5 Platforms To Start Your Writing Career And Make Money

Starting Your Writing Career

It’s 2023 and you want to be a writer? That’s amazing! But how exactly are you going to start?

First things first, write. Write as much as you can, whenever you can. Get familiar with your writing style and the messages you want to tell. Give yourself some time to get good, not perfect. And build a portfolio, depending on the type of writing you want to do, a portfolio might be standard and give you a leg up on the competition. I am a fiction writer, and a portfolio is not necessary, for starting. But it does help me have already completed pieces to submit, edit and query with.

And then start your writing career on a platform that’ll connect you to your audience, show the value of your work and make writing a working career. This platform would also work as your author’s platform.

You could get on a platform at the same time that you’re building your portfolio and building your writing skills. But I would suggest that you start writing first and then get on a platform. This way you can really commit to building your platform and career without having content creation come in the way of your writing and stories. Remember that you being a writer is what brings value to any platform, so prioritizing the writer part is important.

Okay – but what platform do you choose? There are so many platforms, including social media platforms, for writers to start their careers. But not all platforms respect your work, offer fair monetization opportunities, and make it easy for you to do what you love, writing,

So here are 5 of the best platforms for you to start your career in 2023.

#1 Substack

Substack is a subscription newsletter platform. Writers go to substack to start newsletters and readers go to substack to subscribe to newsletters they like. Newsletters can be free or paid. So writers get paid from what readers pay monthly or yearly.

For example, if a newsletter cost $5 a month to subscribe, and 1000 people subscribe. The author of that newsletter makes $5,000 per month.

Personally, I love this platform over many other platforms because of how it truly gives writers an opportunity to just write, build an audience and make money from what they write.

I started a Substack newsletter myself and loved it. I didn’t get too many subscribers or write many pieces. But if I ever start a newsletter again, Substack is definitely a number one choice.

Substack is a strong platform to start your career because of how it really emphasizes writers and authors instead of highlighting just their content. With a newsletter on Substack, you could build an audience, make decent money, collaborate with other writers, and engage with your audience.

The platform also allows writers to host podcasts attached to their newsletters.

Platform Price – Free to use


In Case You’re Wondering…

Substack is a platform owned by its founders, so you don’t own the platform that your newsletter sits on. But you do own your email contact list and any content you publish on the site.

The more subscribers you have, the more money you can make; There isn’t a cap or specific amount of money you can make on Substack because every newsletter has its own monthly or yearly subscription cost and its own set of readers.

The name of the game is to write good content, set a good price, get lots of people to subscribe and you can make lots of money.

Yes and no. You totally can approach creating content like a blog. But how your reader receives content is different, and how you make money is the more obvious difference: subscription is Substack’s thing. Everything about Substack is based on delivering newsletter content, from the structure to the creative process to earning money.

No. Because your newsletter lives on Substack’s platform, the address for your newsletter could be Substack’s address. And this address is already provided whenever you create a publication.

Kind of. Even though writers manage newsletters on Substack. Readers can access their newsletter and newsletter content through the web like a website. Writers can even control how content lays out on this ‘website’.

# 2 Medium

Medium is another great platform for writers. It is a large and open publishing platform where writers can start mini publications, and make money with their writing. Medium is truly a dynamic platform that has an insane amount of good articles and writers. I go to Medium for articles often because of the great writing and the many topics covered.

How Does Medium Work For Writers?

A writer can choose just about anything to write about on Medium. After picking a topic, they can focus on making content and engaging with their audience. The content creation process is fairly simple and user-friendly. All writers really have to worry about is writing and monetizing their content.

Writers can make money two ways on Medium.

  1. Make money from reading time. The more time readers spend on your articles, the more money you can make. Rates are decided by Medium
  2. Membership referral. All content on Medium is limited to free members and 100% available for paying members. When a writer successfully refers a reader to become a Medium member, that writer gets half of the membership fee they pay ( every month or every year ).

Platform Price – Free to use


In Case You’re Wondering…

Similar to Substack, writers own 100% of the content they publish through Medium.

It’s for both. No matter what your story or writing form is, Medium is a great place to start writing. Even if you write strictly fiction or poetry.

There is no exact amount that people get paid on Medium for reader views. Though looking at Medium income reports from other writers can help you get an idea of what you can make; When it comes to referred membership earnings, Medium does have a breakdown of how this earning goes here.

No. Writers who make money on Medium are part of their Partner Program. To get into Medium’s Partner Program a writer must be active, have a minimum of 100 followers, and have published at least one story on the platform. Writers who meet the criteria can apply for the Partner program and be on their way to making money.

#3 Publish with Ghost

Ghost is a beast: an all-in-one platform/tool for publishers. It is an open-source publishing platform that lets you build your website, newsletter, and subscription content. It is paid service that offers, hosting, website security, integrations, website themes, analytics, and more. If you are an all-around publisher/writer Ghost is perfect for you.

But it is most often recommended as the next step because it is a paid service that comes with so many tools. I’ve read and heard people recommend writers to start to build an audience on free platforms like WordPress or Substack and then transfer to Ghost when audiences get large and publishing gets really serious. And I agree. At the beginning of your writing career, you may not need or want to use all the tools and features Ghost comes with. So getting exactly what you need on a free site saves you money and time. But if you have the funds and intend to take advantage of all of Ghost’s tools, then it is an amazing place to start. Starting your writing career with a platform like Ghost kind of gives you a leg up over the competition because you have all your tolls in one place.

Making money on Ghost is identical to making money with any blog or website + money made from paid content or subscriptions ( because Ghost is already equipped with these integrations and tools.)

Ghost does an amazing job explaining what its platform is, what it does, and how writers can use the platform to build their websites. So if you want to learn more be sure to check it out to see if it’s the right for you.

Platform Price $$ – Monthy and Yearly pricing plan depends on the pricing package. See pricing here.



#4 Publish With Other Publications

You may not want to start your own platform immediately or at all. And you don’t have to. Starting a writing career doesn’t always mean having an owned platform to reach and build readers. Publishing on other platforms is a great way to skip lots of headaches and responsibilities in building and growing a platform can bring: you can get straight to the writing.

I love this method because credibility is something more easily built when contributing to other publications. Because there are already so many people ready to read, comment on, and share what their favorite publications are posting and writing.

How Does Publishing With Other Publications Work?

There are 2 main ways writers get to writing for a publication (There are more but I’m only touching on 2).

  1. Writers can reach out to publications ( literary magazines, blogs, newspapers) and offer their services or work to that publication with a pitch and query letter.
  2. Publications are often open for submissions during certain seasons. Then, writers can submit a piece (according to the submission guidelines) and hope that the work gets through.

Start with small publications and work your way up. Unless you’re confident that your writing is ready to be published with top-level publications. Things like opinion pieces, fiction pieces, reviews, essays, and researched articles are among the things that writers can submit to these publications.

Making money with this method is very simple You offer a service or work of value and you get paid. In this case, your service would be writing. Many publications pay writers a flat rate for their work or an amount per word (i.e.,.25c per word).

Aside from writing, a lot of your time might be spent on managing paperwork, feedback, and other communications between you and these publications. Like edits, they may want you to make contracts that need to be signed and whatever else.

Platform Price Check with each publication for prices (especially for literary magazines/journals). For many publications submissions are free but for others, the costs are usually around $3 to submit work. For article and freelance writing, submissions are usually free.

In Case You’re Wondering…

Email is one of the top ways to contact a publication. Using resources and contact information that you find from a menu item in a website’s footer section, writers can find a person, department, or team to contact.

Or if you know a journalist/writer from the publication you can also contact them too. Social media is another way to reach out.

Okay, every publication is different. Read the work the publication has already published and any guidelines they might have on their website.

The AP-style guidebook is another great resource to use and follow when writing for an online publication.

There is no basic rate applied to all writers. Each publication has its own prices and rates that are applied to each work submitted. This is usually the case for magazines and journals. If journalism and freelance writing is more your speed then you’ll most likely be the one setting prices and rates.

#5 Blog with WordPress.org

WordPress.org is an extremely popular and reliable open-source content managing system. It’s been around for a long time and is trusted by some of the best websites and blogs. It is free to use. But must be paired with hosting, themes, and plug-ins to run nicely.

I personally use WordPress to run his site and love it. Though I must warn you that it is a platform with a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the gist of things, creating content gets easier and the benefits are worth it.

If you have a topic or a collection of works that you want to publish then a blog is a great way to start your writing career.

Making money with a blog is diverse and limitless. Some of the main ways include ads, sponsored posts, digital or physical products, affiliate marketing, courses, etc. Each of these has its own metrics when it comes to pay ratings and profits. But with the right strategies and good content, you could make lots of money applying 1, a few, or all of these monetization methods.

Things I can’t leave out

WordPress is great but I can’t write about WordPress and not mention that

  1. Although WordPress is free, hosting and other things do cost money.
  2. WordPress.org is not the same as WordPress.com.

Platform Price – Free to use, but hosting and other services paired with WordPress may cost money.


In Case You’re Wondering…

Not necessarily, because there are plugins, integrations, and services that make website building, content writing, and customization easier. But if you do know how to code, it’s a bonus skill that’ll help you save money on taking your website to the next level.

WordPress functions very differently from the other platforms on this list. To start using WordPress, I would suggest that you get hosting first ( with a host that supports WordPress, like Bluehost or Dreamhost) and start using WordPress through them ( usually with their WordPress downloader/installation process)

Just Start

I loved putting this list together because these are all really great and versatile options for writers starting or continuing their careers. Writers and authors today are not the same writers from decades ago. But all writers have their start, and their success ( somehow ). And a writing career means getting work on a platform. Not for the views or only for the money. But because at some point ( after years of writing for themselves ) writers want to reach out to their audience and share their stories and messages. So whether it’s on a platform in this list or anything, start your writing career, when your message just can’t be kept private anymore.

And that is the most important thing: starting.

Just start your writing career and see where it takes you. If you’re passionate about writing and love it, then your writing career is inevitable. Don’t be late for opportunities and to your dreams coming true. Just start writing, on any one of these platforms or a social platform ( even if that’s Twitter ) and do what you love. Just remember to start and keep writing.

Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one!
Until my next words (on here that is),

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