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Creative writing and AI | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksYou may remember Ben Taylor from his guest post, 5 Things I Learned About Marketing my First Book. Ben has built Telecommute Now, a website dedicated to information about telecommuting. It has an impressively exhaustive article on online jobs, listing 50 of them. Among these, there was a section dedicated to writing and editing.

At the moment, over half of my income comes from writing-related activities such as my freelance article writing. Mind you, it did take three years and a whole lot of hard work (and praying, aka luck) to get to this point! As they point out in their article, online jobs are fundamentally no different from traditional jobs. Effort is required to seek out perfect roles. Your ideal position won’t necessarily be on offer on the day you start your job search.

If you love writing and enjoy working from home, you may appreciate some of these ideas.

Online Jobs in Writing and Editing

1. Proof-Reader / Editor

If you’re one of those people who always notices spelling mistakes and grammar errors and thinks of ways that text could be made clearer and more understandable, a career in writing and editing could be for you.

What do you do?

Edit, correct and improve other people’s written work. This could mean making alterations and adding comments to documents created in Microsoft Word, making changes to blog articles before they’re published, or even providing feedback to other people on documents and essays before they submit them.

Where do you find the work?

Editing jobs for single companies exist, but aren’t that easy to find. As a starting point, freelance job boards are a rich source of leads for editing work of all kinds. Alternatively, you could approach companies and contacts directly or via LinkedIn.

What skills / experience do you need?

There are lots of proof-reading courses out there, with varying levels of legitimacy. Perfect grammar and strong organizational skills are very important. As with anything related to writing, the main things clients will want to see is proof of past experience. This is a type of work where you may need to “pay your dues” with some low-paid work in order to build up some experience.

What can you earn?

Individual editing jobs on platforms such as Upwork can pay anything from around $25 each depending on their length and complexity. Payscale estimates professional proofreaders typically end up making from around $12-30 per hour.

Telecommute Now has a detailed article on becoming an editor here.

2. Blogger

The internet is packed with articles and courses on becoming a blogger. It’s a lot of fun and can be extremely lucrative, but it’s much harder to make a success of than many people realize.

What do you do?

As a blogger, you write a LOT of articles, but there’s much more work involved too. You will likely be forming partnerships with advertisers and other bloggers, researching keywords and learning about SEO, and constantly looking for the next product or angle that will help you make money from your blog.

Where do you find the work?

If you decide that starting a blog is the online job for you, you can get started straight away. It’s wise to accept that you will need to spend a little money to get started (find out how much here). You should also allow a decent amount of time before you expect to make a profit.

What skills / experience do you need?

Strong writing skills and a serious passion for the subject you wish to blog about. While it’s possible to learn the technical skills required to succeed as a blogger, it’s undeniable that the more technical you are, the easier you will find the process.

What can you earn?

Some bloggers earn pocket change, others easily earn six figures. It all depends on your choice of niche and how much work you put in. With a year or two of solid effort, it’s not unrealistic to expect to replace an average western full-time income.

A good starting point is this article on starting a blog for beginners.

3. Article Writer

If you’d rather not start a blog of your own, another option is to write articles for other companies and blogs. In fact, many people do both – with a slow-burn blogging project of their own, complemented by instant income from the work they do for others.

What do you do?

Write articles, reviews, product round-ups, and all kinds of other online content.

Where do you find the work?

There are many places to find article writing jobs, from freelancing websites to specialized job boards like ProBlogger Jobs. Some companies also take on their own internal writers, if you prefer the idea (and relative security) of working for just one firm.

What skills / experience do you need?

Obviously, a flair for writing is a must, as is perfect spelling, grammar, and punctuation. However, being a subject matter expert in a particular topic is often equally important. If you have particular knowledge in a specific topic – anything from medicine to vegan food to cybersecurity – starting to search for gigs in those particular areas is always wise.

What can you earn?

It’s not easy to get started as a writer and rates can vary. There are people being paid $20 per article and people easily earning $200 for a similar amount of work. However, if you get established, it is perfectly possible to make a good living. Payscale states that US writers typically make $30.7k-83.5k per year.

4. Content Strategist

A potential job for experienced web content writers. Content strategists typically take control of all the content production for a business or website.

What do you do?

Control a content calendar, come up with ideas for new features and articles, manage writers, and often do some writing and editing yourself.

Where do you find the work?

This is the kind of job you can sometimes do “in-house” as an employee, as well as as a freelancer – so you can search on both freelance job boards and traditional job sites. (You can find some hints for tracking down online jobs on those sites here).

What skills / experience do you need?

Content strategists are usually people who have been writing professionally for some time, and learned everything that’s involved in running a website or company blog. This kind of job is a good fit for someone who’d like to combine creative work with managing a small team and getting more involved in the business side of things.

What can you earn?

Typically a day rate of at least a few hundred dollars per day. Employed content strategists can earn up to $96k annually, according to PayScale.

5. PR Writer

Writing for PR (Public Relations) purposes is a distinct skill. You will generally be writing content with the aim of creating hooks to attract attention and coverage from journalists.

What do you do?

Write press releases and articles, work directly with clients to learn their business objectives, and perhaps pitch stories to journalists too.

Where do you find the work?

For freelancers, there’s lots of demand for individual press releases on platforms like Upwork and PeoplePerHour. PR agencies also often hire full-time writers.

What skills / experience do you need?

PR writing is an attractive proposition for people with previous PR agency experience who want to “go it alone” in the freelance world. As well as good writing skills, you’ll need the ability to create soundbites and interesting data, and to understand how journalists work.

What can you earn?

$30-100 per press release is quite common on the freelance boards. Much more is possible if you network with the right clients.

This guide to writing press releases will give you a good idea of whether it’s something that appeals to you.

6. Sales Writer

If you can write persuasive sales copy, you could find yourself in a writing niche that pays particularly well.

What do you do?

Write sales letters (often for internet marketing sites), email marketing copy, and other content intended to convince people to buy or sign up to things.

Where do you find the work?

People doing this kind of writing tend to work freelance, and there are lots of related gigs on the normal freelance job boards.

What skills / experience do you need?

As well as strong writing skills, you’ll need a knack for sales writing and to understand buyer psychology. Sales writing is a distinct skill. Examples of past work that’s been proven to convert are the key to the best-paid jobs.

What can you earn?

Freelance rates are hugely variable, but good quality clients are prepared to pay big bucks for copy that converts and makes them money. The best-rated sales writers on Upwork have rates ranging from $25-250 per hour

7. Author

As you know, being an author no longer means writing a manuscript and sending it out to lots of publishers with your fingers firmly crossed (although you can – of course – still do that). Nowadays, people can and do make a living from books they publish themselves, using platforms like Amazon KDP.

What do you do?

Plan books, write them, and sell them! It’s important to note that if you’re self-publishing, you’ll also need to learn about typesetting, pricing, cover design and – most importantly – marketing.

Where do you find the work?

All you need is your inspiration. Whether you want to write a non-fiction book about a subject you know about, or have a crack at the next Harry Potter, all you need to do is find the inspiration and get started.

What skills / experience do you need?

None – but obviously you need to write very well if your book(s) are to be successful. Being handy with technology will certainly help too, once you get into the publishing and selling phase.

What can you earn?

From very little to lots and lots. A small non-fiction Kindle book might just dribble in a few dollars every month. Meanwhile, E.L James, who initially self-published, is now worth $150 Million.

8. Translator

In today’s global world, there’s always interest in translators. Day Translations, a global translations company, is always looking for new translators. Here is the link to their job postings!

For more telecommuting ideas, check out Ben’s full post, 50 Online Jobs – and Exactly Where to Find Them. And if you’re looking for a career path into your writing dream job, check out this handy writing career map from Zippia.