Sixty years ago, a man with a grade 5 education could have a good life. They could get hired to do almost any job. My grandfather had a grade 5 education and became mayor.
Forty years ago, a man with a high school diploma could have a good life. They could get hired to do almost any labor job. My father had a high school diploma, worked in labor and is now retired with a pension.
Twenty years ago, a person (not just a man any more) with any college or university degree could have a good life. They could get any job related to their degree.
Today, a person with post secondary degrees has a chance at a good life. Their degrees could also be obsolete.
The Work World is Changing
Any corporate job that can be converted to production line style is being converted. Whenever possible and profitable, the job is moved to a country with lower wages.
Because of the shift of repetitive jobs leaving “rich” countries, the jobs remaining are becoming more creative. There will still be non-creative jobs like the trades, on-site service jobs and work in small companies. But you’re interested in writing or you wouldn’t be reading this. Where’s that going?
The Rise of Writing
Writing is one kind of work that can’t be done by people who don’t write a language well. There are many “rich” countries and if you can write in their language there is plenty of writing work. All the goods produced worldwide must be sold somewhere. That requires advertising copy, business websites, and both educational and entertaining content to advertise alongside. The more wealth a country has, the more creative work there will be.
As work continues to shift around the globe, wealth will also shift. Creative work will follow this shift to other countries. A great leveling will evolve over time now that we are one great global community. But I’m not a prophet, so enough guessing about the future. Let’s have a look at the different kinds of writing and how they are changing.
Kinds of Writing
Article writers create short pieces for magazines, both print and online. This includes writing articles for blogs and other websites that need content. Most article writers are specialists, focusing on one or a small number of related subjects. Even though print magazines are in decline, writers who can produce concise, clear, well written articles are never short of work. Writers who develop a deep knowledge of their specializaton can make good money writing for magazines related to the profession. If you want to make it as a writer, article writing is a good place to start.
More blogs are created daily. There are so many created, that it’s impossible to keep an updated statistic. While this is a new way to make money in recent years, the competition will limit how far you can go with it. It still makes a nice addition to your writing projects even if it turns out to be just for fun. Like every type of writing listed here, you would be well advised to keeping reading more about how it’s done and how to make a profit even as you make it part of your writing career.
All of those companies that are getting their goods produced overseas still need to advertise their products. Somebody must write the copy for ads, press releases and reviews. There are also websites to be written.
Copywriting is one of the highest paid types of writing. Everything a copywriter produces is meant to sell something. Good copy sells more than poor copy. The better you write, the more money you will make. Even average copywriters can earn over a dollar per word.
This is similar to copywriting except you write for many customers rather than an employer or a small number of clients. Freelancers will write copy to inform and entertain without necessarily trying to sell anything. For paid writing assignments of any kind, freelancers are interested if the money is right. The noncommercial gigs don’t pay as well as advertising copy, so you will need to go full time if you’re going to pay the bills as a freelancer.
Nonfiction books in hard copy form are taking a hit. Anything readers want to study can be accessed online, usually for free. But actual books aren’t going to disappear entirely. People still want to buy the best books. Paper books won’t be lost because of a hard drive crash, they are easy to loan to a friend and we can fill them with our margin notes.
Why are nonfiction books taking a hit? Because they are being replaced by ebooks. Nonfiction writers are turning to ebooks because the market is growing and the amount of profit is much higher. A paper publisher may pay $10,000 for a book and that’s it. The profits above that go to the publisher. An ebook will pay a percentage to the author as long as it’s still making sales. Some ebook authors report profits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Novels are going to be paper forever or so it seems. Reading a novel on a computer screen just doesn’t cut it. That may change one day as new variations of computers come out. So far, we have nothing the size of a paperback book that can fit in our inside pocket and put up with life’s knocks. When someone creates that device, they will make a fortune. And it will be a hard day for traditional publishing. But your novels will still sell; you’ll just sell them as ebooks.
This is high paid writing for highly paid business people looking for new jobs. It is similar to copywriting in that you gather information about your customer and then write a resume that presents them in the best light. A strong knowledge of business language and the corporate career ladder is a must.
Screenwriting will grow as the technology to produce formerly big budget movies continues to drop in price. As evidence, look at all the great foreign films coming from countries that formerly could only produce dramas. Entrepreneurial filmmaking is on the rise. While we’ve seen many great new writers making great movies lately, there are still a lot of terrible screenplays getting produced. With enough effort, anyone might break into this field.
Because of the need to make changes during film production, screenwriters need to live near the studios where the film will be made. If you don’t, either move or consider another type of writing.
Some screenwriters specialize in writing screenplays for video games. This is an abbreviated version of a screenplay that conforms to the needs of a game. This type of work is almost always done as a job in a company cooperating with a team of other creatives. As the game develops, the design changes and many rewrites are a certainty.
This is the documentation side of copywriting. All of those products the copywriters are selling need to have user, technical and repair manuals. You must have a professional level of knowledge of the product area and the ability to write in a well organized informative way that any reader can follow. A successful project will always lead to more work as newer versions of products are created and updated documentation is required. This is another type of writing with high income potential.
Is Writing Growing?
The better your writing, the more work you will be able to get and the more money you can make. If you become the best in your chosen writing type, you will always have plenty of work.
Article by Ivan Izo.