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Make Money Writing

Updated on May 22, 2010

How To Make Money From Your Writing

Even before the economy made the concept of a "permanent" job a joke, there have always been many people who have dreamed of the freedom of writing for a living. Working from home, hours that suit, easy to fit childcare and other responsibilities around work, - the ideal job yes?

Well yes - and no. Earning money as a writer has never been easy - and today fewer and fewer books are being published and magazines and newspapers are downsizing or disappearing entirely all over the world.

At the same time the barriers of entry to writing have never been lower, writing on the Internet is easy - anyone can do it - with little or no trainng - and it shows.

How to make money on-line from your writing ability? Fundamentally there are two, and only two ways to make money on-line writer:

  1. You can work as a freelance writer A hired pen where you are paid to write blog posts, e-books, articles for a client. You get the job, do the job, the client accepts your work and you invoice and get paid. This report is not about freelancing for a living though it is entirely possible to make a full-time income working as a freelancer but its hard work and if you stop working you will stop being paid - just like any job.

  2. You can use your writing ability to develop your own money generating sites and articles. You can then get paid from advertising on those sites.

If you are thinking of becoming a freelance writer I'd suggest you read the following two hubs by Pam and Martyn- they may take the rose covered glasses off!

"The Writer" Hampstead Heath, London, UK
"The Writer" Hampstead Heath, London, UK

Developing Your Own Money Making Site

This should be your ultimate goal. Why? Quite simply because you are building a business rather than moving your job from an office to the spare bedroom. A website can make you money while you sleep, while you play on the beach, 24/7. Developing your own website is not that easy. Sorry if you have read an e-book or two that have led you to believe that it is. Its not.

There are three main barriers for most people who want to develop their own sites

  1. Technical. You have to learn how to set up a domain and hosting and also to use your software of choice e.g. WordPress or Dreamweaver (or one of the many free alternatives). None of this is expensive: a .com domain name normally costs around $10/year and website hosting can be had for as little as $5/month.

  2. You have to develop a site on the right subject. You need, what is known in the industry as a "buying keyword". Like any business there is little chance of making a money just by doing what you love. I know that's the standard advice - write what you know and they will come. That may be true - eventually. But those that come may not buy, and if they don't buy you aren't making any money. A buying keyword is not a simple thing to find - thinking like your potential customer, unless you happen to come from a sales background, is hard.

  3. Promotion. The most perfectly written site on the most buying keywords ever - say "reduce credit card debt" or "lose weight now" will make a beginner absolutely no money at all. Yes they do make some people lots and lots of money - that's why they are very, very competitive keywords - they pay. But Internet marketing is the ultimate capitalist game - the only people who win are those who are on the first 10 results (page 1) of Google's results for that keyword phrase. Those sites aren't there by accident. Those sites are there because their owners know exactly how to promote them.

Developing your own money making websites may be your ultimate goal, or you may already have sites but you want to find new ways to promote them.

Either way this hub is not about making those websites. This is the first in a series of hubs about an easier way to make money on-line for the beginner - using

HubPages is an place to start for those new to developing their content and sites on the Internet. HubPages is also a useful tool for those who have got further along the development of their online business.

I've learnt a lot on HubPages and this is the first of a series of hubs about how I see HubPages as a stepping stone to a full-time income on the Internet.

Photo Credit

How to Use HubPages Series

Thanks - you've just read the first in the series: it was going to be an e-book so these are being published quickly!

Part Two: Develop Your Own Website or HubPages

Part Three: HubPages - Start of Your On-Line Business?

Part Four: Rank Your Hub In The Search Engines


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 7 years ago from United States

      Great Hub! I just wanted to let you know that under "Part Four" there is a disconnect in your link. Again, I love your Hub and bookmarked it for the future! I hope my comment was useful to you. I sometimes try to help fellow Hubbers if I find an editing issue. :) And I welcome feedback on my Hubs as well.

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee


      I just found you and I am glad that I did. Your article is easy to follow. Thanks for sharing such helpful information. I will read more. I want to start a website based on my book, "Events You Design". I am not sure if the concept will work, but I have high hopes that it will. As you have stated fewer and fewer books are being published and I may have to self publish. I just need to figure out what website hosting might be best. I have already purchased my domain name. I guess this is only the beginning. Thanks again! Teresa

    • rcgal profile image

      rcgal 7 years ago

      Been there, done that! It does take some practice and time to learn your way around the internet world and making money. I felt lots more confident after I got one site making steady money and growing. I make most of my online money through direct sales in a few web stores and through the Amazon Marketplace, not writing per se, but your general hints about keyword targeting and ranking position certainly apply. Now I need to find the next hubs in the series...

    • CertifiedHandy profile image

      Chaplain Bernell Wesley 7 years ago from Jonesboro,Georgia

      Thanks for none of that guru babble. You have the right idea. Being able to give back is the best part of being successful at what you enjoy and it's obvious you're having a real good time. Thanks...

      In His Service

    • editorsupremo profile image

      editorsupremo 7 years ago from London, England

      A good and informative hub. I like how you take the veneer off and tell new hubbers as it is. It's no picnic trying to make money online!

    • profile image

      Rae 7 years ago

      Another great post. Thank you! Working my way through them and enjoying what I'm learning as I go. :)

    • kea profile image

      kea 8 years ago

      Thanks for the info - I've been struggling with starting my own site - everyone recommends doing this. I plan to, but I like HubPages and learning here right now.

    • gazook profile image

      gazook 8 years ago

      oops, sorry for double post

    • gazook profile image

      gazook 8 years ago

      LOL, didn't notice it was 7 months old :) Still relevant though!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Gosh I wrote this so long ago - its funny when you see stuff again you've forgotten about! Thanks for your kind comments - yes I am still getting into trouble with the IN crowd for telling the truth LOL.

    • gazook profile image

      gazook 8 years ago

      Thanks Lissie for another great article. You are one of few good "make money online" bloggers who actually hand out hands-on, genuinely valuable tips. I've long since stopped reading big-mouthed crap from Darren Rowse and his posse, who just stuff their (paid) posts with empty promises and affiliate links. I'm glad there are still writers like you around who are willing to share.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      not in my experience citizen - there is little money in fiction and less in poetry - the fiction writers and poets here will tell you that!

    • profile image

      citizen1 9 years ago

      by writing stories and poems we can earn money

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Josef - there is almost always someone else on the front page - its rare for google to return no results for a reasonable search query!

      What I said is that in some niches: finance and some health related the #1 sites are making $10,000's /month - they are retaining that position by buying links - it you can't afford it you are wasting your time :-)

      I'm only interested in organic (search) traffic - they are the only people who click on ads - the other people may read your article and increase your subscription figures but that doesn't make me $$$ :-)

      Thanks for visiting

    • Josef Benjamin profile image

      Josef Benjamin 9 years ago from Detroit

      I like the overall, but definitly not number 3...maybe because it doesn't apply to MY personal experience with targeting keywords.

      Do marketers who achieve first page results for what some would consider the best keywords get the better end of the stick? not neccesarily. We assume that most of those guys are making money, but just because someone ranks high for a keyword does not a winner make.

      Besides, there are hundreds of places that people visit where if they typed in a keyword, they could go directly to your article...

      As I said, maybe it's just me, but I don't limit myself to what keywords I want to target just because someone else is already on the front page. The only person stopping me from getting there (if I really want to) is me, not the "other guy".

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      What typos and everything! I think you should try proof-reading better than I do - thanks for visiting

    • ameliehub profile image

      ameliehub 9 years ago from UK

      Nice hub Lissie, i would like to got more hubs of you. Thanks for sharing this with us. Hope i could also write like you one day.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      LOL oh if I was offended I'd have deleted and spammed you LOL

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      I hope you weren't offended.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      @Pam - you are entirely welcome I figured I could never do better than your hub re the reality behind the romance of freelance writing.

      How to manufacture more hours in the day - well if you keep crossing the international date line you get an entire new day LOL! Its a balance - the freelance writing will get you paid NOW, the websites are at least 6 months down the track, maybe - there are no guarantees - even the best have failures, so its a gamble - but with better odds than the property or stock market! BTW I would have done the Dubai hotel one - tripadvisor is your friend - and a love of fiction!

      @LG - thanks - Igot the other typo right next to it too! 

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      Great hub - I always enjoy your writing. I hope you don't mind my mentioning it, but "HubPages is an place to start for those knew to developing their content" needs a "new" instead.

    • profile image

      pgrundy 9 years ago

      Thank you for this great series of hubs and for the link! I will reciprocate immediately! :o)

      I just let my biggest client go because I am spending more and more time for the same money, but I think I have a replacement in the wings already. I am doing better this year than last, but I've had almost no time to set up websites--I've spent all my time writing for others. Which do you think is more lucrative?I always wonder if I'm doing the smartest thing. There are only 24 hours in each day, and they disappear so fast!!

    • Passionatepurpose profile image

      Passionatepurpose 9 years ago from T.X.

      Great job Lissie! The best sales people are people that we like and those that provide value. You are 2 for 2!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      awk shucks *blush* - I love hubpages its so easy to get comments and compliments. Thanks for reading - hope it was of use!

    • anitak profile image

      anitak 9 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Another great hub. I always enjoy reading what you write about- so much informatin and great reading.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Julie-Ann I've learnt a lot - I am no expert yet though - but I will be :-)

      Kulsum- glad to be of help - good luck!

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      A great hub Lissie. I do wish to make some money by writing online and the info is really a great help. Will read more hubs by you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 9 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      Hi Lissie we should talk off HP about own content sites - I have one that I need promotion etc on and you seem knowledgeable!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for stopping by BeatsMe! Yes despite what people want to believe and the snakesoil salesmen will tell you - its not easy!

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 9 years ago

      A very helpful hub. And I agree with you, it's not easy to find the right keywords. It's also not easy to promote. It takes time and a lot of patience.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Benson - I already do some work for Julie I just don't want that particular job! Look out I have a few hubs to publish over the next few hours!

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 9 years ago from Hong Kong

      congrats on another great hub. BTW, Lissie, someone calls for an Australian writer in the forum, in case you haven't noticed.


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