Increase Freelance Writing Income by Broadening Your Income Sources

There are so many writers around complaining about how hard it is to make a decent income from writing articles these days. Unless you've signed up to a site paying pennies-per-hour for your time and effort, nothing could be further from the truth! I’ve been writing full-time for 8 years now and I’ve learned that a good writer can easily earn a full-time income from their writing efforts. 

In order to break away from the low-paying ranks, you’ll need to treat your writing as a business proposition – and this means learning to make sure your business has as many streams of income coming into it as you possibly can. The key to making this work for you is to treat your writing skills as a viable, marketable product - and then go out and find the right customers for your particular products

In business terms this is called “broadening your debtor base” but it simply means making sure that there is always money coming in from someone, somewhere, all the time. If you rely on just one source of income, then you’re really in trouble if that one source dries up! The more sources of income you have coming into the business, the more chance you have of getting your business to grow to a six-figure income.

Here are some of my favorite options for keeping my writing business strong:

1) Write Articles Offline
This is the main income source for my writing business. I’ll write about whatever topic comes into my head. Selling articles to magazines and newspapers is fun, challenging and rewarding - and pays a whole lot MORE than any writing market you'll find online. Do a Google Search for “Writer’s Market Listings” and search out the high-paying magazines actively looking to pay big dollars for quality articles.

2) Write Articles Online
This has become a secondary form of income for me in the last year because the pay is about 1/10 of what you could earn by writing for offline publications. Even though the pay-rate is lower, the potential for quick, easy, repeat-business means quick cash into your writing business. 

Marketplaces like Constant Content make it very easy to write anything you feel like. You set your own prices and wait for buyers to snap them up. I've written a lot about how to earn more from Constant Content sales on this blog already, so check them out (http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/increasing-your-freelance-income-with.html)

You can also find plenty of private clients willing to pay good rates for professional, reliable writers to create content for them. If you're really stuck, you'll also find various content mills around the place offering to pay a flat rate for articles you generate.

3) Royalties
I am always amazed when I meet a writer who is serious about earning a full-time income from writing - and they haven't even considered the true value of earning royalties for their skills. You get paid royalties for writing a book, novella or short story and publishing it with a good publisher or publishing platform. It doesn't matter whether your work is non-fiction and informational in nature or a fictional story you created. You do the work once and you earn money for each sale you make for as long as that work remains available for sale! Such an easy option to boost income for any real freelance writer. You will have to think about some book promotion and marketing tactics to keep sales coming in, but it's really easy when you know how.

4) Write Fillers
This one is a weird little writing market – but it’s one of my favorites. The pay-rate per word is so high and the work is so quick that you can churn out quite a lot of these every week and make good money. A “filler” is the tiny snippet of information you'll find in multiple places and pages inside every magazine. It might be a joke or a riddle or a funny saying or puzzle or even a recipe. Many glossy magazines will pay $20-$25 for a 50-word phrase or joke or recipe. That’s great money for very little work!

5) Paid Blogging
I’ve had a blog for a while but it never occurred to me that people would pay me to post in my own blog! But they do. My logic in taking on this extra source of writing income was that I’m now being paid to do what I was doing anyway! There are sites around that will pay you to blog about topics their clients want. Others will pay you to create blog posts for their own blogs. Easy money.

6) Building Your Own Blog
When you write on your own blog, you're building your brand. You have the freedom to monetize your site however you choose and it's likely you'll be happy to share the links to your blog posts on various social media sites you have profiles on. You're building a readership at the same time as giving you another platform to write on.

7) Value Your Time
If you're serious about earning a full-time income that will cover your bills and sustain your lifestyle comfortably, it's important you take stock of how much you're earning for your efforts in the time you spend. As an example, if you spend 1 hour writing an article you intend to sell on Constant Content for $50, it's likely you're earning around $32.50 per hour (that's after CC take their fee from your sale). However, if you spend waste 50 hours per week trying to earn $50 on a pennies-per-hour amateur site like Bubblews, you're earning $1 per hour.

Always monitor the hourly rate you're earning for your writing skills and talents. Have some self-respect and get rid of any writing avenue that doesn't match up to the amount you need to survive. Be brave enough to replace low paying sources with better quality clients or writing income sources as you find them.

These are just a few ideas to help increase your writing income. The best part about writing across different forms and niches is that you never get bored. You’ve always got something different to work on – and they all have the power to increase your income!

Any writer who is really willing to diversify and break into a few different forms of writing will find that earning a full-time income really is easier than you think! 


Writing Articles for Upfront Pay vs Writing for Revenue Share Sites

Have you ever read a freelance writing blog or website that tells you how AWESOME revenue share sites are for earning extra income? Usually, those tips are written by freelance writers who work from home and earn a bit of pocket change working on some cheap-skate revenue share sites.

Now, don't get me wrong - there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with earning a few extra bucks on the side from your writing efforts. Good for you! It's a great way to earn some pocket money.

What I'm talking about are those freelance writers who really want to make a real, sustainable, full-time income from their writing skills. You won't find any realistic tips to further your freelance writing career by following the advice from someone who earns a few pennies per hour on a revenue-share site.

How do I know this? I've joined up and made contributions to a few of those sites in the name of being able to research my reviews honestly and thoroughly. You can see two of them here:

Bubblews - http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2013/10/can-you-really-earn-money-writing-for.html
HubPages - http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-passive-income-from-freelance.html

All the freelance writing "tips" you've read from other beginners tell you it's a good idea to write lots and lots and lots of articles. Unless you're on Bubblews, then you're told to write lots and lots and lots of posts that their community call "bubbles".

You're also told not to expect much while you're still starting out. Rather, you're encouraged to keep submitting more content to a website you don't own and you don't control so those faceless website owners can get richer off your efforts while your popularity is still growing.

Let's Do Some Math...

I hear you groaning over there "oh, Bianca you're such a math-nerd". But seriously, math can be awesome fun for proving where your time and writing efforts are better spent.

Let's assume you spend 5 hours per day writing articles or posts for a revenue-share site, such as Bubblews. You spend another hour finding ways to promote your articles and entice other people to read them so you can earn a few extra pennies. You connect to a lot of other people, read their stuff, leave a comment and hope like crazy they bother to read yours in return.

By the end of the week, you've worked 30 hours and you've earned $25 (if you're lucky). YAY! That's less than a dollar an hour... if you can manage to get page views high enough... if you can get that many people viewing your articles... if the site's advertisers actually pay enough to warrant paying you a few cents for that post...if the site's cheap web-hosts actually keep the site online long enough for you to post anything on there...

If you do the same thing for 12 months, you'll have earned a grand total of $1,300... maybe. Remember, the amount you earn is shared revenue. If the site you're writing on loses their advertisers or changes their advertising modules, or if Google changes their algorithms again, your income could easily go way DOWN. You're also heavily dependent on making sure you can get lots and lots and lots of people to view your articles or posts.

Every. Single. Day....

All year long. Without stopping.

What's the Alternative?

Now let's look at it a different way. Let's assume you spend two hours writing a well-researched, well-written 700 word article and you submit it to a good marketplace like Constant Content or Ghostbloggers or Daily Article. You charge $78 for your effort. The marketplace takes their cut and you're left with $50 in your pocket that you get paid for right away.

You've earned $50 for 2 hours work. That's $25 per hour. Not awesome, but certainly not bad. Imagine spending 30 hours per week doing the same thing? That's a potential income of $750 per week if you did this full time. That's money you receive right now without having to spend hours promoting someone else's site or spend waste time commenting/liking/interacting. You simply move onto the next order.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Let's just stick with spending only two hours a week, writing one single, solitary article per week at $50 per piece. You put that in the bank and you earn 4% interest on your earnings. After 12 months, you have a guaranteed $2,704.12 in your account. Not a bad effort for 2 hours work per week.

It's also more than double what you could earn if you spent wasted your time on a crappy $1 per hour revenue-share site and the money is guaranteed. It's not a guess. It's not a maybe. That money is yours.

How does it look side by side:

Revenue-Share Site
Selling Articles
Words Written
100 per post
700 per article
Number of pieces written
Sub-total words per week
2,000 (+words written for comments)
Number of comments left
100 (about 20 words per comment = 2,000)
Total words per week
Number of connections required
Time spent per week
Amount earned
$25 (maybe)
$50 (after fees)
Earnings after 1 year
Guaranteed Payment

Okay, so based on this example I know I would rather spend 2 hours earning $50 I can spend right NOW than spending 30 hours earning a variable and unpredictable amount of money that may never arrive. Besides, once I've earned my money, I can go hang out at the beach or in my boat and relax and enjoy the company of my husband and my daughter and my dog and the rest of my family. I'm not "bubbling" for 12-13 hours a day into the small hours of the night to earn an extra 3 cents.

Of course, I happen to work more than 35 hours per week writing articles for various clients and marketplaces ,so I do earn more than the examples shown here. It's not difficult. It's not slavery. It's not rocket science.

However, if you're still starting out 2 hours per week is a great start for someone wanting to start replacing income from a job with writing income. It's also a very handy part-time income for anyone already earning money elsewhere.

Comparing Accurately

Just to ensure that I'm giving accurate comparisons, in the past month I spent 30 minutes per day - AFTER I'd finished actual properly and respectfully paid writing assignments - spending wasting time on Bubblews to see whether the "claims" of various bubblers were actually true.
(here's the original post: http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2013/10/can-you-really-earn-money-writing-for.html)

Yes, I got paid twice - despite the fact that lots of writers don't get paid by this site. If I spent 30 minutes per day on the site I earned a little more than $25 per month.

If I spent 30 minutes per day writing articles, I earned $50 per day which adds up to more than $1,100 per month. TWO HOURS PER DAY compared to more than 30 hours a week....

Gee... let me think for a moment.... Um $25 per MONTH on a crappy revenue-share site paying pennies or $50 per DAY? Hmmmm.... take a moment.... think about it.... what would you do?

Get the idea?

Even if you sold your articles for $10 each and write five articles per week, you're still earning $50 per week, which is still $200 per month - and still far more profitable than spending wasting time on a site like Bubblews.

Math lesson over.