When I started writing for the web, my well-wishers suggested I didn’t need to write for money. Often times they opined, I needed to concentrate only on improving the way I wrote. However, I was to make a living writing.
Well, I heeded to the advice for quite some time and tried to hone my writing skills, not taking earnings into account – aah!
While the journey was slow and steady and not that bad, something was missing. Interest and dedication were slowly stepping southward.
Not before long, I realized if I didn’t write for money, nothing would work for me. Who would pay my bills?
It was going horrible for me. Why won’t I charge for my articles? I toiled hard and consumed long hours thinking, researching and writing. Oh…high time I started seeking money in lieu of my writing!!
I wanted to move to the core of the writing world and sustain my writing journey. For this I needed to earn money with my words. Only then, good material and resources for attending elite-class seminars and meets would be available to me.
The formula boiled down to
Write -> Earn -> Invest in Writing Career->Write Better->Earn More -> Make a Living Writing -> Live a Comfortable Life
Here is a list of rules which you must adhere to strictly if you want to earn a living through your writing.
I advise you to either archive these rules on your cellphone to serve as a daily reminder or keep a hard copy of the same as a go-to quick list.
1. Select Commercial Topics
Not all niches are equal. Some niches are valued more on the internet and some of them less. I advise you to take to genres that earn you good money. Some of the most profitable niches are personal finance, Insurance, blogging, writing, SEO, tutoring, product and service reviews, health & wellness etc.
2. Spend Wisely in Writing Business
When you are a newbie on the net, I bet you don’t have much money to spend. Moreover, buying a domain and a hosting becomes a necessity very soon on your web-writing journey.
Spend your hard earned money wisely. Internet is a treasure house of free and cheap, still quality utilities and apps. Learn the ways to search free and cheap blogging and writing tools.
3. Try to Write and Earn From Various Kinds of Writing
Not long back, a freelancer revealed to me his earnings through ghost writing. It earned him three and a half times more money in one shot than he’d have earned with same piece of writing, had he written for himself.
If you’re working on your writing business, experiment with ghost writing, content-mill writing, dissertation writing, B2B, B2C & white paper writing or whatever you can be comfortable with.
4. Turn to New Things
Blogging and freelancing are fast changing fields. Smart bloggers are always trying to find and develop newer methods of monetization. For example, selling self-learning on line course material is fast becoming the game changer in the world of passive income.
So, keep reading the latest blog posts of big bloggers. Listen to the podcasts of blogging & monetization-savvy bloggers (Like those of PROBLOGGER). Attend the webinars of top influencers like (Jon Morrow of SMARTBLOGGER).
5. Be a Freelance Writer Too
If you’re only a blogger till date, I’d advise you to earn money freelance writing online. It can earn you handsome money.
Pitch regularly for freelance writing work. While blogging would earn you passively, freelance gives you to swell your kitty through sudden jerks of $50 or $100 or even $200 per post in proportion to your reputation on the net.
6. Pitch and Search for Writing Jobs
Pitching is an art. One can become perfect only by getting older into it. You can’t overnight become a freelance writer who will get an opportunity by sending 5 cold pitches. It’s probable you send 100 cold pitches before you get a writing gig. And still you may draw a blank.
Scavenge job boards to get freelancing work. Job boards ask for your resume and samples. Keep these ready.
7. Write Guest Posts
When you write a blog post for another blog either for or without money in return, it is called a guest post. Whether or not a guest post earns you money, you should definitely write them occasionally. Rather you should create opportunities for yourself to write guest posts.
Even when a guest post is not earning money directly for you, it gives you back links and fame. Both are very important for an online writer.
8. ‘Hire Me’ Board on Your Blog
It’s very important to hang a ‘HIRE ME’ tag on your blog / portfolio/ Bio. The ‘HIRE ME’ tag must explicitly contain the following:
- Title (For example, ‘Web writer’ or ‘ Compelling Content Creator’)
- Areas of expertise (3-4 sentences)
- Why anyone should hire you (2 sentences)
- Your rates
9. T&C Before Starting to Write
You should not even hold your pen in your hands, let alone composing the whole article, before Terms & Conditions (T&C) of the work are finalized. Get everything readied before you start writing. I mean, rate per word, dead line, number of edits etc.
If you’ve repeatedly worked with a client and find her/ him punctual with the payments, you can rely. Nonetheless, incorporate clauses to at least reduce the size of the cheat, in case one occurs. Say, a clause stating you’ll receive 50% of the money when you send half of the article.
10. Keep Comparing Your Rates
The day you cease to appear a cost-effective writer to the clients, they will discard you. Always keep in mind how profitable your writing is. If your article cost is $30 for instance, and your article brings them $200 they’ll definitely be in.
Therefore, a comparison must go on regarding:
- How beneficial my writing is for the employer, in comparison to Mr.X’s?
- How far above or below my price/word is?
- Where has Mr.X been featured (For example, in Forbes) and what’s my portfolio?
11. Demand Deserving Rates
Experienced freelancers say you should increase your rates if you feel you deserve it. Calculate your approximate per-hour & per-word rates. Famous online writers charge even $1 or more per word.
12. Use Your Traffic in Various Ways
You must learn what to do with your traffic. Once you’ve gained traffic you can do any or all of the following:
- Use it for affiliate marketing
- Show your visitors Google ads and other commission-rich ads on your page
- Use it to sell your products & services (Tutorials, self-learning courses, eBooks etc.)
- Charge for private advertising
- Invite your visitors to paid or free webinars or live sessions
- Hold podcasts for your audience
- Invite and interview distinguished personalities and have them presented to your readers
13. Apply New Promotion Methods
Only some time back I came to know about the power of Linkedin groups . Now I’m recommending it as a powerful way of promoting your posts. Same can be cited for Facebook and Twitter groups.
Popularity on a platform like Quora gives you huge traffic. Medium website is an awesome source of acquiring a loyal following. There are several other platforms of discussion which can bring you instant benefits of traffic and money.
Be on the look out for different kinds of promotion methods. Discover your own and keep experimenting for the best performing ones.
14. First Love, Writing – Money Next
Money is not a good leader. It’s a great follower instead. If you’re more dedicated to your writing skill than anything else, money will chase you. But once you start following money and forgetting to enhance your writing acumen, destruction won’t be far.
15. Writing – A Daily Ritual
Now that you’re writing for money, you’ve avowed to become an excellent writer. Practise the trade with ultimate focus . It means you’ve to write everyday.
A thumb rule is writing at least 500 words a day. This is the lower limit. In the process, hone your skill. Use different sentence styles, new tones and moods. Do anything else that you can , to make your writing more enticing.
16. Choose Best Content Writing Topics
There is no use writing a masterpiece on a topic if people are not interested in it. Use BUZZSUMO or GOOGLE TRENDS or any other service like these to find trending topics for article writing. Quora is another good free platform to search for creative topics to write about.
Some subjects are always in demand, for example, obesity reduction, preventing hair loss, exam tips etc. However, there are seasonal trending topics like news headlines or seasonal topics like festivals, fairs, meets etc.
17. Be Conversion-Friendly
This is an art in writing. If your post does not convert into reader engagement, its purpose is lost. It must interest the reader and also urge her to take the next step – be it subscription or buying something or sharing your content.
There are various tricks to increase reader-engagement. Insert quizzes, polls, tweetables, audio clips, CTAs etc. to make your post conversion-friendly. Such additions increase the commercial value of your post.
18. Immediately Usable Inventory
Efficient and intriguing writing involves avoiding repeated use of words and styles. Moreover, you need quotes, survey results etc. for your articles. For this reason you have to have an inventory of :
- New adjectives popular on internet
- Different sentence styles
- Tones and moods of writing
- Quotes about your niche
- Survey results
19. Keep Your Tools Ready
This is another important part of being professional with your writing. What do we mean by tools?
You need a plugin to keep spam comments at bay. Perhaps you need an auto online editor after you’ve completed your blog post. You need to customize your images.
There are many more steps that make the process of composing a blog post, publishing and promoting, difficult to manage. For every step you have to have some tools. Where do we find them?
The answer is simple if you’re ready to spend money, keep an expert assistant for everything. If you’re not willing to spend, search for your tools on the internet and keep them ready.
I’ll give you a rich link in this regard:
20. Keep Your Formats Ready
I’ve observed big bloggers do their writing in certain pre-designed formats. Doing this saves your precious time. For example, the format for Introduction of your blog post could be like this:
- An opening image with a caption
- One sentence on what this post is about
- Second sentence showing a survey result as a support
- One more sentence on why the reader should read up to the end
- Two sentences on what a reader is likely to gain, having read this post
… … and so on.
Devise templates for all parts of your post like the body of the post, conclusion, CTA etc
21. Write Different
There is a huge crowd of web writers most of whom, I’m sorry to say, are mediocre writers. Grammatical errors, language woes and bankruptcy of original ideas are the major cause of mediocrity. Due to lack of specialized knowledge most of the web writers concentrate on similar, easy and trivial topics.
Keep an eye on new events occurring in blogging and freelancing world. Blend odd ideas to produce new topics. Write in entirely unknown formats. Include less known items in your blog post. For example, a GIF, a 3-D image, a sound clip etc.
22. Read Unlimited
Only when we read wide and into various niches different from ours, do we know what sells and what doesn’t. Plus, this characteristic adds fresh dimensions to your writing personality.
This makes your writing interesting because you elaborate your points with support from various other walks of life. One of my resolutions for the year 2019 is:
I shall read three books every month. This comes to one book every 10 days. So, by the end of the year I shall have read 36 books.
23. Separate Research and Writing
To be able to write fast, effective and useful, you must research at one time and write at another. The steps to prepare for writing include researching your subject, jotting down the points and readying your sub titles.
When you start writing after this preparation, you’re brimming with facts and figures and you can show your wizardry with words.
24. Be Alone for 2 Hours Daily
If you want to grow as a professional writer you must develop a deep thought daily regime.
Make it your habit to be by yourself for some time everyday. Being alone will give you a distraction free environment to think deeply on your subject.
Original ideas, plot conceiving and a goosebumps-climax in writing, are all outcomes of deep thought and deep work.
25. Promise to Never Say Die
Be ready to fight fierce winds of demoralizing nature if you’re a newbie writer. You’ll face inferiority complex, writer’s block, imposter syndrome, negative criticism and a hundred other things like that.
Besides, drawing blank on the monetary front will bother you at the start of your career.
However, you’ve to stand firm amidst all the negatives and continue with your writing.
Go on writing. Improve with every post. Produce exquisite content. Everything will give way to an invincible writer because the world cannot change a writer but a writer writes to change the world.
You Can Make a Living Writing by Using This List
This list works. I assure you. When you’re writing for money, and you most definitely should, you may use this list as a reference.
Try to write as this list dictates you to. Next, edit in order to make your writing customized to the items contained in the list. And ultimately after promotion, it should be a block buster post.