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5 Tips for Making a Living as a Writer

make money writingDo not listen to the nay-sayers; you can make a living as a writer. These will take your freelance writing to the next level – even if you only follow one or two of my suggestions.

Making a living as a writer isn’t as hard as people say, unless you’re a literary writer who wants to craft the perfect novel for university professors and students to dissect. No money there, unless maybe you die.

These money writing tips aren’t for literary novelists; they’re for freelance writers who want to support themselves financially.

“This is where the leap of faith comes in,” writes Howard Guttman in Coach Yourself to Win: 7 Steps to Breakthrough Performance on the Job and In Your Life. “You must firmly believe that you will land safely, that the ‘new’ will be better than the ‘old,’ that your discomfort will be temporary, and that you will feel a greater sense of fulfillment at the journey’s end.”

I love books like Coach Yourself to Win, and I bet that’s why I earned $30,000 my first year writing (part-time!). Reading these types of books changes your mindset, which directly affects your ability to achieve your goals.

Here are a few writing tips – this is one of those “if I knew then what I know now” blog posts…

5 Tips for Making a Living as a Writer

1. Figure out how you want to make money writing. There are so many ways to make a living as a writer! Copywriting, web writing, blogging, business writing, ghostwriting, memoir writing, ebook writing, press release writing, website writing, blog article writing – it’s endless. To make money writing, you need to decide what kind of writer you want to be. You also need to decide how much money you want to make, and learn how much money freelance writers get paid.

2. Find a writing coach or mentor – but do not copy her writing style or ideas. When I first started freelance writing, I had lunch with a successful freelance travel writer. While she picked at a salad, I picked her brains – and that one meeting was the beginning of my writing career. Since then, she’s been an invaluable source of support and information. Fellow scribes, soak up the wisdom of successful writers – but never copy their writing styles or steal their ideas and add your own twist! Stand on the shoulders of giants, but forge your own path.

If you’re interested in writing for websites, read How Do I Earn Income by Writing Articles for Online Markets?

3. Take different writing jobs until you find what works for you. Some writers make money by writing business reports or college textbooks (yuck), while others blog for a living (yum!). It took a few years for me to figure out the best way to make a living as a writer – I tried freelance writing for magazines, ghostwriting, blogging, web writing, memoir writing, ebook writing, and joining writing groups. I make a full-time living from my “quips and tips”  blogs, and accept magazine assignments and writing gigs when they’re assigned. The more writing jobs you take and try, the closer you’ll get to finding the writing career that suits you best.

4. Keep track of how you spend your time and energy. Do you know how much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, writers’ forums, or writing blogs? Find out. For one month, keep a daily journal. Divide each hour into 15 minute increments, and document exactly how you spend each increment. How you spend your time is how your spend your lives, fellow scribes. If you want to make a living as a writer, you need to spend your time doing what works.

5. Make a list of your own “money writing tips.” When you try different types of writing or take different writing jobs, make a list of what worked, why, and for how long. Then, keep doing what works – because it’s surprisingly easy to backslide into things that don’t work! For instance, I keep writing health and fitness articles for Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals, and they never get any hits. They’re not “da bomb”; they just bomb. So, I started keeping a list of the blog posts that do and don’t work in my “quips and tips” journal, and I refer to that before I decide what type of post to write. To earn a living as a writer, make your own list of money writing tips based on your experience.

If you’re not ready to start writing, you can procrastinate by reading Living on a Writer’s Salary – 5 Money Tips for Writers.

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6 thoughts on “5 Tips for Making a Living as a Writer”

  1. Indeed, making a living out of writing is possible. It does take a long learning process though, since being a successful blog writer is not just write and post. You need to learn how to bring traffic to what you write as well. But it certainly is possible.