How Do Bloggers and Writers Make Money?
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!
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.
What kind of writer do you want to be?
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.
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
© 2013 Sally Hayes