Big Girl Pants

| May 23, 2013

I’ve finally decided to put on my big girl pants and try something new.

As I was writing articles for Constant Content, I found myself pulling some of them off the site. I put a lot of work and research into my articles and expect to be paid accordingly (Anna’s rant hit home). I decided not to play around with pricing. I also decided not to sit back, hope and pray my articles would sell. Instead, I’m taking a proactive approach.

I went to Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy of the 2013 Writer’s Market. My old 2008 copy is out of date. Over the next few days I’ll spend time learning about how to write an effective query letter. I’ll test the market by sending out several letters. I fully expect to receive rejections initially, but rejections will help me to hone my query writing skills. Once I get the hang of it, it should be smooth sailing (more or less).

In the Meanwhile

When I’m not playing around with query letters and rejections, I’ll be spending part of my time completing a few of the ebooks I have sitting on my computer. For the past year I’ve been bouncing around looking for ways to earn money. I’m pretty burnt out on blogging (hence the infrequent posts here) and am not willing to play by the new blogging rules (Facebook, Twitter, Pine Interest and the rest of the social networks). Writing Big Girl Pantiesbooks and publishing articles sounds like the next step in my writing journey.

My blogs and online articles still bring in a steady income. The income is significantly lower than what it used to be. It averages about $1,000 per month, some months a little more and others a little less. $1,000 a month is nice for residual income, but not enough to meet my financial needs so it’s time to move on.

There are so many ways to make money online. It’s a matter of finding what works for you. Back when I first started online, I enjoyed the challenge of writing hundreds of articles and blog posts in an attempt to earn money. I no longer enjoy that challenge.

Change in Pace

I’m ready to take things slower and delve deeper. Writing an ebook allows me to fully explore a topic. I get to educate myself as well as the reader on all aspects of the subject matter. I won’t need to use keywords, worry about ad placement or concern myself with Google’s latest algorithm changes. When it comes to writing, all I’ll have to think about is providing an engaging reading experience for my targeted audience.

The real challenge is in getting the book to the folks who would benefit most from reading it. I’ve got quite a few ideas and strategies floating around in my head, but nothing concrete. Fortunately, my first book is one that would benefit several of the small businesses in my area (or any area as I think of it). It should be fun (and scary) testing my presentation skills.

Since I feel like I’m starting all over again, I’ll end this post with the following quote:

“Everyone starts from scratch, but not everyone keeps on scratching!”
— Anonymous

 

Tags: , ,

Category: Earning Money, eBooks, Freelance

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (17)

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  1. Samm says:

    Felicia,
    Thank you for the update on how you’re progre$$ing.
    I’ve not had the same success as you but it makes me very happy to find people who are in the same boat, at least figuratively we’re working toward the same end, but not in the same way…

    I would really like to know how to network better with people like yourself to help my two sites and ebooks to take off quicker. I’d like it to really make the ebook rocket so that I can produce even better ebooks and other content for my two different sites. That’s really what my goal is for all my properties.

    It makes me happy that I didn’t slack off at my full time job for a corporation; although I was working at menial office things, I was thinking of improvements to my sites and even using my break time to work on them…and that was almost two years ago – I’ve gotten so much farther in terms of learning SEO, social media, etc. It’s really amazing actually.

    My question to you is,

    Can you give me an idea of what has been your strongest suit in terms of profit, is it the writing or advertising/affiliates?

    I mean, are your own products the majority of that income stream or is it dispersed widely among the various review posts and links? Mine is primarily affiliate and advertisers like Amazon (sidebars and bottom of post ads).

    Anyway.

    Thanks for all your help and the writer’s links (I’m actually kind of prolific when I’m in the mood, as well – best of luck on your to-be-released books : )

    Regards

    Samm

    • Felicia says:

      Sorry for taking so long to respond. I’ve been concentrating my efforts elsewhere.

      As far as my most profitable efforts, ads have provided the most income.

  2. Terr says:

    Felicia,

    Linda is Linda Formechelli, The Renegade Writer.

    Here’s a link to her blog and an upcoming course that is EXTREMELY affordable

    http://www.therenegadewriter.com/new-renegade-writer-classes/

    SIGN UP FOR HER OPT-IN LIST. She’ll send you free ebooks that are short, yet give you the info that you need.

    Don’t sleep on signing up for this class. It’s self-paced and you go through this on your own, except for the 45 min phone calls with Linda. But she’s a magazine freelance pro and she’ll give you what you need to get you on your way.

    And, she’s a nice person. Let me/us know if you sign up.

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks for the info. I’m going to pass on taking another class at this time. I’m currently taking classes and don’t want to overburden my schedule.

      I’ve looked through Linda’s site and found she had good information. I’ll use it as one of my many online resources.

  3. Joni says:

    That’s the way to go for you now Felicia. And another poster is right about Linda’s class on writing for magazines…very helpful. You write well enough to take that road. Good luck and please keep us posted.
    Take care,
    Joni Brown

    • Felicia says:

      I think I’ll stumble around for a bit. If I find I’m not making progress, then I’ll look into taking a class.

  4. Alexander says:

    Your timing is perfect because I just got back into the writing game. I recently quit my job and I have three months to find another job before I run out of money or… write! I am going to capitalize on the two sites I have already achieved a tiny bit of success from, and probably start a blog and check into various freelance opportunities online. However, I am also itching to use my Writer’s Market book as I believe I have it in me to write quality articles for magazine publications.

    But my chief worry is time. Online writing reaps a smaller reward, but it is more immediate. I have read and heard it can take many months before a publication such as a magazine accepts or rejects your proposal. I’m not trying to be a downer at all, instead I am searching for your take on this. Do you expect a long time between query letter and acceptance or rejection? Or have you heard differently that maybe it is likely that you’ll receive quicker responses?

    Sorry I’m so long winded, it’s just that I am excited and scared to be on a similar journey as you and I’m hoping for answers. I have a feeling that as I push forward and spend my days filled with writing, it will all come together.

    In any case, I am cheering you on and looking forward to hearing positive results. For me, the online stuff is great, but I can completely understand the need to reap the rewards of hard work from quality writing rather than writing articles en masse and getting a third of what you should be getting. I hope you’ll keep us updated on your results here.

    • Felicia says:

      Wow, Alexander…it’s time for both of us to get to work.

      I don’t expect a quick turn around with the queries. I’ll keep sending them (once I figure out how to write one) and let the rejections begin. In the meanwhile, I’ll chase after more lucrative online gigs. There’s no reason to limit myself to only one option.

      There are a lot of online magazines that pay pretty well. It’s worth applying to both the online and offline magazines. The quick cash from the online magazines will come in handy while waiting for the check from the offline magazines. The last time I wrote for a traditional magazine it took almost 6 months to get paid. That’s why I stuck with the online companies.

      You and I should get in the habit of writing queries daily in addition to other writing work. If you throw enough spaghetti against the wall, eventually some of it will stick. Let’s keep each other posted. Good luck to you.

      • Alexander says:

        That’s good thinking – start spittin out queries. Even rejections mean you’ve been acknowledged!

        I had no idea there were specifically online magazines, but now that I think about it, I run into them on Google all the time. Duh, slap to the head. Wow, I really need to expand my mind a little. Thank God for you Felicia.

        I really like the idea of writing queries every day, I’m adding that to my list.

        And I will keep you posted!

  5. Loretta says:

    Very best of luck to you, Felicia. Keep those of us who consider ourselves your online friends in the loop.
    Loretta recently posted…Jodi Arias Dethrones Casey AnthonyMy Profile

  6. Anna says:

    Felicia,
    I’m liking this new attitude. It sounds like you’re taking charge of your writing career. Who could argue with that? I’m inspired by your resolve. In fact, I think we both arrived at this station in life at the same time. I recently formed an LLC for my editorial services. I’m about to take a face dive off a cliff, but it’s the only way to do it. You have to just START, as Jon Acuff says (BTW, I highly recommend his book, Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and do Work That Matters).

    I would also recommend joining many writers/writing groups on LinkedIn. I’ve learned so much and have engaged with a few writers for whom I’m now one of their beta readers. There are also many freelance groups that will provide insight into acquiring work and honing your skills. In fact, I’ve joined a few groups targeted at editors, proofreaders, and indexers. It’s time to take my skills as a technical writer and editor to a whole new level: one that is structured around my expectations. And that’s really the message I was trying to send in my “rant”.

    I would be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. Send me a direct mail to info@crossroadseditorial.com for details; no pressure, I promise.

    Also, I would not completely dismiss Twitter. You can establish your credibility as a writer by tweeting about your professional activities. I have participated in chats in which those revered in the industry also participate. The point is to establish your professional presence online, and you’ll see your network (and clients) slowly but steadily grow. This is all to prove your point: you won’t be doing this by quibbling over which keywords or affiliates to use. Your profession as a writer will be based solely on great writing and understanding your readers.

    Good luck! I get the feeling this is going to be the right path for you.

    • Felicia says:

      Lots of info in your comment, Anna.

      Congrats on setting up your LLC. I guess we’ll face dive off the cliff together.

      Regarding the social networking, I’ll have to take it slow. I think I need to figure out what I’m doing (and how) before I leap into the social networking arena. When I do I’ll connect with you on LinkedIn. It’s funny, not too long ago I tried to close my LinkedIn account but couldn’t remember my login info. 🙂

  7. Terr says:

    Hi Felicia,

    While you’re taking the entrepreneur route, why not package your pre-written content and sell it outright?

    All you need to do, is make sure that your content isn’t indexed online anymore. Then create a folder of articles that have been saved in .doc, get a shopping cart for your business site, list your services in appropriate forums and/or offline, then sell your work for the price that you’d like to. That’s definitely one of my plans. I just need time to package some old content I have on my computer.

    As far as selling your articles, HELLO! Are you taking Linda’s course? If you don’t know what that is, let me know.

    • Felicia says:

      Terr, that’s an idea.

      I’m actually thinking of writing a whole new batch of articles. I have certain topics that I’m passionate about now so I might as well write about them while the passion is hot.

      Linda’s course? Not familiar with it.