I’ve been working as a writer for many years now and one thing that I’ve noticed happening several times is that I don’t always know where my income is going to 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 earn me money in ways I never thought of.
To show you what I mean, I’ll tell you about a series of three articles I wrote that have gone on making me money for well 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 about how to earn money pitching ideas for movies, TV shows and reality TV shows. The magazine accepted and asked me to send the articles.
At the time I was working as a freelance writer and I’d outlined the articles but hadn’t written them, which isn’t unusual, because, for non-fiction articles for magazines, they only want to see a short pitch first, whereas, for fiction, they usually want to see the whole story.
So once I received the request I set about writing the articles which were less than 1,500 words each and the whole thing took me just one morning of writing, editing and proofreading. And then I submitted the articles.
The editor accepted them and offered me 100 British Pounds ($200) for each article, payable on publication (the magazine was published monthly) which I agreed to, knowing that I’d receive 3 monthly payments which totaled $600.
The articles were published as agreed and a few months later I looked the copies of them on my computer and decided to republish them online. I added a few PPC ads to the web pages and a few affiliate links to appropriate products about script writing and pitching to and left it at that.
Over the next few years, those three articles began to get more hits than the other pages on my website. I also had to update them a couple of times as well to make sure that the content was still relevant and all the links worked, but doing so was only a small job.
So while those articles sat on my website the ads and affiliate links earned me quite a bit of money.
And then one day, a publishing company 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 permission for $300 which they accepted and paid.
And when I thought about it, those three articles that only took a few hours to write must have earned me well over $1,000 since I wrote them.
Not bad for half a day’s work.
But that’s the thing about being a writer; if you want to earn a decent income, you have to keep writing, submitting and publishing, because you never know where the money is going to come from next – or how much.