Writers who want to transition from writing for fun, to writing for funds often place all effort on a jump into the big pond too soon. Excited about finding a place on the big websites and those websites see them coming. Competing with tens of thousands of writers to get a a dollar a month if your lucky for work can be disheartening. It is a good way to build skill and hone your craft. It is nevertheless not the best way to get paid money to purchase the required amount of caffeine, for example,that most writers need to fuel their efforts.
On my personal writing journey, I was very excited to get a message on Facebook from one of my writing buddies Tamra McRill, she offered me the opportunity to write a guest blog for her on http://www.punditthis.com (look for it next Monday April 16, 2012). As writers it is important to come together and help others with their work. Don't be selfish with your talents, trying to hoard them all on your page or on big sites where your work is buried for the most part until you can develop a large following. Get out there build your audience and make the kind of money that folds, not jingles. It's a winning situation for all involved.
It gets me thinking.Perhaps, I'll start paying for quality guest blogs here on Writer's Notes. Hmmm let me look into that. Stay tuned for more information.
Until next time...
Monetized. The moment when your webpage, blog, or article has the opportunity to make money. It's one of the major stepping stones when moving from hobbyist to professional writer, blogger, web content producer.
Two of the most common ways to monetize content is listed on the Writer's Resource page. Google Adsense and Amazon.com affiliate programs are two of the most popular ways to get started. By adding these links to a page the page owner gets compensated a modest sum for each time a page visitor clicks an ad link. For Amazon.com there is the ability to get a small percentage of profits from sales that result from visitors to your page clicking through and purchasing something from Amazon.com.
These are not ways to get rich, however they can offset some of the costs for paying for maintaining a domain. I was able to purchase my domain name with a little extra birthday money I got from relatives. (Thanks Aunt Mary!) It is important to make investments and treat your writing as a business if the goal is to move from hobby writer to professional.
Having ads is only the beginning however. The more challenging part is the marketing. In order to make dollars instead of cents on a site there must be traffic. That is the magic X-factor that everyone searches for. What do people want to read? What will bring them to my site? What will make them come back? That is the holy grail of information that every content creator, no matter which medium they create with would love to know.
Being able to add ads to this site is merely the next step in the journey.
I just had one of those moments when things started coming into focus. I think they call it a moment of clarity. Just a moment in time when there is a flash of inspiration saying, "Look this is how it works!".
Over and over I have read and heard writers say, "Just write", and to a beginning writer it is easy to ask the question "Write what?". Because somewhere along the way, maybe in school a person picks up the notion that you must be doing something for a specific purpose in order for it to be valuable.
So, I did. I wrote. Today in my literary travels I came across a poetry contest. Submissions are due tomorrow and what do you know? I had something to submit! Something I had written months ago for no specific reason, just doing my morning writing. That poem was a perfect fit for the contest. I'll wait and see how it does against the competition.
The important thing is that I now see why they say Write, write, WRITE! Create a stack of work that can be taken out and used as needed. Write for every holiday, every occasion, just write and at some time down the road when material is needed you will be able to have a quick and thoughtful turn around on work. After awhile it starts to catch on and you have all sorts of material to work with and submit as needed.
It felt wonderful to get that flash. Now that I get it, now that I see it, there really is nothing left to do but do it and make it happen.
So the biggest struggle is making money with my talent. This is because time is limited and I am not making best use of it. I am going to work on it. There are some great ideas and links I would like to utilize and place on this page and those goals can be met in the upcoming weeks.
I think I am narrowing in on what makes me unique as a writer. Which brings me to the next question in my progress does anybody else care about these things, who are these people and do they care enough about it to lay some money down for it so I can feed my kids? These are all important questions. Questions writers ask every day.
How writers can get income.
Winning Grants and Contests.
There are many writing grants and contests. They are very competitive. However it is good to lay down the best of your work and see what you've got stacked up to others. It is a good way to hone the craft and if you happen to be awesome you win money and that is fantastic.
Writing for Content Sites.
With Google's new algorithm change they added more of a challenge to making money creating content for content sites like Associated Content, Helium, Demand Studios, Hubpages and others. Though these are still worthwhile ventures and I am optimistic that Google will work something out that will mutually beneficial for Google and the content creators though for now it sucks a bit in that category.
Yes. This takes marketing and like many fields it is always the first few clients, that breakthrough that is difficult to get. Once you have a few clients and you can show you are worthy to pay for then referrals can bring in more. I am hoping to open up this avenue once I have the time to commit to making deadlines and that type of thing.
Queries for magazines etc.
I have heard about these but as I am not quite to that point yet. I don't have much information about it.
Local Magazines and Papers.
These mediums like to have contributors though it is difficult to get payment. Where they can be a benefit is to create credibility and as a marketing tool.
So these are the things I continue to work on. I feel optimistic and excited that I will crack my particular code and be able to take my work and my credibility to the next level soon. Speaking of which I better get back to writing!
One way a writer can make some money on her website is to add Google Adsense. That is my task for today in addition to completing some writing assignments I have due in the next few days so I won't be able to spend too much time on it.
The way it works is that you post a banner somewhere on your page and you get paid when people click on the ads. I think you also get paid for page views but I am still learning about it. I'll let you know when I find out for sure. I also remember reading some really great blogs about creating revenue as a writer. I will try to post them here as a resource over the next week. Well I'd better get to it today, busy, busy, busy!
The biggest challenge for any artist whether it be visual arts, writing or music is the same as it has been over the centuries. How do you make money at it? Where the very lucky have patrons or wealth from other avenues that they can use to support themselves while they hone their craft many of us do not. However there are many who do make a decent living writing and it is my goal to be one of those people.
I am writing now for Associated Content and Helium. com. They are both awesome venues to learn my craft in a hands-on manner and it brings in a few bucks now and then. The name of that game is volume and choosing content that is timely that the public is hungry for.
I liken it to a game of Hungry Hippos where many writers are out there trying to grab those hot titles and write to them before the topic is too saturated or the fickle public has already moved on to its next distraction. At first it seemed a little frustrating however over time it became exciting and fun.
It is easy to get your work accepted for what is called PPV- paid per view. You get paid based on the number of people who click on your page and view it, easy enough. This has driven the industry I feel to move toward the controversial, at time damaging, titles some which are more than a little misleading.
By mentioning a hot button word that gets folks fired up examples like abortion, gun control (they are taking our guns), or things like Jersey Shore you can get clicks. If you mention Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck you can get some clicks. Gay rights, immigration and drug legalization generate some clicks as well depending on the way the title is worded. The thing people do is to make people irate so they click, comment and share. It is good for getting paid but in my opinion it is not very healthy for society.
One of the challenges as I transition from hobby writing to professional is how to bring in the clicks without feeding the monster that media has become. That which the Rally to Restore Sanity spoke out about. I have a lot of moralistic ideals and not much money. That is one thing I wrestle with on my journey. Can I keep my ideals and my identity and still make money in this trade? We'll see.
The goal is to crack the code that will allow me to obtain larger up front payments for stories. I have not as of this moment cracked that code. One thing I know about myself though is I am very analytical and tenacious. In addition my kid's futures depend on my success. And as a mother that is more than enough incentive for me to figure this out. I'll leave it at that for today.
Sophia Tesch is a graduate of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. Sophia is a community advocate. She lives in San Tan Valley, Arizona with her husband and children.