How to make money writing

Turn your writing into cold hard cash
By Dave Donahue
If you talk to most people they will tell you that you are nuts trying to make money writing. It’s either too
much work or pointless and for dreamers. For those with that kind of view it may be, but for someone
focused on making a living scratching out stuff on pen and paper it is a possibility. The first step to being
profitable in writing anything is to make a reader genuinely interested in what you are writing about.
There are so many different manuals, books, novels, etc. out there that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
This is why it’s important to learn to write and market your book to an interested audience. When I first
started writing I began at and Ehow, writing articles about various topics. I would write a
few articles a day and make maybe ten bucks for the day. Seemed back then like a whole lot of writing
for a whole lotta nada. I would write these articles about installing electrical stuff, setting lights, panels,
outlets, all that junk. Want to know why I wrote them? Well to be honest it’s all I knew. I had been an
Electrician for years, installing all kinds of commercial electrical junk till (BAM) one day I got sick, I mean
real sick and it almost killed me. I had caught meningitis so in the next couple of years my work wound
down and I found myself completely jacked up. I might as well of started dumpster diving, which by the
way really isn’t a bad gig if you can handle the smell of trash, nasty crap all over your hands and
scrounging like a rat for the next dumpster diving reward. I can remember seeing people’s feet as they
dove into dumpsters back in the 70’s looking for a big score. Face it, it isn’t fun and you get nasty dirty
and who knows what you may come out of there with. So in 05 when I got out of the hospital I just
started writing about stuff. If you want to dumpster dive that’s your choice, you may find a million
dollars or just a pair of some old ladies smelly underwear.

Ehow pays ok, but I’m pretty sure their rules change a lot so I really wouldn’t recommend it at this
point. After 3 years of writing they were stopping their program and they bought out all of my articles
for a whopping 500.00 bucks. Ha-ha…I’m not sure who was laughing to the bank because what I didn’t
know is there is another side of article writing. This is marketing SEO, keyword stuffing, e-zines, e-books,
the freaking list goes on forever man. I liked writing the articles but ya know it’s a burnout. So is
working electrical work, installing crap in peoples attics bathrooms…all kinds of BS. I’ve probably got
enough dust and garbage inhaled in me to last the rest of my life. So writing may be boring but it’s safe
and you can make money. I would also recommend other article writing gigs like Constant Content.
The rules are a bit stricter than Ehow and This company requires your work to be bought
and it has to be accepted first. So, when writing for them make sure you know what you are doing.
Punctuation is key, make sure your work flows and is engaging. Readers are inclined to make their
decision on a book in fewer than 3 pages so put a little humor in it, make it interesting and make it read well.
If you look online there are classes on writing, I would really suggest doing this if your grammar is poor
or marginal. You don’t have to be a freakin nutcase about it but it has to be acceptable work worthy of
reading even for the saddest sack around. Constant Content articles can bring in up to 50.00 an article
and even higher. Do your homework, find a gig that works if you want to write online content or niche
writing is what they call it. The main companies that cater to online or niche writing are as follows.,, Constant, There are tons of other ones and if
you have any expertise in any type of writing area like say football, baseball, health issues or whatever,
there are online blog sites you can find to write for. Another place I saw a whole list of writing gigs is at This looks to be a site for
people who are looking to pick up writing jobs blogging for anything under the sun. It is a good place to
start for someone just starting out, to get an idea of what people need and are looking for in writers.

I would like to add that in writing as with any job in general it takes time, patience and dedication to
get anywhere in this world. There are bars filled with people who talk about what they used to do and
what they plan to do. It is what it is, some talk some do. I worked for so freak in long I burned out. I was
a Marine and worked as a sparky and put myself in some crappy situations. In the end I was mid-40s,
completely burned out and sick of working and getting nowhere. The reality in life I’ve noticed is we
never really get anywhere. I have owned houses, sold houses, made money off of them and still, its
never really enough. The powers that be will always get their cut, plain and simple. Knuckleheads or
dirt bags will always have some new pie in the sky cure all for this that and the other. It’s all BS. Look
what happened to Don Lapre, sure he dreamt big but it beat him down in the end and didn’t pay in the
long run. My point is if you write, write because you dig it, it’s fun and you are providing a service of
information. Or you can just write for fun and end up with a book like I did. Put it up for sale on Amazon
and see what happens. Again, nothing happens overnite; you will never be able to go into a labor job
shoveling trash and think that the next week you’re going to be a project foreman sitting in a trailer telling
people to pick up the trash you once picked up. Crap flows downstream, start at the bottom, don’t
expect too much and be grateful for whatever good comes your way. It’s the same with writing, start
for the fun of it and see what happens.

SEO is another important factor when deciding on a writing career especially with content writing. I
found a great company that will show you the ins and outs. They have a free trial but do charge 99
bucks a month after the trial is over. This can get your writing moving in the right direction on the world
wide web guaranteed. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process of marketing your material in a
natural (free) way. Pretty plain and simple but it has a lot to do with keywords and content. Niche
article companies are not overly concerned about the content quality, rather the potential for the article
to drive traffic to their sites. Or for the article itself to gain natural exposure through search engine
placement. I am not an expert on SEO at all; if I were I’d probably be rich and sitting on an island with
my surfboard occasionally checking my clickbank account. Here in all its glory is the link to SEO for
beginners. This link would be well worth checking out
and who knows it may lead you to a better place than I am as I write this. If it helps just remember I
sent you the link. Ha ha.

Selling e-zines is also another way to go; I’m not really sure how they are doing at this point but this article
from Ehow can give you an idea I used
to write for a guy that I found on Textbroker. is a site where clients will post
their request online for article writing. It may be articles about sailboats, foreclosures, really just about
anything. When you sign up you will be classified as a certain classification, class 123 or 4 something like
that. The higher your class the higher your pay per word. It seemed like a good concept but I have to
admit it seemed kind of weird to me. It also seemed like the client pool where not from this country,
either were the people who wrote the articles. If you’re thinking about making money on article writing,
here’s some food for thought. Overseas, writing niche articles can help a person live like a king. In
countries where the average pay in only 5 bucks a day, someone who makes 5 bucks for an article can
hang it up after one article a day. The point is, competition is fierce, you may get lowballed from
someone in India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, you name it. I wrote articles for a guy for 6 months on Textbroker,
always the same type too, articles on short sales, foreclosures etc. and quite freakin frankly, it was boring
as hell. My average pay was about 30 bucks a day. When I worked as an electrician my average daily pay
was 200 bucks. Huge drop. I have been humbled by my illness which really messed me up but also
grateful I’m alive to even write this short gig. Maybe I’ll help you avoid some pitfalls. Maybe point you in
a direction you want to go with your writing, I don’t know, if I do I’d love to hear from you.

Maybe you want to write your life story, or write a book on a person, or even a book about giraffes.
I’m just trying to give you ideas. I never really thought about writing until I could go out and work like a
pig for someone anymore. I did it because it seemed fun and after a while I just got good at writing
about junk. My grammar may not be the best but I do try and make my writing entertaining and
informative. If you decide you want to write a book, especially a novel or an autobiography, I guarantee
it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, even if you don’t get rich doing it. You may
find that after all is said and done and you look at your work, you will actually be impressed with what
you could do. I wrote my book sitting inside and just typing whatever came to mind about my life. In
the end I had a book about myself, well a manuscript anyway. I looked around for publishers and
started on my authoring quest. I went to and a host of
other self-publishers. The only problem was, they don’t really do anything for free. Who does anyway
right? I saw their publishing packages cost anywhere from 500.00-15,000.00 bucks and got very very
discouraged. I couldn’t afford jack diddly squat. I felt like I should just go back to article writing or at
least throw oranges at cars, something to let out the aggravation. Then I found
This company is the bomb, that’s a good thing. You probably knew that but for people over a certain age
they may get confused or scared when they hear that. Anyway www.createspace will take your
manuscript and let you create your own book, the cover,interior,layout,author bio, everything. Then
you get an ISBN assigned to your book and you’re on your way to getting published. It doesn’t cost a dime
either. Just an internet connection and your manuscript of course. Your book gets published on
Amazon and Kindle and you can get royalties on your sales. Sounded good to me and in the process of a
year I had 4 books on the market to be sold. For me, authoring is much better than article writing, seo
writing, data entry, content writing or anything else that has to do with online writing. I haven’t gotten
rich yet but the reward of seeing 1-2 even 3 sales in the morning is worth the effort I put into them.

Now there are tons of writing jobs online, the work will never go away. Freelance writers are always
in demand but there is a lot of completion. Just because you may be in the US or Uk doesn’t mean you
get priority. The work can be cheap, pay that is and dull and boring. To get an idea of what freelance
jobs are and what is being looked for in workers go here. Here
you will find jobs galore for freelance writers, some data entry type work or some are jobs where the
person needs someone to rewrite their work. Many of them are from overseas looking for someone to
write or rewrite an article in correct English format. They are net bad gigs and are great for building a
portfolio. Once you have a little behind your belt, the pay goes up and so does the demand for your
work. There is opportunity around every corner as they is good and bad in everything. Take the good
and run with it, that’s what I say.

Building a website is another thing that I recommend. It can be your lifeline to survival when
becoming a writer. I have seen a lot of great websites but none of them it were probably coded
correctly which means they were probably never seen. I learned this through trial and error. I thought
it was like, ok, Ill build a website and direct traffic back to my Amazon books. Wrong! Doesn’t work that
way, a correct website will be formatted and coded correctly and made to look professional. Nobody in
their right mind will buy from a website that looks like crap. I know, I built one and I actually thought it
looked good, I really did. Oh how wrong I was and people told me it sucked. Its ok, it was a learning
experience like everything is. One website designing company I found interesting is For 40 bucks a month you can get a professionally
designed and formatted and optimized correctly. It looks like a good gig and I think it may be the best
way to go. Stay away from all of the do it yourself sites unless of course you just use it for personal sites
for family and stuff like that. It’s a tricky world when it comes to websites and marketing and all that

If you’re serious about becoming a writer and just getting published then I would suggest checking out You can submit your work and get some cool connections through
them. Nothing is ever easy and I have to be the first to admit that even writing can be a taxing, boring,
feel like a waste of time effort. Time is never wasted if your alive no matter what you’re doing as long as
It’s about moving forward. I don’t mean running a race or driving like a madman to get to a deadbeat job
to make a boss happy. What are your aspirations in life? Do you aspire to do something great, fun,
new? Or would you rather get in line and just accept what you have and bite the bullet? Either way
writing is a passion, it should be fun, whether you are writing a novel from scratch, letting your
emotions fly as you type or write out your story. Niche writing feels more like a job, a service for
someone else, writing what they want instead of what you want. This is something to think about when
deciding to write online content or a novel or autobiography. There are forums up the kazoo that will
help you get off to a good start or not. Opinions are like (well you know) and everyone has one. In
Writers forums it is saturated with burned out writers still waiting for their first book to sell. I’ve seen it
and read it. The bottom line is do your research, find a topic, blog about it, whatever. Blogging by the
way is a great endeavor especially if you have a knack for something. Blog about playing guitar, surfing,
bicycles, running marathons, sail boating, etc. You can make money at it too, start a blog at or research jobs for bloggers. Chances are there is something out there you know
about that can make you money blogging. The world is your oyster, take advantage of it! Great site for
blogger jobs I found is located at Should be worth a look.

Getting started may be the hardest part of all on your quest for a writing job. There is a ton of
information out there and I have tried to make a lot of this here simple and to the point for you. First
and foremost you should be able to tell if you’re a good writer or a crappy writer (like me). I’ll admit, I’m
not the best writer in the world but I do know how to communicate and that’s my plus. I can get a point
across in a way someone will understand, maybe that’s my pea brain working or just because I spent my
whole working life as a blue collar worker. I grew up in a rough town in San Diego where bikers and bars
were king. There was no deep thinking, my father was a pianist who unfortunately left the world by his
own hand when I was 17. I ended up in the Marine Corps and then on to working as an electrician. I
was burned out by 45. So I know about starting, over and over again…ha-ha! I’m also at a stage of life
where some things just don’t matter to me. Learning something new was what I was thinking when I
began writing after my release from the hospital and I really do like researching stuff and having people
benefit from my work. So, back to getting started with writing. If you need help with your skills as an
article writer, freelancer, punctuation issues, whatever, I would check out This site seems more for college students and what not
but it’s worth looking at especially if your writing and grammar suck. I will probably be using this in the
future myself.

Writers workshops can help immensely too. These shops offer classes and other types of support to
become a class A writer. I would really really recommend joining a workshop before embarking on any
type of writing gig. My reasoning for this is because in the past when I started writing I went full bore
and started writing niche articles for and . I thought it was the way
to go, just dive in. The forums were flooded with people who were telling me this and that and I
realized they didn’t know what they were doing either. They were just like me, someone who thought,
yea I’ll make cash writing articles. It worked but I really don’t think it worked too well. I was just another
make some dirt bag trying to make money writing articles. I did however learn a lot, I learned how to
write articles about all kinds of different stuff. The problem was that I was a novice, a newbie and didn’t
really know what the hell I was doing. These writers workshops will connect you with people who have
been around for a while and know what is going on in the world of writers. Connections will come and
you will be on your way to generating some income by doing what you like and not what you have to do.
Here is a link to descent writer’s workshops to check out.
If you’re really serious about all the article jobs or you just want to see where it goes, marketing your
work can end up being something that seems daunting. Marketing is a huge process and
factor especially when selling your work on the internet. Like I said before I know nothing about SEO and
all that stuff. I’ve learned a little here and there but I’m no expert. This link here may help with figuring
out marketing options for articles. Many of the bloggers who write these blogs on formatting, SEO and
other marketing techniques can be reached personally by email. Here is a link to some helpful info that
may help you see the light companies-use-article-marketing-to-rank-1-on-google. It covers a lot of the ins and out of marketing
and can help you on your way to figuring out how to market your articles or books. Keywords in article
writing seemed to me to be what clients were looking for. I always got request for keyword rick articles
of 400-500 words. I could write a descent acceptable article of 400 words in about 15 minutes and
usually made a penny a word. Kind of equates to 16 bucks an hour writing like a madman. In theory you
can make probably 80.00 bucks a day just writing articles all day but it really wasn’t my bag. Beats
sitting in a bar somewhere though, it just gets monotonous after a while. This is why I said at the
beginning of this little read that finding something you like writing about far surpasses the monetary
gain you could get from writing about something you hate. It’s always that, find a passion and write or
do it. Works everytime and it can work for you.

I hope this little book can help you, if anything learn from my experience and try and avoid some of
the things that I have run into. I don’t have all the answers and I probably could have written all day on
stuff that wasn’t relevant just to fill this thing up but you probably would of gotten bored and pitched it
altogether. This is what I have learned in a few years since starting on my writing quest. I haven’t to
date made a lot of money but I’ve gained a boatload of experience. For a guy that spent years working
as a blue-collar stiff and being hospitalized with meningitis in 05 and given a couple days to live I’ve
come along way. I’ve also helped some people with the articles and blogs I’ve written, I only know
because they said so. So, if this helps you too, feel free to drop me a line or review this little gig. The
main thing I’ve learned in all of this writing and the most important thing of all are to write about
something you know or have a passion for. It’s all you really need, use the people that can help you
with writing, marketing, formatting, editing and landing jobs and you may very well be on your way to a
bright new future being a successful writer. My best to you in your endeavors!

Dave Donahue

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