6 Ways to Earn Money through Writing in India
Let’s See How to make money from Content Writing
1. Literary Magazine
There are many literary magazines and e-zines in India. These consist of a team of editors, readers (who choose which submissions will be accepted), content designers, and social media managers. Working with a literary magazine helps one in understanding the minute nuances of writing, understand the art of literary criticism, and also learn through it. Apart from working with them at the backend, you could also write for them.
Some of the magazines also pay for the write-ups which include essays (Trending news and various topics), book reviews, and other important topics which need coverage. As they say, a pen is mightier than a sword. By writing an op-ed, you can actually write about things you truly care for – try to be the change you want to see in the world.
- Monthly earning from writing: (Approx) Rs. 5000-Rs. 8000/-
- Hours (fixed Vs Flexi) : 15-20 hours/ week
- Location: Remote
- Risk level: Low
- Where to start: Start by identifying your niches. Is it literary criticism, writing book reviews, author interviews, or writing in general? The basis that, try creating a portfolio. Start by writing for smaller magazines or websites and add to your portfolio. Gradually start looking for active jobs on LinkedIn, on Twitter, or even in Times Jobs. Facebook Groups are also a great place for networking amongst literary circles and working with literary magazines.
2. Creative Writer / Contributor to magazines / Content Creation Websites
This is one way to write articles and earn money in India. This also helps you build credibility as a writer because when you finally pitch your work to a publisher, you will have lots of writing visible online with your name on it.
Due to the recent surge in online reading apps, the content preferences of audiences have also seen a shift from the usual news to unusual news articles. Online platforms like LBB, BPB, What’s up Life, Buzzfeed, Scroll, Huffington Post, etc. have a huge demand for write-ups on current topics which are not only about the trending news items but also other things like the latest movie, a new bestseller or a controversy that erupted on Twitter or other social media platforms. Entertaining and engaging content is always in demand in various forms. Gradually you can identify a niche and build a portfolio on it too. If your goal is to be a non-fiction writer whose books are based on a specific area of expertise, then this portfolio can also help you bag that much-coveted publishing deal. The next question in your mind is how to find online article writing jobs for beginners in India.
- Job Opportunities – Started by noted journalist Rituparna Chatterjee as a sisterhood thread to share more opportunities for women, this thread is open for all and has some extremely interesting freelancing opportunities as well for content writers and creators.
- Monthly earning from writing : (Approx) Rs. 15-20,000/-
- Hours (fixed Vs Flexi) : 20-30 hours / week
- Location: Remote
- Risk: Medium
- Where to start: For any content writing job, a portfolio is a must. So the first priority should be to work on it. If not a portfolio, create a simple WordPress website where you can host some of your writing samples. Remember to highlight write-ups on a range of topics so that when you apply for assignments you do not come across as someone who can write only on one topic. Social media continues to be an effective tool for finding such job opportunities. There are a lot of Facebook groups that are extremely active in terms of sharing job openings. These groups not only help in finding a job but also in making contacts.
3. Content Writer
This is different from Point 2 above but is another way to write articles and make money in India. In this, you write, but your writing may not get published in your name. It’s a great way to learn, but a Google search of your name may not throw up a ton of results. So while this may be a good place to start, try to get at least a few pieces out on a regular basis as you get better.
To be a Freelance content writer all you need is a good internet connection, a laptop or a desktop, and a decent command of the English language which reflects in your writing.
If you are still confused about the difference between a creative writer and a content writer, then let’s decipher that first.
A creative writer for magazines or online portals, usually the writer is credited and given a byline. The articles are on topics of your choice and you are expected to send a pitch before sending the full article. In most cases, you can also demand a price for the articles. While in pure content writing, you cannot choose the topic or the pay. And there are chances you might not be even credited as the writer of these write-ups. However, as long as you have strong research skills, a basic understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization, which is like the God of the internet), and are able to write on any topic basis that research, you can be a good content writer and earn money by writing articles.
In this line of work, your borders go beyond India, and if you are comfortable writing for, say, the American or the European market, you can even earn in dollars / Euros.
There are dedicated sites (shared below) with various job listings shared for short-term projects ranging from translation, transcription, typing, and drafting emails to write articles, research reports, and listicles. The topics also vary from programming and marketing to business and finance. On some platforms like Problogger, Freelancer, and Freelance Writing, you also get ghostwriting projects for novels. You can bid for any project that interests you and if your bid is the best, the project is yours.
Some options for such Indian sites are:
My Writing Master. in
You can also start from Twitter (Search for Hashtag #CallforPitches to find relevant results), Monster.com, Times Jobs, and Facebook groups. Topping the list of recommended FB groups is the Indian Copyeditors Forum. This group has a lot of freelance editors and copy editors as the name suggests, along with content writers and aspiring writers. This group is very well managed and they regularly conduct online workshops to train the members apart from sharing regular job openings, tips, and tricks on how to do it better and effectively, etc. Before COVID-19, they were conducting regular meet-ups in different cities too. The following groups share only job opportunities. Alternatively, you could also post your resume and seek projects:
Content Writers Needed
Freelance Digital Marketing, Content Writing, SEO
Content Writing Services in India
Content Writing (International)
Freelance Content Writing
Freelance Writing Cafe
4. Create your own blog and monetize it
Are you – or do you want to be recognized as – a subject matter expert in a niche area? Then blogging could be a great place to start while you work on your book. This is the third way to write articles and earn money in India.
Say, for example, you are working on a book based on the different forms of storytelling in India since ancient times. While your blog could talk about adapting storytelling as an important form of communication in various walks of life, you could also consider hosting workshops on storytelling.
Such blogs add value to your brand as an author as become a place to display your expertise on the subject and hence helps you create a loyal reader base which can help push book sales as and when you publish. Bloggers can earn good money and choose specific markets: they may focus on India, or look at non-Indian markets.
Also, blogging goes beyond just writing. Bloggers need to understand how pages rank on google, how to ensure your blog is in a strong niche so that it will rank and be able to make money. It is more like running a small business with writing as one of the operational components. In fact, many bloggers land up outsourcing the writing bit.
- Monthly earning from blogging: Zero – multi-lakhs.
- Hours: Flexible
- Location: WFH
- Risk level: High
Professional Blogging is entrepreneurship. It has all the risk that comes with a start-up. Even if you are driven and really at the top of your game, there is the chance of failing because of systemic things – like Google changing its algorithm, or Amazon reducing its affiliate fees, etc. Besides, if you get into this full-time, you may not have the time to write the book you dreamed of.
A blog can take years to make money, and even that comes with a question mark. Whichever niche you choose, you will need to master the skill, invest in tools (which can often be priced in US dollars), and put in a lot of time and effort. Take this – the Himalayan Writing Retreat blog – for example. We’ve been working consistently at it and it’s taken years of work for us to become strong enough on Google that you found us.
5. Author Assistant
As we know, writing is a lonely profession. However, as you grow as a writer, there are many other jobs apart from writing that need your attention. These include research, responding to emails, handling social media accounts, coordination for administrative jobs like printouts, sourcing books for research, transcription of notes, etc. And this is exactly why an author needs an assistant: to handle all of these things. With a competent assistant, an author can do what they love the most- write. Working as an author’s assistant has its own perks – you not only get to closely watch the publishing world, but you also get to make your own contacts along with a list of tried and tested dos and don’ts. This is one job that has many perks to offer even after you quit it.
Having been a virtual assistant to quite a few authors – both from India and abroad – since 2013, I can say from my experience that this is one job without a single dull moment every single day at work. This job allows you to witness the making of a book as close as possible and as a bonus, you get to be a part of the post-release process too.
Monthly earning from writing: Rs. 30-45,000/-
Hours: Fixed and Flexi (Depending on job role)
Location: Office and remote (Both are possible, depending on the author’s requirements)
Risk level: Low
Where to start: You can always start with well-known authors whose work you admire and it falls in the line of work you intend to do. Say you wish to be a mythology writer, it makes sense to work with a renowned mythology writer to gain experience. You can write to them directly expressing your interest to work with them or get in touch through social media. If you are following them on social media already, chances are you will see their requirements for assistants from time to time.
Last but not the least, you can try and make it as a writer. In all of the above, you’ll have to write what other people want but if you want to make a living off your writing, then you can consider what some aspiring authors have done.
For starters move to a smaller city or town, which drastically brings down your cost of living. Thereafter, consider offering your services part-time in a manner that you earn a sustainable income while using the other half of the day in writing and research. Your services could include taking writing workshops, tutoring students and aspiring writers, writing literary thought-pieces for prominent websites, using your skills as a writer to provide critique to budding writers’ manuscripts, and mentoring young and aspiring writers.
In the words of an aspiring writer who has been practicing this for the last five years, “It is advisable only if you are willing to become a minimalist in every aspect of your life. From socializing to spending habits, everything needs to be realigned to match your goal which is to write.”
- Monthly earning from writing: Rs. 5-25000/- (for most except Ashwin, Amish & Co)
- Hours: Flexible
- Location: WFH
- Risk level: High
Let’s see: online money-making ideas without investment
Some Other Websites That You Can Use for a Content writer
how to make money from content writing
- Link-Able: $100 – $750
- Cracked.com: $100 – $200
- Watch Culture: $25 – $500
- B. Michelle Pippin: $50 – $150
- Sitepoint: Visit Link for Pricing
- Uxbooth: $100
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