Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Stephen King, Sandra Cisneros, and Joanne King Rowling all have one thing in common. They were all extremely poor, but became rich. With a reported mean annual wage of $69,250, the Bureau of Labor Statistics rated the job of a writer or author as one of the top jobs to have. Even though there are worlds between J.K. Rowling’s net worth of $950 Million and the annual wage of around $70,000, a career in writing appeals to many.
Since there is no minimum requirement for becoming a writer, the competition is fierce and standing out in an industry without official education standards that is largely based on experience can be challenging. Besides cover designs, headlines, content, writing style, titles, pitches, and other things writers now have to be aware of SEO, traffic rankings, branding, and last but not least the ever growing competition.
In order to become a great writer and earn a six or seven figure income, one must master all of the disciplines above. There are several ways to go about that, but one of the most effective ways is to learn from writers or authors who have created income streams that are similar to what you would like to achieve for yourself. While anyone would love to write the next Harry Potter, there are other examples out there that can provide concrete advice on how to become a better writer.
The following list contains ten of the best websites for writers and covers every aspect of writing. Most importantly, these websites are great examples of how all of these aspects align and form one coherent writing style and personal brand that is recognizable and capturing.
10 10: Create As Folk
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 460,749
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 309,939
Create As Folk is run by career coach and former actress Laura Simms. The basic idea behind the site is to help you get paid for being you and find a career that “feels like home”. While the minimalistic and tasteful design of this website impresses, the blog is giving professional writers a run for their money. All blog posts are formatted to the “t”, include meaningful photographs, and are entertaining without being overly hilarious or distracting.
Create As Folk is the right website to visit if you need to declutter your mind, need inspiration for great introductions, or simply enjoy reading a well-written blog post. The website was featured on Create Hype, Tiny Buddah, U.S. News, Psych Central, and UCIrvine.
9 9: Live Write Thrive
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 287,600
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 150,554
Novelist, copyeditor, and writing coach Susanne Lakin (known as C. S. Lakin) created Live Write Thrive as an extension of her work and to help fellow writers. Her blog regularly features guest bloggers and averages 3 published articles a week. After winning the Top Ten Blogs For Writers Award by Write To Done in 2012 and 2013, Live Write Thrive was crowned Champion of the Top 25 Writing Blogs 2014 by Positive Writer and Winner of the 100 Best Websites for Writers 2014 by The Write Life.
In contrast to many other known websites like Problogger, which mainly targets bloggers, this website is dedicated to writing as a form of art and self-expression as well as a profession, regardless of whether you are writing science-fiction novels or trying to generate an income online.
8 8: Writing Forward
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 223,779
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 123,841
Melissa Donovan is the driving force behind Writing Forward. The website combines her two professions of copywriting and web design and is not centered around herself - not something easy to come by these days. Instead, Writing Forward is a one-stop destination for both full-time writers and newbies who want to brush up on their grammar or need writing and publishing-related how to answers.
Writer’s Digest included Melissa Donovan’s site on their list of the 101 best websites for writers in 2009 and Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop announced her as one of the “Best of the best” Award winners.
7 7: Paid To Exist
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 69,779
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 42,773
Jonathan Mead has truly outdone himself with Paid To Exist. While the general idea of the site is to combine work and passion to live a meaningful life, the branding and cohesiveness of the entire site is breathtaking. The blog is heaven for writers who need to better define their niche or writing style, because you won’t find any other site that has such a high degree of alignment between message, brand, vocabulary, and presentation.
Also others have recognized the uniqueness of Paid To Exist and the site has been featured on Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, Lifehacker, Zenhabits, and Copyblogger.
6 6: The Write Life
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 61,722
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 19,893
Alexis Grant is the managing editor of The Write Life. She is most known for her personal website which features her as a professional writer and digital strategist with a focus on career coaching. The Write Life is a community for writers and primarily targets freelance writers who are relatively new to the writing industry.
Even though the website is quite anonymous, it ranks surprisingly high when it comes to traffic ranking. With a Traffic Rank of 19,893 in the United States, The Write Life gets twice as much traffic as its much more prominent colleague Paid To Exist.
5 5: Seth Godin
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 51,447
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 23,323
Seth Godin is mostly known for his entrepreneurial expertise and branding skills. Before writing numerous bestsellers, Seth Godin slowly but steadily built his audience with his minimalistic Typepad blog. This blog is worth your time for two simple reasons. First off, Seth Godin revolutionized the writing industry by publishing books and blog posts that are significantly shorter than the usual length. To give you a concrete example, his blog posts average 150-300 words and his books usually have around 60-80 pages. Secondly, Seth Godin has a highly unique writing style that he consistently applies to all his published pieces.
Similar to Paid To Exist, this Seth Godin’s blog is ideal for writers who are looking for great examples of a cohesive vocabulary, writing style, design, and brand.
4 4: Live Your Legend
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 46,602
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 21,703
Scott Dinsmore created Live Your Legend in 2006 to help fellow professionals change the world by doing what they love. More than 60,000 people have joined the Live Your Legend community ever since and the website has been featured on Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Small Business, TEDx, and the Washington Post.
Writers will find well written blog articles that cater perfectly to their respective target groups. Additionally, there are usually around 30 comments for each post that explain how the post is perceived, which is interesting for any writer. For instance, some perceive a given post as a pep talk while others assume it is the start of a discussion that leads to further questions.
3 3: Leaving Work Behind
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 46,152
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 25,295
Tom Ewer, a full-time blogger, created Leave Work Behind to help people find the right balance between having a job they love and living the lifestyle they envision for themselves. Having quit his own job to start making money online as a blogger, the 28 year-old leads by example. He was named a “Blogger To Watch” in 2013.
While most of Tom Ewer’s blog posts are practical, entertaining, and well written, some of them are exceptionally emotional. Browsing through his posts on Leave Work Behind, Lifehacker, FreelanceSwitch, Blog Design for Dummies, and other blogs, you might find yourself crying when you dive into Tom’s stories about his late father and other touching events he describes so brilliantly.
2 2: Penelope Trunk
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 35,928
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 12,322
Penelope Trunk has managed to attract a large community of loyal readers in what seems like no time at all. As serial entrepreneur, blogger, former business columnist and professional beach volleyball player, she is one of today’s most diverse online personalities. Whether she describes what it was like to be one block away from the World Trade Center when it fell or she writes about what you can do to further your career in her bestselling book, Trunk’s writing is captivating.
If you haven’t stepped by her blog, do so today! This mom’s career advice is currently being published in over 200 newspapers and she runs several highly successful blogs (e.g. Brazen Careerist) and has written bestsellers - the only way she can top this is to write the next Harry Potter!
1 1: Holy Kaw
Alexa Traffic Rank (Global): 4,187
Alexa Traffic Rank (US): 2,296
The number one on the list of the best websites for writers has to be Holy Kaw. There is no website out there that so clearly demonstrates the difference a title can make. If you haven’t heard of Holy Kaw yet, it’s is a simple summary of what’s popular around the web. Holy Kaw will grab the first 300 words or so from articles that are supplied automatically via feed and change the headline. At the end of the short paragraphs there is a link to the page where the article was first published so you can read the rest and compare titles.
This website is ideal for writers you are looking to improve their editing skills, because the headlines chosen by Holy Kaw are often much better than the original headlines and attract a large amount of traffic. Additionally, it helps to develop a thinking pattern to faster create alternative headlines.