How To Earn Money By Writing Stories + 3 Ways To Grow Your Writing Revenue

November 15, 2023

How to earn money by writing stories:

  1. Decide on your writing style. For example, do you want to write poetry, short stories, or nonfiction? Or do you want to start a blog, write romance or horror novels?
  2. Research publication platform options like publishing blog articles on Medium. Writing articles and listicles for platforms like Wattpad or selling short stories on Amazon Kindle Publishing.
  3. Determine your monetization strategy. For example, you can enter a writing contest, use Google AdWords on your blog, or connect with an online publication site like Duotrope.
  4. Publish your writing on various channels like Vocal Media and Substack. Or find freelance writing and Ghostwriting jobs on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
  5. Build an audience and reputation as a writer. Network and tell people what you're doing. Make a website to showcase your work. Create social media accounts. Then get active on social media or YouTube and share snippets of your writing.

Data suggests the global fiction books market will grow to $10.67 billion in 2023. So you can still make money with your writing skills, but the industry is competitive. Research states that only 1%-2% of authors get their work published. Writers get paid when they write text people want to read. 

But you don't make money if you can't sell your work, unlike the local lead generation business model that secures passive income by building and ranking websites. The concept is easy. Get your sites to the top of the search engines. Then they start producing leads you sell to a local business owner.

Now you own valuable digital real estate in front of people actively looking for your service. With lead generation, once your sites produce, they're pretty hands-off. You don't need to write every day. Or keep trying to sell your leads. Instead, find a business owner that sees the value. Then get paid for your leads every month. 

9 Ways To Earn Money By Writing Stories

1. Write For A Blog

Writing stories for a blog is a way to make money without owning an online business. Data states that 77% of internet users read blogs. But a blog needs to publish new and engaging content to get attention. Research suggests that the global content marketing industry is set to grow by $584.02 billion by 2027. 

Bloggers that want to stay relevant and get a ton of eyeballs on their site are willing to pay for fresh and creative stories. A few popular writing sites that pay daily or frequently in 2024 include:

  • Carve Magazine & Listverse
  • Funds for Writers & WordCandy
  • A Fine Parent & Money Crashers

Read past articles. Understand the vibe of the blog and the type of content they publish. Learn as much as you can about their audience. Then follow submission guidelines and submit the best story you can. Earnings range from $50-$150+ per article, depending on the platform.

2. Post A Story On Medium

Medium is a long game. But it's a great way for a content writer to earn with short story writing. With 85-100 million monthly active users, its growth rate has increased by 150%.

  1. Start by becoming a member.
  2. Next, join their Medium Partner Program.
  3. Then learn SEO and promote your stories everywhere. 

Share your link on YouTube and your social media accounts. Tell family and friends. The goal is to get a ton of eyeballs and people reading your submissions. Writers get paid for the amount of time their stories are viewed. So you want people to stick around and read what you write. Data from Medium reports that the total read-hour time is nearly 5 million hours per month in 2024.

How Many Stories Should You Publish Monthly To Earn Money On Medium?

Your goal should be to publish content at least 2X week to make money on Medium. The higher your output, the more people will see and read your stories. But the top writers earn $5000-$30,000 per month. 

3. Publish An eBook

To make money with an eBook, write about a topic people want to read. Develop a unique angle. Something different from what's already published. Then market your eBook on every channel you can. Data confirms that eBooks sold a whopping 526 million units in 2022 and made a revenue of $2.04 billion.

The key is to promote it everywhere. The more you market, the more money you can make as a freelance writer with eBooks. eBooks are a low-cost way to publish your writing. Writers can use platforms like Kindle publishing to leverage self publishing and earn an income with eBooks.

4. Sell Stories On Amazon KDP

Amazon remains the king of eBook publications. Data shows that eBook sales increased 16.5% last year. And hit more than $956 million in revenue, driven chiefly by Amazon's Kindle. To make money selling stories on Amazon KDP:

  • Pick the kind of book you want to publish. A few top choices in 2024 include novels, kids' books, and cookbooks.
  • Create an Amazon KDP account
  • Research keywords and popular categories
  • Adhere to the platform formatting guidelines
  • Choose your book style (hardcover, eBook, or paperback)
  • Pre-launch on social media and YouTube
  • Market your book and choose your royalty option

Do Stories Sell On Amazon?

Yes, stories sell on Amazon. But it's hard. Statistics reveal that Amazon releases over 1.4 million self-published books through its Kindle Direct Publishing every year. So to make money writing stories for Amazon, you need to research.

Check out sites like Google Trends. Read reviews on the site. Learn as much as you can about your audience and the topics people want to read. But there's no limit to how many stories you can publish on Amazon. Write a great story. Then you can earn an income on Amazon KDP in 2024

5.  Enter A Writing Competition

Writing competitions and contests are a great way to gain exposure and make money with writing. But if you want to win, understand and follow the guidelines and submission rules. Next, stay true to any identified theme.

Then create a mesmerizing main character. Include surprise endings with plot twists and drama. There's a ton of competition. So what you submit needs to stand out. But only the best one wins. Write what you're good at. Use words and phrases that grab your reader's attention. Apply to as many writing contests as you want. But a few popular options in 2024 include:

Eunice Williams Nonfiction Prize:

A place for women-identifying and nonbinary to tell their nonfiction stories. No theme, just great content writing. The top prize is $400.

Elegant Literature's Contest For New Writers: 

Literature for new and unpublished writers with a top prize of $3000.

Narrative Prize:

Hosted by Narrative Magazine, the contest offers open submissions for short stories, novels, poems, or literary nonfiction all year. The top prize is $4,000.

There's no shortcut to first prize. So submit to as many contests and writing competitions as you can. Get a feel for what kind of writing works best for you. What outline and narration style are the right fit. Then practice writing and keep applying.

6. Become A Freelance Writer

Freelance writers work for themselves. They use words and phrases to gain attention online. Most freelance writers are employed by agencies. But you can find writing gigs on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and FlexJobs.

Or network on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Stats state that the global freelance market is worth almost $1.5 trillion and increasing at a CAGR of 15%. But to make money as a freelance writer, know how to market yourself.

Leverage channels like YouTube and social media. Create a website and start a blog. Get eyeballs on your work. Build a reputation for delivering quality content. Then you can land higher paying clients. 

7. Ghostwrite A Novel

Find clients looking for ghostwriters on sites like Writers Helping Writers, Ask a Book Editor, and Ghostwriting For Profit. Or in Facebook groups and forums like LinkedIn. People are willing to pay good money for high-quality content.

The secret is to showcase your work and be active on the right channels. Data suggest that more than 50% of nonfiction books are written with the help of a ghostwriter. But if you're good, you can earn $5000 per book (or $30-$200 per hour, depending on the scope of the project).

8. Use Publication Writing Sites

Publication writing sites are a way to get online exposure and take advantage of an existing audience. To decide what site is the right fit for your writing style, consider the following:

  • What are your interests?
  • What is your niche market?
  • Can you monetize your article on this site?
  • How much does it cost to publish?
  • How many viewers does it get?

Wattpad is a popular option. But other sites like SEMRush, Yudo, and Article Alley are top contenders. 

What Are The Best Apps & Websites To Make Money As A Writer?

The best apps and websites to make money as a writer include:

  • Listverse & Dreame
  • Writers Weekly & Inkitt
  • Strange Horizon & Penpee
  • Miraquill & Sweek

There are 5.18 billion internet Internet users. In 2024, digital exposure is the best way to get a ton of eyeballs on your writing. Then you build an online audience and gain a reputation as a writer. Persistency is key. Publish a ton of stories. Leverage multiple sites and platforms to create a name in the industry and earn money writing stories.

9. Get Published In A Magazine Or Journal

Writers can submit stories to trending magazines or journals. But if your article is published, you can earn between $1-$2+/word. A few top choices include:

  • Sun Magazine & Readers Digest
  • Vestal Review & Atlas Obscura's
  • AFAR & National Geographic

Have a stellar idea. Write a well-researched article. Make sure it meshes with the vibe of the publication. But if the editor likes your piece. Then your byline will be in print and get a ton of exposure.

What Is Story Writing?

Story writing is a narrative. Stories follow a character or characters. They take readers through a sequence of events to a conclusion. A story is fiction and crafted in the first or third person. But a story may be based on real or actual events. Stories include five primary elements:

  • The plot
  • The setting
  • The characters (hero & evildoer)
  • A narrative view
  • Conflict & resolution

The best stories have a theme that ties them together. Data shows that in 2023 more people are reading stories. The key is to write with a creative twist. Share how a character accomplishes something. Or write about the people they meet on their journey. Focus on the dramatic action. Rivet your audience's attention. Tap into their emotions and move them to keep reading.

What Are Popular Types Of Stories?

Popular types of stories include romance, horror, literary fiction, and journalist genres. Data reveals that over 4 million new books were published in 2022. To earn money with your writing skill, write stories that include:

  1. An original and memorable plot.
  2. Characters that share in-depth nuances about their journey, overcome obstacles and end in victory.
  3. Good use of creative writing to captivate your readers.

Of course, there are other popular types of stories in 2024, like:

  • Contemporary & realistic fiction
  • A Science fiction story & fantasy
  • Paranormal & thriller
  • Crime & young adult
  • History & suspense

The secret is to do research. Read authors in your niche: study other writers' work or a related article in your genre. Learn everything you can about the market and its audience. Then be the best story writer. What exactly is a publisher looking for?

Which kind of writing will sell well? What can you write to get a ton of book sales? What type of story are people reading? Research shows that less than 5% of manuscripts are of high quality. But most are still impossible to publish because they don't fit the publisher's wants.

Why Sell Stories For Money?

You should sell stories for money because it's a chance to turn your hobby or writing skill into a source of income. Selling a fiction story is a way to build a reputation as a writer. And it can create new opportunities to earn even more money with your talent. Other reasons to sell stories for money include:

  • A way to replace your 9-5 with something you enjoy doing.
  • Grow a loyal reader base. Then you can monetize your audience with affiliate marketing, sponsorships, etc.
  • Attract big names in the publishing industry and land higher-paying writing gigs. 

Of course, there's no benchmark for how much you can earn writing stories. But websites like The Threepenny Review offers $400 per short fiction article. And a literary magazine like The New Yorker pays $1500+ for flash fiction. The key is to write quality content and a story potential clients want to read. Then you can make some real cash writing stories in 2024.

3 Ways To Grow Your Writing Revenue 

1. Write a story that takes your reader on an emotional journey

Your short story should take a reader on an emotional journey. The key to a great story is to slow down. Share all the minute details—the twisting journey of your story. Intrigue the reader and make them feel like they're in the story. Have a near-constant element of mystery to keep the reader's attention. Answer the question. Then raise another question to draw in your audience.

2. Add obstacles to your story to engage a reader

The main character in your short story submissions should be trying to get somewhere or do something. Issues change their direction or create problems, but everything is going to be a choice. Keep asking questions;

  • How will you tell your story? (In the first or third-person narrative)?
  • Who is your story about, and what do they want?
  • Why can't they get it, and what do they do about it?
  • How does it end?

Never let your reader reach a place of compliance or boredom. The more plot twists and unexpected events, the more engaged your reader will be.

3. Write a story with a lesson at the end

Before you start writing your story, know your objective. What is it that the audience is supposed to take away from your story? Tell people why they went on this journey with you. Be clear with your purpose. Share a valuable lesson or an alternate perspective on a controversial topic.

How to Sell Short Stories

To sell short stories:

  • Write a story people will want to read
  • Choose a writing platform
  • Submit your story to your chosen site
  • Market your writing submission

1. Compose an engaging story

Decide on your genre. What kind of copywriting do you enjoy? What writing style matches your skill set? Study authors in your genre. What language do they use? How do they draw in their reader? Then write a captivating story. One that excites the reader and encourages them to see what happens next.

2. Pick a writing platform

Research a few sites. Read each one's guidelines around submissions. Is this the best platform for your particular genre? Will your writing mesh with the overall feel of the publication? Are they the best choice for your story? What kinds of payouts do they offer?

3. Submit your story

Each platform will have its own submission guidelines. Read them over. Understand exactly what the publisher wants. If you get it wrong, you risk your story not being reviewed or considered for publication.

4.  Market your story

The most important part of earning money writing stories is knowing how to be the best marketer. Promote your story on social media, leverage email marketing, and share snippets on YouTube. Consider creating a website to showcase some of your work.

Then network with the right people. Share hyper-targeted content and offer value on forums like LinkedIn and Reddit. Tell people what you're doing. Start conversations and focus on how you can help them. Get attention from a ton of eyeballs. Then you can build your reputation as a writer.        

How Do You Write A Story That Will Earn You A Lot Of Money?

To write a story that will earn you a lot of money:

  • Grab your reader's attention at the beginning
  • Introduce the characters as fast as you can
  • Start in the middle of a crisis
  • Decide on your narration (first or third-party)
  • Develop an ending that ties it all together or finishes with a twist

With freelance writing, creative people can write stories and earn some real money. Start with some research. What copywriting niches are hot right now? What kind of story is selling well online?

Is there a trend in the market you can capitalize on? Could you tap into an underserved audience? Then pick your genre and create your outline. As a fiction writer, you aim to pull your reader in with an intention-grabbing first line. Here is your chance to hook your audience. Stories are about people. So focus less on the staging. Instead, weave words with personalization that your reader can relate to in their own life. 

What Makes A Good Story?

A good story has the right balance between authoritative content and approachability. For a story to be good, the reader should feel like they're in it. The key is to create enough questions and elements of mystery in their minds that they keep reading.

When you finish your story, submit it everywhere. Consider self publishing rather than pitching to an editor like with traditional publishing. Create a pre-launch. Share short story snippets on social media. Get a buzz going. Present yourself as a short story writer. But the more people that read your story, the better your chance of earning money for your writing.

How Does Local Lead Generation Compare To Writing Stories?

You can earn money writing stories. But it's all about output. You need to write a story that people want to buy. As a writer, you'll get a ton of rejection before you publish a winner. Of course, the goal is to land a best seller. But it's a competitive market with a lot of talent.

In contrast, the local lead generation business model is a learned skill set. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme. But because the barrier to entry is higher, there's less competition. There are 41,705 unique zip codes in the USA alone. Each one of them represents an untapped market.

In 2023, 29% of small businesses still don't have a website. Studies conclude that 56% of consumers don't trust a business without one. With lead generation, you own digital real estate that has value because people trust it. You build and rank a generic website that offers one service. But because lead generation focuses on the local market, you can get your websites to the top of the SERPs in as little as 6 weeks-6 months.

They don't need to be at the top to start making money. Once your sites produce leads, you sell them for profits between 85%-90%. You own the website, the tracking number, and the leads. And business owners are more than willing to pay for a second channel of high-quality leads. Learn the process, and you can scale fast. Build one site and then build ten more. Create an online empire of digital wealth. As a result, you secure a passive income.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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