Writing is a valuable skill for any human in the digital age.
But can you really make any money doing it?
While you may long to blog from sandy beaches, raking in cash from affiliate links for KitchenAids (affiliate link), this plan often struggles to achieve long-term success.
While you can certainly generate a little side hustle income with your writing on sites like Medium or Mirror.xyz, reaching a sustained livable income requires years of grueling work.
That’s why you may want to explore a different career path with your writing skills. One that is more sustainable and still gives you the flexible, creative, wordsmithery every writer desires.
What career is that? Becoming an instructional designer.
👉 This article explores the craft of instructional design and how strong writers can build a lucrative career in this space.
Instructional designers create content that helps people learn. They may develop a YouTube video, an online course, a How-To article. Any type of content that has a goal to educate the audience and solve a problem.
Designers often know how people learn best. They know how companies operate. And, they know how to organize complex information to make it easy to understand.
You’ve probably seen some instructional design content before. Below are three examples.
👇 Here’s an example of a free beginner course to help users learn Jira Software.
👇 Here’s an example of a training video for retail employees at an apparel company.
👇 Here’s an example of a “How-To Guide” to help writers learn a new writing platform.
In the three examples above, writing was key to bringing the learning content to life.
The beginner course took complex information and simplified it in text form. The video required clear, concise scriptwriting. The How-To article organized information in a long-form blogging style.
Without effective writing, learning experiences can’t succeed.
The written word is the primary medium through which you communicate information to learners.
Good writing provides clear, concise instructions that are easy for learners to follow.
When instructional writing is done well, it has the power to reduce cognitive load, improve memory retention, and increase content engagement. It’s a catalyst for learning, not a blocker.
Bad writing is a barrier to the learning process.
If you can’t communicate ideas through writing, you‘ll struggle as an instructional designer.
The good news for you?
If you’ve been writing for a while, you’ve already got some of the necessary skills. 🙌
Even if you’ve only published a few Medium articles or written a few guest posts, those writing skills will be important to kickstart your journey to becoming an instructional designer.
Don’t have any experience in instructional design? That’s okay!
You don’t need a formal background in instructional design.
My background is in marketing. I’ve been writing content and creating instructional videos for years, without the formal title of “instructional designer.”
Over time, my career shifted to focus on developing learning-specific content, only. And I didn’t need an MA in Learning Design to get here.
You too can use the skills you have now, to start your career in instructional design.
If you want a career in writing, instructional design can give you the creativity and financial success you desire — it’s a great way to use your skills to others learn.
Now’s the time to get started.
Go get ‘em. ✌️
I’m Andrew DeBell and I create digital learning content. With 9+ years of experience, I’m skilled at writing, video editing, visual design, and eLearning development. Here on Medium, I mostly write about learning, content, marketing, and tech.
👉 Follow me on Linkedin and Medium to stay up on the latest.