Being a writer has never been easy. You have to be comfortable with harsh critiques, lots of rejections from agents and publishers, and slogging your way through low-paying gigs before you find one that can pay you what you’re worth. But there is always demand for people with strong writing skills, and that might be even more true in the internet age than it was in the old days. Still, the question remains: Is writing a viable career in 2019?
The short answer is yes! You can make writing your career, but it isn’t going to be easy. Here is some information on how to become a working writer, along with a few of the reasons why writing can be a viable career in 2019…if you have the skills, the grit, and the attitude to make it happen.
There are two main types of professional writer: freelancers and staff writers. Freelancers apply to contract jobs or send pitch letters to editors in an attempt to land a writing gig. When freelancers are journalists pitching news outlets who become ongoing contract writers for those news outlets, they’re sometimes called “stringers.” Staff writers, on the other hand, are employed as permanent staff on the team at a company. That company might be a newspaper or magazine, but marketing departments at all sorts of organizations frequently hire full-time writers as well.
One helpful tip is to write about what you know! If you are passionate about a new industry most people don’t know much about, there is a good chance for you to swoop in and start writing for that industry while there is still less competition for gigs.
Writers who are skilled, versatile, creative, and dependable are genuinely hard to find. So whether it’s writing grant proposals, technical manuals, or copy for marketing campaigns, there’s always work out there for writers in various specialties, and this won’t change in 2019.
Many types of professional writing require some specific expertise or training. However, every industry has demand for writers of some kind. If you can get your foot in the door, or get some experience writing for a certain industry, you can begin to build up a portfolio of work that will get you better-paying clients. You can make this happen even if you don’t have a degree in a special kind of writing (like technical writing or journalism). It just takes time and perseverance.
If freelancing isn’t your thing, you could try to become a staff writer at a news outlet, magazine, or marketing firm. The hitch here is that these require experience and often a degree in a field like writing or communications. So whether you have a degree or not, whether you’d be happy freelancing or not, you need to take time building up your résumé of published work before you should expect to land a permanent job as an in-house writer.
If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a certain topic, you could try to make it as a blogger. Blogging requires diligent updates where you are publishing great content on a regular basis. Remember that in almost any imaginable blog category, you will be competing with many other bloggers for visitors. This makes it hard to stand out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
A blogger’s goal is to build a sufficiently large following that you can begin selling ad space on your blog, making money from affiliate product sales, or leveraging your blog’s brand to sell books and other items. Building that level of brand recognition takes a lot of time, effort, and marketing prowess. It won’t happen overnight. However, excellent writing will stand out, and that will attract readers.
The key to making writing a viable career in 2019 is making sure your expectations are reasonable. At first, you’ll only get offers for low-paying gigs and jobs. Even if you have a college or postgraduate degree, there is no better credential than a strong portfolio of work. This means that you need to make your peace about doing work that you think is beneath you or that you feel you’re overqualified for. As you build your portfolio, higher-paying companies will become more willing to hire you.
So is writing a viable career in 2019? In short, yes! But it takes very strong writing skills to stand out among the countless aspiring online writers out there. It also takes a lot of hard work and dependability, along with a humble attitude. You need to have thick skin as well, so practice incorporating helpful criticism, and don’t give up, even after a string of rejections. Stick with it, and you can make it happen. Successful writers are those who never stopped trying.
Good luck, and happy writing!
Like this post? Check out this post on how to start blogging.