The Truth About Earning Money Writing Online

Updated on November 8, 2017
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Rohan quit a job as a copy editor to become a musician. He finds the going tough but has no intention of giving up just yet.


The Bitter Truth

If you are under the illusion that you can make a sizable income writing online, this article is for you. Be prepared for some harsh facts from a person who has toiled for years and has very little to show for it.

  1. It will take forever before you see any meaningful cash. Don't quit your day job yet (if you have one). You certainly won't get rich anytime soon.

  2. To make even a little money, you will have to be stuck to the computer all day and pretend you're your own boss. Writing online and earning something decent these days is akin to working a full job. You will be in your room all day with your children throwing tantrums or a spouse / parent asking you to do chores!

  3. You will have to write many large articles daily. The days of fairly easy cash ended with the global recession of 2008. Earnings from online sources have plummeted since then.

  4. Many will cheat you or steal your work. The worst thing is that in your desperation to earn, you will overlook some glaring red flags. Your confidence and psychological health will take quite a hit each time you are taken for a ride by a scamster.

  5. You will face more than one person's share of frustration due to all the hard walls you hit. You will stop and start over and over again, all the while wondering how others make it but you can't.

  6. Commercial writing has very little to do with creativity. You will have to follow some very boring briefs for some incredibly boring topics.

  7. No one will be interested in your first-person accounts. Creative articles in the first person and poetry will have the fewest views of your content.

  8. Your friends and relatives will think you are unrealistic, and you probably are.

  9. On freelance sites, you will be have to write loads for next to nothing. You will be forced to compete with those willing to work for free. Also, the sites themselves will take a cut from your earnings, reducing them a fair bit.

  10. Writer's block will make your life hell. The truth is, one cannot come up with effective writing ideas so many times a day. It isn't realistic. When writer’s block strikes, you must cool off for a fair bit even as client nags you for their submission.

The purpose of this article isn't to be pessimistic but only to put real facts in front of you. There are way too many websites that paint a rosy picture of the online writing market. Don't be too hopeful. You need to be smart and try to subvert the paradigm. Having a fair bit of money to invest in something can be useful; you're here though because you hardly have any money to spare!

There are way too many websites that paint a rosy picture of the online writing market.

Best Practices

There are things you can do to keep your tail up when the going gets tough.

  1. Take breaks loads of times. Rest your strained eyes and take a walk, meditate, or grab something to eat.

  2. Drink loads of water. Writing most of the day will drain you like nothing else can.

  3. Make sure you get out of your house to meet friends or visit some relaxing places as often as possible. Being cooped up in your room all day will make you blue. Do things to get your mind off writing.

  4. Listen to some decent instrumental music as you type. No harm in making a dreary task more interesting!

  5. Block your access to social media when you are working. If not, you will waste a ton of time scrolling aimlessly on Facebook or Twitter.

  6. Take at least 50% of your payment in advance. If not, some scamster will make use of your work without paying you, and you will be miserable.

  7. Check the reviews of freelance writing sites before you begin writing for them. Watch out for red flags.

  8. Don't keep posting your writing-related links on Facebook. No one will look at them, and soon, your friend list will start shrinking!

  9. Make sure you are capable of fulfilling the brief given to you. Often project requirements on freelance sites can be unrealistic.

  10. If the person assigning you work tries to force you to do more than initially agreed upon, stand up for yourself.

Do enough research on your client before you begin working on content for them.
Do enough research on your client before you begin working on content for them. | Source

Always stand up for yourself. If you don't, no one else will.

Don't let anyone demean you or your abilities. You are the best regardless of what some stranger online has to say. Keep your tail up, and never give up!


Do you think online writing is generally too hard to be feasible?

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© 2017 Rohan Rinaldo Felix


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    • rohanfelix profile image

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 months ago from Chennai, India

      Good observation, @mabaig! "Pulse" is a great word.

    • profile image

      mabaig 3 months ago

      Though it is cumbersome process toearn money on online writing but if continious effort is made it will bear fruits in long run.only thing is we need to catch up with pulse of online writing

    • rohanfelix profile image

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 months ago from Chennai, India

      I believe that as long one has the wherewithal to persevere, online writing can be given a shot.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      It’s good that you provide a realistic perspective, as it is not easy. I enjoy it but it’s certainly not for everyone.