Can You Earn a Living Writing Online?
Is it possible to make a living writing online? This is the big question many writers have. I'll be honest with you. You'll only be able to if you learn SEO and can write an article quickly and then it may still be difficult. You might find a high paying niche that doesn't have a lot of competition and then you might be able to do it. You'll need to write a few thousand articles to make it and then you still might not earn enough, but there are people that do.
Can it be done? Yes it can for a lucky few. Writing online does earn a good part-time income for many writers, but you need to stick to it. It can really help pay the bills or help save for retirement.
Content sites are a good way to add to your income, but most of your money will be earned from your own websites. You'll work more hours than you would at your 9 to 5 job.
If you want to earn full-time money you are going to have to work and work hard. A lot depends on what your expertise outside of writing already is. I've seen a few writers that earn really good money with few articles, but they are the exception.
Does Anyone Earn Enough to Make a Living?
There are online authors making a living writing. I've met those that do, but they have multiple websites and a large collection of writing at many sites. One man claims it took him 3000 articles to earn enough to quit his job. Others state that it took 3 years of steady writing every night after work. Most of these writers live a frugal lifestyle.
If you work hard and keep at it, you may be able to do it. You need to learn SEO and how to use the right titles. Don't worry you can find enough articles right here on Hubpages to give you an entire education. You also need to learn about finding the right niche.
I myself have a nice part-time income, but I have 3 sites and write here at Hubpages. The sites don't get as much attention from me as they could. If I spent more of my time writing, I could do a lot better.
You need to set a time that you will write each day. Having your own space in your home, even if it is small will help you keep away from the distractions. You need to set goals and work hard until you reach them. Write out a good plan with objectives to reach and reread it often.
Write at Multiple Sites
The best advice is always not to put all your eggs in one basket. There are several sites where you can post your work and you can always start your own websites and blogs. Some writers make a living from a large website.
The best and most respected place to create your own site is now Wordpress. There is a learning curve there, but it is easy once you've studied it and well worth it.
Tripod Lycos offers sites for $4.95 a month. You need to pay for your own domain address which will cost another $20.00 a year. This does include a free blog and a site builder. You are able to build several sites there for the same price. Customer support is good, but can take a day sometimes. Tripod is where I host my sites, but plan on moving them to Wordpress in the near future. Many other free website builders are available for a low price.
At Blogger you can start a blog for free. Blogger is owned by Google. Again, you need to have the right topic to write about and the site needs to be well promoted with huge amounts of content. Keep your blog updated every week. More often is better.
If you'd like direct pay per article, try sites like Textbroker and Elance where you will earn a one time payment quicker. I don't care for these sites myself. I just feel over time that I can earn more at sites like Hubpages where you can earn residual income.
Setting Per Word Rates - Freelance Writing
If you are writing for the content sites, keep track of your word count and how long it takes to write an article. The day will come when someone contacts you and offers you an assignment. You need to know how much you should charge per word or article. Because you take it as a compliment, you will be excited by the offer. Don't let that allow you to undercut yourself.
I erred in this department when I took my first freelance job. When quoting a rate I thought it would be a good wage. Afterwards, I realized that I wrote much slower than I thought. Be sure to count in all reference work that you do too. Most writers will tell you to quote a rate per word that will earn you at least $20 per hour.Be sure to check your expenses to see if this is enough.
As you gain experience, you will be able to charge much more. Never undercut yourself!
How Much Income is Enough to Quit Your Full-time Job?
If you are earning enough to pay the bills and you are thinking about quitting your regular job, there are other considerations you need to take into account.
- Income taxes - Figure state taxes, local taxes and Federal income taxes into your expenses. You will also need to pay your employers half of social security. All of these things will no longer be taken out of your check.
- Health Insurance - Does your spouse have you on his/her work policy? If not, this can be an enormous expense. My husband checked into ours and it would cost $1700 a month if we wanted to carry our own. I've heard you can get policies with large deductibles for less money, but they still aren't cheap. Just be sure you have the money in a bank account to cover the deductible, in case you do get a serious health problem.
- No More Paid Vacations - If you'd still like to take a paid vacation, get paid holidays, you need to consider if you will be able to take a break from writing.
- Disability Insurance - You'll need to pay your own disability insurance too.
Are You Able to Work Long Hours By Yourself?
You need to be a self-motivated person and be able to spend long hours alone. Do others interrupt you on a continual basis? You'll need to have quiet time to work. You may still need a babysitter for the kids. Be sure to include that in your wage.
Writing can be a satisfying job for the right person. I wish you all the best with your new career. Just don't jump in and quit your job until you have taken all of these things into consideration.