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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Do writers really make $100,000 a year online?

With all the hype doing the rounds on the net these days, it really gets difficult separating the truth from the lies and the hype from the facts.

I have seen this figure of $100,000 being used by people trying to sell some writing course online. This is reason enough for anybody to doubt its’ authenticity. Folks will say anything to sell stuff.

But take it from me, there are writers who are making even more than $100,000 annually from their writing.

For starters, it is important to realize that computers and the internet have made life much more easier for writers. High incomes have now come within the reach of many more ordinary writers than was the case before. For example in the old days you would have to send off a query in the mail and then wait for weeks for a response. If you wanted writer’s guidelines, it was the same.

Now you can get instant writer’s guidelines online. You can send off queries and receive a response within a much shorter duration. You can receive an assignment, write your article and send it off via email on the same day. And maybe even get paid the same day through your email using a service like Paypal.

There has never been a time in the history of mankind when it has been so easy for a freelance writer, of average ability, situated anywhere in the world to make a very good living. Never has it been easier for a writer who has never published a novel to make $100,000 a year.

Another recent development that has greatly benefitted writers is the rapid expansion of the world wide web. Every web site and blog out there is a potential market for a writer. Actually these are times when no writer should starve. Sadly the reality is that there are lots of writers out there who can hardly make a living. That is one of the things that this blog will be striving to change by giving useful timely tips pointing writers to lucrative online and offline markets and by getting writers to share the information they have on various markets.

But there is more to the developments on the world wide web for writers. Maybe the most discouraging fact is that most markets appear to be paying very low rates. $5 or even less for written web site content is common.

This should not discourage any writer for four very important reasons.

Firstly the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of writing opportunities (probably many more) paying $5 online means that it is easier for a writer to break into the market. In the offline and print publication days, it would usually take years for writers to break into print.

Secondly it means that you can start earning an income almost immediately that will help you finance your future efforts. Believe me even $2.50 (what I started off with myself) has a way of quickly building up to thousands of dollars, if your are consistent and disciplined and you ensure that you write every day without fail.

Thirdly it does the important thing of exposing your writing, complete with your by-line, out there where somebody looking for a writer just like you is bound to find you much more easily than if you were just waiting for an assignement that pays more. And even if your articles do not carry your name, you are building contacts in the markets. You never know who will come asking for a writer tomorrow.

Fourthly markets that pay $5 or less are not the only markets available online. There are other markets that pay a lot more. After my initial $2.50 per article assignments, the next freelance writing assignment I landed, paid me a cool $500 for an article that took me less than an hour to research and write.

But let’s keep things in perspective here. To make a really huge income from your writing, you will have to start with the $5 articles and build yourself up from there. My apologies to those readers who are so familiar with hype where somebody assures you that you will be making $100,000 tomorrow as long as you do something that will put money in their pocket. I am also very much aware of the fact that most folks online are in a terrible hurry to make money. My apologies, I am not that sort.

I make a living from my online writing, but I started off with a day job and it took time before I could give it up to concentrate full time on my writing. Naturally you will do it a lot faster than I did because you have all this useful information at your disposal. Still you will need some element of patience. Only patience will enable you to take the various steps that will lead to your earning a good living online and then finally to you earning $100,000 or more from your writing. From now to the point where you start earning a good living can be as little as one week to two months. Two months is a very short time when you really think about it. To reach $100,000 or more a year can take you anything from 3 months to 9 months. All of it depends a lot on you. Your skill at learning and following instructions more than your writing talent. Yep, you heard me right, most of the folks making those high incomes are average writers.

Within the two months that it will take a slow-to-understand-and-follow-instructions-writer reading this blog regularly to start making a living, another hype convert will have spent a bundle both in terms of cash and time trying out many get-rich-quick-in-my-sleep schemes. The choice will always be yours.

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chris said...
Dean White

Anita Lynn said...

So where do I find these places that will buy my articles for $5? And also, am I writing my articles ahead of time or being assigned them by the websites? Thanks.