Creating Multiple Streams of Income for Writers

Financial expert Brandon Wilkins describes how successful writers can create multiple income streams – and why we want to!

Before the tips, a quip:

Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night. – Marian Wright Edelman.

The ideal way to earn money is to find something that fulfills your passion, talents, and motivation – not just your desire to be a rich famous published writer. 🙂  For more info on creating wealth, click on Wilkins’ book, Getting Rich is Simple…But It Ain’t Easy! And here are his tips on creating multiple streams of income for writers…

Creating Multiple Streams of Income for Writers

Wilkins explains that multiple streams of income are about making money from more than one source. “Some people think having several jobs is a way to create multiple income streams,” he says. “While technically that is true, it’s very limited.”

To understand multiple streams of income, you need to know the difference between the two main types of income: active and passive.

Active income is when an individual trades their time for dollars (eg, you show up for work, and you get paid). If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Having several jobs is a limited way of building multiple income streams; however, eventually there’s a limit to the number of jobs you can have.

Passive income is where money works for you. You do the work once, but continue to get paid over and over. An example of passive income for writers is publishing a book, song, or video game and earning royalties. Another is advertising on your blog or writing for online sites that pay you a commission per click (not per article or blog post). My first source of passive income was writing for Suite101. A third way to earn passive income for writers is to sell your reprint articles.

One benefit of multiple income streams is that you can suffer a loss or downturn and still be in good financial shape, because you’re not solely dependent on one income stream. 

For instance, when my freelance writing assignments slow down or dry up altogether, I still have my Suite income, my blog earnings, and my hope that my agent will sell my book (though that doesn’t pay much!). The idea behind multiple streams of income is to protect yourself financially for the lean times.

3 Tips for Creating Multiple Income Streams for Writers

1. Do the dirty work. One of the best ways to create a multiple stream of income is to do something for people that they don’t want to do themselves. Wilkins gives the example of the guy who started the dog poop scooping business: nobody wants to do it, but it’s now a multimillion dollar operation! The equivalent of “pooper scooper” for writers could be researching, editing, copywriting, blogging, invoicing, accounting – any task that other writers don’t want to do themselves. But, we know that one writer’s “poop” is another’s “scoop”! 🙂

2. Move from active to passive income. Find ways to turn those active sources of income into passive sources of income. For instance, if you’re doing another writer’s research, find a way to outsource or subcontract it – and still get paid yourself. Or, if you’re earning sufficient money from your blog but can’t afford the to keep putting in the time and energy, hire bloggers to write for you. Do you want to be a wealthy, successful writer? Make it your goal to accumulate multiple passive income streams.

3. Set your goals. Wilkins says the most important tip for creating multiple income streams for writers is to have a target. What revenue or sales do you need in order to be “successful”? You may have multiple streams of income – but are they good ones? For instance, if you spend hours a week blogging and only earn a few pennies a day, then you might want to consider a different source of passive income.

Fellow scribes, do you have multiple income streams – and are they helping you reach your financial goals?  

Brandon Wilkins is the co-founder of Financial Freedom Builders LLC, and is available for coaching, workshops and seminars designed to help you take control of your finances.

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10 thoughts on “Creating Multiple Streams of Income for Writers”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I LOVE passive income from blog posts, ebooks, and other online articles! Creating multiple streams of income — just a trickle from every source — is my husband’s ticket to retirement 🙂

  2. I think you touched on some really good points, especially that you should move from active to passive income. We could create a ton of active streams and work ourselves to the bone, but not until we focus on passive income can we actually become wealthy through our business(s). Nice post.

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your tip about having your own website, Menandro…I have six of my own, and I love them! Doesn’t even feel like work 🙂
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..Writing Quips and Tips From John Irving =-.

  4. Menandro@Passive Income Passion

    Blogging does create passive income but other entrepreneurs suggest having your own website so you can have multiple income streams on that site. I think is also important to consider. Thanks for this post…

  5. Hey Tommy, I could be your blogger friend who sometimes earns $30 a day and sometimes earns nothing! I suspect many bloggers are in this boat.

    Creating multiple streams of income is important no matter what career you have, I think. Sort of like diversifying your investment portfolio.
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..8 Ideas for Blog Posts or Magazine Articles at Halloween =-.

  6. I don’t have a blog yet, but my friend earns money from hers. It’s very sporadic though. Some days she earns $30 and other days nothing at all. That’s why it’s so important to have multiple streams of income, I guess. When you’re not earning money with one stream, you can earn with another.

    Thanks for this blog, it’s got good tips. Not just for writers, either.


  7. Yes, George, finding the right type of monetization for your blog is definitely a challenge — especially when you have low traffic.

    One of the most important things: your ads should match your content. That is, if you have diet ads on your article about multiple income streams for writers, then you’re not likely to earn a cent.

    I’m not a fan of the double underlined links in blog posts because they seem to rarely relate to the content of the post. I’m also not a fan of plunking down a Google ad in the middle of my post, but….I want to see if it works to monetize my blog! It’s hard to strike the balance between integrity and earning a few bucks.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments, George. I sure appreciate them!


    Laurie PK’s last blog post..Creating Multiple Streams of Income for Writers

  8. Laurie,

    I need to be better at this. I have a hard time striking a balance with the right kind of monetization and the right amount. I guess I’m still struggling with having enough traffic to make any of these effective.

    it is important for writers who blog to diversify and if I find the right trick to making it happen, I’ll be right here, telling you all about it!


    Tumblemoose’s last blog post..7 Things Editors at Children’s Book Publishers Wish Writers Knew