Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Three Ways for Writers to Make Money Now


Someday, I’ll be a published novelist. Is that your dream? If you’re like me you spend at least a few hours a day trying to make that dream become reality. But the harsh truth is that writing takes time.

Most of the writers/authors that I’ve met along my year-old dive into this community have poured their soul into their stories for five years or more. Yikes! Really? I’d hope to be multi-published by five years with three or four newly-sold series on the horizon.

And that can happen, but usually writers have to wait eons to have their babies take first toddling steps.

So what can an aspiring author do in the meantime to help support a family? As a mom who has always contributed, here and there, this proved a frustrating quandary. But I learned a few things as I skipped through virtual-land this evening.

1. Write for other websites
There are many people on the web who:
  • Don’t know how to write.
  • Don’t know what to write.
  • Don’t have the patience or desire to write.

Yet, they still need a web presence with regular updates and stimulating information. Yea! That’s one place where unpubbed writers can step in. You don’t have to know how to build a website to provide excellent copy for it. You just have to know a few tricks about writing that copy.

For instance, did you know that the average blog reader will only spend 15 seconds on your blog? News flash. If you’ve read this far, you’ve already beaten those odds. Give yourself a high five!

There are all types of opportunities for a well-connected writer to create web info. I found a few articles on tips and tricks: Writing Good Copy and A Beginner’s Guide to Website Copywriting.

2. Create simple websites for local business.
More web skills equal more opportunities.

If you do know a little about the tools of web design. Some HTML of CSS or maybe just have the software programs that can help you with it, many small businesses are interested in you.

Unlimited articles and books of tips and tricks along with the site providers who make design ultra simple eliminate excuses. Give the small business owner a professional site and some dynamite writing to go with it.

But the internet isn’t the only option for supplementing your income.

3. Write for numerous periodicals
Use the Writer’s Market

A couple of decades ago I remember dabbling in the greeting card-writing industry. A two-month summer for a teacher had me bored after only about two weeks. The Writer’s Market became a good friend. I wrote cards and sent queries. Even sold a poem. This annually updated book offers periodical calls for submissions as well as agent and publisher guidelines for all of the different types and genres.

Pour over it. There will be some interest group where you have an area of expertise. Some opportunity where your unique voice, experience, and ability fill the need with perfection. (And fill up your pocket just a little!)

Your turn: What ideas do you have for supplementing your income until your first book sells?

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

10 thoughts on “Three Ways for Writers to Make Money Now

  1. Pingback: A Plethora of Amazing Links That Rocked My World | Jenny Hansen's Blog

  2. Great blog, Marji! Joanna Aislinn pointed this post out to me on fb. And I wholeheartedly agree with your advice. It took me several years to get my first story published (with my second one in the editor’s hands right now). It will probably take me a while longer to get where I’d truly like to be. One thing I’ve learned, it takes a good deal of perseverance in the writing profession.

    I’ve considered writing for greeting cards in the past, so I found it particularly interesting that you suggested it. I may still try it.


  3. Reblogged this on Joanna Aislinn's Blog–Love, Life Lessons and Then Some and commented:
    I thought this was an excellent article to share here directly! Thanks, Marji, for taking the time to compile these ideas!


  4. I just keep plugging away at my day job and “write” a few hours a week as time permits (though I must admit that I “write” the next part of the story in my head while commuting.or showering or sitting through a boring meeting, so the “putting it down on paper” (Word doc) is more about wording than it is about plot or character).


    • I have an app on my Ipad called ITalk. It has a big record button so I can open it before I start a long commute and hit the button to talk through inspiration so I don’t lose ideas.


  5. Some good ideas and tips. I hear you on the time frame. I think I’m on 3 or 4 years with my current WIP. My excuse is that I don’t get to write full time. At least, that’s what I tell myself. ;P


    • Amen, that’s one of my excuses, lol. So is, “My family distracts me.” Or school, or tennis, or the need to clean the house. Great post, Margi. I like the resources you cited, too.


      • Thanks! I don’t have the excuse of outside work, though I do homeschool my kids and volunteer. It’s just a long process with or without outside interference. I know. The Lord is teaching me patience! 🙂 Hope I’m learning well! 😀