I have always had it in my mind that someday I would be a writer. I know I am not alone in that thought. I’ve talked to more than a handful of creative folks who think they would like to write for a living.
I have written hundreds of pages about numerous topics that have never seen the light of day. Some of that writing is maybe even pretty good. But there is a difference between writing and being a writer. A writer makes a living through their words. Those pages buried in various closets or storage bins never made me a dollar.
Writing for yourself is great, but if you have the dream to make a living through writing, and living a writer’s life, I hope you stick around for a while.
So how do we get there?
Becoming a writer means getting Paid To Write
The pure artist in me cringes to say this, but it is difficult to make a living at anything if we don’t get paid something for what we do. Writing for a living online means that we need people to actually read what we write.
I know that as a writer there is nothing scarier than putting your words in front of people, but let’s just agree to get over that. The great thing about writing online, is that we have a much more forgiving audience than we would in a published format.
Once we have people interested in what we are writing, we need to monetize that in some way. Luckily, this is easier to accomplish today than it has ever been.
Why Write Online for a Living?
The internet is a nearly magical place for a writer. It gives us an amazing amount of control over what we choose to write, and it allows us to reach, very literally, all corners of the world.
As writer’s, we want our message to reach people who find it meaningful, and the internet gives us nearly endless reach to find the people who identify with our words.
Along with the complete freedom to choose our content, and the ability to reach millions upon millions of people, the internet is also an amazing tool for generating income through writing.
You are not going to be a world-famous writer overnight.
The idea that kept me from being a writer more than anything was thinking that I needed to write the great American novel in order to write for a living. I still hope to write a novel in the future, but I never would have become a writer if I didn’t focus on smaller goals first. Remember the definition of being a writer from above.
The first step is to make some money through writing. The amount doesn’t matter. If you can make $1.00 writing online, you can eventually earn whatever amount you need to reach your goals.
Once you understand how the process of turning yours words into money, the only difference is scale and a bit further knowledge on how to expand your audience.
Blogging into the Void
I remember my first attempts at blogging. I wrote and wrote and wrote….and after months, had about four people reading my blog regularly. There was some good stuff in there, too, but I never made a penny.
Blogging is great for writers, but not so great when it comes to writing for a living online. I did quite a bit of it back in the day, but in the end it wasn’t much different than filling journals with words and stuffing them in the closet. The internet is a powerful tool, but if you don’t have any idea how it operates, it’s likely your blog will never generate any income.
Understanding this Place- The Internet
To understand how to write for a living online, we have to understand that there are certain rules by which the internet operates. It is a place run by computers after all, and they simply follow the rules. If we have no idea what those rules are, we can’t use them to our advantage.
Google is the king in this space, quite obviously, and understanding how Google helps get your words in front of people is the first step in the process. It is essential to understand how to help Google help you.
I will share some ideas on how I use things like keywords, search engine optimization, and some others in future posts, but for now I just want to impress upon you the importance of having an understanding of the inner workings. It is the key component of success.
Without that understanding, we are just blogging into the void. Don’t be afraid of this part, it is not that difficult at all.
You Can Do this
I remember the days when it seemed an impossible dream to be writing for a living online, but I assure you that it is a completely manageable endeavor.
If you have even a bit of talent, some motivation, and dedicate yourself to learning the process, you will succeed.
I started with no knowledge of this stuff, just a desire to write, and make money doing it. I wanted the freedom to create not only my own writing voice, but my own life. If you are willing to put in a little time every day and stay dedicated to the process, I have no doubts that you will succeed.
As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing about your journey.