Writing is one of the most sought-after skills. All those lectures your teachers gave you in high school or college about how learning to write would be a huge factor in your career weren’t wrong. In 2015, a study was released that showed writing to be the third-most requested skill across all job postings.
Picture a writer and you might be thinking of someone with elbow patches writing long-form novels in their study. But jobs for writers are so much more diverse than that. And making good money as a writer is more possible than it ever has been before.
Here are 20 ideas to get you thinking about how to turn your writing skills into a paid gig.
20 Different Jobs for Writers to Start Working Now
Typically, a copywriter is someone who writes those witty advertisement lines you see in magazines and on TV.
If you know where to look, copywriting jobs aren’t too difficult to find, as long as you’ve got the right skill set and experience.
To do this job well, you need a lot of creativity, a wide vocabulary and the ability to think on your feet. And because copywriters typically work with a wider marketing team, the ability to work well with others is a must.
While blogging has been around since the 90s, it became a viable career path somewhere around the early 2000s. It’s exactly what it sounds like–posting regular content on a web-based journal, of sorts.
Blogging is one of the easiest jobs for writers in some respects. Anyone can start up a blog and begin writing.
But in other ways, blogging is incredibly difficult. The online space has become over-saturated and extremely competitive, so to monetize a new site takes a great idea, quality content, and very savvy marketing. Another option is to create blog articles for someone with an established platform.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN and all of the other social platforms we can’t live without aren’t going anywhere. And they all demand endless writing.
A social media manager’s job is to write snippets of content for individual platforms and bring them all together into one cohesive strategy.
Managing social media accounts takes writing skills, of course–it’s harder than you might think to get ideas across in less than 300 characters! Keep in mind though, that social media managers also need to know how algorithms work and what it takes to build a community. A bit of design experience doesn’t hurt, either.
An author is really anyone who has published their writing, but for the purpose of defining jobs for writers, this is someone who writes books: fiction, non-fiction, self-help, kid’s books, and everything in between.
Publishing can be a tough industry, but if you’re passionate about a subject it’s a great way to turn something you love into income.
Many writers ultimately aspire to completing and publishing a book. This long-form type of writing requires an excellent grasp of whatever language you’re writing in, research skills and extreme tenacity.
5. Proposal writer
This is a pretty niche industry, but proposal writers are highly sought-after in some fields. Proposal writing can entail grant applications, government documents, business agreements, and more.
To do well as a proposal writer, you need a very detailed brain. Writing strong proposals requires hours of research, potential interviews, and a strong understanding of whatever subject you’re tackling.
Depending what kinds of clients you take on, you may also need specialised training or certifications. Start with The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and go from there.
Not the Nicholas Cage movie – ghostwriting means writing under someone else’s name. It may sound like a bummer not to get credit for your work, but there are a lot of advantages to ghostwriting.
For one, ghostwriting is one of the more in-demand jobs for writers. Some high-profile professionals are willing to pay a premium for high-quality writing, because they simply don’t have time to write their own content. It’s also a great way to churn out an income without putting yourself in the public spotlight, a definite plus for some personalities.
Ghostwriters need to be great at what they do–no one wants to put their name at the top of mediocre articles or books. It’s also essential to have the skills to adopt different “voices” in your writing. Typically you’ll meet with the client and try to get their style and point of view across.
There’s many ways you can find ghostwriting jobs, including these 29 sites here.
7. Content writer
The internet is a never-ending pit of content, both good and bad. No company can survive without churning out blog posts, website descriptions, guest articles, social media posts and more.
A content writer’s job is to develop all of that and more.
The great news is, because the need for content is constant, if you learn how to write high-quality pieces at a fast pace, you aren’t likely to run out of work. If you’re looking for jobs for writers as a content specialist, make sure you have a solid understanding of SEO and know how to get that content to the top of the pile.
Journalism is a fascinating field consisting of media writing for newspapers, online publications, radio or television. If you’re interested in news and discovering the truth about hard subjects, this is the writing job for you.
Most (but not all) journalists have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communication. Media writing is a specific skill that follows a different style than casual blogging or technical papers. You need a solid understanding of the AP style guide, curiosity and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
Writing about other people’s work is the bread and butter of a reviewer. Reviews can be about anything–products you love (or don’t love), books, movies, restaurants, or whatever you’re passionate about.
Writing reviews isn’t all that difficult, but getting paid for them can be. You either need your own platform, or to find work from someone who has a publication. Reviewing can be one of the fun jobs for writers, but it may not be the most practical.
If you’re set on becoming a reviewer, work to develop critical thinking skills and develop the sort of writing voice that is both honest and fair.
10. Travel Writer
Have you always dreamed of traveling the world, and you want to find a way to get paid while doing it?
I mean, haven’t we all??
Travel writers pave the way for other travelers by writing about locations, culture, hotels, events, things to do and their general impressions of a destination. In the age of remote work, becoming a travel writer is both easier and more difficult than ever before.
All you really need is a laptop and excitement for travelling to get started. You can write your own blog, or we’ve got you covered with some established outlets that pay for travel-related articles.
11. Speech writer
Speechwriting is most commonly associated with politics. Most high-profile candidates have someone behind the scenes, wordsmithing every appearance. It can be an intense job, but also a great way to be part of something important.
Like a ghostwriter, speech writers need the ability to disappear in their writing. What you say is just as important as how you say it, because the speech must reflect the person giving it to be truly successful.
A columnist is a type of journalist who contributes regularly to a publication–usually weekly or monthly.
Typically, a columnist is a subject-matter expert in their field. They may write about business, mechanics, pets or anything that they can speak to with authority.
A columnist may not be the first stop in a jobs for writers search. They are often invited to participate after submitting a series of one-off articles, or otherwise establishing themselves as strong writers with a strong point of view.
13. Technical writer
A technical writer takes complex ideas and simplifies them. Think instruction manuals, white papers, sales courses, etc.
Technical writers need the ability to get to the heart of an idea. You’ll be given a lot of information and asked to condense it, so you have to be able to pick out the important details and clearly explain them.
Because it can be a very complex industry, it is one of the more lucrative jobs for writers. The assignments you take on won’t often be witty or all that creative, but they’ll be straightforward, and there will always be work to do.
Poetry is a beautiful way to express yourself, but did you know it can also be a side gig? Poets make money through entering contests, writing song lyrics, occasionally creating marketing materials, or possibly self-publishing anthologies.
There are as many kinds of poetry as there are poets, and there are almost no rules. Poets need to be self-starters, creative souls and have really great writing skills.
Gifted writers may find themselves with the desire to teach others. A professor of writing helps cultivate the next generation of writers at a college or university.
To be a full professor, you’ll likely need a graduate degree. However, many colleges take on adjunct professors who are industry professionals and willing to teach on a part-time basis.
Working as a professor of writing is a great option for seasoned writers looking to transition careers or make some extra income.
If you’re hoping to have your name in lights, working as a screenwriter is the way to do it. Screenwriters write movie and TV scripts in a fast-paced, competitive industry. Alternatively, many aspiring screenwriters work in advertising or for large organizations that produce video content, such as universities or big corporations.
Many screenwriters have a specific degree in film or screenwriting. Realistically, to make it big in Hollywood, you’ll need a wide network of well-connected people to get your start. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, it’s definitely possible to make a living as a screenwriter.
While writing isn’t the primary function of a publicist, there’s no question that they spend a lot of time putting together written documents. A publicist is in charge of promoting someone–typically an author, politician or celebrity.
As a publicist, you spend much of your time crafting media pitch emails, press releases and sales blurbs. The rest of your time will be spent on phone calls and social media outreach to anyone who can elevate your client.
If you’re a people person with strong writing skills and tenacity looking at jobs for writers, a publicist may be a great fit.
Translators help turnover content from one language into a different language. The job is more complex than that, though. Every language is full of nuance that doesn’t always come across in a word-for-word conversion, so strong writing skills are a must.
Obviously, to get started in translation you’ll need to be fluent in more than one language. The more languages you know, the easier it will be to find work.
Many translators choose to work for themselves for the flexibility that it offers, but there are agencies that are always on the hunt for great contractors. Working for someone else may give you less control over your hours and deadlines, but you may find more consistent work that way.
If you’re interested in becoming a translator, check out our post on how to get started.
Proofreading is one of the easiest ways to get started as a professional writer. It’s essential for professional writing to go through a few levels of editing, and proofreading is typically the first stage.
As a proofreader, you’ll be given a brand style guide or a thick technical manual and then required to check every word against company standards. To excel, you need an eagle eye for detail and a strong understanding of multiple writing styles.
20. Greeting Card Writer
Not far removed from a poet, a greeting card writer creates those quippy, sappy or heartfelt messages you’ll find in the celebration aisle.
It sounds like a made-up job for writers, but it isn’t. Major greeting card companies hire full-time writers as well as accept submitted ideas.
Holiday cards contain short messages, so wordiness is not a virtue in this field. Greeting card writers also need to have their finger on cultural moments and be able to convey emotions in a new, creative way.
Where to find jobs for writers
It can feel overwhelming to jump into the world of freelance writing, but it doesn’t have to be. Jobs for writers aren’t that hard to find. There are a variety of easy ways to find jobs for writers.
SolidGigs is a curated list of job openings sent right to your inbox every single month. For a low monthly fee, you get quality leads without having to wade through hundreds of listings that may or may not be valid. As a bonus, SolidGigs offers subscribers a library of courses and templates that will help you grow your business.
Many writers use FlexJobs to dive in and find paying gigs. With hundreds of new listings each day, there is bound to be some jobs that are a good fit. FlexJobs has been around for more than a decade, so you can be sure it’s trustworthy and safe.
If you need more options, check out Millo’s many resources for finding jobs for writers of all kinds:
1. Remote writing jobs
2. Creative writing jobs
3. Ghostwriting jobs
4. Freelance writing jobs for beginners
5. Technical writing jobs
6. Copywriting jobs
7. General writing jobs
8. Travel writing jobs
There are almost as many different kinds of jobs for writers as there are writers (say that 10 times over).
The bottom line is, if you have the skills to be a writer, you can be a writer.
Know your talents, know where to find the best gigs, and there’s no reason that writing can’t be a great career field for you.
Keep the conversation going...
Nearly 10,000 of us are having daily conversations over in our free Facebook group and we'd love to see you there. Join us!