Most writers have dreams of writing a bestselling novel. This is a great dream, but dreams don’t put money in the bank. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue the idea of writing novels. But it does mean that you might be wise to seek out other projects that can pay the bills while you’re writing your masterpiece. In this way you can get started as a professional writer.
Seeking Work in the Field of Writing
If you’re hoping to get paid to write, you’re going to have to seek out opportunities yourself. Until you’ve established yourself as a writer, you probably won’t have people coming to you and offering projects that actually pay. Remember to consider both online and offline opportunities.
Start locally, if you can. Approach newspapers and magazines in your area about writing pieces for a reasonable fee. If you’re interested in advertising, search for a copywriting position. These tend to pay fairly well, if you have the experience or education to take such a job. You might even want to offer your services to those who routinely give speeches, if you think you might enjoy speechwriting.
Opportunities to write online are available for anyone who chooses to look. Keep in mind that online pay rates haven’t quite caught up to print pay rates in most situations. Also, many sites that offer to pay you for writing are revenue share, such as Suite101 and Helium. Revenue share means that you write the articles, they’re posted to the website with ads placed alongside, and you get a percentage of the revenue. The upside to this model is that you continue to earn revenue for a long period of time, sometimes make a great deal of money on a single article. The downside is that it can take many months or even years to earn what you might get from an upfront pay site.
Upfront sites such as Demand Studios usually offer a set fee for each article and sometimes even revenue share opportunities. Other sides will offer to sell your articles, keeping a percentage of the sale price. One of these sites is Constant Content, though there are many others. Regardless of which site you choose, you can usually choose your own topic.
Ghostwriting and Its Benefits
Ghostwriting, or writing something for another person without getting the credit, is popular but not spoken of very often, probably because no writer wants to admit to hiring someone else to do the writing. There are many professionals out there who want to write and publish, but either don’t have the time or lack the necessary skills. Many laypeople also have great ideas for books or manuals but don’t have the ability to actually write it themselves.
One of the benefits of ghostwriting is the pay rate. Ghostwriting usually pays as well or better than other similar opportunities because you are being paid for more than just writing. You are being compensated for allowing someone else to put their name on your work and agreeing to keep silent about it. Most ghostwriting contracts include a privacy clause, so you can never actually take the credit. This is the downside. As a ghostwriter myself, it can sometimes be a little irritating to see someone else get the credit for my work. However, I am comforted by the fact that I made decent money writing it in the first place. Ghostwriting isn’t for everyone. If you really don’t like the idea of having someone else’s name on your work, don’t venture into the realm of ghostwriting.
When considering your options and decide what you should write, think about the knowledge you already have. If you’re passionate about a certain subject, write about that subject. But don’t give your writing away for free. It’s true that you can and might accept work that pays less if it offers you some exposure, but don’t write for nothing. Professionals get paid for their skills, and you should as well.