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Online Writing as Business: What You Need to Do to Earn a Living From Writing

Thousands of writers earn a living from online writing. For them, online writing is work, it is serious business and not a form of relaxation. Whatever circumstances imbibe them, they persist until they make it. If you want to earn a living from writing, you have to write and write a lot, you have to invest time and money into your writing, and never should you give up. This article is meant for young writers who want to succeed where many others have failed.

Compared to other forms of writing, online writing has not been around for a long time and yet it employs the largest number of writers anyone can imagine. Can you earn a living from online writing, can you make a living from the articles you post for various sites online? My answer may shock many young writers but the truth is this: You can earn a living from online writing, you can make enough money to live comfortably, but you need to work harder than you have done in the past.

I was skeptical like many young writers

When I started, I was just as skeptical. I was more comfortable being called a writer; I was comfortable with this title of a writer emanating from my friends lips for it was enough to make me smile like a cockroach for nothing. I used to take part in competitions and even entered my first novel for the annual Macmillan Publishers’ Prize for Africa.

My typing skills were poor

My typing skills were very poor, I didn’t have a computer of my own but used an old typewriter that a fellow writer had given me to help with typesetting my novel. My girlfriend, who later became my wife, did the typing while I read for her the handwritten stuff. How tough it was for I editing the pages was tougher than one can imagine.

I stumbled upon online writing sites

While searching for information about many more writing competitions, I stumbled upon online writing sites that were paying for content! How amazing? I came across helium and associated content among many others. The two sites favored authors based in the United States, but I was determined to make it. I took a loan and bought a second hand computer which enabled me to write straight into the word processor and edit more easily than I could with the old typewriter. The computer enabled saving of my work and using the cyber cafes in town for mailing of my entries and or submission to online sites.

I started earning cents

I discovered that I was spending much more than what I was earning, but at least I was earning from writing! Along came Triond and I managed to quit the rest. Why, because of the community, the friends and the variety of topics available for writers. Was the money enough? Of course not! Getting ten views in a month was not easy and yet I couldn’t spend more time online as much as I wanted.

What you need to do to earn a living from writing

Thousands of writers are earning a living from online writing, all they require is patience and persistence along with the realization that one can only earn a living from writing if he or she takes writing seriously. If my writing on Triond (Including what Google pays as adsence) alone can pay for my house rent along with unlimited monthly internet connection, then anyone can make a living from it. What should a young writer do?

a)      Invest in your writing – Online writers need to invest time and money to earn a living from their writing. You will need access to a computer and reliable internet connection. When I didn’t have these two, online writing wasn’t worthwhile.

b)      Write – Some online writers are more comfortable moaning about writing or how little Triond pays instead of writing. If Triond is paying very little, writers have two major options: To shut up and bear with it or quit and do something more worthwhile. We joined Triond without being coerced, we can quit without being coerced.

c)      Quality and quantity – When I started, the quality was there but not the quantity. I realized that to earn from your writing, you must not only write good quality articles but also write many of them. I had to make it a habit of writing something everyday however pathetic or uninspiring it is. Writing became easier and more habitual.

d)      Variety – Closely knit with the issue of quantity is variety. When I started, I used to post short stories, short stories and more short stories which managed 4 or 5 views every month. Even though I have written more than 50 short stories, the internet is not the place for them. I realized I had to vary my topics and go for what readers wanted.

e)      Learning – Online writing and publishing is far different from the traditional publishing that I was used to. While critical acclaim was the key to success in traditional writing, online writing was market oriented. I had to learn this from more mature online writers to survive the tide. You have to accept the fact that some writers are better than you are and can actually help you!

f)       Patience and persistence – Many young writers come around, post 20 articles at a go, find nothing on their dashboard the following morning in form of earnings and disappear into thin air. My friend, take your time and learn the tricks. Success does not come on a silver platter.

g)      Networking – It is not about stumbling and tumbling and all that. However much you belong to networks, if you are not active in those networks, nothing will come of it. Adding friends and not reading or commenting on their work is useless. Some young writers will add you and start sending you links as if that in itself will guarantee them views. Wrong! It is not enough to add thousands of friends, it is not enough to share links, and you have to work harder to earn.

Have you learned anything? While you may not be writing for the money, I know you will smile if you can earn more than what you are earning at the moment. This is my way of doing it, what is yours?

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