Freelance Writer - How Much Do You Want It?

I get a lot of questions from people who say they want to work from home. I also get a lot of excuses about why they can't.

My response to these excuses is "How Much Do You Want It?

The majority of new writers think they're going to become millionaires overnight if they just write that one big novel. Others think they'll make heaps of money if they write a few lame articles here and there or perhaps they'll join a revenue share site and earn a couple of cents and give up.

What most new writers forget is that if you really REALLY want to earn an income at home, you can. It's not that difficult. You don't need special education. You only need determination and perseverence.

If you really want to be at home full time and just write, then you need to look at ways that will keep money rolling in while you sit in front of the computer and do the fun stuff.

This means ANY income you can bring into the household from your writing efforts will keep you working at home longer. I've mentioned in previous posts about bringing in several different streams of income and what it can do for your home-business.

Look at ways to monetize your website or blog. Those few extra dollars are one or two less articles you have to write. There really are companies out there willing to pay for ads on your site even if you have no traffic. Besides a couple of extra dollars can also mean the difference between staying home and writing more or going out looking for work.

I even have a completely separate blog that outlines the non-writing things I do to keep my income running smoothly. Every cent is important to my business.

Every cent extra that comes in means another day I get to keep working from home.

Just remember - if you REALLY want it, you'll make it happen.


Paid to Advertise - Again!

Looking to monetize your blog?

Moneyforbanners is another great place offering to pay blog-owners to put a simple banner on your site somewhere. It doesn't have to be prominent or at the top. You can put it at the bottom somewhere - they don't mind.

As long as their ad is on the page you'll keep getting paid.

Moneyforbanners pay £5 per month directly into your PayPal account just for putting a small ad on your blog somewhere. £5 doesn't sound like much, but it's $8.60 a month in US dollars. For doing nothing! Easy money.

If you put that together with my other post about paid advertising you'll find your blog earning some handy cash in a hurry!

Give Moneyforbanners a go and get your blog earning today.


Easy Extra Cash

I just received an email from a friend who owns two blogs. She writes only when she feels like it - and yet she told me that gets paid for each blog just for putting a nice little banner ad on it somewhere. I thought this might be a great way to add some income to my writing business.

The company is called Matched.

You might think £3 isn't much - but it's around $5.50 US or about $5.90 AU - every month. For doing nothing but putting an ad up on your site.

Matched will allow you to submit up to 5 URL's from the same domain - so that's potentially £15 per month from one website you could be earning for doing not much at all!

Imagine adding 5 URL's from 5 different blogs? That's Easy money!

(want me to do the math for you? 5 pages from 5 blogs at £3 (UK) per month = £75 ...

... or around $150 US a month.

My friend pointed out that the ads aren't intrusive or invasive so it's really a good way to monetize a blog with low visitor numbers.

Of course I signed up at once. ;)

I got a £5 sign-up bonus and as soon as I finish writing this post, I'm going to put the new advertising banner up on this blog.

If you want to give Matched a go, click here and best of luck earning more money from your website!

Let me know how you get on.


You're Not a Writer. You're a Business.

When I was first beginning my writing business, I was earning a few dollars here and there. I wanted more but I had no idea how to get there. Then I found the article below.

It made me think. It made me look at what I was doing in a whole different light. It set me on a whole new path and now my writing business has finally cracked the six-figure mark.

I emailed the author of the article below and she has kindly allowed me to post it here.

Thank you so much Lee. You (and your articles) gave me my start in this business and I thank you for ever.
You're the best. :)

You're Not A Writer. You're A Business
by Lee Masterson
(original article published here: http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/business.html )

"Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money." - Jules Renard

It's silly, isn't it? Honest writers being made to feel guilty if they 'sell out' (otherwise known as compromising art for the sake of money). And yet it happens every day.'

There seems to be a sad belief in the mindset of many writers that in order to be a true writer one must live on almost no income at all, striving day and night for the perfection of his or her 'Art'.

To some writers 'art' is defined by writing a brilliant novel and receiving copious awards for the content within.

For others 'art' means living on pittance until the day the One Blockbuster Novel-Contract arrives thus landing the starving author in the lap of luxury and ending all her troubles.

Neither of the writers in the above examples is earning a comfortable living consistently from his or her writing. They are too busy creating art.

Of course the same starving writers could probably have been living quite comfortably from alternative writing efforts if either of them had thought of writing in general as a viable business proposition. You see just because Starving Writer wants to earn a full-time income from writing fictional novels there is simply nothing wrong with supplementing his or her income with OTHER writing endeavors until that huge contract arrives.

Writing alternative things can actually boost your writing career as well as boost your writing income - all before you've even sold one novel. An editor might become tempted to buy your novel, based purely on the strength of a short story you wrote. Your readers might be tempted to buy your books just because they liked your non-fiction articles. A publisher might be more willing to print larger print-runs of your novels because you already have an established reading audience.

These things all stem from your writing and still don't 'compromise your art'. In other words, writing purely so you can receive money is not a bad thing. In fact it could actually kick-start your career.

This is because writing is a business.

That's right! A BUSINESS.

I'll explain further.

You are not "getting published". You are Selling a Product (your book, article, short-story, etc)

You are not "receiving rejections". You are being told your product is not right for that customer (editor) at the moment.

You are not "looking for an agent". You are seeking the correct business partner, (sales manager) to whom you will entrust to sell your products.

You are not "selling out" if you compromise your art. You are creating cashflow for your business.

Am I making sense yet? Creativity aside, writing as a hobby is a competitive business. Writing for a living is cut-throat. Let me show you...

Your products (books) are competing with thousands of other products, all packaged just like yours on shelves right beside yours.

You're fighting for the attention of one customer (your editor) right alongside your own business competitors (all those other writers who submitted manuscripts!).

You must show your business manager (your publisher) that your products are good enough (selling well) so they will keep producing more.

You must entice a sales manager (agent) to get you the very best business manager (publisher) possible, so that you can sell more of your own product (Your book).

It all sounds so clinical doesn't it? That's because it is. Publishing is a business - like any other. Sales and profits dictate much of the business-activity that comes from the publishers, agents and editors. Why should a writer think of his or her business any differently?

Running Your Business
Now that we all understand that writing for a living is the same as running your own business, let's look at why it's okay to run your business profitably.

All business are made or broken by the amount of cashflow they have (or don't have!). It has been said that cashflow is the life-blood of all businesses - and yet so many people are confused by what cashflow really IS.

Cashflow is NOT profit and it's NOT the amount of money you took out of your account as income. Cashflow is the amount of money coming in from business activity and the amount of money going out on business expenditure.

If the amount of money coming in exceeds the amount going out - then you're making a profit.
If the amount of money going out exceeds the amount coming in - then you're making a loss.
It's really that simple!

The trick is to monitor every amount of money that moves within your business structure - in and out - and then improve on each transaction so that your business grows.

Now let's put Starving Writer into the equation. Let's say Starving Writer gives up her day job to write full time. She knows she's going to write a blockbuster novel and get a six-figure advance from BuckingHuge Publishing House. So she decides to live off her savings until the advance arrives in the mail. Four months later Starving Writer has no savings left and her blockbuster novel is not even finished let alone sold. There's no money left to pay the bills. Starving Writer has two choices to make: return to her regular day-job or marry a rich guy!

In this example, Starving Writer BEGAN her writing business with a negative cashflow. i.e. she had no incoming cashflow but plenty of outgoing cashflow, creating a negative cashflow position for her writing business activities.

Let's create a new writer for our next example. We'll call him Mercenary Writer.

You see Mercenary Writer only writes for money. In fact he'll write ANYTHING for money. He's a happy sell-out, in fact.

When Mercenary Writer decided he wanted to write the Great American Novel he knew that he'd need to have enough time and money put aside to create his artistic masterpiece. He also knew that his current day-job would never allow him the time or energy to complete it.

So he created a business blue-print. He knew that he would need to spend a portion of his time on money-creating writing. Another portion of his time would need to be set aside for business 'stuff' (account keeping, new-market hunting, reprint submissions etc). Yet another portion would need to be scheduled for promotion of his existing pieces in print and another portion still would need to be arranged to sit down and create his masterpiece novel.

Once the finer points of his plan-of-attack had been honed he began writing short fiction stories and selling them to magazines, periodicals and web-magazines. He learned that one of the magazines that published one of his short stories also paid a small amount of money for jokes, recipes and cute sayings. Figuring that writing one of each would only take him a few minutes out of his day, Mercenary Writer submitted some of those too. Luckily he'd already done this same excercise the week before and there were several small checks in the mail box already.

Mercenary Writer learned the value of 'reprinting' and selling different types of rights around the world in as many formats as possible. He also wrote things he didn't particularly like because the pay rate was great and it still got him another published credit to show future editors and agents. He wrote and researched articles.

And then - in his scheduled time slot - he created his masterpiece novel.

In this example Mercenary Writer is still keen to create his 'art' - but he's willing to sacrifice some of his time to establish a viable writing business at the same time.

In this example Mercenary Writer began his writing business with positive cashflow. He worked hard to set aside enough time to keep his cashflow consistent,while still writing his Great American Novel.

Both of the above examples are over-simplified but they do outline the difference between a person who wants to be a writer and a writer who wants to earn a living from writing.Which one are you? ;)

© Copyright Lee Masterson. All rights reserved.



Paid to Review

Knowing how much I love to write about just everything, a friend suggested I join SponsoredReviews. and Smorty.com

I've only just joined up, so I'll re-edit this post when I can give some honest feedback about the service, the quality of the work and - most importantly - what the pay is like!

If it makes an impact on my writing income, you'll be the first to know if either of these paid-to-blog companies gets added to the list of permanent writing-activities! Of course, if neither of them become additions to my writing business, then I'll let you know that too ;)

If you want to check out SponsoredReviews or Smorty.com for yourself, click on the button below.

Update: SponsoredReviews is definitely a lot of fun and I'd recommend this one. I signed up about a month ago and now get paid somewhere between $10-$20 for a 100 word review. Not bad for 10 minutes work! It's a quick, easy way to add a few dollars to your weekly writing income.

Smorty Blog Advertising


How to FAIL as a Freelance Writer

Yes, it's very possible to earn a very healthy income from writing. But it seems if I tell everyone how to do it, they ignore the advice and go their own way anyway.

So I'll list a few ways that will STOP you earning an income as a writer. If you do the following things, you might earn a few cents. You won't get rich. You won't make a full-time income.

But you'll be writing a lot.

Here's the top ways to guarantee failure as a writer

- Join a revenue-share article site.
Guaranteed to keep your writing career stalled and in obscurity for a long time while you earn 3 cents per week.

- Refuse to learn more about the profession
After all, it's a JOB. It's not a fancy, artistic, noble calling. It's a job. You WORK and you get paid.

- Buy into the "Easy Way" systems
That's right. Anyone selling the "Easy Way" to do anything is getting rich off you buying their stuff. They're not teaching you anything about being a writer or increasing your income or running a writing business.

- Only write about topics you love
Hmmm.... the reason work is called WORK and not "fun" or "play" is because you have to WORK. Not all writing is fun. Not all of it is easy. Sometimes the research can get tiring and the article might begin to bore you. Sometimes a short story doesn't work out the way you wanted and sometimes publishers reject submissions. This is called a "Writing Business". It's normal.

Just do it. Write, submit it to a PAYING publisher and get paid. It's called WORK.

- Only write when inspiration strikes
So what happens to your income if inspiration only strikes twice a year? Writing is a business. Those who work on building that business will earn six-figure incomes. It's not that hard. Those who don't work and don't actively keep learning, keep writing, keep submitting and keep expanding different types of income won't make any income. Easy math.

- Make Excuses
"I'm too busy". "I don't know how to submit articles". "What if they reject me?"
Yep - all lame excuses and all designed to keep you in the pits of failure. Also a great sign that the person doesn't want to learn anything about a profession or take any time in building a successful business. Stop making excuses. Search the net. Learn from those who are already doing it. Or you could just give it a go. You might surprise yourself.

- Refuse to visit professional writing sites
There are plenty of great sites around willing and able to help you make a real income from writing. So why do you keep visiting the ones that only pay a couple of cents here or a measly two dollars there? Stop it. Go visit the pro's and see how it's really done.

Try http://www.absolutewrite.com/ or http://www.writing-world.com/ or http://www.freelancefactor.com/
and LEARN about the profession you're trying to get into.

- Refuse to diversify your income streams
I hear so many writers complain that they can't sell enough articles to make a living. I can't understand this complaint. There's always plenty of work to be had! You're either not looking hard enough or you're not working enough.

You cold always charge more, I guess, but why sell only articles? Why not branch out and give your muse something else to work on?

Increasing Writing Income

Yes, writing articles forms a very big part of my income. But it's not all I do. I'd go crazy if that's all I did all day. BORING! So I branch out into other forms of writing. It's good for me to think about other projects and it brings in extra cash - which boosts my overall profit!

Here's some things you might branch out into other than just articles:

Write fiction.
There are some fabulous sites and ezines out there offering help and advice (at no charge!). And of course there are some complete duds, only wanting to sell you their overpriced stuff or rave on about themselves. Only subscribe to ezines that are teaching you about writing fiction. Here's a few of the best ones I've found.

http://www.fictionfactor.com/ or
http://www.writer2writer.com/ or

They'll teach you how to earn an income from writing fiction stories and selling them to real paying publishers.

Write a blog.
There are places out there that will pay you to blog. You might as well earn some extra dollars while you're writing anyway. I've already posted about this, so click the link to check it out.

Write for forums.
Yes you really can get paid to make short posts in forums. I like this option as a reserve for several reasons. 1) I get paid and 2) I get my link out to the world in lots of forums that brings more visitors to my site. They're basically paying me to advertise my own site!

This one isn't big money - but it sure adds up when you consider the visitors I get into my site at no cost while I'm being paid ;)

So... next time you think up another lame excuse why you can't make an income from your writing, ask yourself if you're really doing everything you can to make that income happen - or whether you're setting yourself up to FAIL!

Writing - Work From Home

I am a member of several writing-community forums and mailing lists and I've noticed a trend among a large percentage of writers on the net lately.

That trend is - nobody wants to WORK. They only want to find the magic button that will give them millions of dollars instantly along with fame and glamor. They only want to write what they feel like writing and when they want to do it.


Writing is a brilliant way to earn a living and if you're any good at it you'll find the income is great too - but it takes time and effort and WORK and persistence and patience. This means sometimes you'll be writing stuff that isn't thrilling and fun. It's a job. You write and you get paid - whether you enjoy it or not. That's how the professionals do it.

You're building a writing business here. You need to figure out how you can support your little business by feeding it with regular amounts of cash that come in after you've done another assignment. Then you need to figure out where the next assignment is coming from.

So... before you jump onto yet another writer's forum and complain that you can't make money out of such a lucrative industry - perhaps take a closer look at your own attitudes before you slam the industry as a whole.

After all - if I can earn a very healthy income doing all this, then anyone can