The Most Amazing Writing Opportunity Ever

Today, I bring you good news about freelance writing:

There has never, ever been a better time to be a writer.

I know what you’re going to say: Haven’t I noticed the daily-paper world is in collapse? Magazines have folded. Many online sites pay squat.

So how can I make this claim?

Here’s why the golden age for writers is now

There are three reasons why things have never been better for freelance writers. They’re all things the Internet has made possible:

  1. It’s spawned huge numbers of new, paying markets and made existing magazines and companies need a strong online presence
  2. It’s now possible for writers to get these gigs even if the client is based half a continent or half a world away
  3. It’s handed writers the freedom to make money from their own blogs, websites, ebooks and print-on-demand physical books

Compare this with the supposedly wonderful days of last century. There were a fairly set number of major magazines, major newspapers, major corporations, and major book publishers that paid well. If you couldn’t crack some of these, you didn’t earn so great.

In the case of books, your novel often never saw the light of day, or if it did manage to get published, your royalty rate was usually pretty small. Now, you can self-publish and keep every dime of revenue over the modest cost of creating your product.

The Internet has introduced new business models that scads of startups are trying out. These online markets are attracting venture capital and in some cases real revenue…which is opening up many new opportunities to earn.

It used to be difficult to make connections with companies or magazines that weren’t in your town. Either you wrote awesome query letters and then waited two months or so for a mailed response, or you got on planes and went to trade shows in hopes of meeting editors. Now, Twitter, LinkedIn or just a simple email can instantly connect us to new editors wherever they are, and help us land gigs.

Here’s the amazing opportunity

But really, nothing is as life-changing for writers as the ability to have unlimited earnings by writing your own products and selling them online.

Let’s pause to fully appreciate the empowering moment we are living in right now. If you have an idea for a how-to book, or a novel, you can shop it to a traditional publisher if you like. OR…you can just write it, build an audience for it on your blog, and sell it to your readers. And keep selling it, over and over, for years to come. No gatekeeper can stop you from publishing now.

Instead of earning $100 from an article, or $1,000, you can earn from it indefinitely. You can repackage a blog post into an ebook, which gets bundled into a course, or gets you consulting work. The possibilities truly are endless.

Your earnings are limited now only by your imagination, and your willingness to dive in and master these new methods of making your writing pay.

But then there’s the tricky part

If everything is so fantastic, what is holding so many writers back from earning a good freelance living?

I believe it’s change.

Things have changed a lot for writers in the past decade or so. It can be pretty boggling. Many writers I’ve talked with are still in mourning for a writing ecosystem that is gone and never coming back — one where they didn’t even have to know how to write headlines, much less how to use blogging platforms and Twitter. Today, writers have to know how to market their writing more actively than before.

While there may be more opportunity today — boundless opportunity, really — two things have to happen for writers to take advantage of it.

The first one is a mindset change: Writers have to not only accept, but embrace the new reality of our lives. Throw off your black clothes and realize these are the good old days.

The second one involves learning: Writers who want to take full advantage of the opportunities online need to learn how to create a powerful blog.

Commit to constantly seeking more information about how you can improve your online presence. Take it from me, every small change you make will make a difference. Even if you aren’t getting many readers, comments, or subscribers now, you can learn how to grow your audience, improve engagement, and use your blog to get gigs and sell your work.

 

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16 comments on “The Most Amazing Writing Opportunity Ever
  1. Halona Black says:

    Carol,

    The reason I love your blog and being a Den member is because I appreciate the way you force us to think positively about our careers. It really is necessary in order to move forward — otherwise you wind up complaining about why no one wants to hire you. Thanks for the continued inspiration.
    Halona Black recently posted…Schedule Your FREE Author Jam Session and Get Clarity on Your Book IdeaMy Profile

  2. Jackie says:

    I’m fairly new to the writing arena. I wrote my memoir a couple of years ago and then landed a column in our local newspaper. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine all that was involved in getting a following – twitter, facebook, blogs on and on.

    But it’s well worth the journey. Thank you for all your valuable information.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You’re welcome! And I know what you mean…it’s a whole new world of marketing our own work these days. I used to just know how to write stories, period.

  3. Really interesting post. I have the feeling that we’re on the cusp of a big change in the way publishing works right now but it’s hard to see from here exactly how it will all turn out.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m with you…but I think it’s going to be better than it ever was once we get through this period of turmoil. Just my gut feeling.

      The Internet gives us the ability to connect and aggregate audiences like never before. There IS going to be money in it!

  4. As far as posting schedule it depends on the site and the type of content being delivered, some sites should have daily posting and others it make sense to do longer posts that are much longer in length. I have even went so far as to upped to 2 posts per day on my primary site which spans several categories so having a post in different categories is important.
    Justin Germino recently posted…Ezine Articles WordPress Plugin- Delete This Plugin Now!My Profile

  5. Pat McElligott says:

    Carol: I love your fierce optimism about writing for publication and pay. You help freelancers see that opportunity abounds. We just need to take advantage of it and get out into that brave new world.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Pat

  6. I always love seeing blogs and sites where the owner is passionate about what they do.
    Will certainly be looking out for future posts on your site.
    All the best Robert
    Robert Latchford recently posted…Ezine Articles lose half of its traffic thanks to GoogleMy Profile

  7. Absolutely! Happy days are here again for those writers willing to embrace change with enthusiasm and boldness.

  8. Karen says:

    I couldn’t agree more – these are the good old days for writers, but only if they’re willing to embrace that learning curve and become much more than ‘just’ writers. We have so much more control over what and how we publish now, and that’s very empowering, but with great power of course, comes the inevitable great responsibility. We have to be responsible for learning how to market, publish, sell, self-produce and generally be entrepreneurs. While half the ‘old school’ writers out there are whining about the huge changes in publishing, the rest of us are busy trying to learn how to use them to our advantage. I think I know which half will be successful in the future 🙂
    Karen recently posted…Three Simple Ways to Target Your WritingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s so true, Karen — we need to be a bit more proactive and entrepreneurial than in the past. But if you’re willing to learn new tricks, there is a lot of great work out there!

  9. Nisha says:

    Hello Carol,
    I think the frequency of posting is really affecting the response from subscribers. What I have found is that I was more eager to read your post when they appeared only a couple of times a week, and I do NOT feel excited when I have them regularly, reading every post though! Any advice?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Nisha —

      You bring up an interesting point. I did used to post once a week, then twice, now it’s 4x usually. I’m thinking about going back down to 3x.

      But I also have some big changes coming up. One post a week may be free while the rest are members-only…or everything might be free for a month, and then members-only. I’ll be taking a poll in a couple weeks and getting feedback on ways to offer more value to readers so stay tuned!

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