I truly love to write. I enjoy self-expression. I enjoy giving advice. I enjoy the feedback I receive from my readers. I love the power that the written word has to motivate, to intrigue and to inspire. We all have stories worth telling or knowledge and experience worth sharing. With a little effort, we can all make some money while we pass on what we know.
I was thrilled when I was selected as a freelancer and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning the writer’s craft while contributing my insight here. After I had been writing for about six months, however, I began to look for additional places where I could share my views and I very quickly found another site which hired me to write arts, entertainment and political content.
After finding a second site to which I could contribute content, I then proceeded to find a site to which I could contribute book reviews. The site is not paying me for the reviews but did provide me with the credentials that I needed to obtain review copies of books that I otherwise would have had to purchase. In the past week alone, I have received about $350 worth of books which I will review – after I have enjoyed reading them.
Although I am not by any stretch of the imagination supporting myself as a writer, my monthly income from writing has increased from $25 last August to about $350 per month in April (excluding the money that I save by not having to purchase the books that I read and review). More to the point, I am seeing steady growth in my income and new opportunities are opening up every day. I do not ever expect to fully support myself as a writer, but I do expect to earn more next month and the month after that.
You must have something to say. Start saying it. If you start small and work your way up to more substantial pieces, you will find that the writing gets easier and easier. Here is a gradual approach that you might want to consider:
Step 1: Leave comments on each of the sites that you visit. My friend, Dr. Sardonic, whose blog is now sadly “out of print,” commented once to me that he can spend an hour writing a one sentence comment on blogs that he visited. He wanted every word to be perfect. If you learn to leave comments with an emphasis on substance, the words will start to flow more perfectly -even if each word is not necessarily the perfect word. Heaven knows, you won’t be a successful writer if you write at a one sentence per hour pace!
Step 2: Start a blog. What do you know best? Whatever it is, start writing about it. Learn the lingo of the blog community. Not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization)? Start reading about it. Learn the web applications, such as WordPress, that commercial bloggers use. Establish your credibility as a writer so that you can credibly seek paying positions as a writer. Last week I mentioned to a fellow I know that I am now receiving a lot of free books because I am willing to review them. He started a golf equipment blog two days later and is now trying to get gold equipment manufacturers to send him equipment that he can review. You can do the same!
Step 3: After you are comfortable with your writing style and you have writing samples that you can share, you should begin to look for compensated assignments. There are a lot of sites which offer links to blogging “want ads.” I like ProBlogger and BloggerJobs.Biz. There are plenty of other sites that offer similar listings so you may find other sites that you prefer.
Step 4: Be persistent. Your craft will develop over time so if you are turned down for the first assignments that you seek, do not give up. Keep writing and you will eventually have a body of work that you can use to sell your services.
Are you an aspiring writer? Do you have a blog? Are you making money at it? Tell us your secrets to success and your reasons for writing. What works? What does not?