Making Words Make Money

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

I’ve always considered my strongest skill to be in writing. Maths? You can keep your Pi. Science? Put your Bunsen burner back in the lab. So it was set, words would pay my bills. But how can I make this possible? I learned long ago that the odds of becoming a professional author who earns his keep purely from book sales is almost zilch, so I needed a different tack.

I moved into copywriting, the process of using words to sell stuff. This ticked me over for over 10 years, but now I’m kinda bored of it. It has never been my dream goal to be a copywriter, but it’s been the closest thing I can find to being a writer and make a living. However, I ended that journey last week, and now I need a new way to make money with my words.

And I may have the answer. Silly little poems.

For a while now, I have been freelancing for a company who write poems for people who want poems written for them. Whether it’s for weddings, birthdays or anniversaries, they sent me a short list of what they want covered, and I cobble together a ditty. It’s a great gift idea and covers many occasions, so I wonder if there is a way to make this a more constant income.

It’s also inspired my creative work – I’ve been writing more poems for my own creative means and, not that I consider myself a poet at all, writing more poems than I ever have in my life, and that’s great! So I’m wondering whether I have a go at it myself out here in Asia, as I don’t see much competition around, and a little bit of savvy marketing could open up some interesting doors. Anyway, here’s to trying…

As one who is looking to exchange their words for money into their bank account, where there’s a will, there’s a way.


  1. Good on you Michael, to branch out and take the plunge. Not being either a poet or into verse myself, how lucrative a market is it? Or is that what you’re trying to discover?

    If that children’s poem you wrote is anything to go by, you’ve got the touch. As they say in France, bon courage!

    BTW, I think the final word of your last paragraph should read ‘tack’.

  2. Think Nigel meant the first paragraph. ‘so I needed a different tack.’ rather than ‘so I needed a different tact.’
    Also ‘earns his keep purely from book sakes ‘ should read ‘earns his keep purely from book sales’ I presume.
    Good luck with it. We need to reverse the trend of the only financially successful writers being previous celebrities. They don’t nee the income – we do!

  3. Thanks for the feedback team. Edits made.

    @nigelw I have some knowledge of its potential through a contact I have, and I know, at the very least, that there’s a market for it. How big that market is, I don’t know. I guess that’s the fun of it.

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