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How to Make Money as a Teen Writer

Getting a job at a magazine when you’re 15 may not seem like a very viable career option, but the truth is it can be quite lucrative, depending on the work you want to do. The world of magazines is a large community and if you want to make money online, then you could always start your own blog (though this may take some effort). However, if you want to make quick cash, then working for one of the big dogs may be the way to go.

“If you have some sort of talent, be it musically, writing, art, or anything else, there are plenty of opportunities to develop your skills and make a living,” said Jeezean Henderson, founder and chief executive of Prodigy Branding, a full-service agency that helps brands connect with millennial and Generation Z consumers through advertising and marketing agencies, consulting firms, digital agencies, and social marketing platforms.

Here are seven ways to make money as a teen writer.

1. Freelance Writing

The first step to making money as a freelance writer is to establish yourself as a skilled writer. If you’re a fast typer, then consider pitching your skills to business owners who want to hire an individual freelance writer to write product descriptions, white papers, or blogs for them.

You may want to consider looking for online writing jobs that you can do from home. As a freelancer, you’ll be compensated based on the number of words you produce, so the more you write, the more you’ll make. For a helpful guide to finding online writing jobs, check out The Ultimate Online Writing Jobs Guide by Kevin Williams.

2. Magazines, Newspapers, and Online Ventures

If you’ve ever shopped at a newsstand, then you may have seen the racks of magazines and newspapers there. If not, then you may be wondering how they make money since most people get their news from the internet now. Well, they simply don’t. Newsstand magazines and newspapers make money through display ads, membership fees, and occasionally, even selling snacks and drinks. Additionally, some publications are now offering online businesses a revenue-share program that can generate substantial revenue if you write for them. (Learn more about this program here.)

If you’re looking to make money online, then you may also want to consider looking into affiliate marketing, content creation, and selling and displaying ads. All of these can be lucrative endeavors, but require a lot of effort and experience to succeed at.

3. Start Your Own Blog

One of the simplest ways to make money online is to start your own blog. Though the idea of getting paid to write content may seem appealing, the truth is that the majority of blogs aren’t profitable. Still, if you want to try your hand at blogging, then take a look at the numerous profitable blogs out there as examples of what you can do.

The most important thing to consider about starting a blog is finding a niche. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and feel like you have something special to say on the subject. Consider what makes you different from other people in your area of expertise and go from there.

4. Sign Up for a Scholarship

If you’re passionate about pursuing a certain subject, then consider signing up for a scholarship. Essentially, these are grants and awards that you apply for that cover the cost of your education. (Some of the more common scholarships for students interested in journalism, writing, and editing are the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Fellowship, the Rose Hills Foundation Fellowship, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab Scholarship.)

There are many scholarships out there, so it’s important to do some research before you make your decision. For a complete list of scholarships available to journalism, marketing, and advertising students, check out The Best Scholaries For Students Majoring In Journalism, Marketing & Advertising by Wendy Zukerman.

5. Test Websites and Apps

There are dozens of web browsers, and even more apps for smartphones. If you’ve got an Android device, then you may want to consider trying out the Wappler app, which allows you to test websites and apps, as well as get fast feedback about your work. (This app also has a Chrome extension so you can test websites and blogs without having to load them up in a web browser.)

Whether you’re a student or a professional, having a good internet connection is essential. If you suspect that you won’t be able to do your job properly unless you have a solid connection, then consider investing in a high-quality modem or router.

6. Start An Online Store

If you’ve got a smartphone, then you may also want to consider looking into online retail stores. With online stores, you don’t have to worry about the physical distribution of inventory, so you can focus on marketing and selling your products. Additionally, you may want to look into dropshipping, where you essentially operate a shop, but you don’t have to maintain the inventory yourself.

You’ll need a good business plan to succeed as a dropshipper, but if you’ve got something to sell, then you’ve got something to offer. You may want to consider looking into wholesale costume jewelry, since those sales can be relatively easy to close, especially if you’ve got a reputation for honesty.

7. Join A Startup Company 

Startup companies are always looking for talented and innovative individuals to join their team. If you’re passionate about a certain subject, then consider joining a startup that’s working on a project related to your area of expertise. (Just make sure that you develop a good working relationship with your manager since you’ll be reporting to them. It’s also important that they see you as a team player who can contribute positively to the company.)

Above all else, make sure that you’re honest and work hard. If you do these things, then you’ll be able to make quite a bit of money, providing you don’t get bogged down by lazy or unethical individuals. (Though this type of behavior is rarely discussed in detail, the overuse of certain substances and the resulting compulsive behavior is something that frequently leads individuals down the dark path to financial hardship. Make sure that you’re not doing anything that may harm your future financial health.)

Hopefully, this article will help you decide on how to make money as a teen writer. Though it may not be the most glamorous of jobs, it can be quite lucrative, depending on your skills. Keep your eyes open for freelancing and magazine opportunities, as these can pay well, but require a lot of effort and research upfront. When it comes to blogging, just make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons and that you’re keeping your readers interested. When you do, you’ll be able to build a profitable blog quite easily.