And how you can do it too — WITHOUT working extra hard or for extra long hours.
2021 has been an amazing year so far. I shifted careers and quit my job to become a full-time writer.
While being self-employed comes with many perks, it also has its fair share of stress. I sometimes worry about what would happen if my income streams dry up or what if I stop finding clients to hire me for freelance work.
But in the past few months, I’ve discovered two amazing platforms that have helped me increase my earnings and build a steady income source. In this post, I’ve discussed these platforms and how you can use them too.
If you’re a freelance writer, read on for some cool ways you can earn more without working for extra hours or taking on a never-ending stream of new clients.
1. Selling Ad Space on my Newsletter
If you have a newsletter, you must already know how hard it is to ask for a subscription fee from your readers. These people gave you their email addresses and spend precious time in their lives reading what you wrote. How can you charge them for this?
I know, I’ve been on the same boat.
But I have a very engaged newsletter community of 1500+ writers, readers, and creators who placed their trust in me. I’d spent years building that credibility, and I wanted a way I could make money from it.
That’s when I stumbled upon Swapstack — The premier newsletter
advertising marketplace that connects brands to newsletter audiences for relevant sponsorships.
Within a few days of joining, I found some amazing brands that were happy to sponsor my newsletter in exchange for a shout-out.
At first, I was a little skeptical about how my readers would react to this. But since I only partnered with brands that I myself would use, my readers loved these snippets of advertisement. The engagement on my emails increased even more, and it helped me build a powerful (and dependable) income stream.
In addition to the money, Swapstack also gave me a chance to have direct conversations with CEOs — always an inspiring and enriching experience.
If you’re a newsletter writer looking to introduce your readers to brands they’d love (or you have a company that could benefit from marketing to a highly specific niche audience), Swapstack could be the perfect opportunity for you.
2. Writing About Exactly What I Love
Yes, you read that right. Aside from being the place to house your virtual resume, LinkedIn is also a thriving social media platform with 740 million active users. If you showcase your skills in the right way, it can land you several high-paying opportunities.
I started being active on LinkedIn in January 2021. I didn’t post anything extraordinary, just glimpses from my everyday learnings and insights about things I discovered on my journey.
But in the past few months, I’ve gotten some really amazing clients just by writing one post every day. I’ve ghostwritten book chapters, reviewed technical articles, done social media content strategy, and mentored several new writers through LinkedIn. This has translated into a stable income I didn’t quite expect when I started writing there.
I’ve already written a detailed article on how to get more traction on LinkedIn and how to convert your leads to long-term gigs. But summing up, here are some things you need to keep in mind to grow steadily on LinkedIn:
- Don’t simply share information. Tell stories that hook the reader and make them want to keep reading.
- Write about surprising and/or contrarian opinions.
- Engage with your audience and keep up a daily posting schedule.
Adding more income streams as a freelance writer doesn't necessarily mean you have to work extra hours or take up new clients every month. Sometimes, you need to think out of the box and look for opportunities that aren’t widely explored yet.
Summarizing, here are the two unexpected ways my income streams grew in 2021, and how you can apply them too:
- Create a newsletter, join Swapstack as a writer, and sell ad space to brands you’d love to work with anyway.
- Build your community on LinkedIn by frequently posting quality work and leverage your network to land high-paying writing gigs.
Have you tried any of these platforms to make money as a writer? I’d love to know how they have worked for you.
If you’ve discovered any other unconventional ways to build additional income streams, please do share in the comments.