Turning Writing Ideas Into Income
- The Writing Process: My Own Experience
One writer's path to creative writing may not be the path of many others. Find your own path and believe in it.
- Freelance Writing: It Really Is A Job!
Freelance writing takes a ton of work but with passion and determination it is possible to make a living.
The community in which I write is a marvelous thing to behold. Writing can be a lonely profession so for this writer it is vitally important that I receive feedback of some sort to keep me centered, on track and yes, to feed my soul. For sure I receive daily feedback from the love of my life, Bev, and her words and suggestions are invaluable as I go about each day.
It is also crucial for me to hear from other writers and from the public in general. I tend to write on a personal level and when I receive positive feedback from those out there whom I have never met it gives me incentive to keep writing and keep publishing my work. Without that feedback I may as well write a personal journal for my eyes only.
I have been asked several times where my ideas come from and for that reason I offer this article today. Perhaps we should take a look at the catalog of my writings and see what I write about before tackling the issue of where ideas come from. If, while walking through my process, writers out there are helped in some way then I will be satisfied, for without early suggestions from some very good writers I would have floundered as I established my own writing career.
WRITING TO EARN INCOME
My writing can be separated into two departments: the writing I do for an income and the writing I do for the general online public that also generates a certain amount of passive income.
My income-producing writing comes from several sources. I found many of my early customers online at various sites. On these sites customers post their writing jobs daily and freelance writers are free to apply for those jobs. The jobs range from SEO content writing to resume writing to ghostwriting gigs and everything in-between. Some pay well, like ghostwriting and grant writing, and some pay poorly, like the SEO content jobs. They all, however, build your credentials while providing a little income.
Freelance writing requires patience when first starting out. It takes long hours and perseverance to begin to generate income. For this writer I struggled for several months before I began to see a steady income that could supplement my other endeavors. There will be rejections and quite a few moments of despair but if you believe in your abilities and continue to move forward you will see income. I currently have nine regular customers who require work from me weekly. I could have more but I have chosen to limit this part of my writing so I can concentrate on other areas mentioned below.
The ideas for these articles basically come from the customer. They generally want articles/blogs written about their particular industry. I am given the freedom to generate ideas within the limits of that industry and because I am now established I am rarely edited or asked for a re-write.
The other area that produces income for me is in book publishing and this requires oh so much patience. I published my first fiction novel awhile back called “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today” and although it certainly is not a bestseller it again adds to my credentials and has shown some sales and income. I am now moving into the Kindle book publishing business with my first book, “Loving Life As An Alcoholic,” which can be seen here . There are several more of these in various stages of production at this time. http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Life-as-Alcoholic-ebook/dp/B007V69VXI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1334766719&sr=1-1
I moved into the Kindle arena because I no longer have faith in the print publishing business. It is, quite simply, a crap shoot of enormous dimensions and it is becoming harder and harder for a new writer to get read by a publisher let alone published.
There are, of course, other ways to make money as a freelance writer. One obvious one is writing articles for magazines. This is an area I have tried but without enthusiasm. It takes time to break into the magazine niche and time is in short supply for this writer.
GENERAL PUBLIC/PASSIVE INCOME
I do all of this type of writing for a site called HubPages. On this site we can write about anything we choose and using several income-producing programs our articles (Hubs) do, in fact, produce passive income. Where do my ideas come from for this site?
I took the suggestions of some veterans on this site and established several niches in which I write. I have written eighteen articles that have to do with Lifestyle Choices. I have written eleven articles about Alcoholism. Six articles have been about Adoption, several about The Human Experience, several about Funny Google Searches and then an array of articles that do not fit into those categories.
I tend to write about my life and personal experiences. With regards to making money this is not a wise choice on my part because articles that appeal to the general public, oftentimes referred to as “evergreen” articles, tend to attract a much-larger audience and thus generate more income. Oh well! I write because I have a passion to write and subjects that make me passionate are subjects having to do with living life and finding our true self. I leave it to others to write about the best ways to save money and how to properly groom your dog. Those subjects feed the souls of many writers and I say more power to them. It simply is not my thing!
So where do my ideas come from? I do very little research. I do not normally do online searches to see what the hot topics are on any given day. Most of my ideas come from life experiences. Most of my ideas come from observing others and delving deeper into why people act the way they do. The only time I really do any research is when I am writing articles about Funny Google Searches and then my research takes about five minutes.
There have been exceptions to this pattern. I am passionate about the environment so I did do several articles about Earth Day and nature in general, and those required a certain amount of research, but again, the ideas came from my personal passions and not what I thought would sell best on that day.
IN THE END IT COMES DOWN TO INDIVIDUAL CHOICE
The ways to make money as a freelance writer are seemingly endless. I know for a fact I have just scratched the surface in the year and a half I have been toiling away. I am just now starting to reap some of the benefits that come from being out there and becoming established. I was recently contacted by a neighborhood group asking if I’d like to help them with their campaign and other contacts are being made through networking that are paying dividends. I was just chosen to be the online adoption editor for BellaOnline.com, an opportunity I am greatly looking forward to. Again, it will increase my visibility which will in turn increase my earnings potential.
Speaking of networking, most of my efforts to date have been online, but Bev is turning my screws and will soon have me out in the community, face-to-face, establishing more contacts and finding other avenues of work. Do I want to do it? Not particularly but I trust Bev and know she has my best welfare at heart and so I will go out among the masses and meet them, schmooze them and possibly find some more work opportunities by doing so. Bev and I are also creating a website for my writing services and we are quite excited about that new adventure.
So where do the ideas come from? Open your eyes and take a look! How could you not find ideas to write about? I currently have seven nearly-completed articles saved on my desktop; I have one Kindle book that needs my attention, another being published this week and one about my teaching memoirs that is in the planning stage just waiting for me to get to it. For this writer it is not a matter of finding ideas but rather figuring out a way to increase the hours in a day so I can complete everything I want to accomplish.
In short, I find it much easier to generate ideas when I write about things I am interested in and have knowledge about. There is more of a flow to my writing when I'm writing about those topics and my voice is more apparent when the topics are ones I have a passion for. My mind is also much more capable of grabbing a topic out of thin air if I have specific categories that I write in on a regular basis; it seems that my mind is always tuned into those categories as I go about my day i.e. Lifestyle Choices or Funny Google Searches....so when I see a particular behavior or new story or whatever that applies I instantly have the idea for a new article. It has turned out to be a very handy way to organize my mind so that it is always on the alert for article ideas.
The support I have received has been unbelievable. Bev, of course, is my number one supporter and family and friends provide me with joy and encouragement. I have also found the most remarkable people on HubPages and in them have found friends for life. Writing is no longer a lonely profession for me. With the click of the mouse I have access to hundreds of people who have the same passion for writing that I have. With the click of a mouse I can find answers to my questions and praise for my writing. With the click of a mouse I can provide support to those who need it and encouragement to the newcomers just starting out.
Freelance writing is, for this writer, the gift that keeps on giving. I hope you all find as much enjoyment out of writing as I have. Do not be discouraged and do not give up. If this is a passion for you then you owe it to yourself to find a way to make it work.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."