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12 High-Paid Writing Jobs: How to Make the Most Money as a Freelance Writer

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At some point, most writers seriously question if they will find high-paid writing jobs. Some alternatives like web design and programming, advertising and video editing start to look much more promising. They are also more likely to bring you success and fortune than writing ever has.

On top of that, the flurry of modern, highly productive activities such as affiliate marketing, vlogging, trading, cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding has made it even harder to choose writing to cement our careers. It’s important to love what you do, but you still need to pay the bills right?

Make money with high-paid freelance writing jobs
Money: why people get up every morning.
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Well – this may surprise you – there are actually quite a few high-paid writing jobs within the online writing industry and that may see you generating massive annual revenues once you’ve found the right clients. Whether we’re talking about sales copy for clothing accounts on social media or product brochures in the pharmaceuticals industry, you’re going to want to read this list of the writing jobs that pay well right now!

1. SEO Writing

One of the most sought-after writer positions on the internet in the last few years is the SEO writer. It’s not really surprising that most companies (big or small, rich or humble) are looking for professional SEO writers. They boost a brand’s online visibility through search-engine-optimized content that appears on the first page of a search engine site.

Heck, why wouldn’t they be? According to IMPACT, the first five organic results of a Google search account for 67.6 percent of all clicks made by users looking for information. The higher and more relevant you are on search engines, the more likely you’ll get traffic, recognition, and most importantly, sales!

Magnifying glass searching a computer keyboard
“Searching for results”
Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash

SEO writers can earn around $86,000 a year on average, according to SimplyHired. But it can be much higher if you’re a pro at getting traffic to your clients’ websites.

2. Technical Writing

Many professionals outside the writing industry don’t realize this, but anyone can make a living from writing if they apply their knowledge and experience well. You just need to practice, practice and practice your writing as much as you can!

For example, technical writing is highly profitable for specialists in many industries. Whether it’s IT, pharmaceuticals or product manuals, you can make money from what you know about your field. Especially if you have related work experience and formal education.

According to Salary.com, technical writers can expect to earn around $57,000 a year on average, although higher numbers are not unheard of.

3. Sales Copywriting

Copywriting is such a broad field, so we’ve split this one up into several different jobs. First up is sales copywriting.

Writing content for a brand’s advertisements and landing pages, sales copywriters are the infomercial scriptwriters of the new era. They’re the boys and girls who pitch the products, create powerful advertising, and help build websites that convert.

If you think you have sales psychology know-how, can pitch a product without the customer even noticing, and you have several ideas on how to structure a landing page, this job is for you. Many of these copywriters earn over $62,000 a year on average. But get this – employers have also been known to offer commission-based bonuses to agencies and individuals who are crucial to their organizations.

4. Health and Fitness Writers

One of the most immense niches in writing, especially blogging, is the health and fitness niche. It generates billions of dollars annually. Thanks to the advancement of technology and the discovery of new diets, drugs and training methods, it never gets too saturated either.

Woman bodybuilder lifting weights
Pictured: A mortal enemy of a foodie blog writer.
Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

Writers who specialize in health and fitness will find work quickly and can expect to earn over $47,000 a year. A nice little bonus is that you also get to learn more about how to eat healthily and keep fit.

Still, there’s one thing to know before getting started: it will probably take a lot of effort at the beginning to find writing jobs that pay well, as competition is fierce. You may have to write viral articles for not much money until you find the perfect client.

5. Social Media Copywriter

Another brand of copywriting: social media copywriters spend their time looking for ways to generate sales or engagement via the social media accounts of their clients. They are always taking advantage of their storytelling skills to create an attractive character and brand identity that can turn thousands of followers into one big community interested in every update or post that shows up on their feed.

In this era of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter (and that’s just for starters), social media copywriters are needed by all companies. If you have your eye on becoming one of these copywriting gurus, you can expect to earn over $54,000 a year.

6. Romance Ghostwriter

Leaving aside the romance for a second, any kind of ghostwriting is a fascinating job. The uncredited writer of novels and other types of books, a ghostwriter is the secret hero or heroine creating content for publishers and other clients. They often receive a one-time payment for their work (and no royalties for sales), but get to carry around the pride of being behind a great book for years to come.

Now, when it comes to romance, you’d be surprised at how big this niche is – over nine million romance novels were sold in 2018, the third most popular category after suspense/thriller and general fiction. And with the number of sub-niches it has, money can come from pretty much any kind of reader.

One of the biggest advantages of being a romance ghostwriter is that it requires a lot less research than other ghostwriting. Non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, action and detective stories often demand a level of detail, realism and accuracy which can actually make writing harder and less enjoyable. This isn’t necessarily the case with romance, which can be based on personal stories, family tales and simple imaginative creativity.

Two pigeons kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower at dusk
Honestly, there are so many sub-niches in romance that Pigeons in Paris would probably even be a bestseller.
Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

Due to the enormous variety of sub-niches, romance ghostwriters don’t really have a set annual salary, but plenty of self-publishers boast numbers of anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 monthly. So, consider going into publishing once you’ve gained experience as a ghostwriter.

7. Children’s Ghostwriter

Other high-paying jobs in the ghostwriting sector include writing children’s fiction. Children’s books are typically short, as young readers often prefer books they can read in one sitting. Also, children’s books require a lower level of vocabulary and/or grammar than adult fiction and non-fiction. This means that a writer can spend less time on the actual writing and more on creating a fun storyline.

So if you do the math, a children’s ghostwriter can produce more books with less effort, allowing them to make more money. It’s also a field that is growing and making plenty of money – especially in this new decade, where millennials are likely to read more than previous generations.

8. White Paper Writers

While many writers love creating imaginative, detailed new worlds populated with rich, deep characters and nail-biting twists at each and every turn, others prefer working with data, studies and results. They are passionate about assessing problems and providing solutions, using their writing abilities to do so.

White papers are perfect for this kind of wordsmith. White paper writers craft business and industry-related content for experts, as well as educate their audience on a specific subject. This is why a white paper is commonly packed with research, statistics, charts, graphs, tables and many other types of data that can help illustrate the uses and advantages of a product, service, or methodology.

White paper writer positions don’t have a specific average annual salary, but their work is extremely valued in a great number of industries (especially in the marketing industry), which can present a number of very rewarding full-time jobs for both freelancers and traditional employees.

9. Financial Writers

Whether we like it or not, money-related matters take up a substantial amount of our attention every day, and we are always on the lookout for new opportunities to make more and spend less.

Financial writers have taken this interest in money and turned it into a profession. They use their insight to create content related to investments, business trends, the economy, cost analysis, risk management, and about a thousand more terms which we could never cover in this article alone.

Little glass flower pot full of coins sprouting a green plant
Circling back: why anyone does anything, ever.
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

What sets financial writers apart is that a degree in management, economics, finance or journalism will often guarantee a well-paying job in this field.

Financial writers can make as much as $88,000 a year, according to Indeed stats. Money really does talk.

10. Sports and Entertainment Writers

If there’s something that generates revenue like crazy, it’s sports and other types of entertainment. Whether we’re talking about the TV, movie, reality show, music or theater industries, entertainment casts its audience net far and wide.

In this sense, sports and entertainment writers will never be short on interested readers. And companies in these industries never stop looking for talent that can create blog posts and news articles on these subjects.

Many of these writers start with a personal blog or social media posts about their favorite sports stars, musicians or Hollywood actors, for example. But there is a lot of space for them to grow as they are discovered by clients.

In fact, it is well known that sports writers have grown from writing weekly articles on their own blog to finding jobs on the websites of billionaire sports giants, like Manchester United and Real Madrid; and that certain entertainment writers have gone from vlogging on their favorite subjects to getting full-time jobs on websites such as Walt Disney, Fox and NBC.

Soccer stadium with players on field and crowd in stands lit up at night
The best sports writers get to watch their favorite teams play live and meet their club’s stars for interviews. Need any more convincing? Didn’t think so.
Photo by Thomas Serer on Unsplash

11. Tech/Crypto Writers

If you enjoy following the latest trends in technology and sharing these with your social media audience, consider looking for a job in tech writing. Not to be confused with technical writing, which we already described above, technology writers are always on the lookout for the newest cellphones and gadgets, technologies and cryptocurrency updates to analyze and discuss with their followers.

Technology writers can find jobs as journalists on the big tech entertainment sites such as TechCrunch, Wired and Gizmodo, or can write for start-ups and non-profit organizations looking to provide research to relevant industries.

With the accelerated growth of cryptocurrency, freelance sites like Upwork have plenty of jobs for experts in blockchain. This, plus the fact that tech writers (often referred to as technology journalists) can see themselves earning over $90,000 a year, makes technology and crypto writing an extremely profitable sector. Worried you’re not qualified? It can help to have a college degree in a tech-related field, but it’s not essential. Being quick to learn and happy to take on feedback is more important here.

12. Press Release Writers

Companies, start-ups and individuals looking to make some noise in the media need to get their products or services out for everyone to see. This is often done by the marketing team… but what is a marketing team without a proper writer that can produce a five-star press release?

Old newsroom with men at typewriters and on phones in black and white
“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
Image by Welcome to all and thank you for your visit ! ツ from Pixabay

Press releases are written announcements containing information and sales copy that companies provide to news media outlets (whether online or offline) to create news coverage for their latest release.

Copywriters are excellent candidates for producing press releases since the content is typically short, concise and full of action verbs. The goal is to generate consumer interest and achieve a level of “shareability” that will get fans interacting.

Study.com quotes $60,000 as an average annual salary for press release writers, but this number can go much higher depending on the skill, speed and quality of the writer (numbers up to $182 per hour have been quoted by other sources).

Landing High-Paid Writing Jobs

It is important to note that the jobs listed above are not the only high-paying writing jobs out there. Nor are they always high-paying jobs. Remember that the client’s budget and the project workload are what determine how much you earn for these jobs. The most important thing isn’t just knowing which jobs pay the most, but also knowing how to get hired for them.

So, the best recommendation you can receive at this point is to learn how to:

  1. Improve your online reach as a professional writer
  2. Ace your interviews

To improve your reach and get discovered by recruiters and talent hunters, take advantage of your LinkedIn and freelance workplace profiles. SEO is your best friend when creating bios and setting up portfolios. Use relevant terms all over your bio and profile headline. And upload samples of your best work to showcase your skills.

As for interviews, always follow expert recommendations – like not underselling yourself or being vague; making sure you’re speaking in an active, confident tone (even if it’s through a written interview); and being ready to answer all the questions (as well as ask the right ones).

Now that you’re armed with all these tips, what are you going to do? Choose one of these productive, high-paid writing jobs and start making money now!

Looking specifically for online editing jobs? Check out my guide on How to Get High-Paying Online Editing Jobs.

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