8 Business Models That Will Make You a Well-Paid Freelance Writer

A lot of money can be made as a freelance writer these days. The Internet, constantly expanding in size and functionality, becomes accessible to millions more people every year, opening up the door to a world of information. That information is communicated through words (for the most part) and those words have to come from somewhere – creating a huge opportunity for the modern-day writer.

And let me ask you something. How many people do you know who enjoy reading? Reading for pleasure, I mean. While many “snack” on information via websites and magazines, not many people spend time reading books anymore.

Why is that significant to you? Well, because talented writers usually develop their knack for writing, the “gift for language” most people assume they were born possessing, through a passion for reading.

So thanks to modern trends, the demand for written content is increasing even as the number of good writers out there decreases.

If you’re one of the few who can write well and want to make some money out of your talent, here are some fields you may want to consider. Any one of them, with some hard work and business savvy, will make you a very comfortable individual. If you follow in my own footsteps and move to a foreign country where your money is worth twice as much (Thailand, in my case), any of these business models can make you a (relatively) wealthy person indeed.

So let’s have a look-see.

1. Blog Writing

Blog writing holds more potential than you will ever find in standard SEO articles because blog owners truly care about their projects. Blogs are meant to connect with an audience – not just push a website up in the search rankings, and the aim is to be a credible authority on the matter at hand.

Niche blogs make up a big part of the market. Subjects I’ve covered extensively for blogs include men’s dating/seduction, world travel, personal development, green business, internet marketing, and physical fitness.

Industry professionals (contractors, real estate agents, psychologists, life coaches, etc) make up another large portion of the market-they use blogs to keep in touch with their prospective customers and establish credibility. Essentially, they use blogs for PR.

Blog owners with an eye for quality will pay anywhere from $25 to well over $100 per article, and most of the ones I work with order a minimum of 4 articles per week (though some clients are happy with many less). Even at the bottom rung of the pay scale I’ve mentioned, one average client amounts to $400 per month for about an hour of work every week.

Not too shabby.

2. Web Content Writing

Another form of high-paid writing is web content – not basic SEO content but the type of web content that builds a company’s brand, describing their corporate culture, products, and services. For higher-paying web content clients, seek out brick and mortar companies looking to use the internet to generate more leads.

These types of companies, accustomed to paying tens of thousands of dollars for advertising, demand high-quality work and will pay the price (unlike many online businesses). Non-profit organizations put a lot of credence into organizational image as well, possibly more so than businesses.

Consider establishing a presence in your local community and networking, much like other local businesses do, to avoid competition from other online writers and get top rates.

3. Ebook/Report Writing

Writing eBooks and reports can generate loads of cash as well. Larger projects come with higher quality standards because your clients know the people they sell these books to expect their money’s worth. Customers buy good eBooks and reports go for $15-$70 (often more; often less), so they expect value in their purchase; for this reason, a cheap SEO writer will not do.

Not to mention more time is needed to develop a concept for an eBook project and tie it all together in one tight package.

Plenty of online marketers sell eBooks and reports for top dollar, and most don’t like writing all that much. Premium writers step in and do that for them.

4. Article Syndication Writing

Stay away from basic article work because much of it is used for SEO and thus the pay tends towards the low-end. But you might want to consider clients who order articles for a completely different reason – article syndication.

These marketers realize the best way to build a business out of content is to write, or pay someone to write, for the readers. The objective of content written for syndication isn’t to get backlinks but to get as many publishers as possible to publish it on their sites and in their ezines, building traffic to the marketer’s site so they can make a sale.

Clients who use the article syndication model are willing to pay a lot more money because they know the kind of content that goes viral takes a lot of time to create.

5. Writing Offline Materials

Not all high-paid content writers work in the online world, and businesses were paying a premium for work published in print long before the Internet boomed. You don’t have to famous to make money in print either. Once again, businesses (as well as non-profits) pay big money to build their company image, and herein lies your path to success.

Think brochures, menus, magazine advertisements, speeches, direct mail, and information packets (the list goes on and on). Check out the Writer’s Market for the prices average writers charge for work of this nature.

6. Book Ghostwriting

Ghostwriters make a lot of money writing novels, memoirs, autobiographies, reports…you name it. A serious ghostwriting client will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get their book written. These projects take collaboration, time, and the most top-notch writing – indeed, ghostwriters must always be a perfect fit for their client.

Daunting, yes, but these are all reasons ghostwriting pays so well.

As a warning, seeing someone else recognized for your work takes some real humility (a truth that somewhat applies to all markets). Also, be aware that, especially when browsing sites like Elance for work, dreamers who never really pull the trigger on their project make up the majority of potential prospects. Plenty of legitimate clients need work done too, but you need some real marketing savvy and knowledge of the industry to find and land them.

7. Copywriting

Sales copywriting is easily the most lucrative of all the writing fields; selling via written content is an art and science that takes a lot of practice to learn. Reputable copywriters get thousands of dollars for one single page of writing, but they put a lot of time into producing that one page.

Regardless, the money made relative to hours worked is fantastic.

Top marketers are willing to pay big bucks for converting copy because they know the high level of skill needed is a rarity. The difference between a writer who understands the intricacies of effective copy and one who doesn’t has a huge impact on the bottom line.

Never sell yourself as a sales writer unless you’ve had proper training or spend a lot of hours of self-study learning and practicing copywriting theory. John Carlton, the highest paid copywriter in the business, offers one of the best training programs out there. Just Google his name and you’ll find his course.

8. Writing for Yourself

Finally, if you really want to make money as a writer, stop writing information products and marketing material for other people and go into business for yourself. Once you know how to create a good product, as well as put together the marketing content for driving eyeballs to an offer, why not reap all the rewards?

Sure, the money will not come in right away; it will take time. But if you get it right, the money will come, often in droves. And with the right business model, your creation will pay you again and again and again – true passive income.

You will, however, need a way to pay your living costs while getting started. Many writers get their foot in the door by offering their services first, saving up money while learning what business models work online from the people they work for, and then they build up online assets during their free time.

Not a bad plan at all…

We’ve just scratched the service of the writing industry here, and even in these niches there are plenty of different sub-niches in which you can earn a lot of cash. But this should get your creative juices flowing.