I’ve spent a lot of my years freelance writing. In the early years it was just the thrill of getting published that kept me going because the pay was literally nothing at times. As I got more pieces published I began to get paid more for my articles to where I could get several hundred dollars per piece. On occasion I would be asked to write something longer that would bring in even more. Now that I think back to those days (which weren’t that long ago) and I wonder why I ever bothered.
The reason I say this is because of the satellite sites that we now have. In about the same time it used to take me to write a freelance article, submit it, make changes and get it approved, I can create one of my satellite sites. Yet when it comes to the compensation I received for my writing the two don’t even compare. The freelance article would give me a single payday and take the copyright with it. If I was lucky, I would get $1000, but more realistically somewhere in the low to mid hundreds.
Compare that to what I get paid for the satellite sites I put up. Even the disastrous ones that only earn $10 a month end up paying me $600 after 5 years and they can stay up virtually forever. Take my highest paying satellite site. It brings in about $150 a month which adds up to $9000 for 5 years and will likely continue to pay long after that. Best of all, all the writing for these sites remains mine so I can use them in other ways if I desire.
Granted, advertising may change and I won’t be able to earn that much over the long run, but it also could end up being even more profitable with new technologies being introduced. My guess is that anything that I put up on the web will make me a lot more in the long run than anything I would get published in a regular magazine. As things stand now, it makes no sense for me ever to go back to freelance writing…