Making Money from Your Writing

I'm driving right now from Colorado to Mississippi, taking my oldest daughter to college for her first year. Her major? Creative writing, of course! Today's entry is a repost of a popular post from several months ago.

 One of the most frustrating things about being a writer is that you spend hours and hours at your computer, and you feel like you have nothing to show for it. It's hard to justify time away from your family and friends when there's no paycheck waiting, and no boss looking over your shoulder.

In the years leading up to publication, you want to leverage your writing in to something that pays, even if it's not much. And it can't hurt to collect some publishing credits. Here are a few ideas you can try.

Online Freelance Writing
Several sites allow you to sign up as a freelance writer. A buyer posts a project, and writers bid on it. Whoever wins the bid does the job. I've worked for Elance for a year, and it's been a good experience. Elance holds the money in escrow, and when the job is done, the payment is made immediately. I can't speak personally about the other companies, but Elance is very professional.

Magazine Writing
There is a periodical for every niche in the world. Do you like fly-fishing, and sometimes fish in Canada? There's a magazine for that. Do you know anything about cheerleading in the USA? There's a magazine for that, too.

How do you find out what they need? Start with the magazines you already subscribe to. The big ones, like Woman's Day, or Better Homes and Gardens, are tough to get into without a track record. But smaller, regional or specialty publications need a steady flow of articles all year long. Check out the website of the magazines you get, and look for "writer's guidelines" or "submission guidelines".

If you have expertise in any area--from your career or you hobbies--do a search to find which publications cater to others with that interest. Look for regional publications like parent magazines and local tourist "newspapers".

Subscribe to free newsletters that post lists of freelance opportunities. Here are a few that I receive:

Check out my earlier post with more freelancing ideas here.
Terry Whalin has an article on 7 Ways to Write for Profit on the Internehere.

How have you made money from your writing? Post a comment to let us know. And check out 9 Ways to Make Money From Your Writing.


  1. What a great post--I may look into some of these, thanks!

  2. I hope you do. There are some more posts under "freelance writing" in the labels to the right. I hope you find some writing gigs!



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