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How to make money writing

Updated on February 17, 2011

Toshiba Satellite My Writing Companion

Toshiba laptop as my writing tool
Toshiba laptop as my writing tool

How I become a writer

As a writer, so far the amount of money that I have earned from Google Adsense is 1,344 US dollars. I was not ambitious in making money by writing online articles and monetizing them with Adsense. But later I realized that I should be proud of my profession. Although this amount is only 10% of my monthly revenue from bookselling business (see my home based and online bookstore Toko Buku Xavier - you can see its blog at, I see that writing attracts most of my time and passion.

Writing for Newspaper and Magazine
I have been writing for mass media since 1998. At that time, as a student activist, I sent my first article to a local newspaper, Suara Maluku or the Voice of Maluku. It was an opinion article which I wrote not to make money but to express my views on the political reforms in Indonesia. Some of my articles about renewable energy and sustainable development, as well as eco-tourism have been published by Intisari, a national magazine in Indonesia that is similar to Readers Digest. My last article about Traveling to Flower Village, Tincep, was published by Flona. Since then I haven't written new articles for printed media. I might write again to them but at the moment, I prefer to be a full time blogger and website writer.

Making money writing articles on the internet

Beginning to become a blogger
In 2007 I launched my personal blog also as a way to provide a room for my hobby in writing. The content is about ship, shipping, marine environment, scuba diving and coral reef preservation. I did not know that there was a monetization program called Google Adsense. I began to install Adsense code in 2009.

Becoming a prolific writer
Enjoying significant amount of extra money from Adsense motivates me to write more for more dollars. As a result, on the average I write between 40 to 60 articles a month.
If you see from my hubs, they are fewer than 20. But if you see my website and blog, you will find that the total number articles that I have written is thousands. I have to admit that Adsense is the highest stream of online income that I make every month.
Similar to other writers or publishers, I try to monetize my website and blogs with Amazon Associate programs and Kontera links. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any money from these programs.

My writing tools

To help me writing both for printed and electronic (internet) media, I use some writing tools. In the past I used desktop computer. But I have been using Toshiba laptops since 2006. The first model that I used was Tecra. It broke last year. Now I use Toshiba Satellite L505-S6946 which is powered by inter centrino as its processor and Windows vista as its operating system. Why do I like Toshiba? Because its keyboard is soft. As a writer, I prefer soft buttons or keys. I had tried a wide range of laptops manufactured by various computer makers and I decided to buy Toshiba. My main reason was, besides its keyboard is soft, it was affordable to my budget at that time 800 US dollars. As a writing tool, this laptop is very powerful.

Besides laptop, I also use Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and An Indonesian-English Dictionary (by John M. Echols and Hasan Shadily) as my other tools to check spelling and definitions of English words. I am not a native English speaker and I have never been to English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. I frequently use these dictionaries so, they are never far from my desk.

Writing references

Years ago when I started writing in English, I read some writing books. Some of them were Let's Write English (written by George E. Wishon and Julia M. Burks) and Introduction to Academic Writing by Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue. Well if I mention these books, it does not mean that you have to have them in your bookshelves. There are other good books on how to become a writer in the bookstore. I only want to share with you my personal opinion. These books helped me a lot when I was trying to become a writer.

Topics that I write
For my Englishland's website, most of the articles are about how to learn English better whereas for my personal blog, I write more about ship design, coral reef preservation, scuba diving, snorkeling and my travel journal about Manokwari city in the tropical island of West Papua, the Republic of Indonesia. Some of my articles about watercolor painting and art have published at
Compared to writing for newspaper and blogs, honestly I prefer writing for blogs or websites. Why? Because I can re-edit them anytime I want. In addition, I can connect one post to another article if I see that they have relevant connections.

Being a travel writer, my preferred lifetime profession
I am thinking of quit working at my own home based bookstore and providing my time fully in writing. Am I crazy? No, I enjoy writing more than just sitting behind my desk watching people buying books at my bookstore. I am dreaming of traveling around Indonesian islands (the largest archipelago in the world) and writing my travel experience about it. Perhaps, I will do it in the next two or three years.

Also read:

Writing for readers or search engines?


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