Recently, I was paid $70 for writing an honest book review for a reputable, small indie book company. It wasn’t a 1,000, 1,500, or 2,000-word epic, but merely a little over 400 words. As a beginner, it can be difficult finding a decent job paying over $50 for 500 words (at least it was for me).
I thought I had to be a whole new person to be a paid book reviewer. I felt I had to write big words I’ve never used before to describe the euphoria I’ve experienced reading Homer’s The Odyssey or Anne Karenina. I thought people only paid great reviewers like those who worked for The New Yorker or some scholarly review journal only a select few know.
I didn’t have to be any of those people, but myself. I didn’t have to BS my way through 1,200 words to make my point across if I recommended the book or not.
I almost doubted my abilities to be a paid book reviewer. Sure, I can write all the free reviews on my book blogs. On the other hand, it seemed like I couldn’t write anything substantial for any paying positions.
I applied to one book reviewer position a few years ago.
All you had to do was read a book and write a review for $20 a pop. Sounds easy, right? The editor was incredibly selective.
It took me a few days, and a serious of e-mails for this person to finally give me a chance. I didn’t beg; this person put me through an unnecessarily lengthy e-mail interview.
Finally, I took the trial test, and I was rejected. On the bright side, I was still paid for reading the book. However, I kept thinking to myself, “How was I wrong for my opinion of a book? What did I miss out?”
Honestly, I did change how I wrote for the test. I tried to write like a “professional reviewer” (whatever that was). I didn’t know what the heck the editor was expecting from me.
After the trial, I continued to review books on my blogs (one for general and another for romance novels). Besides, I love reading, and creating reviews was an excellent excuse for me to write more. Plus, I enjoyed sharing my work with my audience.
I decided to apply again for another reviewer position I found online. The pay was much higher than the last one. I had something to offer. Why not do something for someone willing to pay what comes naturally to me?
Book reviewers help authors and publishing companies market their products. I like being part of the help. I know what it’s like trying to get your writing out in the world. It’s a journey of its own.
I was accepted as a reviewer, did my first job, and got paid. No self-doubts, no BS. I did the work I would usually do for free.
Have you ever been rejected for your writing? Don’t worry, there are always better gigs out there (with better pay).
Medium pays you depending on the views on your short stories.
Gaming sites will pay you for your gaming articles, especially if you play six hours a day.
Someone will even pay for your bigfoot erotica. Believe me; it has happened.
How to Get Someone to Pay You for Your Writing
I know you’re done will all the wishy-washy motivational writer’s talk by now. This is how you get someone to pay you for your writing:
1. Discover Your Niche
Do you love to travel? Cook? Are you a health-obsessed, body-building gym rat? Congratulations, you have your niche! There are hundreds of opportunities for writers like you.
Once you grabbed your niche, search online for folks looking for niche-specific writers. Travel writers can pitch to National Geographic Traveler. Health and wellness writers may go for a publication like mindbodygreen.
Sometimes, you don’t have to stick with one niche. You can branch out more with two or three niches — experiment with what works best for you.
Some niches are more profitable than others. Overall, you should be able to make a decent profit as long as you have your target audience’s attention.
2. Search Job Boards & Magazines
You can find writing gigs through sites like Flex Jobs, ProBlogger, and even LinkedIn. Search Google for jobs under “write for us” + (your niche). When you do this method, make sure they’re paying gigs.
Search your network for jobs too. For example, you probably know a friend of a friend with a small business. If they’re just starting, they’ll need marketing assistance for their products and services. Some companies may be clueless when it comes to social media, Wordpress blogging, SEO, and content marketing. This is your chance to offer a helping hand.
3. Apply and Pitch
Keep applying and pitching to writing ads until you land any positions. If there’s a company you want to write for, don’t be afraid to send them an e-mail. I wouldn’t recommend mentioning your rates unless they ask.
4. Do the Work and Get Paid
Yay, you got the job! Now, smash your first assignment and get paid.
Clients love it when you submit fantastic work ahead of schedule. More than likely, they’ll keep you around for a long time.
5. Repeat, Don’t Stop
You landed your first gig, received your first pay, now what? You do the whole process again.
Your job may be temporary; some clients don’t last forever. You must keep rowing your boat to new opportunities. Unless you’ve created waterfalls of passive income pouring into your bank account every month, this is what you must do to keep your boat afloat.
Besides, you love writing. This shouldn’t be a problem for you at all. :-)
Keep writing, keep asking, and the money will come to you. People admire dedicated, focused writers.
Who said you must deal with the starving writer’s complex a long time before you get anywhere in life? I can’t stand this trope, full of codswallop!
How come it’s more believable for rich reality housewives to be paid for sitting pretty and screaming nonsense at each other than a writer to make six-figures a year? Umm, no.
You’re a universal writing force.
Keep knocking doors, beat them down with a ram. Eventually, one will open.
Remember, keep yourself open to the unlimited options around you.
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