By Pamela White
One common theme among writers is how to make more money. Unless we have a spouse whose job includes health insurance, 401K’s, and have a fortunate ability to pick winning lottery numbers, we all plot and plan to earn more each week, each month, each year.
Just like a varied diet keeps our health on track, a varied approach to writing keeps our income healthy.
A common dilemma is that once we get in tight with an editor at a well-paying magazine, the editor moves, the magazine closes, or both. Newspapers cut back on weekly columnists; magazines are narrowing down their stable of regular writers so it’s hard to break in somewhere new.
While we are living with the changes in our writing opportunities, why not focus on opening new doors instead of fretting about familiar doors shutting in our faces.
Learn to write press releases. Every business needs someone who can write a kick-butt press release to get them free publicity. You can grab some books or search for articles online but writing a press release varies little from writing an article. It’s just that you and the editors you’re sending it to understand that you are pitching a story that they can run without paying for it. Add press releases to your resume and you can bid on freelance auction sites and earn over $120 per press release as a novice. Seek clients locally, build on your successes and you could end up living off your publicity earnings.
Love to write how-to articles? Why not expand on your favorite topics and turn them into ebooks? My first venture into ebooks was to take an old writing class that I was no longer teaching and simply turn it into one document, each lesson equaled a chapter. I turned it into a PDF, opened an account on payloadz.com, and sent out an email to my list saying I had a new ebook. I made dozens of sales the first week, and the sales continue today. Total time? I spent one day creating the ebook from lessons I had already written. You could do the same from information articles you’ve penned, or from information you have stashed in your head. You can sell ebooks from your website, booklocker.com, or on ebay.com .
Learn SEO. Imagine my surprise when someone asked me to write a series of articles based on instructions from his SEO advisor. I had to look it up. Search Engine Optimization is hot and will continue to be a skill that puts you in front of the parade of writers. Simply put, SEO is using keywords (or words that people use in search engines when looking for what you have to offer) throughout your website and meta tags that are picked up by search engines. You want your website to have the words that your potential readers and clients will use to find someone who will provide the services that you long to sell. Yes, it’s getting more complex but for more website owners looking for a content provider, you can learn to use online programs that will help you determine which string of search words will bring the most visitors to any site.
Teach what you know. Write up a workshop, pitch it to a local college, church, association, group, or community center. With a little publicity, anyone can fill a class on the subject of her choice. Do you want to teach cooking classes? Would it surprise you to know that Food Network star, and now talk show host, Rachael Ray started teaching 30-minute cooking classes near her home to pay bills, and that led a local tv station to offer her a special, then weekly show. Then came a cookbook, Food Network, special appearances, and on and on. You may not make it as far, as fast as she did, but you can make money to pay bills by teaching workshops. People are willing to pay between $35 to $135 for a half day workshop. And as a writer, you know how to organize and write a class.
Try to get a column (or two). At one point I was writing four regular columns. I had to do little more than those to meet my financial goals. Start off by choosing a theme for your column, write down a list of 12 to 36 ideas and find local, regional and national markets. The guarantee of regular income each week or each month from a column is a wonderful feeling for freelance writers.
Prepare yourself for the ups and downs of the writing life by learning new ways to make more money!
About the Author: About the Author: Pamela White is the author of Make Money as a Food Writer in Six Lessons (available at
) and the publisher of two ezines for writers. Visit
to subscribe. She has had over 600 articles, short stories, and essays published in markets as varied as newspapers, Writer’s Digest, ByLine Magazine, Home Cooking, County Families, Absolutely Business, Writers Weekly, Soul Matters, Low-Carb Energy, Healthy Living Today, and Spirit Communications.