How to Make a Living as a Writer

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a living as a writer is a challenge that requires hours of hard work and dedication. No matter what genre you write in, there are things you can do to earn an honest living as a writer. With the growing Internet market, there are a variety of jobs available for writers both online and offline.

Compose a portfolio of writing samples. Make sure you show a wide range of your writing capabilities so the companies you apply to write for can get an accurate idea of your writing voice, style and skill.

Make a resume that explores your work and educational experience to date. Update your resume regularly.

Look for writing opportunities in your local community. Small newspapers and small-market magazines are a good place to start. Submit your resume and a cover letter that demonstrates your interest in a given position if you find an opening. If there are no openings, you can still send in a resume and cover letter and ask that the editor keep your records on file for future reference.

Browse online freelancing sites like ProBlogger and Elance for freelance writing opportunities that suit your areas of expertise. Apply to jobs that you feel you can complete well.

Visit your public library and search through the Writer's Market books for publication opportunities to submit your work to. Writer's Market has books that cover a wide variety of markets searching for content and writers. Be sure to find the latest version of Writer's Market when you search at your library. A new edition with updated contact information comes out every year. The Writer's Market is also available as an online subscription.

Offer your services to businesses and non-profit organisations looking for brochure and newsletter writers. This is a great way to establish connections and start networking.

Seek out opportunities to ghostwrite. Ghostwriters write a variety of material, from fiction books and stories to non-fiction and biographical work.

Apply for copywriter positions. Copywriters create the content in catalogues, brochures, radio spots and general advertising. Advertising companies are a great place to search for copywriting work.


If you have a firm outline for a writing project, you may be able to apply for and obtain a writer's grant from your local government. Do not let rejection deter you from pursuing a career as a writer. Rejection is a regular part of every writer's experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Resume
  • Writing samples
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About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.