7 Lucrative “Side Hustles” to Support Your Ultimate Dream

Group of writers sitting at a table outside

I’m going to make a bold statement: The writer’s life has made my dreams a reality.

Thanks to countless writing gigs over the last decade, such as copywriting … social media management … working in user experience (UX) … this “side hustle” has provided me everything I need to serve my ultimate goal — time and financial freedom to pursue my dreams as an actor.

I can take off time for auditions and gigs whenever I want … I can afford training to improve my craft … and, as of a few years ago, I can even invest in my own film projects.

If you had told my teenage self what I was doing now, he’d be absolutely floored.

Of course, that’s just my story. I’m sure you have your own dreams and ambitions.

Perhaps it’s your own creative pursuits … or enjoying more time with family … or having the freedom to travel … No matter your goal, I firmly believe writing as a “side hustle” can help you get there, too.

That is why I’m sharing seven lucrative opportunities for “hustling” your way to freedom right now.

1. Blog Writing

Blogs and online articles are a great way to share value and build rapport, all while improving your “searchability” on the web.

Of course, one blog post isn’t nearly enough for a business to develop rapport, so they’ll need multiple pieces to build their web presence and share on social media.

That’s where you come in!

Any business in any industry can use help in this department. If you have a passion or an interest, you can find a small or midsized business that has a need for your writing. And it pays well, too.

Blog posts/articles can range anywhere from $250 to $800 apiece. If you set up a monthly calendar for a company, you can add $500–$800 per calendar. All in all, you’re looking at $1,500 per month minimum for four pieces. That’s not bad for part-time work.

Of course, this is just one offering. As you continue through this list, you’ll see that any of these opportunities can be part of a greater package.

Find out more about blog writing here: How to Write Blogs for Yourself and Clients: A Step-by-Step Guide to Blogging Success.

2. Copyediting

Have an eye for detail? This could be the “side hustle” for you!

Copyediting spans all different kinds of projects and mediums, from digital blogs/articles all the way to editing manuscripts and novels. And it’s not just catching typos — it’s making sure the words flow as best as possible.

Imagine coming up with a killer marketing campaign only for it to be missing a call to action. And we all know those scenarios where we read an email 400 times before sending it, click “send,” and then *immediately* see a typo.

Point being, copyediting is never going out of style. And its value is reflected in the rates.

As a copyeditor, you can make $31–$75 an hour. Because, you are an essential part of the writing process, preparing it for the next phase of the project, often, publication. I’d argue that it’s so valuable, that it makes every other service here better.

Find out more about copyediting here: How to Use Copyediting for Career Advancement and Side Profit: Simple Techniques to Elevate Your Writing Value and Your Income.

3. Emails/E-newsletters

I’ve done a lot of work in the email/e-newsletter space, and I can tell you it’s a highly enjoyable and consistent gig for a writer. You may write a promotional email for a special deal on a product one day, a monthly newsletter the next, then perhaps a few general “tips and tricks” emails to keep the information flowing.

Beyond that, you could put together an email highlighting the new blog posts/articles for the month.

The sky’s the limit in terms of the frequency and kinds of emails a business may need. Because of that, you can hit a six-figure income from just a handful of clients.

An autoresponder series might command $100–$1,000 per email. Promotional emails could net $250–$2,000 each. An e-newsletter, which would be recurring, would be around $800–$2,000 each.

Much like with blogs, one email won’t do. Businesses need to send out a steady flow of email communications to stay “top of mind” with their prospects and customers. So you’re looking at a lot of well-paying work (often on retainer!) with only one or two clients.

Find out more about writing emails here: How to Write High Impact Emails or e-newsletters here: How to Write Engaging E-Newsletters: Earn Ongoing Income by Turning Casual Prospects into Devoted Customers.

4. SEO

SEO is search engine optimization, which is essentially ranking higher in Google or other search engines.

You can offer SEO services in several ways. On its own, you might do site audits of existing websites to find the “problem areas.” Once you’ve done a diagnostic review, you can offer a proposal of how to fix the problem.

That’s where SEO starts to overlap with all these other opportunities: It empowers quite literally every digital marketing strategy around. On top of that, having expertise in this area allows you to charge more for other services.

Here are just a few examples of projects that incorporate SEO:

  • Creating website homepage content from scratch: $1,500–$3,000.
  • Additional pages (About, Products, Staff, Contact): $250–$1,000 each.
  • Punching up existing copy: $100–$250 per page.

As you can see, one website could probably earn you somewhere around $3,000–$5,000.

And I should add, you likely won’t create or fix up a single webpage and say goodbye. Your client will need new pages, updates, features … so you’re yet again looking at multiple streams of income from a single business.

Learn more about SEO here: How to Become a Go-To SEO Content Writer: Get Paid to Write Discoverable Online Content.

5. Social Media

If you have even a passing interest in social networks — Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and so on — you can earn a hefty sum helping businesses establish their presences.

It’s also the ultimate “retainer” contract, because social media gets results only with consistency. Meaning, once you start, you’ll need to keep posting and engaging to see results.

A contract as a social media manager can net anywhere from $750 to $1,500 and more per month. And the more traction you get, the more opportunities will arise.

Say you build a nice following for a business on Facebook. They’re going to want to start translating those followers into paying customers.

That could mean creating blog content that helps them migrate from Facebook to their website. Or perhaps developing a free report to get email addresses and generating an email campaign that leads to a sale. You can even get into advertising directly on social media platforms.

No matter the path your client takes, there are opportunities for you to add more and more projects to your docket. Again, one client can provide a lot of income.

Learn more about writing social media here: How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert.

6. UX Copywriting

UX, short for “user experience,” is perhaps the most recent opportunity of everything listed here. Although it’s often spoken of in relation to digital apps and services, it applies to nearly everything a prospect or customer touches.

Websites, products, communications … All those pieces need to be as user friendly as possible. If you know how to make anything a consumer touches easier and more streamlined, you can offer huge value to businesses.

I discovered this world in the past year, and I was shocked at how lucrative it is. I was brought on to write UX copy for a financial app, something I knew absolutely nothing about, and found myself really enjoying getting into this world.

Not to mention, it pays pretty darn well.

You can charge by the project, or you might be brought in on retainer during development. I was able to negotiate a $5,000-a-month retainer contract to be on hand to help with UX during app development.

In terms of other project types, UX work on webpages and emails can range from $100 to $1,000 each, depending on length and size. You could also get into user experience with digital products, like online courses, and help make sure they’re easy to access, navigate, and digest.

The sky really is the limit in terms of how UX can be applied to the work we do. And much like everything else I’ve listed, it goes well with other offerings.

Discover more about UX copywriting here: How to Write High-Value UX Copy.

7. Video Scripts

Last, but certainly not least, video is here to stay.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, video is the “It” content format in 2023: “80% of people prefer video over written text, and 88% of consumers have purchased products and services after watching a marketing video.”

It’s hard to argue with those numbers. If you have experience creating video, you can be a huge asset to a company.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a filmmaker. Professional videos for marketing purposes often start with a script. That’s where a great writer like you can help.

Whether it’s explainer videos, how-tos, or case studies, a script gives the foundation of what to shoot. As George Clooney said, “It’s possible for me to make a bad movie out of a good script, but I can’t make a good movie from a bad script.”

So, if you provide a great script, you give businesses the ammunition they need to create a highly marketable, shareable, and valuable video!

Scripts command high fees, too. A long-form video sales letter is a minimum of $5,000. For short online videos (one–five minutes) in any category, you’ll write about 150 words per minute of video and earn $200–$500 per minute. Video script writing projects are short, fun, and creative. And once you get the hang of them, you can pump them out quickly.

Learn more about video scripting here: How to Write Video Scripts.

Your Ticket to Designing the Life of Your Dreams

When talking to actors, creatives, and, heck, basically anyone who is tired of trading time for money, I hear the same thing: They want more freedom, but they don’t think they can find it.

Yet, once they hear about the wide variety of opportunities out there, their eyes widen, their minds start to spin … Suddenly, they see just how much power they have to take control of their circumstances, make the kind of money they deserve, and enjoy the life they’ve always dreamed of.

And you can do the same.

So, why not dive into one (or more!) of these seven opportunities? As I always say, the time will go by anyway, so why not take a little bit of it to build the future you’ve been dreaming of?

If I can do it, so can you!

And now is an ideal time to get started, because you can grab the AWAI self-paced training programs and business-building resources you need at up to 90% off!

You can access the full list of items on sale here.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: July 4, 2024

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