The life of a freelance writer isn’t always easy. Grinding out 600 word articles for a few dollars here and there, occasionally getting a juicy project that pays a bit more. In between freelance writing projects, bills still need to get paid.
Luckily, there are some excellent side hustle opportunities for freelance writers. Here are a few gigs you can try while waiting for high quality (or even low quality) writing gigs to come in. You just need a decent internet connection and a little motivation.
Let’s dive in.
1. Take paid online surveys while watching TV
You can earn PayPal or free gift cards for taking surveys with Swagbucks. This rewards giant has paid over $740 in cash and gift card rewards. Most surveys pay $0.50 to $3.50 and take 5 – 30 minutes to complete. Take paid online surveys on your phone or laptop. I like taking surveys at night while watching TV or while my kids are playing at the park. It’s an easy way to earn a little extra. Survey takers can reasonably earn an extra $50 to $200 a month.
2. Get paid to drop off lunch
So, I’m not a big fan of being a driver for ride services. But with apps like DoorDash or Uber Eats, it’s a better trade-off. You’re not carting around strangers and you don’t have to keep. clean car. You can also be choosy about the orders you decide to take, picking ones that are the most lucrative (highest restaurant tab) and require the least amount of driving. Additionally, many rewards apps will pay you a generous bonus to sign up to be a Dasher or food delivery person.
3. Clear out closets on TaskRabbit
The transactional marketplace is booming with people outsourcing tasks they can’t do or just don’t want to do. Taskers can command high rates and flexible hours (set the hours you want to work). Common tasking services offered include organizing closets, sweeping garages, raking leaves, assembling IKEA furniture, painting, wallpaper removal, or crushing mountains of Amazon boxes.
You could even offer up your writing services, too. For example, I’ve seen Taskers who will clean out your garage for a garage sale and then write sublime garage sale copy (signage, online advertisements, posts for Facebook Marketplace and garage sale groups).
4. Flip your thrift store finds
Yes, you can get paid to hunt for buried treasure. If you love thrift stores, you can flip coveted finds online on eBay, Mercari, Poshmark, Kidizen, Facebook Marketplace, or Buy Sell Trade groups. The resale market is exploding. Popular goods to sell at a markup include designer handbags and shoes, name brand clothing, vintage toys, or high-end children’s clothing. Gender neutral baby brands re-sell especially well.
5. Start your own blog
Or start another one if you already have a blog. There are several benefits to this.
- Portfolio: Your blog can showcase your writing skills. Write about a variety of popular (high search volume) topics – you’ll always have plenty of writing samples at the ready. Strategically link to bloggers and businesses you want to work with. You can drop them an email after, saying you mentioned them in your blog.
- Discoverability: Increase your digital footprint. Start to rank for specific keywords that you have expertise in (writing about) and grow your audience.
- Online Community: You’ll connect with other bloggers and readers who care about the topics you are blogging on.
- Purpose: Having a blog you tend to daily or weekly will give you a sense of purpose, helping you stay energized and focused on writing. Writing is an art and a discipline. Keep those creative juices flowing – regularly.
- Monetization: AdSense and Viglinks (Sovrn) are decent ways to monetize your blog. AdSense refers to display (banner) ads part of Google Ads network. Sovrn is an affiliate network so you can get paid for products you recommend. Overtime, you can run sponsored posts or do reviews. I have Google Ads running on several old blog articles that get a lot of traffic, and it’s a decent source of passive income (around $100 a month).
6. Save Your Receipts
- Submit your supermarket receipt: Get paid just for submitting a pic of your receipt.
- Purchase items in featured categories: Like any brand of milk, oranges, eggs, or meat.
- Purchase featured items: Specific products and brands.
- Purchase gas: Spend at least ten dollars on fuel at the pump, earn a $1 cash back rebate. Thousands of participating gas stations (national chains).
At three to four dollars a week, that’s an extra $200 a year in free money. You’re already making these purchases anyway, just scan your receipt and cash in on them. It’s as easy as taking a pic on your smartphone and tapping a couple of buttons.
7. Tap Into the Right Professional Networks
You’ve heard of established writers who have more freelance writing business than they can manage. These writers are not hanging out in forum boards to share tips on how to get gigs. They don’t need to shop the ProBlogger job board. They’re too busy writing.
You want to nudge your way into premium networks with people who have an interest in the type of writing you do best.
For example, I’m a skilled SEO writer and use tools like Surfer SEO and Jarvis to optimize content for maximum impact. I’ve joined online groups (Facebook and other forums) and found hundreds of posts from businesses looking to hire writers skilled at SEO writing utilizing Surfer SEO or Jarvis. I have been able to score freelance writing gigs this way for very high-end clients (i.e. ad agencies).
8 | Connect Avid Readers to Your Content
I have also found freelance writing gigs in online social groups about topics I’m interested in (parenting, politics, lifestyle).
I have a personal blog about stylish kids clothing, and I’ve shared those articles in related forums. I wasn’t trying to score a freelance writing side hustle; I just wanted to share the odd blog post with an audience who might like it.
As a result, many children’s shop owners have read these posts and reached out to offer paid freelance writing opportunities. I have a few regular clients now who send writing jobs my way. Businesses recognize quality and are willing to pay for it.
No one has asked me to have my writing featured for free (something I might do, but for only the best clients).
Final Word on Making Money While you Wait for Writing Positions
There are highs and lows in any freelance writing career. While you’re waiting on writing gigs, you can find other ways to make some decent money on the side.
Try a few of these side hustles and one of them could lead to a very lucrative opportunity. If not, you’ve got plenty of fodder to start writing about trying out these side gigs.