by Joseph T. Sinclair
Anyone who is an independent business person providing services to others knows that you spend about half your time marketing your services. Thus, only half your time is actually spent providing services, and from that half-time you have to earn your entire income.
Consequently, a middleman can provide a valuable service by doing some of the marketing for you. A literary agent will get a book published for you that you would otherwise have to spend an exorbitant amount of time getting published yourself. Many writers who are employees are well-qualified but not very well-paid. In such cases, the employer is a middleman, in effect.
With the advent of the Internet, marketing became much less capital-intensive and more effective with less effort than it was before. If you’re Web savvy, you can carve yourself out a lucrative career as a writer. If you choose not to be Web savvy, however, and want to just write and do nothing else, there are middlemen on the Web who will accommodate you.
The problem for writers is that now anybody who wants to become a professional writer can do so easily. And many people are writing just pick up extra income on a part-time basis. That has suppressed the earnings for people who just want to write full time and do nothing else; that is, do no marketing.
Thus, you can sign up to be a writer for HireWriters.com. On HireWriters.com the payment to expert writers (the highest category) is from 1.5 to 2.75 cents per word. You can write short articles or hefty ebooks. If you’re an employer, you can provide instructions (e.g., an outline) as elaborate as you desire. That’s pretty inexpensive writing for employers and is not exactly life-sustaining for writers.
How do you avoid being relegated to this lower tier of writer’s income?
One way is to specialize. The Web supports specialization as no media ever has before in the history of the world. Instead of having local or even regional access to would-be clients (non-consumer buyers for your writing), you have international access to them. That means even small niches can have significant buyer populations. Of course, reaching the buyers in such niches will require some marketing, even if not as much as a more general approach.
Another strategy might be to embrace the websites such as HireWriters.com that bring you buyers for your writing and make that your entire marketing strategy. You can become an expert in all such websites available that sell your genre and work the ones that provided the most income to you. You may not make much money, but you won’t have to do any marketing.
Perhaps the best strategy of all would be to use the writers available through the Web writing services such as HireWriters.com. At 1.5 to 2.75 cents per word, you can have someone else write for you. Then you can research, add, and edit. A lot of the research will already be done for you and will provide you with solid leads to further research that’s needed. A lot of the writing will be done for you, and you may be able to create a good product by adding only a modest amount of writing to it. Finally, the conglomeration you have thusly created will probably require a lot of editing. Even so, this can be a very efficient way to write and leverage someone else’s writing to increase your income.
I discovered HireWriters.com. So I tried it. I ordered a 1,000 to 2,000 word article on a pedestrian topic for a required minimum cost of $14.20. I offered $20. I gave minimal guidelines for the project. HireWriters.com has a default writing project period of one day, but I specified three days instead. Nevertheless, I received the article in one day with a total of 1,327 words. The writer did a good job. So I tipped $5. My total cost came to about 1.9 cents per word. I could have used the article without any changes on my website, but I beefed it up a little instead and edited it. All in all, it was a satisfying experience. The next time I use HireWriters.com I can request the same writer.
The advent of the World Wide Web has turned publishing upside down. But it has also turned the profession of writing upside down. It’s easy to see the Neo-Luddites dancing around as you look across the landscape of writing and publishing today. As much as you might empathize and sympathize with them, do not delude yourself that they have any sustainable complaints. Writing and publishing is up for grabs in the new communication environment worldwide, and you have to do whatever it takes (within ethical guidelines) to make a reasonable living. Or you can lament the fact that the literary world is going to hell and get yourself a job at Walmart.
Writers and publishers have enjoyed a 550-year tradition in which not much has changed. But like Mr. Berra said, the future ain’t what it used to be.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How2 books published by national publishers.
For low-cost non-exclusive reprints rights for this article, contact sales@AuthorsAndPublishersDigitalReview.
©2016 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.