13 Writing & Editing Business Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Writing & Editing Business

A writing and editing business is a business that provides writing, editing, and sometimes proofreading services. Such businesses market their services to businesses, corporations, and individuals who might require those types of services.

The earning potential of writing and editing is incredible. Freelancing is one of the best ways to earn some extra money. If you like writing and editing, then freelancing can provide you with an opportunity to prove yourself as an expert, increase your network and help steer your career in a new direction.

Writing is one of the easiest businesses you can start. You might dream of becoming a professional writer, selling your stories to famous magazines, or writing books that millions around the planet will read.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a writing & editing business:

1. Prooftheword ($14.4K/year)

In this case study article, Sara Davies, founder of Prooftheword, shares how her excellent editing skills and frustration with the poor English she encountered everywhere inspired her to start her editing and proofreading business. With regular monthly earnings of around £1,200 and a client base that includes magazines and book writers, Sara's business has steadily grown over the years.

How much they make: $14.4K/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 1

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How I Started A $1.2K/Month Editing And Proofreading Service

A sole trader launched Prooftheword, an editing and proofreading site, offering services to a wide range of clients, with consistent monthly earnings of around £1,200 through her skills and great work.

About
Sara started Prooftheword about 9 years ago
Revenue
Sara grew the business to $1.2K/month
Costs
It cost Sara $1000 to start the business
Read by 5,508 founders

2. Content-Whale Private Limited ($750K/year)

Vaibhav Kishnani, an engineer turned writer, came up with the idea for Content-Whale after noticing the unprofessional conduct in the Indian content market. With just Rs. 2,500 ($35) in capital, he started the content agency which now generates a revenue turnover of Rs. 4 crores ($514,000) and serves clients like Quikr and The Boston Consulting Group.

How much they make: $750K/year
How much did it cost to start: $35
Current team size: 30

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How We Started A $514K/Year Content Curation Agency With Just $35 [From India]

Content-Whale, a content curation agency, has achieved a Rs. 4 crore ($514k/year) turnover 4-5 years after being started with just Rs. 2500 ($35), and has a pool of more than 500 writers, aiming to become a market leader in the global content market.

About
Vaibhav started Content-Whale Private Limited almost 7 years ago
Revenue
Vaibhav grew the business to $62.5K/month
Costs
It cost Vaibhav $35 to start the business
Read by 5,278 founders

So... can you actually make money with a writing & editing business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Ethos Copywriting ($144K/year)

Matt Flowers, the founder of Ethos Copywriting, came up with the idea for his business while working as an educational assistant and freelance writer. Realizing the abundance of content in various industries, Matt saw an opportunity to provide professional copywriting services. He landed his first client serendipitously and started his business from there, eventually growing it to generate $130,000 in annual revenue.

How much they make: $144K/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 2

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My Passion For Writing Led Me To Start A $12K/Month Content Marketing Agency

Content marketing agency Ethos Copywriting, founded by Matt Flowers, generates $130,000 annually through meticulous attention to quality and the creation of entertaining, high-value content, all without paying for ads, and advises startups to invest wisely and ensure their businesses enable them to pursue other opportunities.

About
Matthew started Ethos Copywriting almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Matthew grew the business to $12K/month
Costs
It cost Matthew $1000 to start the business
Read by 3,502 founders

4. Ship 30 for 30 ($2.5M/year)

Dickie started writing online in 2020.

He was writing a newsletter, but after 9 months, he only had around 300 subscribers.

He decided that if people weren’t going to find him, he needed to go to where the people were and double down on it.

The people were on Twitter, so he committed to writing 30 threads in 30 days to grow his account.

That personal writing challenge turned into the foundation of Ship 30 for 30, which started as a Slack accountability group to help people publish consistently.

How much they make: $2.5M/year
Current team size: 0

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The Journey of Dickie Bush Growing a 6-Figure Side Hustle in 12 Months

This business case study shares the story of an online course, teaching students how to write 30 pieces of content a day, that has grown from no followers to nearly 50k on Twitter in 12 months, helping over 4000 students and resulting in a successful six-figure company.

About
Dickie started Ship 30 for 30 almost 4 years ago
Revenue
Dickie grew the business to $208K/month
Read by 817 founders

So... can you actually make money with a writing & editing business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. The Entrepreneur's Wordsmith LLC ($492K/year)

How much they make: $492K/year
Current team size: 1

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How to Get Freelance Clients on YouTube: The Surprising 6-Figure Strategy

This case study highlights Joshua Lisec, Ohio's first certified professional ghostwriter who has ghostwritten 55+ books and earns a six-figure income from YouTube with only 2k subscribers, while also offering clients blogs on ghostwriting, a book ideas generator, and book revenue calculator.

About
Joshua started The Entrepreneur's Wordsmith LLC almost 13 years ago
Revenue
Joshua grew the business to $41K/month
Read by 548 founders

6. The Wee Writer ($72K/year)

Emma Sloan, founder of The Wee Writer, came up with the idea for her content writing business while she was still in university. She realized that many businesses struggled with crafting compelling marketing content and saw an opportunity to provide done-for-you writing services. With a focus on writing, editing, and social media calendar creation, The Wee Writer has grown its client base by over 40% since 2020 and aims to break $100k in revenue by 2024.

How much they make: $72K/year
How much did it cost to start: $300
Current team size: 0

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How A College Side Hustle Has Become A $6K/Month Content Writing Business

The Wee Writer is a successful content writing business with over 100 happy customers, offering writing, editing, and social media calendar creation services, which grew its consistent client base by over 40% since 2020 and expects to break $100k by 2024.

About
Emma started The Wee Writer over 9 years ago
Revenue
Emma grew the business to $6K/month
Costs
It cost Emma $300 to start the business
Read by 3,236 founders

So... can you actually make money with a writing & editing business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. Merrative ($24K/year)

Harshala Chavan, the founder of Merrative, came up with the idea for her business after noticing a lack of dedicated spaces for people to discuss literature. After attending a book club meetup, where she had a great discussion with others who had read the same book, she wondered if she could bring this experience online at scale. She validated her concept through participating in BPlans and growing her Instagram page, which eventually led to the launch of Merrative as a community-led marketplace for publishing talent.

How much they make: $24K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 0

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How I Bootstrapped A $2K/Month Online Community To Discuss Literature

Merrative, a community-driven marketplace for publishing talent, generates an average of $1,500 per month in marketplace transactions from their 5,000+ strong community of readers, writers, journalists, and scholars.

About
Harshala started Merrative almost 4 years ago
Revenue
Harshala grew the business to $2K/month
Costs
It cost Harshala $100 to start the business
Read by 3,392 founders

8. Writing Income Accelerator ($120K/year)

friends who turned out to be a nightmare to work with. They were demanding, changed their minds constantly, and didn't want to pay my fees. But I learned to be firm with my boundaries, set clear expectations, and communicate effectively to avoid any misunderstandings or difficult situations in the future. It's important to remember that not every client is going to be a perfect fit, and it's okay to say no to those who don't align with your values or work style.

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 1

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How I Started A $10K/Month Business Writing Custom Long-Form Articles

A freelance writing program that teaches intermediate-level writers how to command $1,000 - $3,000 per article, with creator Arlie Peyton generating $10k a month from writing custom long-form articles that get premium results in the eCommerce and SaaS industries and for personal brands.

About
Arlie started Writing Income Accelerator over 5 years ago
Revenue
Arlie grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 9,884 founders

9. Thriving Best Sellers ($120K/year)

Steve, while he running an Internet digital marketing company back in 1987, had helped his then-wife and his daughter publish a book while they both blogged about their travel stories. It was at this point he realized how powerful becoming a best-seller can be. Encouaged by a coach, Steve had then put together his first program.

How much they make: $120K/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 0

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How I Built A $120K/Year Business That Helps Authors Publish And Market Their Books

Steve Kidd's Done For You program has helped thousands of authors write, publish and market their books, with 156 people becoming best selling authors and reaching over 180,000 people in 2016 alone, and since then Kidd has been working on expanding his offerings and services while aiming for an average annual sales of $10 million.

About
Steve started Thriving Best Sellers over 37 years ago
Revenue
Steve grew the business to $10K/month
Costs
It cost Steve $500 to start the business
Read by 1,514 founders