There you are, writing a poem in your notebook, posting a comment on social media, writing a fan fiction on some fan fic site… why not turn them into cash? Many of us love writing but can’t imagine turning this talent into a source of additional income, or worse, are afraid to try.
Thanks to the Internet, writing as a job has become much easier. Here are just some of the ways other writers like me earn.
Blogs earn revenue through advertisements. There are many companies with pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements out there that want their ads to be seen. If your blog caters or is related to their market, search engines may decide to place the ads in your blog. You’ll earn from the clicks of web visitors or from the number of impressions the ad made on your blog site. However, for a blog to become a good source of income, you have to establish yourself as a blogger. Write regularly and be noticed. Who knows? Your blog site or brand can get lucky that you’ll stick to blogging as a career.
BY WRITING AS A LAY JOURNALIST
Some online newspapers and magazines rely on contributors to fill their pages. Research what kind of news and features they are interested in and pitch your idea to the editor. If you’re lucky, they’ll ask you to write for a regular column.
Sometime in 2003, I wrote to the editor-in-chief of a new tabloid newspaper and pitched my idea. After a week, my idea became my daily column which ran for a year until I gave birth to my daughter.
There are many freelancing sites online like UpWork (the merged oDesk and Elance), PeoplePerHour, OnlineJobs PH, Outsourcely, etc. Their sites have more than thousands of writing jobs available ranging from creative writing to academic writing, from copywriting to social media posting, from ghostwriting to SEO, etc. Just select which writing jobs suit you best and apply.
When applying or bidding for a writing job, use the law of averages: the more you apply, the more likely you’ll be interviewed sooner and get the job. Also, be realistic with your bids with regards to the number of hours you’ll commit and deadline. Since I started freelancing in 2012, I got more jobs freelancing jobs via the defunct oDesk. However, the highest paying writing jobs I got came from PeoplePerHour and OnlineJobs PH.
With the advent of print on demand publications and e-book distribution sites, self-publishing is now easy. I never thought that publishing my novel in Free-eBooks.net would get a foreign publisher interested in translating it. I will be earning from the translation rights plus royalties IF it pushed through.
BY JOINING CONTESTS
Winning in writing contests could produce two things: a cash prize and bragging rights. Be alert on available contests that you could possibly join. Look into websites like Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers, and others for contests they organize or sponsor. Just follow their rules and submission guidelines to the letter.
The screenplay writing contest I joined in 1999 launched my writing career in 2000. And in 2013, I entered my first English e-book in a contest. I may not have won, but I got a good praise from one of the judges.
Turning your writing talent into a source of income requires patience and hard work. You cannot just sit back and relax; opportunities do not come that way. Be willing to put your time and effort in getting your byline out there. Once submitted and while waiting for the paycheck to come, write again.