Back in the ancient days of the internet, if you wanted to make money from your writing, you had to contribute to a major news website. You could have started your own website or blog – and many people have – but earning was in no way guaranteed.
But fast-forward to the present day, and we’ve got tons more options. We no longer have to pitch stories and ideas to editors. And the funny thing is, we don’t have to start a blog as well. Before, it was either start your own blog, or get published – those were the only two options available to use writers. But now, there are lots of content and writing platforms that give us the opportunity to earn… without having to make our own website!
This is especially good if you don’t have web development skills, or if you prefer to focus on writing. I happen to be that type of writer. I’ve used all sorts of platforms, and will be sharing them here. If you want to make money without a website, this article is for you!
You Gotta Know How to Write
Before we continue with this article that will teach you how to make money without a website, I need to tackle a particular issue first.
Many writing tutorials online tend to focus too much on “writing copy that sells” or “use your writing to convert customers.” All of which is great and all – we’re in this game to earn money, after all. But those tutorials tend to leave out one important factor: writing well. They’ll teach you how to write with an eye towards conversion, or to use SEO keywords, but none of which will be of much use if you don’t actually know how to write.
It’s basically like teaching people how to win an F1 race when they haven’t even learned how to drive a manual transmission.
So before you can even think about making money from writing, you need to make sure that your writing is up to snuff. Before you can think about whether your writing is good enough to make you money (whether it’s via affiliate marketing links or ads or whatever), you have to make sure your writing is good, period.
And that preamble wasn’t meant to discourage you. All I’m saying is, building a solid foundation (that is, solid writing skills) will help make your writing even more lucrative. So put in the practice, and you’ll see your writing improve before you know it!
Find Your Niche
Another thing you should do is find your niche. And by that, I mean an area of specialization that you can “own.” For example, I used to be a diehard action figure collector. So I wrote a bunch of content about the hobby. And there are lots of sub-topics that I could also explore. What this did was build my personal “brand.” When people read my name, they knew what to expect. And that made it easier for people to find, follow, and share my content.
If you’re just some random writer writing about random subjects, you might not attract enough traffic to make your endeavor lucrative. But don’t worry, you don’t have to write about a niche subject right off the bat. You can start writing now, and see what your audience responds to. When you find the type of content they like to read about, stick with it. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to become repetitive. You’ll have to stay vigilant and keep serving up fresh content for your readers!
Okay, with all that out of the way, here are my favorite platforms for making money without a website! Most of these platforms (such as the first one on the list) will be geared towards a specific type of content, so pick and choose appropriately.
If you enjoy writing about work-related stuff, this is the platform for you. Most of the people who read your content will most likely be professionals looking for new work, or to network. So make sure your content suits that type of audience.
Even within those confines, there are lots of things you can write about. You can write about general business topics, like etiquette, trends, and how to get the job you want. But if you’re able to create industry-specific content, that’d be even better. In my experience, readers prefer specific topics written by experts.
I used to work in manufacturing, and some of the topics I could write about involved product design, new technologies (3D modeling and 3D printing), and how to raise funds for product development via the different crowdsourcing websites. I attracted a good number of regular readers, and I don’t think I would have gotten those readers if I wrote about generic topics like which necktie are you.
Tumblr used to be my favorite content platform – I loved how the site blurred the lines between social media site and content platform. Unlike LinkedIn, Tumblr is the appropriate platform for a wide variety of topics. But having said that, I think fun and entertainment-related topics are more appropriate for Tumblr. People have expectations when they check out Tumblr, and for now, it’s best not to go against those expectations.
Also, if you produce content on Tumblr, tried to embed as much multimedia content, like video and gifs, as you can. Readers on Tumblr tend to prefer quick reads with lots of moving pictures.
This is perhaps the most popular content platform at the moment. I say “at the moment” because what’s popular now may change tomorrow. The internet is fickle like that. But Medium is great for a wide variety of topics. I think the reason that Medium is popular now is that it looks clean and easy to read. Some sites tend to go overboard with design – at the expense of building a good readership. But Medium resembles a regular news website, which is awesome.