Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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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?