Ways to monetize a writing skill?

stugatz

Pelican
Am at the moment, as I look for full-time work and ways to get back on my feet post-coof, trying to think of abilities that I have that I can monetize. Writing is one - people have gushed about my writing for years (I tend to think it's nothing special, but I'll take the compliments). My main issue is that I may be an above average writer, but can't think of anything to write about. I'm not exactly going to write a novel or a complex history book in the next six months.

I'm good at writing, in particular, things like cooking instructions, or instructions in general. Another thing I excel at - if someone who had English as a second language asked me to look over their paper and tell them what phrases don't flow right and sound off, I'd be good at proofreading something like that and telling them what to write instead. (I'm decent at explaining idioms to people, we use those so extensively in English that even fluent English speakers don't use them right.)

As someone who moved around a lot as a kid, I read a lot and also watched a lot of movies. That I don't think I have much of a chance of elbowing into - don't we have a critical mass of handpicked "critics" already? And just about everyone can speak their mind when talking about something on IMDb. Unless I started some kind of a YouTube channel I don't think there's much I can do there.

I do, actually, write op-eds occasionally for an organization that pays me part time wages. Main issue there, though, is that I usually have to be fed ideas by higher-ups to write about. That's just some extra pocket money that I shrug at for now - maybe I can make it more frequent, maybe not.

Just wondering if anyone on here works in a field like this on the side or for their main gig. I've always been much more verbally inclined than anything else, have been that way for my whole life. Would love to teach English abroad once I get fluent in a second language - but that's the future.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
I do, actually, write op-eds occasionally for an organization that pays me part time wages. Main issue there, though, is that I usually have to be fed ideas by higher-ups to write about. That's just some extra pocket money that I shrug at for now - maybe I can make it more frequent, maybe not.
What topics in general are these op-eds and is your name or pseudonym attached to it? So you could build a portfolio? Of course don't doxx yourself. Maybe we could brainstorm some ideas, there's a wealth of knowledge just on this forum and no shortage of ideas.
 

MRAll134

Pelican
The Blogging hey-day was in-and-around 2008, but you could also start one on Wordpress. There is almost always room for movie critics, despite what you might think. But you are right, almost all reviews are done in video now. It would still be a way to improve your writing (Blogging). Look at how well Roosh is doing Blogging-wise.
 

stugatz

Pelican
What topics in general are these op-eds and is your name or pseudonym attached to it? So you could build a portfolio? Of course don't doxx yourself. Maybe we could brainstorm some ideas, there's a wealth of knowledge just on this forum and no shortage of ideas.
It's a police advocacy org (not uncomfortable sharing that really, as there are so many of those robocalling boomers and annoying them). A friend of a friend tapped me to be an unpaid member, and the op-eds just kind of happened. Sadly, my name is attached to what I write so I'm not comfortable sharing. I will say though, that my name is thankfully generic sounding enough where people may think it's a pseudonym. I google myself for kicks sometimes and get some politician's name. Good.

It's not an org I feel particularly strongly about, as I do think police are necessary (who doesn't?) but this one is pretty normie-tier and tends to view all police as brave soldiers that can do no wrong. For now it is what it is as supplemental pay, and I may leave in a year or two.
 
You can offer to write people's business emails, social media posts, re-write their website and brochures. I don't recommend blogging for clients; it's way too hard to see any return from that and if you're going to go down the slog of that road you ought to be building your own brand instead.

This is all what I do for a living, so feel free to PM me.

I am going to give you two pieces of advice that I wish someone had given me when I started, and they have been worth a TON of money and also in peace of mind:

1. Don't ever describe yourself as a writer. Describe yourself as a consultant who specializes in writing. Always approach the client from a mindframe of being consultative and prescriptive, and don't do anything for free (well, you may have to take meetings for free at the very start as you are building your rep, but quickly get past that part).

2. Find and study everything you can by Dan Kennedy. I'm going to link you to 4 videos below, and I suggest you SAVE THEM IMMEDIATELY before they are removed from Youtube. If you don't know how, Google a free service to rip/download youtube vids.





About structuring a business around writing: leave your ego at the door, and definitely don't worry about writing "correctly" or even "creatively" at first. Give yourself over to the process and study all the persuasion triggers so you know them cold and begin to add them into your writing without even thinking about it. Incidentally, this will also help you get more and better clients.

Good luck, this is a very rewarding career!
 

BURNΞR

Pelican
I wrote essays in college for rich international students (Chinese and Arab). I could not keep up with demand after the word got out people were passing with grades over 70%. I charged $10/100words and this enabled me to close the gap with rent/food. That was over 10 years ago. The price would be much higher now, at least double. My ability was just perfect, good enough to pass and not give suspicion to professors that internation students barely able to speak English were cheating.

I grew up very poor so it was do or die for me. Nobody was going to help me fanancially and this happened after almost all my hours were cut from working at a retail pharmacy. Morals off.
 

TheMaleBrain

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I wrote essays in college for rich international students (Chinese and Arab). I could not keep up with demand after the word got out people were passing with grades over 70%. I charged $10/100words and this enabled me to close the gap with rent/food. That was over 10 years ago. The price would be much higher now, at least double. My ability was just perfect, good enough to pass and not give suspicion to professors that internation students barely able to speak English were cheating.

I grew up very poor so it was do or die for me. Nobody was going to help me fanancially and this happened after almost all my hours were cut from working at a retail pharmacy. Morals off.
I did that too, but my prices were way low - and I was considered expensive.
You can write academic papers. Once you get a few of those you just edit what you got and charge the same. Was able to grab 10K$ in one year while working full time high-tech position.
 

r3d

Woodpecker
You can offer to write people's business emails, social media posts, re-write their website and brochures. I don't recommend blogging for clients; it's way too hard to see any return from that and if you're going to go down the slog of that road you ought to be building your own brand instead.

This is all what I do for a living, so feel free to PM me.

I am going to give you two pieces of advice that I wish someone had given me when I started, and they have been worth a TON of money and also in peace of mind:

1. Don't ever describe yourself as a writer. Describe yourself as a consultant who specializes in writing. Always approach the client from a mindframe of being consultative and prescriptive, and don't do anything for free (well, you may have to take meetings for free at the very start as you are building your rep, but quickly get past that part).

2. Find and study everything you can by Dan Kennedy. I'm going to link you to 4 videos below, and I suggest you SAVE THEM IMMEDIATELY before they are removed from Youtube. If you don't know how, Google a free service to rip/download youtube vids.





About structuring a business around writing: leave your ego at the door, and definitely don't worry about writing "correctly" or even "creatively" at first. Give yourself over to the process and study all the persuasion triggers so you know them cold and begin to add them into your writing without even thinking about it. Incidentally, this will also help you get more and better clients.

Good luck, this is a very rewarding career!

You said you don't recommend it for clients. Does that mean you manage people who copywrite?

I'm very interested in the topic. Writing and language is the only thing in life I have a clear 'above-average' talent and I'm looking to find a job that I can do unjabbed in the future.

I've written short-stories that got a lot of praise and half a book that entertained some of my friends. However, I'm not an academic but rather a drinking, cursing adventurer. (At least I used to be) So I know a lot about people, life and certain topics that have always interested me. But I'm kind of lacking the courage to tell people: "Hey, you should let my writing present your business." (naturally)

How could a person like me go about making this a profession?

I'm thinking the first thing should be to actually make sure my writing is gramatically flawless (I'd be writing in German of course). So I would need to find some books that focus on correct writing for adults or some courses.

Then just build a website and show off some texts that I wrote and e-mail people whose products I think I could sell/describe better?


Any advice is appreciated. I already downloaded the 4 clips you shared and will be watching them later. Cheers

edit: Haha. Now I know why you said we should download these clips before YouTube takes them down. What a great man.
 
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You said you don't recommend it for clients. Does that mean you manage people who copywrite?

...

How could a person like me go about making this a profession?

I'm thinking the first thing should be to actually make sure my writing is gramatically flawless (I'd be writing in German of course). So I would need to find some books that focus on correct writing for adults or some courses.

Then just build a website and show off some texts that I wrote and e-mail people whose products I think I could sell/describe better?

I was saying I don't recommend offering to write blog posts for people. I'll explain why in a second. But if you do want to write blog posts for other people, then I suggest only doing it when one of two conditions are met:

1. The client is not the type of person to measure concrete results. Aka they just "want lots of content". Okay, you could pump out some blog posts and stack some quick cash.

2. The client is hiring you as a consultant who is managing lots of their stuff (website, emails, social, brochures, etc) and views you as a consultant. In that case, if making blog posts fits into the overall strategy, sure go ahead and do it.

I don't like blogging for other people because so much is out of your control -- SEO is often out of your control (even if you do keyword research and understand on-page optimization), traffic is out of your control, unless you are selecting the topics yourself with an in-depth knowledge of the industry and customers your efforts will likely fall flat, you can't control how leads are gathered or pitched to after they leave your blog post, etc etc. A lot of advertising and writing is done so that a failing client can blame someone else for their failure. It wasn't their product or their follow up that sucked, it was that damn web designer or copywriter!!!

Now...

About your second point. Believe it or not you don't really need a website and you definitely don't need to study grammar.

You need to study persuasion. And to get clients you need to develop a reputation. Of course having a website COULD help with the rep of looking like a professional who knows their stuff, blah blah.

Remember that "correct" writing is often pedantic writing taught by professors who have no skin in the game, and never sold anything with their text. Naive Journalism and English majors "study" writing and then go after careers as professional typists for the legacy media. If you want to learn how to write in a captivating and creative way, read the great authors. If you want to learn how to write ads that sell, read the great direct response ads. Then start writing.

You'd be surprised just how effective slang (and even deliberately misspelled words) can be when trying to entertain or convince someone in print.
 

r3d

Woodpecker
I was saying I don't recommend offering to write blog posts for people. I'll explain why in a second. But if you do want to write blog posts for other people, then I suggest only doing it when one of two conditions are met:

1. The client is not the type of person to measure concrete results. Aka they just "want lots of content". Okay, you could pump out some blog posts and stack some quick cash.

2. The client is hiring you as a consultant who is managing lots of their stuff (website, emails, social, brochures, etc) and views you as a consultant. In that case, if making blog posts fits into the overall strategy, sure go ahead and do it.

I don't like blogging for other people because so much is out of your control -- SEO is often out of your control (even if you do keyword research and understand on-page optimization), traffic is out of your control, unless you are selecting the topics yourself with an in-depth knowledge of the industry and customers your efforts will likely fall flat, you can't control how leads are gathered or pitched to after they leave your blog post, etc etc. A lot of advertising and writing is done so that a failing client can blame someone else for their failure. It wasn't their product or their follow up that sucked, it was that damn web designer or copywriter!!!

Now...

About your second point. Believe it or not you don't really need a website and you definitely don't need to study grammar.

You need to study persuasion. And to get clients you need to develop a reputation. Of course having a website COULD help with the rep of looking like a professional who knows their stuff, blah blah.

Remember that "correct" writing is often pedantic writing taught by professors who have no skin in the game, and never sold anything with their text. Naive Journalism and English majors "study" writing and then go after careers as professional typists for the legacy media. If you want to learn how to write in a captivating and creative way, read the great authors. If you want to learn how to write ads that sell, read the great direct response ads. Then start writing.

You'd be surprised just how effective slang (and even deliberately misspelled words) can be when trying to entertain or convince someone in print.

Ok, so I bought a German book on the topic and listened to Dan Kennedy plus some others. I'm starting to get an idea of what the profession is really all about.

What I'm currently thinking about is: "How do I tell whether my texts are actually any good?"

When I first start out I guess I can't just take a copytest unless I paid for it, right? Do I look for a mentor or do I just wing it and offer my services without knowing how good I am?
 

donovan

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
Just wondering if anyone on here works in a field like this on the side or for their main gig.
I'm a full-time "blogger" and niche site dev.
I have ~30 passive income-generating affiliate sites that I either built or acquired. I love writing, but these days I outsource articles at about $300 USD a piece.
The industry (if you can call it that) is one of the most lucrative spaces to be in right now. It's the modern day gold rush, imo.
Even if you're not interested in blogging/niche sites, being a quality content writer can make you a fortune because people like myself are willing to pay top dollar for content.
If you have any questions about it, I'm happy to advise.
 
Ok, so I bought a German book on the topic and listened to Dan Kennedy plus some others. I'm starting to get an idea of what the profession is really all about.

What I'm currently thinking about is: "How do I tell whether my texts are actually any good?"

When I first start out I guess I can't just take a copytest unless I paid for it, right? Do I look for a mentor or do I just wing it and offer my services without knowing how good I am?
You tell by whether or not people do what you want them to do / ask them to do at the end of the piece. Which you can easily test.

Or you tell be whether or not someone will pay you to write. Ask Donavan (above) to write something for him and start there.
 

r3d

Woodpecker
You tell by whether or not people do what you want them to do / ask them to do at the end of the piece. Which you can easily test.

Or you tell be whether or not someone will pay you to write. Ask Donavan (above) to write something for him and start there.

I understand that, but how do I find a product or a person to test this with I mean. If someone has a working landing page, control copy or newsletter, why would they allow me to test my version of it?

I don't have a mailing list, a product or a service

edit: Then again, I kind of get your point. If I can't get anyone to use my writing I'm probably not good to begin with.
 
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r3d

Woodpecker
I'm a full-time "blogger" and niche site dev.
I have ~30 passive income-generating affiliate sites that I either built or acquired. I love writing, but these days I outsource articles at about $300 USD a piece.
The industry (if you can call it that) is one of the most lucrative spaces to be in right now. It's the modern day gold rush, imo.
Even if you're not interested in blogging/niche sites, being a quality content writer can make you a fortune because people like myself are willing to pay top dollar for content.
If you have any questions about it, I'm happy to advise.

That is very interesting.

Do you think we could make money by translating these sites to German?
 

nordle

Pigeon
I recommend becoming a self-employed contractor/consultant working for the IT department of a large company.
Write information security policies, documentation, run books, operating models, etc.
Comfy and easy work, just produce documents, work from home, etc.
I just hired 2 guys to do just this. They won't be micromanaged if they keep producing documents.
 
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