How to Make Money as a Writer

From content mills to managing a publication.

Adrian Drew
7 min readAug 23, 2022


Photo by abi ismail on Unsplash

The road to becoming a full-time writer and editor hasn’t been an easy one, to say the least. Making it as a creative is never quite as straightforward as one might think.

I remember sitting at home writing stories as a young child, conjuring up fantasy kingdoms and wartime novels scrawled onto scraps of paper. I loved the idea of creating stories, weaving together my ideas into imaginary worlds and characters that I could paint and puppeteer however I liked.

I used to dream of becoming an author someday. And at eighteen, fresh out of high-school, brimming with ambition and having endless freedom at my fingertips, the time had come to give it my best shot.

Whether you’re a freelancer, employee or apprentice, when you’re just starting out in a new career, it feels like all odds are stacked against you.

My childhood naivety had left me with the false belief that becoming an author would be as simple as waiting for inspiration to strike, writing a bestselling novel and reaping the rewards for the remainder of my happy, carefree life.

While such a journey would have been great, my first steps into the world of freelance literature crushed those unrealistic hopes pretty quickly. Of course I could become a writer. But it would never be that easy.

I was yet to learn about how to market my work, how to establish my personal brand, how to build connections with other creatives and how to deal with clients.

After trial, error, more error, crippling failure and many years of being soul-crushingly poor, I found my footholds and learned to climb higher in a new industry as a complete beginner.

Here’s how.

Finding My Feet

From the get-go, I was tasked with the notoriously impossible mission of finding my first client.

I was a complete novice and there were all of these other writers achieving such big things, leaving me feeling deflated and disheartened. They were all earning so much money, generating tonnes of views on their content — and here was me unable to land a single paid gig.



Adrian Drew

Owner of Mind Cafe | Let’s chat on Instagram: @adriandrew__