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How Do Bloggers and Writers Make Money?

Updated on October 10, 2016
SMD2012 profile image

Sally Hayes is a business communications coach who teaches speaking and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change.

Here are some practical insights on how the best bloggers and writers earn money while pursuing their passion for writing, reading, and creative storytelling.

You can make it as a writer if you work it, work, it, work it!

Thanks to technology, freelance writers can work anytime, almost anywhere, like on a sunny beach in Hawaii!
Thanks to technology, freelance writers can work anytime, almost anywhere, like on a sunny beach in Hawaii!

Having multiple streams of writing income can enable you to earn a freelance "salary" that even a doctor, dentist, or airline pilot might envy. And it offers income protection should one or more of your markets dry up or taper off. -- Robert Bly, author of 88 Money Making Writing Jobs

Reading print magazines from a variety of genres can provide topical inspiration for what to blog about.
Reading print magazines from a variety of genres can provide topical inspiration for what to blog about.

What kind of writer do you want to be?

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Smart bloggers and writers make a living online by regularly tapping into moments of micro-productivity!

Some people think that being a productive writer or blogger means that they are churning out a high number of articles or blog posts each day, each week, and each month. It would certainly seem that if you want to make money from your writing, you would have to have plenty of material to sell to print or web publishers. But being a productive freelance writer involves more than having a high word count.

Being a high yield writer is not always synonymous with being a successful writer. Sometimes being productive is more about attitude than output. People who are fruitful writers continually find creative ways to keep their minds immersed in the world of writing even when they can’t cozy up to their computers.

Today’s technology allows you greater access to hundreds of creative writing tools and outlets that can boost your writing career. Here are some surprising momentum-building writing tasks that can help you boost your creativity even when you can’t sit down to write for long periods of time. The neat thing is that most of these tasks can be completed in under 10 minutes.

Read an e-book on writing and blogging.
Download a free e-book on writing and blogging from any one of the hundreds of free subscription writing websites. Freelancewriting.com has dozens of free e-books on topics that are valuable to writers and bloggers. Here are just a few sample titles of free e-books you can find online:

  • Online Writing Jobs for Freelance Writers
  • Headlines That Sell! - Fill-in-the-Blank Headlines for Freelance Copywriters
  • Time Management for Freelancers
  • How to Write Fiction Stories with Substance
  • Getting Started in Fiction Writing
  • Jumpstart a Journalism Career
  • Online Copyright For Writers


Grab a scrap of paper and do a free-write on your coffee break. Most people can write 200 or more words in as little as ten minutes, especially if they are in free-writing mode. Free-writing mode allows you to bypass the negative chatter of your inner writing critic and just enjoy the act of putting words onto paper. Your goal here is not to write anything that you will necessarily use in your next article. The goal is to simply keep your creative mind moving. Think of it as yoga for your brain. Short stretching sessions in the middle of the day help keep you from getting stiff and sore at work. A ten minute free-write will keep your writing muscle (the one between your ears) limber and energized.

Read a magazine article. An informative and well-written magazine article can be read in about 10 minutes. Stick to high-quality publications. If you want to be a respected freelance writer, you want to be absorbing rich literary material, not tabloid fodder.

Bookmark sites that you want to come back to later.
Using your smartphone, do some topical research for your next article while you stand in line at the coffee kiosk.

Be a good social media citizen.
Share other people’s content on Facebook and Twitter. Social sharing is a great way to build your writing network and invite reciprocal shout-outs for your blog or article.

Find some writing contests to enter.
You probably can’t enter a submission to a writing contest in 10 minutes. But you could make a list of all the upcoming writing contest deadlines and guidelines and see if there are any that you’d like to enter. Wouldn’t it be fun to win a writing contest and have your work shared in a print or online publication? As a bonus, some writing contests even offer nice cash prizes. To encourage writing entries, some contests provide feedback to writers at the end of the contest. Having a qualified editor give you feedback on your work is a pretty nice consolation prize. You’ve got nothing to lose. Send in a submission.

Build relationships. Be willing to market yourself. Stay open to possibilities you may not have thought of before. Act professionally at all times. Freelancing can be challenging but many people have made it work.

— I.J. Schecter, author of 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less
Make sure you step away from the computer once in a while and do some free-writing or journaling.
Make sure you step away from the computer once in a while and do some free-writing or journaling.

Tweet your wit and wisdom. Share witty, thoughtful comments related to your writing and blogging niche on Twitter. If you can’t think of anything useful to say, then call on master wits such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakespeare, or even Erma Bombeck! By sharing fun, quirky bits of information across various social media channels, you can attract shares and re-tweets, which can lead to more followers. Also, by sharing amusing quips and quotes that aren’t attached to a link, you’ll avoid being labelled as a link spammer. It is important that you post links to your blog posts and articles, but your Twitter and Facebook streams should not be comprised of link after link. Aim to find a balance between posting links and posting fun insights and status updates. Your followers will appreciate the variety.

Learn about different writing guidelines.
Most magazines that accept unsolicited submissions for review post their writing guidelines online. Visit the websites of magazines that you’d like to write for and bookmark the page that explains their submission guidelines. When you’re back at your computer and ready to write, you’ll have a stash of potential new writing markets to explore. See if any of those magazines would be a good fit for your material. But also ask yourself if you’d be willing to break out of your usual writing genre and try something new. Perhaps you write how-to articles, but you would like to try writing for a creative writing literary magazine. Open yourself and your writing to new markets and new streams of revenue.

What tiny tasks do you do each day to boost your freelance writing income? Please leave your creative tips and suggestions in the comments.

© 2013 Sally Hayes

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  • profile image

    Kieran Gracie 4 years ago

    I love the idea of jotting down a few words during the coffee break! I find that my handwriting sometimes needs a workout after spending so many hours at the keyboard. Thank you, SMD2012, for a really interesting and stimulating Hub. Voted up and shared accordingly.

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    This was great information. I learned so much from your hub. Thanks for sharing this information with the rest of us. I am going to get to work and visit some of the sites you mentioned right now. Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

    Useful! And encouraging really--Thank you!

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    All great information,advice and tips within this well written article which should help anyone looking to make money with their writing or blog . Well done !

    Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Making money online is tough if one doesn't have the knowledge of such careers. You have mentioned helpful points here thanks.

  • My Cook Book profile image

    Dil Vil 4 years ago from India

    Good hub and it was well written. Thank you for the advice, they are helpful and i had a good read. Great work! Voted UP

  • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

    kevina oyatedor 4 years ago

    Great hub. This is very good tips for myself and future freelance writers.

  • passionate77 profile image

    passionate77 4 years ago

    very nice and insightful hub . thanks smd2012 for sharing. i'd try to follow the tips you mentioned in this article dear, many blesings !

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