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How do I make money as a writer? Part I

by | Jun 26, 2012 | Personal Development | 6 comments


Writers often time have a desire to write full time, but feel the income from writing (especially in the beginning stages of a writer’s career) may not be sufficient. So what is a writer to do?

How can a writer make a steady income?

There are numerous ways writers can generate income. In addition to the money made from book sales, there are blogging, speaking engagements, consulting, and vlogging as additional ways that writers can create income. (More on these in a later blog post.)

However, if you’re coming from a situation where you are used to a steady income, the entrepreneurial side of writing may be a bit more than you’re able to handle at first. So here’s a great way to use your experience and education to pull in extra money while you write.


About a year ago, I decided to take on a contract position in finance. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I worked in finance prior to my writing career.

Having run my own business full-time for two years, a contract position was welcomed as it allowed me to supplement my income and relinquish myself from some of the grind that writing and owning a business creates. Ideally you’d like your contract job to be related (if at all possible) to your writing. In my situation that wasn’t at all possible because my writing is unrelated to my previous job experience.

Contract positions are great for entrepreneurs or writers who are looking to bring in income in addition to the money they make from their writing/books. It allows you to go stretches of time where you’re able to just focus on writing and the marketing of your book, and work when need be.

I’d previously done contract work early on in my career, but revisited the idea after seeing how a friend used contracting while owning her business. During non-peak times of the year for her own firm, she takes on contract roles with larger companies to supplement her income. Essentially you drop in for a few months and then you return to your business.

The pros are many. Contracting allows you to…

– work when you want to work.
– have a steady income during the length of your contract.
– possibly carry medical/dental benefits depending on the length of your contract.
– your skills remained sharpened and allow you to add the contract position to your resume.

However the cons are:

– Your focus may shift from your business and/or writing.
– The proposed time for your contract may be extended or shortened with little notice.

Unfortunately for me, despite all of the pros, my focus indeed shifted which is the reason why my blog and vlog has been silent for stretches of time. Again, that isn’t a complaint, but it certainly made me lose momentum with my writing and business. Again, no complaints, but not at all what was expected. All in all, I still recommend contracting as a great way to lighten your financial load while building your writing career and personally I will continue to take advantage of contract work from time to time while I grow my business.

In Part 2, we will discuss additional ways to make money as a writer. (Coming soon!)

How are you handling the money end of writing? Are you working full time or writing full time? Please share in the comment section below.

NEXT: 10 Things I Learned As A Self-Published Writer


  1. Pj Schott

    I highly recommend this. Works for me!!

  2. Lisa

    In February I started working part-time at a research center and that has made handling my business life and money much easier. I can sleep at night knowing that I can work on my business and still have my steady income coming in from the part-time work. It helps also to manage my time. 20 hours dedicated to the part-time work and at least 20 hours dedicated to my own work.

    • Stefanie

      Thanks for responding! Part time work is another option. That way your focus does not have to be entirely pulled away. Keep me updated on how things are going!Sent from my iPhone

  3. nate gray

    Nice! Let’s other writers in the same position know they are on the ri. ght track

  4. SJ Main

    I'm currently thinking about contracting as I would prefer to try this than work part time as I have done in the past which has to be balanced with writing and family commitments.

    • Stefanie

      It's definitely worth a shot!Sent from my iPhone