I have been working as a writer for many years and one thing that I have noticed that happens several times is that I don’t always know where my income will come from. Sometimes I can write something and get paid once, or write a book and the royalties keep coming from it for years, or sometimes I write something and it can make me money in ways I never thought possible.
To show you what I mean, I’ll tell you about a series of three articles I wrote that have been making me money for over 10 years.
And this is how it happened:
Several years ago I wrote to a writing magazine and proposed a series of three articles on how to make money pitching ideas for movies, TV shows, and reality TV shows. The magazine accepted and asked me to send them the articles.
At the time, I was working as a freelance writer and had outlined the articles but not written them, which is not unusual, because for nonfiction magazine articles, they just want to see a short introduction first, while for fiction, they generally want to see the full story.
So, once I received the application, I set about writing the articles, which were less than 1,500 words each, and it all took me just one morning of writing, editing, and proofreading. And then I sent the articles.
The publisher accepted them and offered me £100 ($200) for each article, payable at the time of publication (the magazine was published monthly) to which I agreed, knowing that I would receive 3 monthly payments totaling $600.
The articles were published as agreed and a few months later I looked at the copies on my computer and decided to republish them online. I added some PPC ads to the web pages and some affiliate links to appropriate scriptwriting and presentation products and left it at that.
In the years that followed, those three articles began to receive more hits than the other pages on my website. I also had to update them a few times to make sure the content was still relevant and all the links worked, but doing it was only a small job.
So while those articles were on my website, the ads and affiliate links made me quite a bit of money.
And then one day a publisher contacted me because one of their authors wanted to use part of one of the articles in a book they were publishing and wanted written permission.
So I sold them the permit for $300 which they accepted and paid for.
And when I thought about it, those three articles that only took me a few hours to write must have earned me over $1,000 since I wrote them.
Not bad for half a day’s work.
But that’s what being a writer has; if he wants to earn a decent income, he must keep writing, posting and publishing, because he never knows where the money will come from next, or how much.