there are many different ways to monetize a blog, including:

  • Sponsored blog posts: A brand pays to write a blog post on your blog. The average cost of a sponsored blog post is about $250, though how much you can charge really depends on the authority of your website, how much traffic it earns, and the value of your audience. 
  • Affiliate marketing: You promote products or services on your blog and earn a commission from the sales.
  • Paid brand promotions: You can partner with a brand that pays you a set fee to promote their products or services. For example, travel blogger Matt of Expert Vagabond makes between $4,000 and $20,000 per brand partnership.
  • Selling your own products/services: You create your own product or service and sell it to your readers. For example, Blogilates founder Cassey Ho is rumored to have a networth of about $7 to $8 million, and most of it is from POPFLEX, the brand she launched after building millions of followers through her blog and YouTube channel.

Scalability

The scalability of blogging depends on how you monetize it. If you’re only monetizing it through affiliate products and sponsored posts, it will likely only be moderately scalable.

However, you can scale it to well over seven figures if you launch your own brand after building an audience. 

Some bloggers make over $1 million per year, though the average is about $62,000 in the United States.

However, it is scalable from an operations standpoint if you hire other freelance writers to write the content. You can also stop publishing and continue earning passive income from existing content.

Time To Money

You won’t make money immediately with blogging as you’ll likely have to spend six to twelve months building an audience before brands will pay you to promote their products or services. 

How to Start Now

Your first step to becoming a beginner blogger is to select a niche, set up a website, and start writing blog posts to build an audience.

4. Directories/Job Boards

Directories and job boards can charge anywhere from $100 to $500 per listing, and the main strategy for building a job board or directory is to write content to build an audience and the website’s authority.

This seasonal job board, CoolWorks, charges $149 for a seven-day multi-position job ad and $169 for a 30 day single position job ad. 

To build the authority of a website like this, you would write blog posts about the topics a job seeker might search for, such as “best ski resort jobs” or “how to get a J1/H2B visa.”

Local business directories are very similar business models. For example, Visit Charlottesville is a website that provides information on the local town’s businesses.

They monetize the site by offering sponsored posts ranging from $300 to $450, and each listing in their directory ranges from about $60 to $240. 

Scalability

Directories and job boards are scalable as you can add unlimited listings to the website. Additionally, it’s a passive business as businesses can purchase an ad online without any involvement on your part. 

Both directories and job board businesses can be very profitable. For example, YTJobs currently charges about $245 per listing, and each listing lasts about two months. They currently have approximately 260 active listings, meaning the website earns at least $65,000 every two months.

However, most job boards won’t scale beyond a few million dollars per year.

Time To Money

Job boards and directories rely on SEO strength, so you likely won’t earn money immediately with this writing side hustle.

How to Start Now

You can watch our video on how to start a directory business:

If you want to build a job board, watch our video here on how to start a profitable job board:

5. Email Copywriting

Businesses know their email subscribers are arguably their most valuable prospects, so they’re willing to pay top dollar for a skilled email copywriter who can build trust and convert those subscribers into customers. 

The average freelance email writer charges about $25 to $50 per email or anywhere from $150 to $500 for longer emails. However, skilled email copywriters who charge revenue shares can scale to seven figures annually.

Here are a few of the most common ways to make money as an email copywriter:

1. Email nurture sequences: Many course creators, service providers, and even software companies pay email copywriters to create nurture sequences. These emails often teach the audience how to solve a problem and then pitch the product or service within the sequence. 

Here’s an example of an email nurture sequence.

2. Onboarding email sequences: Software companies usually offer onboarding sequences that show new customers how to use their product. These sequences are particularly valuable to companies that rely on recurring revenue because customers who understand how to use the product properly will receive the most value from it and, therefore, stay with the company for longer.  

3. Weekly emails/newsletters: Once an email subscriber completes a nurture sequence, it’s important to keep them engaged so the brand can offer them another product/service at a future date (and prevent churn if it’s a recurring revenue business model). 

As an email copywriter, you can offer to write weekly engagement emails that provide helpful industry news, thought leadership content, and brand news. The Copyblogger newsletter is an excellent example of a weekly newsletter.

Scalability 

When you start as an email copywriter, you’ll probably offer a service business by charging an hourly rate or a project fee, which isn’t very scalable. Additionally, most companies won’t pay much for a weekly newsletter copywriter. However, nurture email copywriters who charge revenue shares for product launches can scale beyond seven figures. 

Time To Money

As an email copywriter, you can start earning immediately by offering your writing as a service and then scale over time by doing revenue sharing or even launching your own offer.

How To Start Now

You can start today by writing a free email sequence for your dream company, sending it to them, and offering to write more for them for free with the intention of eventually charging. 

6. Website Copywriter

There’s a large market for website copywriters, but there’s also a large supply of website copywriters. While it’s possible to make a healthy income as a website copywriter, many only make a few hundred dollars per project.

To establish yourself as a premium copywriter, identify a niche (such as SaaS or ecommerce) and learn basic CRO (conversion rate optimization) skills. Then, instead of just advertising yourself as a website copywriter, provide an analysis on how to improve the conversion rate of that website through better copywriting.

By positioning yourself as a premium website copywriter who can boost conversions, you’ll be able to charge significantly more than the average writer. For example, this website copywriter has earned over $500,000 and doesn’t accept engagements under $2,500 due to demand:

Scalability 

Website copywriting isn’t one of the most scalable opportunities, as you can really only charge for your time unless you build an agency, and there’s a very small percentage of companies willing to invest in CRO. Additionally, it isn’t a recurring revenue service. For example, once you finish the website copy, that client won’t need you anymore.

Time To Money

You can make money very quickly as a website copywriter because there’s a high demand for website copy, and the first step to get started (mentioned below) has a high success rate.

How To Start Now

Identify a few dream clients and email them new copy for their website and highlight specific changes you made within the copy to increase conversions. Ask them to publish the new content and track the lift in conversions. You can then use that as a case study when pitching new clients.

7. Start a Newsletter

Newsletter businesses are highly profitable as you can write it yourself or hire a freelancer to do it for you. Then, you can monetize it through sponsorships with other brands or offer affiliate products. 

Marie Haynes newsletter is a great example of a weekly newsletter that anyone could start. 

Select a niche you’re passionate about and then provide industry news or write about your personal experience/recent discoveries. 

Building an audience for a newsletter can be challenging, so here are a few strategies to earn more subscribers:

  1. Promote it on social media. Tell your audience what you’ll talk about in your newsletter the next day and offer a subscribe link.

Source

  1. Create a referral program. Offer a tiered referral program where people can unlock rewards by referring their friends.
  2. Use paid ads to scale. You can always run paid ads to earn more subscribers.

There are plenty of examples of newsletter brands that have sold for millions of dollars, including The Milk Road, The Hustle, and The Morning Brew.

Scalability 

Newsletters are a more scalable writing side hustle because you can earn more money as more people subscribe to your list without increasing your effort. If you run a personal newsletter, you’ll still have to write it each day/week, though you could also choose to run a branded newsletter business like the Milk Road and hire other writers to write it for you.

Time To Money

Newsletters are challenging to grow, and you can’t really make any money until you build an audience. Plan to spend six to twelve months before you start making money.   

How To Start Now

Watch this video on how Tim Stoddart builds newsletter businesses:

Many business executives and entrepreneurs realize the value of a social media following, but don’t have time to write their own content.

Instead, they’ll hire a social media ghostwriter to create content for them. As a social media ghostwriter, you’ll interview the client to understand the audience they’re trying to attract, their viewpoints on specific topics, and their personal stories.

Here’s an example of a social media post that a ghostwriter could interview a client and then write:

Plenty of freelance social media ghostwriters and even social media ghostwriting agencies like StoryArb charge over $7,000 per month, so there’s plenty of demand for the service.

Scalability 

Social media ghostwriting is minimally scalable as you trade your time for money. However, skilled social media ghostwriters can charge $5,000 plus per month for quality content. You could build an agency, though the level of talent you’ll have to hire is quite high as they’ll have to interview the clients and be able to write in their voice.

Time To Money

As it’s a service business, you can make money almost immediately with social media ghostwriting. However, the first step to getting a client has a moderate success rate, so landing your first client could be difficult.

How To Start Now

To get started today, use this guide on how to become a ghostwriter. It discusses how to get your first client (reach out to your dream clients with a sample social media post and offer to write for them for free) and how to build a workflow process (e.g., how to interview them, templates to help you generate content ideas, and more).   

9. SEO Copywriter

SEO copywriters write blog posts designed to rank in search engines like Google for keywords that a company’s target audience searches. For example, a webinar software company would want to rank in Google for a keyword like “best webinar platforms.”

To establish yourself as a premium SEO copywriter and charge more for your services, understand these basic SEO best practices:

  1. Internal linking
  2. Keyword research
  3. On-page optimization (using H1s, H2s, title tag/meta description, etc.)
  4. Search intent/format optimization

You can also differentiate yourself by specializing in a specific niche (like SaaS) or offering a very particular service, like content updating.

Scalability 

SEO copywriting isn’t a very scalable writing side hustle because you’re trading your time for money, and building an agency is the only way to scale it. Additionally, while there’s still a decent market for high quality SEO copywriters, many companies are now using AI for SEO copywriting.

Time To Money

As SEO copywriting is a service business, you can make money as soon as you land your first client (i.e., immediately). Additionally, the first step to getting started has a high success rate.

How To Start Now

Spend a day or two learning about the four concepts mentioned above (internal linking, keyword research, on-page optimization, and search intent). Then, identify your dream client and reach out to them with suggestions on how to improve the rankings of specific blog posts.

10. YouTube Scriptwriter

YouTube scriptwriters are in high demand as companies and individual creators strive to increase content output.

It’s also fairly profitable. YouTube scriptwriter George Blackman shared rates he’s been paid to write scripts, and some clients are happy to pay over $1,000 per script:

He also hinted that $300 to $400 is on the low end for a quality script:

Therefore, if you want to position yourself as a premium scriptwriter, learn the basics about retention and ideation and then provide suggestions and feedback on how your clients can improve their overall video performance.

If you choose to become a YouTube scriptwriter, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to work closely with each client to understand their personality and stylistic preferences as you’re essentially putting words in their mouth. Therefore, you might have to do many more revisions than, say, an SEO copywriter or email copywriter. 

Scalability 

YouTube scriptwriting is likely one of the least scalable opportunities as you’ll have to build a strong relationship with your clients to really understand their tone of voice and style. Therefore, creating an agency would be very difficult and you’ll only be able to take on a limited number of clients.   

Depending on the client and your relationship with them, you might be able to ask for a revenue share agreement, which would significantly increase your scale potential.

Time To Money

As a service based business, you can make money almost immediately as a YouTube scriptwriter.

How To Start Now

Learn basic YouTube retention concepts and then write some sample scripts on the niche you want to specialize in, record videos, and post them on a personal channel. You can then send your channel to potential clients and offer to do some scriptwriting for them for free. Alternatively, you could reach out to some of your dream clients and tell them specific ways they could improve retention on their videos by improving various aspects of their scripts. Then, offer to write scripts for them for free.

11. Resume and Cover Letter Writer

A resume and cover letter writer understands what employers look for when evaluating candidates and helps clients optimize their resume/cover letters accordingly. 

Most resume and cover letter writers charge between $25 and $65 per hour, which isn’t among the most profitable writing side hustle opportunities.

However, you can charge significantly more if you tie your services to outcomes (i.e., getting the dream job) and provide additional support on which jobs to apply for, how to prepare for the interview, and how to build relationships with people at the company.

For example, these resume writers charge well over $500 for their services:

You can also offer LinkedIn profile optimizations, email correspondence assistance, and other upsells.

Scalability 

Resume writing isn’t a very scalable option as it’s a service business where you’re trading your time for dollars. It also relies on your expertise, making it difficult (though not impossible) to scale into an agency. 

Time To Money

You can start making money when you land your first client, and there’s always a large market of job seekers.

How To Start Now

Reach out to some of your friends and ask them if you can help them optimize their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. You can also use LinkedIn Recruiter to search for people looking for jobs and then reach out to them, offering to optimize their resumes for free. 

12. Grant Writer

Grant writers help non-profits and research organizations win grants for project funding, and the average grant writer can earn several hundred dollars per project.

To establish yourself as a premium grant writer and expand your services, specialize in a particular niche, and provide coaching and assistance with everything from which organizations to pitch to how to pitch them.   

The downside of grant writing is that it isn’t a recurring revenue stream as you’ll constantly search for new clients. In contrast, other writing side hustles like SEO copywriting or social media ghostwriting allow you to earn recurring revenue.

Scalability 

Grant writing isn’t very scalable because it’s a service-based business in which you trade time for money. There also aren’t many options to earn recurring revenue.

Time To Money

You can start making money as soon as you land your first client. There is a decent market of nonprofits looking for grant writers, but most of them will want to see grants you’ve won for other organizations, which can make it a little more challenging to break into the industry.

How To Start Now

Select a niche you want to specialize in and contact a few nonprofits. Provide suggestions of specific grants they should apply to and offer to write grant applications for them for free. 

13. Sales Page Copywriting

Sales pages are designed to drive online sales for a product or service. Here’s an example of the sales page for Charisma University, a coaching course for improving social skills.

Sales copywriting is one of the most profitable writing side hustles as a great sales copywriter can charge five figures for a single sales page.  

The key to charging a premium price depends on:

  • Your skill level/track record: If your sales pages consistently generate millions of dollars and outperform previous sales pages from the company, you can obviously charge more.
  • Your clients: A company already making millions of dollars on a product can spend much more on a great sales copywriter because they realize that increasing conversions by even a small percentage can significantly increase revenue.

To become a premium sales copywriter, interview customers who have previously purchased the product/service or (if it’s a brand new product/service) interview the ideal target audience. During these interviews, understand their pain points, specific outcomes/benefits they want, and what they’re looking for in a product/service like the one you’re offering.

This customer research will make your copywriting much more compelling and increase conversions. Additionally, clients realize that this detailed research leads to better conversions, so you’ll be able to charge more immediately simply because your process is much more thorough than the average copywriter’s process.

Scalability 

Sales copywriting is a more profitable writing side hustle because larger brands are accustomed to paying four or five figures for a great sales page. Additionally, you can do a revenue share based on the sales your page generates. The downside is that there isn’t really an option for passive income, as you’ll only make money when you write sales letters.

Time To Money

You can start making money immediately as a sales copywriter—just land your first client, and you’re a sales copywriter. However, the first step to becoming a copywriter is moderately effort and time-intensive.

How To Start Now

To get started as a sales copywriter, find moderately optimized sales pages, make improvements to them, and send the improvements to the company. Ask if they’ll consider publishing your example and track the difference in conversions. This will help you build the skills of sales copywriting to understand what works and what doesn’t work. Then, you can use those sales pages as case studies to land paying clients. 

Get More Support On Your Journey As A Writer

The best way to become a great writer is by writing. So don’t wait or plan anymore – pick one of the writing side hustles above and take the advice in the “how to start now” section. 

That said, you can increase your rate of learning and earn faster if you regularly receive feedback on your work and have basic frameworks and instructions to improve your writing.

That’s why we built the Copyblogger Academy – a community of writers and entrepreneurs. Inside, you’ll have access to nine different courses on personal branding, SEO, content marketing, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to get your questions answered by seven figure entrepreneurs Tim Stoddart and Charles Miller, and you can attend regular accountability meetings. To see if the Copyblogger Academy is a good fit for you, sign up today and we’ll give you a full refund if you aren’t 100% satisfied in the first 30 days. 



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