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.
Time is money. I have neither.
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!
So my action item for today was to set up a QuickBooks file for my writing business.
Having accounting in order is probably the most difficult task of owning/ operating a small business or being self-employed. They sure don't make it easy, yet it can be done.
I was lucky to already have QuickBooks because my husband was using it for his business. There wasn't exactly one for freelance writer or at least not one that I have found yet. I'll continue to look. I just used the Marketing and Public Relations for now because it was the closest type of business to what I'd be doing. So we'll see how it goes.
If you are just starting out there are spreadsheets and easy accounting programs that can get you started for less money. However if you can invest in a good small business accounting program and get it set up by an accountant it saves a lot of headache down the road.
A few weeks ago I opened a really simple bank account that I'll be using for now and then upgrade as time goes by. If you plan to take your writing seriously enough to make it a prosperous business it is a really good idea for tax purposes to have a separate checking account to run your business out of and not to use it for personal expenses. This way easier to say than to do. However in writing, blogging and web content creation it is difficult to prove until you are making the big bucks whether it is a hobby or a business. Whether it is a hobby or a business means a lot as far as taxes and exemptions are concerned. Which I can talk more about on another blog. Anyway long story short don't mix business with pleasure financially or the IRS gets mad at you.
The other important thing I did was to start a business account with PayPal that is because that is the way I get paid by sites like Associated Content, Helium.com and others you can even receive payments from sites like this one on Weebly.com. Please see my donate key on the Home page. :)
So things are moving a long. I am working on the foundation work and it feels pretty good.
Well that is it for today. I have a few articles to write that need to be finished today.
Create an amazing day!
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.