Saturday, April 23, 2011

When will I earn "Real" Money?

Probably the question asked most often by people looking to write online with sites like Hubpages and List My 5 is, "When will I earn 'Real' money?"

When I answer I try to be honest, there is no saying how much or how soon anyone will earn money, I can feel the disappointment in the room. Many see online writing as a quick fix, they need a hundred dollars to fix their car. They have heard of someone a friend knows who earns $20,000 a year for a minute or two, typing something on a computer which Google then plasters with ads that people click on and Google pays them lot's of money. They know this, their friend wouldn't lie about such things.

Their friend is not a liar. They just misunderstand. The person who earns $20,000 per year is not just taking a minute or two to publish one thing and earning money from that. The main portion of online income comes from residual income. That person might write one or two articles per week, have a catalogue of a couple of hundred older mature posts which are present and earning several dollars a month, it is not much compared to the headline thousands. But it is real money.

I always equate earning income from writing as like a singer songwriter who gets just one hit in their lifetime. Sure every recording sold or everytime their song is played on the radio they earn a few cents. Compare that singer to 'The Beatles' they wrote hundreds of songs, some they didn't record themselves but allowed others to use. Their hundreds of songs mean there is a chance that one of their songs is being played anywhere in the world at any particular time. They too earn a few cents per play or sale, but the sheer volume of cents rapidly builds to hundreds of dollars.

The beginner writer then needs to consider the long term, maybe a minimum of two to three years. In that time they will learn the trade of online writing, how to use links and publicize themselves effectively. As their portfolio of work grows they will see a gradual growth of income from cents to dollars. It all takes time though. The hundred dollars next week for the car repair may be a pipe dream, it may happen for a few lucky people, just like the one hit wonder of the singer/songwriter. But for most the slowly building catalogue that will leave you with lots of sources of residual income is the more common route.

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