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Debate: Writing for a Residual Income or Writing for Clients?

Updated on August 6, 2012

Residual Income or Writing for Clients ?

Make money writing
Make money writing

I was having this discussion with someone who is just starting out as an online writer. I debated this topic when I first started out as a writer. Although, I make most of my money with print publications now. I still do a lot of writing for Triond and Hubpages. I therefore, was interested in this particular topic. The person who I was discussing this with was basically saying it is pointless working for clients because they pay so little online. I basically told her that a lot of the low paying work you see online is for inexperienced writers who are just starting out. She was sceptical about this anyway, my view is that if you are just starting out as an online writer you should dip your foot into both pools.

Writing for Residual Income

There are a number of sites out there that you can join and start earning residual income from today. The idea behind these sites is, you write content and receive a percantage of the adverstising revenue. However, you have to work hard to promote your articles and get as many people to read your articles as possible. To see a good return on your time, you need to put in a lot of work. This might deter some people from actually going down this route because of the fact that you do not see a return on your time straight away. My view on this is, the time you put in now you will be rewarded for in the future. For example, with Hubpages I started writing a couple of years ago, and I did not see any return on my time. I therefore, stopped writing for Hubpages and then came back at the beginning of this year. I am now seeing a good return on the time that I put in. Some Hubbers are making enough money every month passively that they do not need to put in so much time and work into their hubs anymore. Their hubs are basically working for them, if you know what I mean.

You can continue to earn from your hubs for months, even years to come. However, if you need immediate money then this might not be something that you should rely on for a full time income. You could see it as a way of making extra money and saving for the future.

Writing for Clients

If you write for clients, you do the work and get paid on completion. Some clients will pay you upfront for the work, or give you a percentage of the contract fee. You can either gain clients through sites like oDesk or Elance. Or, you might even find work on Craiglist however, most experienced online writers will find their clients in other ways; even offline or through agencies. Some build their online presence to a level whereby they are constantly contacted to provide work for clients all over the world. The upside to this is that you can get regular money and make a good living if you are willing to work hard. However, at times where people are just not hiring writers you might need an extra buffer. For example, during a recession you might not receive so many offers for work. Therefore, you might have to look for other ways of making money. If you had worked hard on revenue share sites you might even earn some money passively, and you can therefore, ease up on the client work for a period of time.


Some people might think that writing for a residual income is a waste of time. Because of the fact that you put so much time and effort into your work and you might not get a major return on your efforts. However, when it comes to writing or revenue share sites if you work hard and write good quality content you will build yourself a long term residual income. Writing for clients can be a stable income if you provide a good and reliable service for your clients. Therefore, in conclusion if you are just starting out as an online content writer, the best thing to do is choose one or two content sites and slowly begin building your writing profile on there. You can also offer your services to three or four clients that will provide you with long term, reliable work.


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    • monicamelendez profile image


      6 years ago from Salt Lake City

      I think it's a matter of getting over the hump. If there's any possible way that you can write for residual income, do it! Another factor is the expertise required to make it work writing for residual income. You have to write about the right topics for sure.

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from worldwide

      I am glad you found it useful, thanks for the cool comment! It is so true....working on both residual income and client work is probably the best option when it comes to making money from writing.

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from worldwide

      Thanks for checking out my hub! means a lot, come back again soon. xxx

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from worldwide

      You can get some good clients with elance and craiglist however, it basically means sometimes that you are working non stop and then you have little time for residual income. Good luck with your blog, send me the link to it so that i can check it out when i can. I have a couple of online magazines as well as two blogs and they are paying off for me. You should see a good return if you work hard on hubpages and if you work hard on your blog too! keep in touch xxxx

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from worldwide

      Thanks for checking out this article. Well, I guess to see a return on residual income writing you really have to work hard and put the hours in. Eventually it will pay off trust me! When I started out i found myself getting so frustrated because i wasnt getting anything out of writing on here. However, as time went on I realised that I was making some good money from it. So stick it out and keep pushing on with it. Eventually you will see a good return.

    • nicole-cw profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub! Excellent overview on the pros and cons of writing for residual income and writing for clients. I suppose one is just slow stable income while the other is fast unstable income. Yet, the best option would be to make an effort for both of them.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Interesting hub. Getting experience was hubPages, so I can't complain. It gives a person a feel of what could be next.

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 

      6 years ago from Hawai'i

      Thanks for your hub! I know exactly what you are writing about. I am still undecided on how much time to put into residual income writing and doing work for others. I've gotten some good income from jobs I've gotten on Elance; I've even gotten some $$ from Craigslist clients. But that can be pretty demanding work and it keeps you on the treadmill if you want to make decent money. I'm now setting up a blog and concentrating on Hubpages to see if I can build up an online presence. Thanks again for this hub, and best of luck to you. Voted up, interesting, useful.

    • sweetzara profile image

      Zara Rasul 

      6 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi Thanks for this hub and such a clear explanation. It makes a lot of sense. I started writing on Hubpages about a year ago and am yet to see any real return (although I have not been a very prolific writer).


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