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20 February 2007 — Writing for Money: The New Way and the Old (1)

It was late last year that I realized I could potentially make a living writing for the web. It was today that I knew that this was true. I make a modest (but decent) income at the box factory. But for the last week, my web income has equaled my income from my real job. Scary, huh?

Now this is just one week. Though I'm making good money from my writing, there are many ups and downs. But even the lows are higher than I could have imagined. On November 25th, I made $29.29 in web income. That is the last day my earnings dipped below $30. My best day was last Tuesday: I made $169.90.

Over at 2blowhards (still one of my favorite blogs), Michael writes:

Planning on getting rich writing sci-fi or fantasy novels? Think again. Tobias Buckell writes that the average advance for a first sci-fi or fantasy novel is $5000. Five years and five novels later, the average author is pulling in around $13,000 per novel.

I used to want to get rich off writing sci-fi or fantasy. Then I decided I just wanted to get rich off writing books — I didn't care what kind. More and more, it's clear that I may never publish a book (at least not in the traditional sense)! I'm already making twice what a sci-fi novelist makes, and I have complete control of my content. There's little motivation for me to change directions at the moment.

Some people — and perhaps you're one of them — look disdainfully upon web income. "You're not making money from writing," is a common observation. "You're making money from advertising." I can understand this delineation, but it's not one that I make.

I am writing, and publishing that writing, and it's making me money. I don't feel guilty about it. I don't feel as if I'm compromising anything. Did I ever dream I'd make a living writing about personal finance? Nope. But now I can't imagine anything else I'd rather be doing.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2006Rocky Mountain School of Photography   In which I attend a Rocky Mountain School of Photography photo weekend and learn about improving my craft.


Comments
On 21 February 2007 (09:03 AM), John said:

It's your writing that's pulling folks to your site, where they see the revenue-generating advertising.

If you were a crappy writer, your revenue stream would reflect that. I agree with you: your writing is responsible for your income.

You'll rarely make money off my actions, though, considering that I'm one of those that subscribe via RSS. :)