If I can make some cash writing online, you can, too

  • I have been keeping a blog for a long time now. I just usually from time to time log in, tweak some few features for hours while writing next to nothing, and log out. I have a few reads and fewer comments on that blog, and why not? There was nothing substantial to read. Worse of all, I made no money. I never wrote anything of general interest, only my individual one, and while writing about your interest is important, a combination of that and quality material of mass interest is the best way to communicate, add traffic and earn from it.

    My sister advised me to make money with it, 'Can't you see Linda Ikeji and Co? They are rich!' She said.

    There is nothing new to write about' was my response. 'They have taken over the money-making blog industry'. And in my mind, I added 'If you think blogging is easy, why don't you try it?' It turns out I was right about that, blogging is not easy, but so is working in the office, and they don't even make half that much money. But that was all I was right about the matter. Linda and Co have not grabbed all the opportunities, not even half of it. Later on, those years wasted have come back to hunt and hurt me. But what is the use of dwelling on lost opportunities while there are never-ending ones aplenty?

    The biggest misconception we tend to have which is the root of some pretty serious missed opportunities is that you have to be an expert in your field or you have to be an accomplished writer to make money writing online. It is as good an Internet myth as any.

    You have a field of study; you have a pretty sizeable knowledge of it, you can research on it, you want to share your expertise or views with others both within and outside that field, then what are you waiting for?

    Now to my personal persons, the creative writers. Talking about creative writing, be it poems, prose or drama, the Internet is your home. There are countless media to facilitate that I tell you, blogs, publishing sites, publishing apps, newspapers, keep naming it. Because of that, I am starting with fiction though I can't deny I do some serious research work on technology and the African man.

    Fiction writing

    I summon the creators of written art placed on this planet to bring its beauty to life in speech and mind, come forth from the four corners of the earth for it might as well be square for all we care. Come and make money with your talent. How:

    1. Self-published e-books - You can self-publish your books novels, short stories or novellas online without spending a dime and earn from it. The owners of the site usually pinch off a small percentage for themselves, you get the chunk. The beauty is you can do it all with a phone and a brain (talent being substitute), and you have to spend only your time, and that's about it. With a great storyline and diction, captivating summary and cover page, you too can earn it!. You can publish and get money for each download on apps like Radish, Okada Books, Amazon and co.

    2. Blogging - Blogging for a fiction writer is usually a preparatory stage before the compilation of the whole book for publishing online or hard copy. But it can also attract requests as a ghostwriter and blogger or in magazines, and it adds traffic to your site which means advertising opportunities. If you’re considering blogging here are 5 things to put at the back of your mind before setting up a blog. You can also explore these eight resourceful websites for content writers.

    These bring us to the next:

    3. Ghost writer/blogger - Ever wonder how busy politicians and public figures write Auto-biographies? They get ghostwriters. With an excellent portfolio of published works, you too can be a highly paid ghostwriter for them. You can also feature as a ghost blogger for other sites and get paid.

    4. Freelancer - Problogger and Upwork are your sword. Just sign-up, create a vibrant profile (they reject crap and flimsy profiles) and get clients who wish to have you write stories for their site or review books and poems.

    5. Newspapers - For newspapers like Daily Trust, there is a column for writers were poems and stories are published, Bookshelf. You can submit your works for publishing and even if they may not pay outrightly, your work if good enough will draw clients and probably may get you retained in the long run. If you’re planning to write for newspapers, these top 10 journalistic sites will be good references to check.

    And my personal favourite, the easiest way to get money writing and literary recognition for all categories of writers, yet the hardest;

    6. Writing contests - participating in an essay writing contest could be more challenging but sure one of the best ways to make income. You can browse sites for such contests and be sure to read past winner's literary piece.

    Here are some; Caine Prize for published debut authors - $10,000, CommonWealth- $10,000, Etisalat Prize for Literature for Unpublished writers- N15,000+ other prizes, For unpublished short stories, Etisalat Prize for Flash Fiction N1000 and other prizes. Drooling? Well, I am!. Naija Stories can help you polish your writing, and you can at the same time enter the contest with monetary prizes. Need I say more?

    The best way to go on essay writing is to start off, if you have not, with reading practical guides about essays. To hone your analytical skills, you should focus on articles that deal with paragraph development and micro features of a paragraph.

    Non-fiction: Educative writing and review

    This is very limiting in content as it is pertaining to a particular niche. Probably regarding Law, health, finance, the Cyber or tech world or literature in general without writing the actual literature. You can review books, products or places and earn from it, plus a free sample for products (P.S I am always up for makeup products, the free samples I mean, I know next to basic about makeup).

    Better make it colloquial, chatty, conversational and engaging. Something like what I am doing now though I'm not sure about the engaging part, comment and let me know. Keep your language simple, this reader could be a student writing project, and then he could be a hungry layman trying to devour the spheres of knowledge.

    My advice:

    1. Blogging - This is especially the path to follow if you want to write articles in your field or generally political articles and earn from them online. Once you have established yourself as a writer on that specific field with enough materials, to sum up, a decent portfolio, you can start chasing online jobs in sites like Problogger or Upwork and seek for clients to write for or better, wait to be sought for. We have Nigerians such as Bamidele Onabusi making it big in that field.

    You can also feature as a paid guest blogger in another blog of the same field, get paid for Ads or to feature other blogs or promote your services or do product reviews for brands and companies, e.g. hotels. But first, relevant, thorough and engaging writing is vital.

    2. Online magazines - You can seek out some online magazines like Happenings; an entertainment magazine, The Source Magazine, Sun Magazine, all can pay, all they need is captivating pieces.

    3. Online newspapers - Most newspapers have online sites. Submit your articles for pay.

    4. E-books - Creating E-books and self-publishing has never been more accessible what with Okada Books, Amazon et al. And you can affix good prices.

    5. Online contests - You can always search online for contests in your field or any field of interest be it on climate and biodiversity and technology being the leading ones or politics, health and law.

    So, what are you waiting for? As I said earlier, all you need are a reasonably good digital device with Internet access, fairly vast reading resources and indeed a commitment to a goal you set for yourself in the writing industry. For further insight, you may also want to read this article about being a successful writer. Good luck!

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