Friday, March 23, 2012

Writing for profit

There are still quite a few outlets for writers to follow in order to write as a job, rather than as a hobby.  Here are a few I have done over the years:
1. Copywriting - if you are quick and smart with slogans and so on, consider writing copy for advertising.
2. Personal histories - you are a ghost writer in this case so don't expect any praise or credit!  It takes a long time to write a personal history and you need to be good with the elderly whose memories may lead them down erroneous (and often revisionist!) tracks. But you will hear some excellent stories along the way.
3. Contributing stories to magazines. Hard to get this work these days as most are syndicated.
4. Contributing well-researched local journalism to local papers or websites.
5. Writing for TV and film - hard to get in but once you are there it is a treadmill with some great moments of satisfaction.
6. Writing comedy for stand-up  - some comics are way too lazy to refresh their routine and will pay a little for you to add the current affairs buzz for them. 
7. Company brochures.
8. Direct TV commercials - from what I see in the USA, there is no REAL writer in charge.  Scripts are too often ungrammatical and dull. Canvas local businesses and tell them how you would do it!
9. Writing for blogs.  Much of this is free but you can get a little pin money hammering out articles for established or new blogs on all kinds of topics.  The owners, in most cases, don't pay any attention to proofing or verification and that's why there is so much rubbish on the web. The careful blogs, eg. to which I contribute from time to time, are few and far between.  The actual financed and well-cashed up sites funded by media establishments often have a need for articles but you will find yourself working for an extremely low rate if you apply the rules of journalism.  As writing practice, it is good though.
10. Grant writing and personal service writing (eg. résumé writing).  This is a fun job and again, not fabulous money but you will learn a lot along the way.

The more you write, the easier it gets so keep at it!

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