pink haired woman with flowers - earn money freelance writing

17 Easy Ways to Earn Money Writing in Your Spare Time

Spread the love

Whether you’re working a job outside the home and trying to add an additional income stream or joining the ranks of moms who find themselves suddenly working from home, I’m a firm believer that you can always find ways to generate an income. One of my favorite ways to do that? Writing.

In this post, we’ve come up with more than a dozen easy ways (or if not easy, then certainly straightforward) you can earn money writing in your spare time.  

writing in your spare time


#1 Blogging

Let’s just start with the big guns here. A blog is not a big gun, Sorilbran. If that was your response, you’ve never started a successful blog. A blog is a big gun. A big-time investment. A big opportunity to earn passive income.

I’ve started several work-at-home mom blogs from scratch (this is the only one that’s had any measure of Google success – thank you, SEO and Income School). I also legit get paid to run the blog and content marketing for a marketing agency for my day job, so I know how much work managing a blog can be.

Most of the blogs you read are specifically designed to generate income, whether that’s from ad revenue, affiliate income, memberships, or the blog owner marketing their own products and services. Blogs can make you money.

But you have to work on it for months before you’ll start seeing any consistent revenue from it, so keep that in mind.  

#2 Write Social Media Posts

If you know your way around Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest (and know how to engage with people on each platform), you can make money captioning images for social media posts. Small businesses and solopreneurs are time-pressed, and they usually don’t have time to learn what works on social media, even if they have the time to post pics every day. If you “speak” Instagram, you can make money writing captions for images.

Keep a content calendar, caption images, schedule the posts using a social media scheduling tool (my faves are Planoly, and MeetEdgar), and market the heck out of your services.

#Ghostwrite Articles

One of the ways I’ve consistently earned money over the last 11 years as a writer is with ghostwriting. I’ve ghostwritten hundreds of articles. These are pieces of content that I research and write, then I sell the rights to the article to the person or organization that hired me to write it. So, my name doesn’t show up on the article.

Ghostwriting is a solid way to earn money writing. And there’s always a need for writing services. In fact, I’m a writer and THIS post was ghostwritten by a writer I hired on Fiverr (it’s all just so meta).

You may not want to start and monetize your own blog, but you can still make money and have a pretty good time researching and writing articles on different topics as a ghostwriter… I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Check the Side Hustles for Moms section of the blog to grab some really actionable tips on becoming a ghostwriter.

#Do $5 Jobs on Fiverr

Speaking of hiring writers from Fiverr, Fiverr is another great opp for writers, and don’t be fooled – it’s not just $5 gigs anymore. But you can find people like me who’ll pay you $10 or $20 all day long to get an article started.

Most of the writing jobs I’ve seen on Fiverr lately are in the range of $75 to $150 a pop for real articles. If you’re in the U.S., $5 may not be worth the effort, but $75? Now, that’s a bill payment, am I right?

What kinds of writing jobs are on Fiverr? Hmm… the typical stuff like article writing, editing, proofreading, technical writing, and book writing. But it also has other interesting opportunities like writing LinkedIn Profiles, resume writing, scriptwriting, and coming up with business names and slogans. There are tons of these babies.

But if you want to go the $5 route for less of a time investment, you’ll be happy to know that many of these $5 gigs will only take a few minutes of your time – 5 to 10 minutes, tops (which can easily be $20 to $40 an hour if you’re blocking time to complete multiple gigs each day). So, consider it.  

Good news – I recently published a guide to freelancing on Fiverr that was penned by a Fiverr freelancer with more than 150 completed jobs under her belt and an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

#5 Become a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is a perfect work-at-home job opportunity that must be included in your list of making money by writing online jobs, because for many VAs writing is part of the job. These tasks can include: 

  • Ghostwriting
  • Data Entry Record writing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social Media and Email Management
  • Editing
  • Article writing

We published an ultimate guide to becoming a virtual assistant that you can check out here if you’re interested.

#6 Write Bylined Articles

This is probably the one job everybody thinks of when you say anything about making money by writing, and with good reason. More than six million blog posts alone are written every day. So, again there’s plentyof opportunity here for you to drink without your well running dry.

Not sure why I went with the well metaphor…

#7 Ghostwrite eBooks

This is actually how I got my start as a writer. My very first gig was writing an ebook. Since then, I’ve literally written dozens of them for clients. If you have a pretty solid process in place for penning long-form content, you can probably produce one or two 50-page ebooks a week, and depending on your rates and your client base, bring in $1K to $5K a week.

#8 Publish Your Own Short Stories and eBooks

Writing short stories is, hands down, one of the best ways to make additional money that finds its way to you even when working on other things. And the beauty of these is that you continue to earn money from them for years.

If this one interests you, SmartBlogger has a really great article on writing eBooks – break down the process of proving your book idea and getting yourself some passive income.

#9 Write Reviews

Good writing skills and the general know-how of reviewing something is all it takes to write reviews and get paid for it. Many websites let you write reviews on anything from music to gadgets to stationery to movies, and so much more. 

SlicethePie pays you on low-levels for reviewing fashion and new music after listening to it. Software Judge pays you to write software reviews. Also, you will can find lots of review writing jobs on Freelancer and Upwork, too 

#10 Compete in Writing Contest to Win Cash Prizes         

Believe it or not, I’ve done this too. Registering yourself for a writing competition can seem intimidating. I mean, it’s totally a big deal… but in a good way. These writing competitions can dole out some pretty generous cash prizes worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Secondly, winning a writing competition looks pretty good on the old freelancer resume, and in the bio section of each platform on which you have a presence. Just picture it: “Award-winning essayist” sounds really la-di-da.  

#11 Write Translations

You can even use your language skills to your advantage to earn money. The best way to do this is to write down translations. You will find dozens and hundreds of businesses that are more than willing to give you money for translating texts for them.

This is also a kind of freelance work that you can easily do in your free time. There are a few languages that can make you earn more. Look up websites like Fiverr to get a gist of how much freelance translators charge in different languages. 

#12 Become a Copywriter

Copywriting is essentially about creating content for companies that generate sales. As a copywriter, your job is to woo customers and turn casual readers into raving fans.

Compared to article writers, copywriters make WAY more money. And you have to keep in mind that not every company can afford to hire a copywriter, even though every company pretty much needs one. So, the companies who can afford a copywriter can AFFORD one.

My favorite blog for training copywriters is You would also do well to read anything by Frank Kern, Dan Kennedy, Gary Halpert, David Ogilvy (legendary), or Claude Hopkins.

#13 Build Resumes

Resumes are another near-commodity that allows writers to always be able to find work. One of the cool things about resumes is if you’d prefer to keep things quick and simple, you can focus on creating affordably-priced resumes for hourly employees. If you want to spend days on one resume and have your fees reflect that, you can target high earners. FYI, if you’re interested in getting some tips on writing your own freelancer resume, I’ve got you covered.

#14 Write Emails

One of the most effective marketing tools for any business is going to be their email list. Email lists convert, but you can probably name on one hand the number of entrepreneurs who have time to putz around with their email lists.

Whether you offer this as a standalone service or as part of a larger content marketing service, I think the key to selling this is strategic marketing. But everybody needs this. Heck, right now, even our church is trying to put together a content team that can handle emails.

#15 Earn Money by Making Lists

If you want to make more money but hate the idea of writing detailed, long, and mind-numbing articles, you can write on cool and short things like providing “Top 10” lists, mini-articles, or feature articles.  And yes, I’ve done this, too. I wrote an article on the most brutal dictators in history from a Dunkin Donuts one day. That day was pretty much a bummer.

ListVerse AlistAPart, and Cracked are good sites to use your spare time to make easy and quick money. 

#16 Write Fan Fiction

Now, Amazon Kindle Worlds has started paying individuals for writing accredited fan fiction on a wide range of television shows and series such as The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, The Originals, Veronica Mars, and more. 

It is an enjoyable and easy way to earn money as you get to dedicate thousands and thousands of words to write about your beloved TV characters. In return, Amazon pays you around 35% on sales. 

#17 Answer Questions for Money

People love to turn to Google and Bing whenever they have questions. My most recent Google requests included “how long should a hamster sleep” and “how does my hamster know how to drink out of this spout thingy” (just got a hamster – wondering if it’s okay). Google’s really great at helping searchers find answers to the MOST random questions.

Is there a point, Sorilbran? Yes, actually. You can get paid to answer questions.

JustAnswer permits experts like tech gurus, mechanics, and financial experts to answer common questions submitted by people online. Conversely, Wonder hires and pays you to answer questions if you can cite credible sources and do research.  

Okay. I hope this one offered some ideas that you haven’t seen before. I write a lot of these lists (turns out) and my goal is always to provide more and more value.