Being a writer means a completely different thing today than it did fifty years ago because of the internet. Yes, we still write novels and magazine articles, but there are so many other ways to build our writing careers today online and most of them are fun! You may already know some of these, but here are a few ways you can put your writing skills to work in the digital age.
- Build an audience in your pajamas. I’m working on a memoir the old-fashioned way (by typing it into my laptop), but I’m maximizing on it digitally as well. Before, we had to go through our writing process alone, but now we have the ability to share it with millions of people online. I write blogs every week about my writing process (the challenges and successes). This helps me:
a.) be part of the writing community without leaving my house
b.) get feedback from other writers and learn from their experiences
c.) use the blogs to bring attention to my website and
d.) build an audience for my memoir before it’s even published!
2. Write blogs for money. As writers, we have the gift of communication. This isn’t a gift everyone possesses so it is up to us help brands and companies write their blogs in order to keep their content fresh and bring traffic to their website. You can write blogs for several clients as a freelance writer and make money from your home.
3. Edit blogs for money. In addition to writing blogs for yourself and others, you can also help clients edit them. Some clients are good at communicating what they want in their blogs, but still need a professional like you to look over the content to make sure it is free of typos and grammatical errors.
4. Create web copy for clients. Everyone needs a website today not matter your profession. The most successful websites tell the most compelling stories about the brand or company. These brands and companies need to hire talented writers like you to write those stories and bring traffic to their websites.
5. Create videos. Every video you see online needed a writer to write the script. You can go one step further and learn how to make those videos and edit them yourselves. You can make educational/instructional videos, promotional videos for brands and events, video media kits, and any other type of video that can be made without the need of a professional videographer or professional video equipment. You can make these using just your laptop, iPad or iPhone, and a free video editing app. Videos are the most popular marketing tool today. This is a great skill to set you apart from other writers.
6. Create visual content for Instagram. Did you know there are many successful writers who get discovered on Instagram? It’s not just for visual artists. You can use free user-friendly online tools such as Canva to create visually appealing posts that include poetry or lines from your writing. This will help you build an audience for your work and possibly get a book deal down the line.
7. Create visual content for marketing. Content such as infographics and print ads can be created using programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Yes, these are expensive and have a major learning curve, but they are a great skill to set you apart from other writers and may be worth the investment to you.
8. Write comic books. Writing comic books is fun! I love working with visual artists to make my story come to life. Today, working on comic books is easier because it can all be done online. Once you learn how to write a comic book script, you send it to the artist who then draws it out and sends it back to you digitally. Then, it is up to you whether you want to print it or sell it online through the popular comics platform Comixology.
9. Self-publish on Amazon. Whether it is an instructional e-book, a comic book, or a romance novel. You have the option of self-publishing your work online which didn’t exist before the internet. This means that you have to put in extra leg work to promote yourself, but not too much more than what most small to medium sized publishing houses will make you do anyway.
10. Teach. The internet gives you a platform to easily share knowledge through blogging and social media or creating online courses for people willing to invest in professional development.
These are all great options for writers in 2018, however, keep in mind that just because we have more options today doesn’t mean all of them are easy. All of the options I listed above require dedication and long-term strategy to be successful. However, it is cheaper and more accessible now to establish a career as a writer using digital platforms.
Although I love Adobe Creative Suite, it is expensive and takes a while to learn. Instead, here are some free user-friendly tools I use to create digital content:
iMovie (video editing)
PowerPoint (video making/animation) [disclaimer: not free, but cheap]
GarageBand (music production)
Mailchimp (email list/newsletter)
Google Drive (organization)
Kindle Comic Creator (turn PDFs into a digital Kindle friendly comics)
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (self-publishing platform)
Bitly (shortens URLs and provides analytics for links)
Google Analytics (analytics for your website)
I hope this information helped spark an idea into your head that you hadn’t thought of before. There are so many ways to capitalize on your writing skills today, so use the free tools I recommended and make the internet work for you!