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    How To Earn Money As A Writer

    How to earn money as a writer

    Writing is rewarding. It’s exhilarating, fun, and satisfying.

    And at times it can be frustrating, right?

    But can writing reward you financially?

    Can you earn money as a writer? I don’t mean pin money, like $25 here and there. My question is: can you create a whole life-style through writing?

    The short answer is ‘yes’, but there are some steps you need to take to achieve this goal.

    The good news is that there are many different tracks to earning money as a writer. Whatever your particular writing talent is you can find a pathway that fits. In a moment, I’ll walk you through the various tracks you can choose.
    (You can find infographics about the four main tracks down below.) 

    But first, let’s consider the main ingredients of creating an income with writing.

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    What do you need to earn money from writing?

    1. ADOPT THIS MINDSET

    The first important step is to adopt a new mindset. As successful writer Sean Platt says  : 

    “If you want to build a career on writing, you have to treat it like a business.”
    Sean Platt

    It doesn’t matter whether you are a fiction - or non-fiction writer; you still have to treat your writing like a business.

    I think this is the step where most writers falter. And this is obvious to us editors in the WritetoDone team. Articles about content marketing (which is a factor of regarding your writing as a business) are not nearly as popular as inspirational articles. 

    Earning money as a writer means selling something. Selling a book, or selling freelance articles, or selling content, or selling related products.

    You don’t like the word ‘selling’? You’re not alone. 

    However, if you want to make a sustainable career from writing you’ll need to get to grips with selling the stuff you produce. 

    2. LOVE THE LEARNING CURVE

    As writers, we need to learn our craft in order to earn an income. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, there are important skills you need to develop in order to succeed. 

    There are many ways to learn. You can learn by trial and error, for example. This is a slow way of acquiring skills. And it can be disheartening. 

    Or you can tap into the knowledge and experience of successful writers who have broken through and created a career as a writer. The best way to fast-track success is to join courses and add particular skills to your portfolio. 

    Some aspiring writers don’t want to embrace the learning curve which making a living as a writer demands of us. This attitude will most likely result in failure.

    3. GENERATE YOUR AUDIENCE

    For every writer, there is an audience online. Whatever you want to write, there are people who want to read it and people who want to buy what you produce. 

    But how can they find you?

    You can generate an audience by creating a blog, or an author website​, as well as using social media to become known. It takes time, but it works.

    There are also alternative strategies to build an audience. For example, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, two of the most successful indie authors, found that creating a podcast became the tipping point of success because it helped them to build their particular audience. 

    Once you’ve built your audience, you can alert them to a new piece of content, or your new book, or a new product. But only if you…

    4. BUILD YOUR LIST OF FANS

    Building an audience only reaps success if you can reach your fans when you need them. The best way to do this is to build a list of email addresses. You can see in my article about creating author websites  how nonfiction, as well as fiction writers build an email list by giving away something for free in return for an email address.

    The email list enables you convert the influence you’re building into action. After all, you need to sell your content or products to make a living. Here is what Jon Morrow has to say about this: 

    earn money as a writer

    If you can master creating content that generates influence, and then you back up that content with marketing that converts influence into action, you’ll have built a “machine” that prints money for years or even decades into the future." Jon Morrow

    Which Earning Track is Right for You?

    1. TAKE THE BLOG TRACK

    If you want to take the Blog Track, check out the infographic below. 

    You can also tap into the following two excellent resources. Glen Long wrote an article, called The Five Most Realistic Ways to Make a Living as a Writer.  And Jon Morrow wrote How to Make Money Blogging 

    ​2. TAKE THE FREELANCER TRACK

    Becoming a freelance writer is a quick way to start making money as a writer.
    Here is an excellent article by Carol Tice: The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started.

    Check out the infographic below for more tips.

    How to Start a Successful Career as a Freelancer

    From Visually.

    If you want to take the Freelancer Track, don’t forget that there’s also a lucrative market for articles in print magazines. Choose the magazines you enjoy reading and pitch some articles to the editor. It pays to craft your pitch very carefully to show how their readers can benefit from your article. Make sure you include links to articles you’ve published online. 

    Copywriting is the process of writing promotional materials. Copywriters are responsible for the text on brochures, websites, emails, billboards, advertisements, catalogs, and so on.

    In contrast to content writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action. That action might be to purchase, opt-in, or engage with a service, a product,  or a company.

    3. TAKE THE COPYWRITER TRACK

    Copywriters are some of the most highly paid writers. You can check out how to become a copywriter in this excellent article by Neville Medhora: How to Become a Copywriter.

    Also check out this list of 75 Resources for Writing Incredible Copy that Converts invaluable.

    Take a look at the infographic on copywriting below, created by Vertical Response.


    4. TAKE THE AUTHORPRENEUR TRACK

    Taking the Authorpreneur Track means becoming an Indie author or to go along the conventional route of working with a publishing house.

    In this part, I'm going to focus on becoming a self-published author.

    Publishing houses consider not only the quality of a manuscript but also the size of the audience a writer has already gathered as subscribers or as fans on social media. They also like to see a novel or nonfiction book do well on Kindle before they accept a new writer into their stable.

     “If you see yourself as the creative director of your books, from concept to completion and beyond, then you’re indie. You don’t approach publishers with a longing for validation: “publish me please.”Orna Ross

    Among indie authors, you can find both fiction- and nonfiction writers. Check out the excellent guide by Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport: 17 Steps to Earn Your First $1,000 with Self-Publishing

    Take a look at the infographic below which shows the 12 steps of publishing by Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport. You can find more excellent resources for aspiring authorpreneurs below the infographic. 

    Here are some excellent resources for the Authorpreneur Track. 

    Completion

    As you can see in this article, earning a good living from writing is a reality. Which track do you think would suit you best?

    The Blog Track, the Freelance Track, the Copywriter Track, or the Authorpreneur track?    

    Ideally, you’ll want to stick with one main track. If you jump about from track to track, you may find it challenging to establish a successful career as a writer. 

    I think it’s always a good strategy to work on enhancing the track you are currently on. This is where study comes into play. It pays to read articles and buy courses to upskill so that you can make your track work for you.

    If you are unhappy with the track you are on, give yourself three months and work as hard as you can to learn and improve things. If there is no movement after three months, you might want to consider trying another track or developing a complementary skill. For example, if you are writing a blog, consider adding a podcast or Youtube videos to reach a wider audience. 

             Finally, check out the last infographic:

    Writers Resources Credit: On Blast Blog
    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • I outsource loads of different tasks to different types of freelancer and I’ve tried almost all of the platforms out there. But Sociobid is so easy to use and the talent on the site has never let me down. For me, the site feels pure it’s all about allowing me to hire the best person for the job –No bullshit, no hassle.
      So, if you need to find a freelancer online, use Sociobid before you even consider using Freelancer or upwork. http://www.sociobid.com/

    • shakthi says:

      thank you so much for sharing the information

    • This blog is very nice. Thanks for sharing about information.

    • Astrorushi says:

      Thanks for your article.I just love it…..

    • Love this article! Great info for the beginning writer.

    • Wonderfully written article
      Also try this website for any assignment help
      https://www.calltutors.com/

    • Thank you! This is very helpful information.. 🙂

    • Doug says:

      So the only way to make money from writing fiction, according to Write to Done, is self-publishing? Ha! What a laugh. Try including people that want the traditional route, that don’t want to self-publish, otherwise you’re just alienating half your subscribers (and probably losing a lot of those along the way).

      • Thanks for your constructive criticism, Doug. I’ve actually gone back into the article and have added a piece about the traditional way of getting a book deal with a publisher. Thanks for reminding me about that. I got a book deal from a publisher for my first book. Working with a publisher isn’t all roses, though. ..

        Here are some things to consider:

        1. Publishing houses do not commit advertising funds to new authors. They expect the authors themselves to promote their book.
        2. Publishing houses look closely not only at the quality of a manuscript but also consider the potential audience writers bring with them in the form of subscribers or as fans on social media.
        3. There is growing evidence that publishing houses like to see that a novel or non-fiction book has been published on Kindle and is successful there. They see this as a test run for future profitability.

        That’s why I think it’s a good idea to self-publish a book on Kindle as a first move. If you promote it well – and it gets good ratings -you are much more likely to get a book deal with publishing house.

    • Mary, this is an excellent resource for writers everywhere!

      I love how you included several infographics in it, too. Very nice. 🙂

      I’ll be sure to share this all over social media… and I might even share it with my email list!

      • Thanks for your lovely feedback, Lorraine. I’m glad you found it helpful.

    • Sushma says:

      Yes, this is a great idea. I love writing too, and this can also be a good source of earning. Now I am sure that I can get some money in my hand! yaa !! Thanks again.

    • At first, I was skeptic that I could earn through writing but I am hopeful in making something out of my writing. It is a good thing that I could be able to earn through freelancing and blogging. I haven’t tried on selling ebooks so maybe I should try it someday.

      /Kristen

    • regarding pay for content… if it’s worth it, I’ll pay for it. Pretty simple concept if you ask me! 🙂

    • I’ve now managed to stop the widget scrolling. It made my eyeballs ache….

    • I have been a freelance writer for many years. The job board is a great idea, especially if you can make good contacts with good publications–online and off.

      Thanks for all you do,
      Beth

    • Lana says:

      Hi Mary

      Thank you for your article, I am presently writing short articles (300 – 500 words) for web-sites but I’m new at this and don’t have a clue what writers should expect to be paid per word.

      Please would you give us a feel for what price to expect for different kinds of writing eg. magazine work per word, blogs per word etc. Even if it’s just a pointer…

      Many thanks,
      Lana

      • VS Chaitanya says:

        I normally pay $50 for 3000 words (Simple Articles). You can head over to sites like peopleperhour to know how much writers are charging per article. If the Post require some research, we will have to pay more.

    • I was curious about your job board, so I clicked on a couple of the options that scrolled by. Then I was confused.

      For example, I clicked on a job that posted as “Rewrite news articles for blogs, $200” and was taken to a page that told me “…Each rewrite will be 400 words. I prefer bids of $1 per rewrite. If this rate doesn’t suit you, don’t waste my time. All rewrites need to be in flawless English, and pass copyscape. I will expect you to deliver 9 articles in 24 hours from the moment you accepted this project.”

      Huh? That doesn’t sound like the kind of job that Mary or Carol would typically promote.

      • Hmmm – that doesn’t sound good. I think that this system collects all kinds of gigs for writers. Some will just be trash. But there may be some good ones tucked in there as well. Have a look at the page I’ve now set up. (the link is in the navigation bar).

        • Thanks for your quick reply, Mary! I will check out the new page. I appreciate your responsiveness!

      • Hi Melanie —

        Well, you’re certainly right about that! The difficulty with screening these ads is why I don’t run any ads on my site. Doing it by hand is very time-intensive, and using a service is hit and miss, as you saw.

        I applaud Mary for experimenting with ways to do it, though, because many writers do still rely on these ads to find gigs and want to see listings. I’m unaware of any source or service that has only quality writing jobs listed — you’ve always got to hunt through for the gems.

        I try to encourage writers to look beyond the ads as soon as they’re established and find their own clients.

        • Thanks Carol. As a writer, I do appreciate being part of a community that supports and looks out for each other. When we work together, everyone gets a better result!

    • Job Board idea looks good to me. It’s scrolling a little too fast for me. But I will be back to check out if any of the opportunities are a good fit for me. Thanks Mary!

    • SAP ERP says:

      The article you wrote is looks good and contains the more info for the beginner, on how to get earn money as a writer and by taking surveys and some other ways. Now so many are purchasing the content and the sources are everywhere in the internet. For example freelancer dot com is one of it.

    • Stuart says:

      This was good, very helpful for writers out there who are struggling to make a living out fo the art that they love. We all want to be in a position where we’re making sizeable incomes out of our passions, and this article is a step in that direction.

      I’ve struggled to get writing accepted in the past, so reading this and putting it to use would definitely be a smart move! Just need to do the actual writing part now 😉

      Thanks for sharing Mary 🙂


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