If you’ve got a love of writing, always wanted to work from home (or WFH to give the popular abbreviation) but haven’t really had a good idea of what you could possibly do, then we’ve got a great starting point for you with these WFH ideas for writers.

Some of these ideas require prior experience in a given field, and so may not be for you. Others simply require a computer, an internet connection and a good deal of determination.

1. Author

Have you always thought you had a book inside you? Well the good news is that it’s never been easier to get started. Gone are the days when wannabe authors toiled in vain over a manuscript only to face rejection letters left, right and centre. Now you can certainly go down the route of trying to get a publisher, but a very easy way to get started is to self-publish on a platform such as Amazon.co.uk and see how you go. Why not start with a short e-book and take it from there?

Prior investment / experience needed:

None, although there are plenty of courses available both on and offline to help you to hone your skills. Start with google, and take recommendations if you can. Look for direct connections with established authors who can help you with contacts as well as tactics.

Amount of time required:

Up to you – but obviously the more time you put in, the quicker you’ll be in a position to test if there’s a demand for your work.

Potential income:

Potentially extremely high – after all EL James who wrote the 50 Shades books originally self-published. However realistically speaking such cases are few and far between so be prepared for a very small income as you’re getting established.

2. Blogger

Do you have an interesting outlook on life, or an unusual or specialist setup that others would find interesting? Then consider becoming a blogger. If you can build a following (on social media as well as to your blog) then you might well attract the attention of brands who would be willing to provide you with goods and pay for exposure on your site. Successful bloggers who have found a way to grow an audience often generate money from courses and speaking opportunities as additional revenue streams. Some bloggers have also been able to develop their own brand and might have been offered a book deal – so they are generating money from other areas linked to their blog, rather than just the blog itself.

However, don’t get carried away thinking that this is as simple as setting up an instance of wordpress and starting to tap away at the keyboard. There are literally millions of blogs out there and getting your voice heard amongst all the sound and fury is increasingly difficult. You need to be skilled in a range of digital marketing skills such as SEO (search engine optimisation), Social media marketing (SEM) and general networking.

There are groups that you can join to give a much-needed boost to your rankings such as the Tots 100 parenting blog list and there are also various award schemes that you can enter to get further publicity.

Prior investment / experience needed:

Very little if you’re prepared to put in the work to create your blog yourself. Otherwise you could spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds having it built for you. You also need to have a unique angle or viewpoint to help your blog stand out. If you want to get some advice about how to position your blog (eg are you building a niche site or an authority site, how do you go about keyword research, how do you monetise your site etc, then there is plenty of advice freely available online. Try Spencer Haws’ Niche Pursuits as a good starting point.

Amount of time required:

The most successful blogs will be updated frequently – so allow enough time per week to write at least two to three posts of around 500 words. You’ll also need time to network and keep your social media channels up-to-date.

Potential income:

We can’t lie – it’s incredibly difficult to make more than a couple of hundred pounds a month from a blog, and this would generally be after a few months for a brand new site. While there are instances where bloggers have managed to gain real traction and make a fortune, we wouldn’t want to suggest that this is a quick route to easy money in any shape or form.

3. Copy-writer

Do you have a way with words? An eye for a snappy slogan? Then copy-writing could be the career for you. If you want to find out more then see our case-study of a copy editor Kate Craggs Editorial.

 Prior investment / experience needed:

Experience in the field is useful, but it doesn’t have to be directly related. For example many marketing or PR professionals will get involved in copy-writing as part of their day-to-day and so a wide range of previous professional experience transfers well to copy-writing.

You need to be have a meticulous eye for detail, a substantial knowledge of grammar and punctuation and a wide vocabulary.

In terms of equipment, this really is a computer based WFH role, although you might have to travel to meet clients periodically.

Amount of time required:

Flexible according to how much you want to spend and how long you take to find work.

Potential income:

A full-time copywriter will earn around £25k – £30k per year, so you’ll need to work backwards from that if you’re planning to go part-time.

4. CV writer

Unlike the US, CV writing isn’t regulated in the UK. This means that if you’ve got a background in writing, or HR / recruitment then this could be an interesting avenue to explore. You should be able to hone in on what makes a candidate unique: pinpoint their strengths and remove unnecessary detail. If you have a background in a specific industry then you might choose to specialise in that direction as you have the added USP of knowing how to promote candidates in that field.

Prior investment / experience needed:

As detailed above, the more relevant experience you have the better as this will make your services seem more credible. in terms of investment, it’s really a matter of getting your professional brand out there – a website, good social media profiles (particularly LinkedIn) and testimonies from previous clients are all important. Consider creating a few CVs for cut-price or even free in order to build up a portfolio. Also think about offering covering letter services

You might want to consider a career coaching course so that you can offer this as an additional service.

Amount of time required:

This is up to you – if you have a regular supply of work coming in then you can pick and choose your hours. If not, then you will need to spend more time building your profile and this will take away from the time you can spend taking paying work.

Potential income:

An established CV writer can charge around £120 for a CV, £40 for a covering letter and £50 for a LinkedIn profile.

5. Digital marketer

Fascinated by the latest online marketing strategies? Know what it takes to drive traffic to a business? Then you could promote yourself as a digital marketer.

Prior investment / experience needed:

There’s a relatively low set-up cost for this option – a decent computer, printer and associated office paraphernalia is largely what’s needed in terms of ‘real world’ costs. However what you also need is a professional looking website (this is your shop window after all), active social media profiles and eventually a decent mailing list. These can all cost.

If you’ve worked in digital marketing previously then you may be ready to jump straight in, but if not there are many courses or even free information outlets that you can take advantage of. Check out Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog or Quicksprout for ideas.

You are likely to want to offer a range of services including SEO (search engine optimisation), SMM (Social media management), PPC (pay per click advertising), copywriting and even web-site build – although this element could always be outsourced. You might find yourself acting as a project manager or even as a small business consultant depending on your clientele. See Cornerstone digital and Tristar Digital to find out more about the experience of MumsWork founders Clare Timms and Caroline John.

Amount of time required:

How long is a piece of string? If you’re not working for clients then you should be blogging, putting messages out on social media and generally networking to boost your profile. However you are free to pick and choose your hours, and scheduled publishing is your friend, allowing you to ‘batch process’ content in advance.

Potential income:

This depends widely on experience, service offered and type of client. But if you’re working with small businesses, expect to earn £35-£50 / hour or charge on a project basis. This is an option that can provide you with a decent part-time income IF you can position yourself to find the work.

6. Freelance writer

Freelance writing, whether it be for journals, blogs, newspapers, magazines or another kind of publication is highly competitive, but has the potential to be reasonably lucrative and depending on the sector, to offer reasonable perks.

Prior investment/ experience needed:

If you’ve got writing experience from a former life then make sure testimonials and show-cases feature heavily on your CV / LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t then it’s possible to start work on social work sites such as Upwork or Fiverr to build your portfolio, but expect to command the lowest rates because of your lack of demonstrable experience.

Other potential sources of work include targeting specific publications with examples of your work, or ideas for articles and seeing if they will take a chance. Make sure you find the right person to approach though, otherwise it could be wasted effort. You can find lots of freelance job postings on sites such as journalism.co.uk with potential contacts listed there.

Spend time crafting these writing samples, especially if you don’t have a decent portfolio, as these will demonstrate your ability to busy potential clients.

Amount of time required:

At the outset you will probably spend more time looking for work than actually writing, but once you’ve found regular work, then you’ll be able to dedicate more time to the task in hand. In terms of how much you can actually write – well this will come with experience. The more you know about a given subject, the quicker you will write and the more projects you can take on.

Potential income:

You will need to set your own prices, and remember to take into consideration all of your overheads. Consider whether you will charge per project, per word, per hour. Remember that for some projects you’ll have to do a considerable amount of research, so that needs to be baked in. Eventually expecting to receive £100 for a 500 word article, so between £200-£300 a day should not be impossible, but this will probably come after some lean times, so be prepared.

7. Proof reader

Proof-reading can be undertaken as a role in itself, or is often paired with copy-writing (see Kate Craggs Editorial in our ‘How they Started’ section. It generally uses the same skills and may well be in demand from the same clients, so it makes sense to offer both in your portfolio of services.

Prior investment / experience needed:

You may have experience from a previous role, but if you decide to take a course to brush up on your skills, check out The Society for Editors and Proofreaders website to make sure that any course you take, whether online or at a college, will be recognised by potential clients in the future.

Amount of time required:

As with so many roles, you will need to allocate a certain amount of time to finding work and admin, as well as the work itself. But you are free to take jobs as you see fit and can build the business around your lifestyle.

Potential income:

As an accomplished proof-reader, expect to earn between £20-£25 an hour, more if you proof-read technical or medical copy.