Earlier this week I wrote about low cost business ideas, focusing on some different ideas that follow a rather traditional method of starting a business. Today I want to focus on something a bit more cloudy, but something that can be far more lucrative as well as less expensive in money and time to start doing. That something is writing.
Becoming a writer used to be very different because publications were physical and cost money to produce. You couldn’t just start your own publishing company because that cost money. You would have to write and submit your writing to a publishing medium which usually only published the best of the best content. It was hard to succeed as a writer.
Now it doesn’t take much to start writing. You can start writing on your own computer, without any cost whatsoever. You can still submit your writing to big publications, but that’s not necessary to make a career out of writing anymore. All you need is a topic and a little time.
The idea of coming up with a topic for your writing may be intimidating, but believe me, people will read anything. Others have written about photographs you didn’t take, useless superpowers, and even statues that happen to have been crafted with side-burns…your imagination (or lack thereof) is your limit!
You probably know what a blog is, as you are reading one right now. You can get set up to blog for free, and just start writing. This way of writing will get your content out there fast. There is very little to set up and there are no costs. After you build a small audience, you can find ways to make money from your blog such as in text advertisement, sponsored writing and affiliate links that pay you when someone else clicks the link and buys something.
Just like anything else, the more time and money you invest into blogging, the more you are able to get out of it. By buying hosting, and a domain name, you can brand your blog and possibly build a complete business out of it versus just pushing out content and relying on advertisement revenue to build into a steady income.
Revenue Sharing Publishers
If building a blog from the ground up doesn’t sound appealing, or you don’t have a consistent flow of ideas to write about, you can try publishing services such as Triond or Helium. These services will pay you for your content regardless of how long you have been writing. They have certain criteria that your writing has to follow for it to get published, but it isn’t difficult to follow their guidelines and get your writing published in their network of established websites.
At Triond you are paid a percentage of the advertising dollars that the article brings in. If you promote your article well enough, a single article can give you a decent trickle of money that will continue to pay for a long time. If the article flops, you may not make more than a few pennies over a few years time. Triond also allows the publishing of photographs, poetry, or recipes and won’t hinder your creativity.
Helium has a different setup than Triond and the writing is a bit more structured. They have topics in a marketplace you can pick from and write and if the article is chosen among all that write about that specific topic, it is published. You can get paid by revenue sharing like Triond, or you can get paid per article. The payment type depends on the kind of content you write, the type of topics you choose and what medium they are being published in.
The best thing about these revenue sharing publishing platforms is that they have a solid base of content, traffic and advertisers already. You won’t have to build a base or spent too much time getting started, you just write and get paid.
Supported Freelance writing
I call this method supported freelance writing because you aren’t actually going at it alone. You are backed by a platform with this method too, but unlike the revenue sharing options above, the platform is a place to match you up with those that need content and you are paid on a one time. People that need a freelance writer, or content written, or books ghost-written will post a job listing. You can browse the job listings and apply for them. Once you land one of these, you pound out the content they want, ship it over to them and get paid.
Jobs on these platforms vary extremely widely in length, and pay. Some jobs are long term where you may end up writing for the same publisher for months, and the pay for some of these jobs is quite impressive. Others are very small jobs requiring very little research and only a few paragraphs of text but the pay is equally small.
The main advantage to these methods is that you can build a solid writing portfolio in the case that in the future you wanted to apply for a writing position at an established media source.
Using any number of these methods, or all of the above can help you start making side money or even a full time income from writing online and it won’t cost you a penny to get started.
Image by kevinzim
Tags: audience, becoming a writer, blog, business ideas, business today, domain name, imagination, little time, own computer, own publishing, photographs, publishing company, statues, superpowers, text advertisement, time and money, ways to make money