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I Joined an Online Writing Community to Write for Money
Did I Meet My Online Writing Goals?
Goal #1: The Goal to Make Money Through Online Writing
My attraction to writing online was the passive income aspect of writing. While different people have different concepts of passive income and what it means to them, to me passive income means ongoing income. It is income that I receive for doing something once and that effort allows money to flow into my bank account without further or significant effort from me.
Three years ago, I was new to online writing. I had visions of making loads of money. I reasoned, “It’s the internet!” With the vast number of people on the internet, I imagined millions of people reading my work. I imagined multiple millions of dollars pouring into my bank account. I was naïve back then. I have come to my senses and now my expectations are more realistic.
Sure, millions of people could read my work, but millions of people have not read my work and so I have not amassed a fortune for my efforts. I’ve learned there is more to making money with writing than sitting at the computer, writing, and then expecting people to read what I wrote.
Over the past three years, I have written for several different online platforms. All of them provided valuable experience. Some had a higher pay structure than others and I was able to generate income from all of them. But, writing for some of these platforms was not worth the time and effort because, at most, I only made a few pennies at one place or a few dollars at another.
Content Mills and Revenue Sharing Publishers
In my hub titled, "The Difference Between Writing for Content Mills and Revenue Sharing Web Publishers," I share distinguishing points between the two types of online publishers. Also, I share how writers are hired and paid at content mills, as well as how to start writing and how writers are paid at revenue sharing web publishing companies.
In the online writing world, writers have many opportunities. We can write for ourselves, we can write for magazines. We can create content for corporations, content mills, and revenue sharing publishing platforms. There are any number of places a writer can write.
HubPages is a revenue sharing online writing platform. I became attracted to HubPages because of their revenue sharing structure and their marketing efforts seemed to be more extensive than others. I generated more income through HubPages than with all the other online writing platforms combined. I decided to place the majority of my writing efforts (hubs) into writing at the HubPages platform.
Money is Not My Only Motivator
In case I am leaving the wrong impression, let me quickly share that money is not the only thing that motivates me in life. I enjoy writing, but I also enjoy being able to pay bills. Currently, I don't have the luxury of living a life of total financial freedom, however if I can make money writing, that beats going to a 9 to 5 job every day. If I could write just for the fun of it, I'd write just for the fun of it. But, with the utility bill and the garbage man wanting to get paid, I guess I'll have to write for money. Such is life for this old girl.
To answer the question: Yes! I have met Goal #1 by making money through passive income online.
I am not a believer in sharing personal finances with the public, so I’ll keep the amount private, but because “pay out” establishes a minimum amount to receive money, I will admit to receiving at least the minimum pay out on a regular basis.
As long as I keep writing and keeping my publications current, readership continues to rise and the income is ongoing. I'm not "rolling in the dough," but it is enough to keep me going.
I don’t want to come off sounding like I am one of those writing snobs who is overly critical of other people’s writing ability. Contrarily, I understand that neither I nor anyone is perfect. We all enter this writing world with different talents and purposes for writing. Some people just want to write, and who can blame them. Writing is one of those activities that, for many can be extraordinarily cathartic. For that purpose, spelling and grammar don’t come into play. And, that’s alright… for them. But, my purpose for writing is different. I want to learn how to write better. I know that I will not become a better writer if I read poorly written content on a regular basis, especially if my goal is to become a better writer. There are some writers who take offense to this, but I mean no disrespect to them. I encourage anyone who wants to write to write.
Goal #2: The Goal to Become a Better Writer
When I started writing online, I had a desire to become a better writer. I learned a long time ago that if I hang out with people who are well-crafted, then I am likely to pick up some of their habits. I want to make connections with good writers from whom I can glean some of their experience. Because of my goal to learn from other writers, when I read for learning, I select from publications that I feel are well-written. By paying attention to the techniques of other writers I feel I have learned to become a better writer than I was when I first started writing online.
Surely, I desire my content to be valuable to readers, but as you will hear in the video at the end of this publication, it is impossible to measure what people think or feel, so it would not make sense to set goals based on the opinions of others.
So, again to answer the question: Yes! I have met Goal #2 by making connections with established writers who help me become a better writer.
Do You Have Writing Goals?
Writing is a personal endeavor.
I write for my reasons and I encourage others to write for their reasons. Write for the sake of writing. Just understand that if you want to become a better writer, a good strategy would be to read the work of writers who you consider are better writers than you.
There are a number of excellent writers at online writing platforms. There are far too many to mention by name. I read online content every day. With my morning coffee, I start off the day looking for content written by specific writers who are excellent writers with uplifting messages and tips that help me start my day on a positive note.
When I first started writing online I was grateful when other writers helped me with typos and grammatical errors. I’m still grateful to writers who offer their expertise. I was under the mistaken impression that other writers felt the same way. So, whenever I spotted a typo or gross grammatical error, I offered my expertise (privately, of course). While almost everyone was grateful, there were a couple of writers who took offense. As one writer responded, “How dare you correct my spelling? I don’t care about grammar or spelling. I just write to write!” Alright, I conceded. My intention was not to harm or disrespect the writer. I just thought I was being helpful. Nevertheless, I learned a valuable lesson. Not every writer wants to write to get better. Some writers just want to write to write.
The Online Writer Lifestyle
Throughout the day, I respond to comments from people who read my publications and always, if someone reads a publication of mine, I read a publication of theirs. In this instance (when I am reciprocating a reading), I am less concerned about the style or quality. I read your publications because you read my publications. I am very non-judgmental. I don't criticize grammar or style. I have learned to appreciate all writers, no matter what stage the writer is in the journey of writing.
"Just because you take the lumps out of the gravy, doesn't mean the gravy tastes good." M. C. Bertrand
I have read content that was error-free, nevertheless boring. Likewise, I have read content that was riddled with errors, yet it was still a delight to read.
When I reciprocate a reading (unlike when I read to learn how to write), I don't read to critique the writer or their content. I read for pure enjoyment. No matter what the subject matter, reading is fun and I thoroughly enjoy the publications I read.
Visit the Learning Center to read content to help you navigate through HubPages more easily.
Take Time to Learn
Each writing platform has a general online training center showing how you can earn money. There is generally an excellent community of writers who enjoy helping you. For instance, at HubPages (my preferred online writing platform), the best place to find the information you need is to visit the Learning Center on a regular basis. When I first started writing at HubPages, I read through the entire content of the Learning Center. I want to write better content and be a better community participant, so I read through the Learning Center on a regular basis.
All Writers Are Welcome
The good thing about most online writing platforms is that all writers are welcome. Whatever your goals for writing, there is an opportunity to accomplish them just about anywhere you choose. There are absolutely zero guarantees to most writing endeavors. My experience is that if you put in the effort, your chances are better, that you will succeed, than if you don’t try it at all.
So, set some writing goals and then work toward them. Your goals can be simple and general like mine. That’s alright. A goal is a goal. It’s your goal and if you are happy with it, then go for it!
Set Your Writing Goals
The following video is produced by Writing Coach Teresa Funke who knows what it is like to be a writer desiring to set real, attainable goals.
The video is only 7:20 in length.
During the video you will hear Funke talk about how to self-motivate yourself and how to take control of your writing goals by setting writing goals which help you achieve your daily and monthly goals. I found this video to be very inspirational. In fact, I credit much of my goal setting accomplishments to the strategies outlined in this video titled, "Goal Setting for Writers" by Coach Teresa Funke.
Use These Strategies to Help Set Your Writing Goals
© 2014 Marlene Bertrand