I am a writer…damn proud of that fact, too. This comes after 27 years of TV news anchoring, radio news reporting, radio talk show hosting and managing people with broadcast sensibilities and egos.
Heavy on the egos.
Since 2000, I’ve been out of work three times. That’s a lot. That’s also an occupational hazard in my line of work. I’m still involved in broadcasting, but only peripherally and now on my terms..well sort of. I now write for several different entities and while writing is NOT the most dependable gig in the world, it can be extremely fulfilling.
But here’s the deal: writing requires that you be pro-active. You have to submit things. You have to risk criticism and rejection–and that happens more often than not. And while this can whittle away at your ego, nothing can build it up quite like selling a piece and having an editor tell you, “That was very good!”.
Or better yet, knowing that people across the country…hell, across the globe…are reading your stuff and digging it.
I like that feeling. It’s life affirming.
But I’ll be the first to admit that while I submit, I’ve also been lucky. There have been times when God, the Universe–call it what you will, saw fit to bestow jobs on me when all hope seemed lost. On more than one occasion, I’d be in a sad predicament–two days before rent was due and I had no money with which to pay it, but something suddenly came out of the blue and the day rent was due, I could write a check that would not only cover my rent, BUT…would allow me to have enough left over for a bag of pot and a 12 pack.
I kid…..(sort of)
But I’m serious about the help I received. Gratitude is vital–you have to be thankful; even for the bad stuff and I’ve been doubly blessed, so I intend to return the favor. I happened upon a wonderful site for writer’s called “Writinghood”.
Clever, n’est ce pas?
I read it, loved what my eyes feasted upon and because I often get asked about writing, how to start and more importantly, how to get paid doing it, I’d thought I’d share with you a few things I learned from this incredible site.
It’s all about writing gigs, baby.
Gigs that pay.
This is a website which allows you to get paid for writing assignments. These assignments, which take the form of academic papers, have to meet the demands of students from the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain–and that’s the reason behind the muct stricter selection process. You need to provide your CV when you sign up for an account. Subsequently, you will need to pass a test essay given by their editorial team. Once you have passed the test, your account will be activated. You can then search for writing jobs available from your control panel. You can be paid between $6 and $20 per page. You do not have the rights to your article once it is sold. There is also a strict writing guideline you have to comply with when you write your assignments. Payment is made via Paypal once you have completed an assignment.
Constant Content allows you to submit articles, photos, videos and illustrations for sale. These articles are often purchased by magazine editors or website content developers or bloggers for blog entries. There are many licenses for these people to purchase, namely full rights license, unique rights license and usage rights license. If you have articles previously published, you can still sell them at Constant Content for usage rights license. These buyers are constantly looking for material and if they can’t find them at Constant Content, they can make a private or public request for the specific articles to be written. Many writers will attempt to do so and they will have a list of articles pertaining to that topic in no time. Payment is made on the first week of every month once you reach $50 in your account.
If you’re good at writing “how-to” articles, then go to eHow. In order for you to get paid for writing for eHow, you need to sign up for a free account and join the Writer’s Compensation Program. You can then publish an article, submit photos and videos. Once you have published an article, you will be compensated for pageviews and its content. The more useful the article is, the more money you will earn. eHow pay its members after reaching a threshold of $10. At eHow, you retain all your rights to your work. Unfortunately, eHow is only for writers who are US citizens above the age of 18 years old.
Demand Studios has many websites on various topics of interest. You can get freelance writing assignments from Demand Studios and get paid for them. First of all, you need to provide your CV when you sign up for an account. Once it is approved, their editorial staff will match writing jobs based on your interests, skills and competence. You can receive an upfront payment for your approved assignments. The payment varies according to your content. You will be paid via Paypal every Friday or a check for special assignments if the editorial team contacted you via email. The downside is that Demand Studios owns all rights to the content. And it’s only for US citizens above the age of 18.
Here, you can publish news stories, photos or videos. You get paid via Paypal at end of each month based on statistics from the previous month. You will receive a proportionate share of the payout based on the traffic to your published materials. Whatever you publish at Ground Report must be original. The best part is that you retain all rights to your work. You also get to choose from four different kinds of Creative Commons licenses for your work.
At Associated Content, you can write articles on any topic and submit them for approval. Once they are approved, you can start earning money. Besides articles, you can also submit videos, audios and slideshows. There are two ways you can be compensated at Associated Content, namely Performance Payment and Upfront Payment. You are only eligible for Upfront Payment if you are a US citizen above 18 years old. They pay via Paypal once your earnings amount to $1.50 and payments are sent every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Upfront Payments or the beginning of every month for Performance Payments. At Associated Content, you can submit articles under the Exclusive, non-Exclusive or Display-Only rights grant. The different rights you grant affect the distribution of your materials to their partnership sites.
I’ve used Helium, but I’ve never received a penny from them. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t familiar with it’s ways and mean. So let’s get educated together, shall we? Helium is a publishing website which allows you to write articles on various topics. You can either write articles based on topics others have written before or make up your own category. Helium is famous for its rating system. It allows readers to compare 2 articles of similar topics or titles to determine which is the better one. As such, your article will be ranked against other articles written by other writers. Your earnings is based on your article ranking and the number of pageviews you get. Apart from performance payment, Helium also organizes contest where you can win cash. At Helium Marketplace, there is a list of articles wanted by websites or magazines. You can write an article based on the topic they requested and hopefully, website owners or magazine editors will pick yours up. You can be paid a lump sum for that. They pay via Paypal once you reach $25.
Here, you can write reviews on books, hotels, products, places, cities, practically anything.Once you submit the reviews, the editors will review them, reject or accept them. The current rate for each piece of review is $2 if accepted. However, sometimes your review may not meet their criteria. As such, you can be paid the bulk rate which is the current rate divided by 5, in this case 40 cents. On top of that, every vote pays 10-cents. You can get paid via Paypal. After reaching the threshold of $50. You don’t have to sign up to write reviews for them.
At Triond, you can get paid for writing articles, publish photos, videos and audio materials. You are free to write on any topic you like and submit them. You can even write in other languages besides English. Once your material is approved by the admin, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Triond to notify you that your article has been published. They will tell you where the article has been published. Triond has many affiliate sites pertaining to different topics. So you may have your articles published at different websites if you write about different things. Triond will automatically pay via PayPal on the 15th of every month once you have earned at least 50 cents, lowest payout so far. Payment is based on an ad-revenue sharing scheme as well as the number of pageviews. Triond only accepts original materials which has never been published elsewhere before.
NOTE: While they editors at Writinghood insist these are all legitimate sights, one can never be too careful. They strongly you to proceed with caution. Regardless of which site you choose, they suggest you only send a few stories at first to make sure you’re comfortable with their requirements and the way they operate.
But I’ll take it one step further: If you want to write…WRITE! As I mentioned above, you can’t sit back on your laurels and think that Ms. Editor with the Atlantic Monthly is just going to arbitrarily knock on your door looking for the next Steinbeck. She won’t enter your home office while demanding a Dewars and water as she rifles through the pages of your “book” that are neatly tucked away in the files in your PC.
Writing mandates effort and not just merely sitting at your keyboard. It takes a pro-active stance and by that I mean, send out your stuff. The above sites are choice places to start.
Lastly, making it as a writer also takes timing and a hell of a lot of luck.
I wish you assloads of it.
So, there you go. Let me know if I can help. Seriously. It’s my mizvah. You can contact me by leaving a comment or by clicking the e-mail category under the ugly, tacky grassy header I have at the top of this blog. You’ll see it.
Now get writing, Sparky!!