This post may contain affiliate links. I will get a commission if you use those links at no extra cost to you. 

If you are a writer with a laptop and some resilience, you stand the opportunity to make anything from a few hundred dollars to millions on the internet. It just takes time and effort.

Here are just five of the numerous ways you can make money online as a writer.

These are the five that I have tried and have seen varying degrees of success with:

> Blogging

> Freelance writing

> Creating and selling E-books

> Writing Reviews

> Entering writing competitions


Almost half of all the opportunities to make money online are for writers but most writers never make a cent online.

Many more make meager earnings. I believe it is because of the following mindsets about online writing:

1. It should be quick

The reason why a few people make millions writing on the internet while many people abandon their projects having made nothing to very little is resilience or the lack thereof.

Only those who stick around long enough to see any results make the money. Everyone else quits and goes on looking for something else. 

You are not likely to make money overnight writing online because of the learning curve and because you need to gain people’s trust before they hand over their money to a stranger.

2. It should be easy

Yeah, sure. Making $5,000 per month should be easy. It is not. It will not only take you time, it will also take you a lot of effort especially at the beginning.

However, if you pay your dues, opportunities and indeed dollars, will come to you. Eventually you won’t have to put in as much effort, but for the first couple of weeks or months, there is no other way.

3. It should not cost me anything

Writing online is like any other business. You have to spend at least some money before you get anything back.

Lucky for you, most of the time, the investment is very low and the returns are huge.

You may spend only $47 on Bluehost for an entire year and make $1,000 a month blogging.

Those who take free and cheap short cuts almost always end up getting absolutely nothing in return.

Look for innovative ways to cut costs, I know I do, but when you need to, make the investment.

Writing reviews is the easiest and quickest way to make money as a writer and it is the least paying while blogging which either takes you a lot of time or a lot of money is possibly the most well paying followed by freelancing.


This is how blogs make money:

> Ads.

> Affiliate marketing for products or services

> Sponsored posts for brands

> Selling your products or services

If you want to be successful blogging, you need to remember this four steps: Set Up - Content - Traffic/Promotion - Monetization.

There is a lot of things you can get caught up doing that will make you $0. So always remember:

1. Set up

2. Content

3. Traffic/promotion

4. Monetization

Click on this article where I take you step by step on how to start a money making blog in 2020.

1. Set Up

The set up is divided into two: choosing a topic/niche/user that your blog will be based on and creating a website.

Start by choosing a good topic to build your blog around.

You can choose by niche that is a specific industry like health, personal finance, weddings etc.

You can choose by target audience like new moms, or young women who have just finished college like this blog.

Next create your blog. Go to Bluehost  and for $3.95/month billed annually you can create a beautiful WordPress website within an hour.

Head over to Canva and design a simple logo for your blog. You can always change this later.

Sign up for the free 30 day Canva Pro trial to access better logo templates than the ones in the free version.

It is very easy and quick. Do not waste too much time on this stage. That is how a lot of bloggers fail. They never get to the actual work of blogging, creating and promoting valuable content.

You cannot succeed in blogging with a domain that looks like www.justouttacollege.blogspot.com or www.justouttacollege.wixsite.com or www.justouttacollege.wordpress.com. 

I started my blog on blogger but bought a $0.99 domain from GoDaddy and connected my blog and domain name by following tutorials on YouTube. 

That is how I ended using blogger and having a www.justouttacollege.com

Savvy, I know, but I regret it every single day. Blogger is not a great platform for serious blogging.

Many ad networks will not work with me and I have been rejected from lucrative affiliate marketing programs.

I am currently in the process of transferring to a Bluehost hosted WordPress site and I cannot begin to explain how frustrating it is.

If I could go back, I would not hesitate to spend $47.4 a year on Bluehost.

2. Content

Nothing matters more in blogging that the content. You are a blogger, so blog.

The rule of thumb for content is add value. Teach, entertain or better yet do both.

The internet is already crowded with poorly written, poorly thought out content. Make great content and you will stand out.

Sign up for a Grammarly account whether the free or premium and take advantage of the proof reading and editing services to improve your content.

3. Traffic/promotion

The money in blogging is in the traffic. You can rely on Google SEO, Guest Blogging or Pinterest.

These are your best options and they are completely free. Pick one and do it well. Do not try to do all at the same time.

Watch this webinar for more on using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic and this on for Google SEO.

4. Monetization

We already covered this at the beginning and we go even more in depth in this article.

So that is the very long overview about making money blogging. It takes time, it takes grit but it is so worth it. 


Freelance writing is very lucrative. You can earn $300 or even more per article as a beginner.

The most important thing is that you set yourself up for success the right way.

I have been a freelance writer since college and for the past five months, it has been my number one source of income.

This is an overview article. For a more detailed article on how to start a successful freelance writing business in 2020, click here.


At the beginning of any career, you have to take whatever job that comes your way.

However technical writers or writers with a perceived expertise get more and better paying freelancing jobs.

For me, Legal SEO is my highest paying gig.


Here is how to build a portfolio if you have no experience:

A. Have samples at hand.

Write a few exceptional pieces and save them to Google docs and create a link to them that you will include in your pitches.

B. Guest posting

There are very many established websites which accept writers to guest post. The more reputable the site the better.

C. Start your own blog

Having your own website makes you look very professional and it will take you less than one hour to set up.

I started my blog to make money from it and one of the ways I have been able to do that is by using it as a portfolio to get freelance clients.

Do not use any free hosting site where your website looks like businesslady.blogspot.com or businesslady.wordpress.com or wix site or anything of that kind.

It will hurt your portfolio instead of helping it. Use Bluehost to get a www.businesslady.com site.

Alternatively create your portfolio on free blogging sites like Medium and contently.


In order to become a good writer, simply write more and read more. That is literally it. Always proofread and use Grammarly to spot issues with sentence structure, spelling etc.


A lot of freelancing jobs are not found cold pitching to strangers on the internet. Many of the people you know in real life need writers to help them with resumes, content marketing, business proposals, reports and so on.


Now, the most important part of freelance writing is pitching. Pitching is not just selling yourself, it is offering someone value. For a more in depth article on pitching, click here. Plus pitching samples included.


A. Your networks

Tell your family, friends and colleagues that you are getting into freelance writing and that if they hear of any opportunities to let know.

B. Job Board 

Take advantage of online job boards, twitter, Facebook freelance writing groups and pages, UpWork, Fiverr and the many other writing job boards.

C. Guest blogging

Get on websites which pay writers a set amount for each submission like The Minds Journal pays $10 per article. Here is a list with websites that pay much higher, in the range of $100 to $300.

D. Cold pitching

Cold pitching is where you see that a person, business or website could benefit from your services and so you let them know.

Normally you are not responding to any call for submissions or any ask on their part for services like yours.

Success as a freelancer is very much possible. Pro tip: do not overlook your networks.

People you have worked with, friends and family. Just be on the look out for them. Another pro tip: start blogging.

For a more indepth step by step guide on starting a Freelance business in 2020, click here and for a list of incredible writing tools, click here


I have written a book that I sell locally both in e-book and paperback version. It is the definition of passive income.

In July of last year, I spent the whole month researching and writing and the months that followed promoting.

This year in June, I plan to revise it and promote and won’t spend time on it again until June 2021.

Like blogging, writing an e-book takes hard work at the beginning but if you do it right, the return on investment is very much worth it. 

It has never been easier to self publish a book and sell it on Amazon, Kindle or even your own online store. 

The best part is how much free information there is online to help you with the process.

The process basically involves writing, editing, formatting, launching and promoting.

The best podcast on marketing your book is Tim Grahl’s Book Launch Show and his website has tons of valuable resources. His book your first 1,000 copies is massively helpful.

For writing motivation listen to Jeff Goins’ The Portfolio Life.

The most important process of selling ebooks is actually writing the book.

Both Amazon and Kindle showed that the best performing e-books were between 40 to 100 pages for non fiction with 40 being the most popular

You can write a 40 paged book within 24 hours and spend the next week editing and proof reading.

I did not even hire an editor for my first book. I did not have the money.

I relied on friends and Grammarly. Oh thank God for Grammarly, a cheap alternative for starving artist like me.

Then I went over to Canva and designed my own book cover. It was beautiful. Canva had may stunning templates I could customize.

Sign up for a free 30 day trial Canva Pro. Canva also has a free version.

I formatted the book by myself and created a website to promote it by myself.

My point here is this, if you have always wanted to write a book, you can do it whether you have tons of money or not. Just come ready to work hard.

If can afford to, do not be shy on spending on your book. It will pay in the end.

I am planning to write another e-book that goes hand in hand with the theme of this blog.

This time around, I have some money and so I will definitely be using professionals to ease my burden and to create the best possible book. 

The best way to market a book is by content marketing. I learned that from Tim Grahl.

Start a blog that relates to your book title and start creating a tribe around you as soon as today.

You will thank me when you launch your book and you already have a few people waiting to buy it.

Also, you can always monetize that very blog in other ways.


This is the easiest field of making money online to get into and start making money almost immediately but it also has the least return on investment.

Writing reviews, unless you are doing so on your own blog or platform for affiliate sales, simply doesn’t pay that much.

Bloggers who do product reviews make a lot of money because they earn a commission for every sale not to mention the hundreds of dollars per sponsored post.

The most popular form of paid reviews is online surveys. Online surveys are a way to make a little money quickly. You will not quit your job and travel on survey money.

Other ways include writing reviews for products, services and books. Here is a a list of surveys and product reviews. Here is a list of book reviews.

I once signed up for online book review where you earn between $5 and $60 dollars per book review. To qualify you first have to submit one unpaid review.

Most of the payouts for book reviews are very minimal for beginners but if you need a quick $5 and love to read, check them out. Plus the growth potential is also mid range.


A way to not only make some money but also get exposure as a writer is writing competitions.

These obviously favor fiction writers more but there are some great non fiction essay writing competitions.

Writing competitions pay in varying amounts from $50 to $5,000 or even more. If you believe in your writing capabilities, you should definitely try out for one.

I entered a writing competition for Short Story Africa, as I am of African descent, and I won a pass to a writing seminar worth hundreds of dollars. 

I still had the opportunity to submit a story and win money.

Procrastination killed that chance. I did not have a story ready by the deadline.

That particular competition was paying $1000 for the winner, $500 and $300 for the first and second runner up respectively.

You can easily find writing competitions by searching ‘writing competitions’ on Google.

You can even be more specific and search for ‘writing competitions for women’ or ‘writing competitions for minorities in the US’ or ‘essay writing competitions.’

As a writer, writing competitions are amazing opportunities you should not pass up and not just because they can pay you really well.


There are obviously numerous other ways to make money online but these are the ones that I have personally tried and had varying degrees of success with.

I encourage you to pick one and start. Remember that it may not be easy, you may have to spend a little money as an investment but it is totally worth it in the end.