This is the most important piece of advice you’ll ever get about how to make money by writing. It’s simple, direct and to the point.
Let me say that again. If you want to earn money writing, write nonfiction.
“Why should I write nonfiction?”
- Hundreds of thousands of websites and magazines pay for nonfiction articles every single day. There are only a handful of paying fiction publications out there.
- Nonfiction rates range from a few cents to a dollar a word. Most fiction magazines want you to give them your work for free…or for just 5 cents a word or so.
- You can take a single nonfiction idea and turn it into a dozen saleable stories without looking like a jerk or being called “derivative.”
- Marketing copy, grant writing, technical manuals and business documents are all other genres of nonfiction that pay surprisingly well.
- In the past few years, nonfiction books have hit serious best-selling lottery sales. Becoming a writing millionaire is no longer just the purview of fiction writers.
- Nonfiction is easier to write than fiction, and you can write it more quickly.
“But I want to write nonfiction. I want to be a famous novelist.”
You can do both. Writing nonfiction to pay the bills is the best way to earn a living until you outsell Stephen King and J.K. Rowling combined. Sure, you could keep working a regular job and write in your spare time — but as I mentioned earlier, writing for a living instead means you spend those working hours honing your craft. You get better at writing during your workday. Simply make an hour or two of work on your fiction project part of your flow.
“Okay. I’m convinced. How do I get started?”
I’ll be coming out with a free ebook on how to break into this market, but meanwhile consider these three strategies.
1. Start blogging for pay, as I talked about last week.
2. Go into your favorite hobby store — whatever your hobby is. Find the magazine rack. These publications pay for stories, and are typically starving for people who can actually write.
3. Pitch an article to every magazine you subscribe to, or ever subscribed to.
You’ll get some traction in at least one of those areas if you’re at all talented and professional. From there, it’s just a matter of time.
Thanks for listening.