The invention of the internet has opened many doors for writers and there are now countless ways to make money writing online.
Not only are there endless resources and websites where you can make money writing, but you can also create your own, such as a blog or website, and earn cash that way as well.
For a teen or young adult who is new to writing online though, especially teens under 18 years old, starting out by earning money on established sites, like freelancing sites, is probably easier than starting your own blog from scratch.
Experimenting with the various money making ventures online is also a great way to get your feet wet and gain some experience before you commit to a huge project like starting your own website or blog.
The following are the various ways to make money writing online:
If you love to write, creating and selling ebooks is definitely the way to go. The number of websites where you can sell your ebook is enormous and these sites have so much traffic that they can often make you more money than if you sold your ebook on your own site.
What type of ebook to write and sell often depends on where you want to sell it. There are also a few tricks of the trade when it comes to selling ebooks on each specific site.
One of the most promising sites to sell ebooks on is through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. There is even a particular formula to give your book a better chance at being a success.
First, you should focus on one topic and create a series of books on that topic. This makes upsells (selling more than one product to the same customer) easier and helps you build up a fan base who will eagerly buy each book that you publish.
Second, to make sure this topic will be popular and sell, you should verify the popularity of the topic with a number of sources.
The first source to check out is Google’s free keyword tool called Google’s Keyword Planner.
Click on “Search for new keywords or ad group ideas” and type in your topic idea into the field below. In the field under “Targeting” on the same page, type in “United States” to make sure you are only looking at the number of searches in the U.S. (The U.S. has the biggest number of internet users and online consumers with extra cash to spend.) Click on “get ideas” and check out the search volume under the tab titled “Keyword ideas.”
Look for keywords that get at least 10,000 searches a month to ensure that enough people are interested in the topic.
Another source to check out is Amazon itself. Go to Amazon and look up Kindle books on the topic you are interested in writing about.
Click on each book and scroll to the bottom of the product description page to look for the book’s Kindle Bestseller Rankings number. If there are a number of books with a ranking number of 30,0000 or less, it means these particular books are successful and are selling about 5-10 copies a day.
Since most Kindle ebooks are priced at $2.99 each (and after subtracting the 30 percent amazon takes) this adds up to about $10-20 in profit a day.
If your goals aren’t that lofty, you could settle for something that will get into the top 100,000, which is about 1 book a day.
The minimum age to join Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program is 18 years old. Parents and guardians of a minor can open a KDP account for them and serve as the minor’s publisher.
Another place to sell ebooks is on Fiverr. The types of ebooks that sell on this site tend to be how-to books and guides that will teach the buyer something or help him or her solve a problem.
Another benefit to selling ebooks on Fiverr is that once you have been active on the site for more than 30 days, have completed at least 10 orders, have maintained at least a 4 star rating and have a low cancellation rate, you can take advantage of upsells by offering two gig extras.
These gig extras tend to be another book or product related to the original book for an extra amount of money. It’s a great way to sell more products to targeted buyers who are already interested in what you have for sale. The more orders you complete, the more gig extras you can offer.
The minimum age to join Fiverr is 13 years old.
Even though books seem like a lot of work to write, most ebooks today are typically shorter than an average book. They’re usually about 20,000 words and tend to be laser-focused on discussing one particular topic in detail, instead of giving lots of general information.
As a result, if you write for at least one hour a day, it shouldn’t take you more than six weeks or so to write the ebook.
The important thing to remember is, once you’ve written the book, be sure to hire a freelance editor or proofread and edit it. This will usually cost you between $50-$100.
Whatever you do, do not skip this step. Editing is probably one of the most important aspects of the book and a badly edited book will get bad reviews which will translate into low sales. Whatever money you spend on an editor will be a worthwhile investment in the success of your ebook.
You can find freelance editors on sites like elance or odesk.
Selling ebooks is a great way to make money because it’s passive income. This means that you do the work once and get paid over and over for it. This is different from active income where you are actually trading your time for money.
Also, if you have a blog or website on the same topic, you can include links in the introduction of the book to your blog to drive traffic and grow your email list.
So, what if you don’t want to invest the time or money to write an ebook, but still want to get involved in ebook publishing? There’s a simple solution for that. Sell public domain books.
Public domain books are books that have an expired copyright. Books published in the U.S. before 1923 and works created by the U.S. government are automatically in the public domain. For books published after 1923, U.S. copyright states that copyrights last the life of the artist plus 70 years.
Places to find public domain books are:
Google Search – type in your topic of interest, click on “books” in the navigation menu, click on “Sort by relevance” in the navigation menu, on the drop menu click on “19th century or “20th century” and look for books with a publication date prior to 1923.
Gutenberg.org – most, but not all, of the books in the Gutenberg catalog are in the public domain. Do a search for your topic but be sure to double check the publication date on the books you find.
Feedbooks.com – click on “Public Domain” in the navigation menu at the top of the page to find a list of books in the public domain.
Amazon lets you sell public domain books on its Kindle Direct Publishing programs only if the book isn’t already in the Kindle library (which is tough because the majority of them already are.)
If the book is already in the Kindle library, Amazon will still let you publish the book only if you add annotations (new original content like an introduction, forward, footnotes, etc) or at least 10 illustrations to the book. If you do so, you will need to add the words “Annotated” or “Illustrated” to the title in paranthesis.
To format the books so you can add annotations or illustrations, you’ll need to either copy and paste the text into a word processing document (which is usually not possible because a lot of public domain documents are in a format that doesn’t allow you to copy and paste) or type the text yourself into a word processing document.
You can also look for an epub version of document on sites like Internet Archive, but you’ll still have to do a lot of editing because these versions are often riddled with typos and formatting errors.
The downside to selling public domain books is they are a tougher sell because they are already widely available everywhere. Also, Amazon takes a bigger commission from public domain books sales (65 percent instead of 30).
The plus side is, unlike writing a new book from scratch, it takes very little work to publish, annotate or add illustrations to a public domain book and if you do it in a unique and interesting way, it could potentially sell well.
Another option for ebooks publishing is to outsource the writing of the book to another writer and then rewrite or add your own personal touch to the book.
The only downside to this is it can be a little expensive. Outsourcing an ebook will usually cost at least $100 to a few hundred dollars so it’s only feasible if you already have a little extra cash to spend on it.
Writing articles is another great way to make money online. Content is king on the internet and, as a result, well written articles are in high demand. There are countless places to earn money writing articles, from revenue sharing sites to freelancing sites to sites that buy PLR.
Here are a few ways to earn money online writing articles:
Writing for Freelance Sites and Content Mills:
One of the most common ways to make money writing articles online is through freelancing sites and content mills.
On these sites, the writer is paid a small upfront fee to write each article. The fee depends on the site but usually ranges from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.
The following is a list of some of the more reputable freelancing sites and content mills:
Upwork – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Fiverr – minimum age to join is 13 years old
Reddit.com/r/forhire (a reddit page where clients post freelance opportunities) – minimum age to join is 13 years old
Reddit.com/r/hireawriter (a reddit page where freelance writers can advertise their services) – minimum age to join is 13 years old
Craigslist – check out the Jobs section and click on “writing/editing” or check out the Gigs section and click on “writing”
iWriter – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Writer Access – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Love to Know – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Break Studios – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Textbrokers – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Skyword – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Ecopywriters – minimum age to join is 18 years old
About – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Writing for Revenue Sharing Sites:
Revenue sharing sites, much like content mills, have taken a big hit in the past few years from Google’s algorithm updates but many of them are still around.
Revenue sharing sites are sort of like blogging, except instead of posting an article on your own blog, you post it on the revenue sharing site. If the article becomes popular and gets enough traffic, the author earns money via ads on the site.
The following is a list of some of the more reputable revenue sharing sites:
Infobarrel – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Hubpages – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Snipsly – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Bukisa – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Squidoo – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Triond – minimum age to join is 13 years old
Writing PLR Articles:
Another way to make money writing online is to write PLR articles.
PLR stands for Private Label Rights, which is a license where the author sells an article along with the publishing rights to it. What this means is that whoever buys a PLR article can publish it under his or her own name and use it almost any way they want (there are sometimes restrictions on how they can use it but that is up to the original author.)
Usually PLR articles sell for about $1 an article, depending on where you sell it, and are often sold in packs of 5 or 10. All you have to is write a series of 5 to 10 articles on a specific topic and put it up for sale on a site that offers PLR articles.
To make sure your PLR articles sell, it’s best to focus on popular topics and keywords. To find these, you can check out the various sites that sell PLR and see if they have a list of their bestselling topics.
Some of the more popular topics lately are:
Diet and weight loss
Travel and leisure
Education and school
Fitness and health
Insurance and life insurance
Here are a few sites where you can sell PLR:
Tradebit – minimum age to join is 13 years old but payment options require you to be 18
Warrior Forum (Warrior Special Offers section) – minimum age to join is 18 years old
Fiverr (PLR sells for a lot less here, usually $5 for a few hundred articles or more) – minimum age to join is 13 years old
Blogging is one of the most lucrative, long-term approaches to making money writing online. To make any money with blogging, you need a successful blog with a decent amount of traffic. Fortunately, there is a formula to starting a successful blog.
First, you need to choose keywords (a blog topic or topics) with low competition but a decent amount of online monthly searches.
Again, you’ll need the Google Keyword Planner for this. Click on “Search for new keywords or ad group ideas” and type in your blog topic ideas into the field below. In the field under “Targeting” on the same page, type in “United States.” Click on “get ideas” and check out the search volume under the tab titled “Keyword ideas.”
Look for keywords with at least a few thousand searches each month. After you find some keywords with decent search volumes, then you need to check out your competition by typing these keywords into Google and looking at the top 10 results on the first page.
Analyze these sites by looking at the content, number of pages, number of social media followers and etc. Then use a free backlink checker tool such as Backlinks Watch or SeoTools, or a paid tool like Market Samurai, to check out the number of backlinks pointing to each site.
If the majority of the sites have 30 or more backlinks, you’re going to have a little more trouble ranking your site on the first page. It’s wouldn’t be impossible to rank it there, just a little more difficult.
Once you find some decent keywords with low competition, then you want to buy a domain with your main keywords in the domain name, set up a hosting and start writing content for your site. This is a crucial part of building a blog.
In order to be successful, you need to write thorough, detailed, epic content that blows the competition out of the water. Write long, detailed posts of about 1000 words each that go over every aspect of your blog post topic. Leave no stone unturned. Write as many blog posts as you can think of and then some.
You should write a minimum of 20-50 posts. This may take a while, perhaps many months. That’s okay. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Once you’ve got a handful of posts on your blog, start promoting your blog on social media.
Set up accounts on social media under your blog’s name and share your content along with other cools pics, images, quotes about your topic. This will help drive traffic to your site and attract natural backlinks.
You may also want to build natural backlinks by doing things like guest posting, offering other blogs free content, creating and sharing infographics, give away a free ebook with links to your blog and etc.
Once your blog starts getting enough traffic, you can begin monetizing it. One of the most lucrative ways to monetize a blog is to build up an email list and market to your list.
You should actually begin growing your email list on day one of your blog. Put up optin-forms for your email list on this sidebar of your blog, on the about page and at the end of each blog post. You can then begin sending emails to your list offering affiliate products, sending them updates of your new blog posts and etc.
Other ways to monetize a blog is to put up Google Adsense ads on the blog, promote affiliate products in your posts and sell ad space to private companies. The minimum age to join the Google Adsense program is 18 years old. The minimum age to join affiliate programs vary by program so be sure to check the fine print.
Hopefully, one of these money making strategies will work for you. If you have the time, you can actually try out many of the strategies and see which ones work best for you.
It is best if you try out one a time though, so you don’t stretch yourself thin and get too distracted.
Remember the old marketing saying, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. If you keep that in mind, you should fare well.