Would You Like To Make Money As A Writer?
A Lovely Message from a Friend
I am in contact with hundreds of writers during a normal week. Two years of networking will do that for a fella, and I love the interaction and the exchange of ideas.
This morning I received an email from a dear friend who had a question, and I gave her some advice and she was ecstatic about it. She even went so far as to say I should have a “Dear Abby” column for writers where they can go to get answers about this crazy business we are a part of. It was a very nice thing for her to say and I was happy to help.
Listen, I’m no writing guru. I learned, like everyone else, by trial and error, and there has been a great deal of error over the past three years. I know what has worked for me, and I know what hasn’t worked, and I’m more than willing to pass that information on to anyone who is interested and willing to listen. I started out like everyone else, from scratch, and through pure determination I have managed to make a decent living doing what I love to do, namely write.
Which brings us to the purpose of this article: would you like to make money as a writer? If not then stop right here and go watch some soap operas. If, however, you would like to make some money, then read on and maybe you’ll pick up some tidbits that will be helpful to you.
Two Types of Money-making Schemes in Writing
For the sake of this article let’s break down earnings into passive income and active income. I’m not terribly enamored with the term “passive income” since even that comes from the act of writing, and writing is an action, so how can it really be passive? But passive income is a term that is used these days for certain types of writing income, so we’ll stick with it for uniformity. Let’s take a look at both.
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Frequently asked questions about HubPages
Passive income writing occurs when you do the work once and then keep earning over a long period of time. This type of writing has increased in popularity in the past five to ten years and I suspect it will continue to attract many who like the idea of earning on articles months and even years after the articles were written.
Online sites like HubPages and Bubblews are classic examples of passive income writing. On those sites a writer writes articles, those articles head out into the netherworld of the Web, and the writer earns money based on the number of views and the advertising attached to those articles. It takes some time to get established, and it takes time to write a number of quality articles, but once those are written then the writer can sit back and make money. How much money is made will depend on the quality of the article and the level of interest for that article.
Blogging has also become a popular way to make money online. Setting up a blog and monetizing it will earn money for the writer as advertisers pay for the space on that blog. Again, the amount of money made is dependent upon the amount of views that blog generates.
It is a big world out there and there is money to be made, but in this category there is a whole lot of work involved. Writers earning active income from writing never get to sit back and rest on their online laurels. They must keep writing, keep generating ideas and keep selling their wares.
This category includes the magazine and newspaper writers, the ghostwriters, the editors, the content mill writers, the novel and book writers, the proposal writers, the copywriters and many others. They are not only writers but they are marketing gurus, networking experts and tireless seekers of the next writing gig. When one article is finished it is time to begin another. When one customer is satisfied it is time to find another. It is a full-time job if you really want to make money and it can be discouraging and exhausting….but it can also be very rewarding.
An important book for any freelance writer
The Realities of Making Money As a Writer
If your goal is to make a supplemental income of a couple hundred bucks a month, then set up a blog, monetize it, and write for a site like Bubblews. Put in your time, make some contacts, do some networking, and you will make some money. Continue to network and make contacts, continue to write articles for Bubblews, and you will continue to make money.
The reality of active income writing, however, is not as encouraging. The percentage of writers who make a decent living by writing articles for magazines or newspapers is small. Continuing to make money after several years is a bit easier because this type of writing is all about making contacts in the industry and establishing yourself as a quality writer.
Three years after I started as a freelancer, I can honestly say that making money is not a problem for me, but that was three years of hard work, eight to ten hours per day, and dealing with a whole bunch of rejections. Today I have several businesses that pay me hundreds of dollars each, per month, to maintain their business blogs and do copywriting for them. From those businesses new leads are found and new leads mean new income…..but….it is a constant process.
A freelance writer making money in an active income sort of way never gets time off for good behavior. I have not had a vacation in three years. My bills are paid when I have money, and for me to have money I must constantly write.
So I have done the only logical thing to do….I do both active and passive income writing.
Here is the main point I want you to grasp immediately: making serious money as a writer requires a ton of work. It is a job. It must be treated like a job. I cannot overemphasize this point too much.
As I stated, I do both kinds of writing. For two years I have written articles for HubPages and now I earn a decent supplemental income from those articles and will continue to do so even if I stop writing tomorrow.
In addition, I am constantly doing the freelance gig and earning money in an active way as well.
Pay attention to this point: It has taken three years of writing eight to ten hours per day to reach this point in my writing career. You do not make serious money in writing overnight. Those who think they can need to go find a new career. I do not want to discourage you, but I also don’t want to give you false hope. If you can’t put in the time and do the footwork then don’t bother with freelance writing.
Join me on my writing blog
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A writing blog by writers, for writers, about writing
So yes, I am happy with that title, and you can reach out for advice any old time you feel like it. I have included a link to my writing blog “Artistry With Words” and I would encourage you to sign up and follow that site. There you will find helpful tips and also a community of writers who believe in networking and helping each other. I hope to see you there. Also feel free to email me if you have questions. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer your questions if I can, and if I can’t I’ll point you in the right direction.
I only require one thing from you: if you ask for my help, and I give it, I then expect you to help some other writer when they need it. It is called paying it forward and I’m a big believer in it.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”