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#1 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I've been subbing and lurking for quite some time.

I have what may or may not be a simple question for you ladies.

Is it worth it?

I know, I know, loving to write, expression, seeing your name in print, all that. Put that aside for a second for me, please.

If you possibly can, please tell me if you truly think that the time you spend writing is worth the income derived from it.

This could be through writing for magazines, for AC, for Helium, etc., whatever it may be, I want all the details!
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#2 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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I write for magazines. My income is definitely worth it. Granted, I'm working for the $1 a word places, so it helps....without my income our finances would be very tight.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#3 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been checking out the Writers Market Mag book. That does look like good money, but what's the best way to get started, in your opinion? Blogging? Some place like AC?
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#4 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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Print magazines can definitely be much more lucrative than on-line writing. I have been writing on-line for a little less than a year and am just now exploring magazine print publications. If you feel you are ready for that, then dive in.

I needed some time to gain confidence as a writer and develop a portfolio. I started at AC, wrote there for less than 2 months, then moved to Suite 101. I prefer Suite for several reasons - better profit for me than AC, directly work with an editor, you have deadlines to work with, etc.

As far as profit, I am expecting that my non-seasonal articles are going to average out to an earning about $20-$25 per year per article. From what I have gathered from other Suite writers, I can expect those articles to bring in similar profit for several years. The thing with Suite is that the profit is spread out over a longer period of time. So if you are looking for fast-cash, Suite isn't the right fit for you.

If you are more interested in raking in cash quickly, Demand Studios is a faster profit, though you forfeit all your rights as an author. Because Demand can alter your work, I don't know if that is the best route to go if you are seeking on developing a strong on-line writing portfolio.
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#5 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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When I was trying to decide what to do for work, I was doing part time childcare for one other child. My initial goal was just to replace that income. By the end of my first year I had earned more than double that goal. Last year I made more in the hours that my daughter was in kindergarten than I would have at my old full time job and so far this year I'm doing even better - while still having time for all the school plays etc, walking her to and from school everyday and having the occasional lunch with a girlfriend.
So financially it's worth it, mentally it's worth it, emotionally it's worth it...
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#6 of 19 Old 06-20-2008, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by evies_mom View Post
Print magazines can definitely be much more lucrative than on-line writing. I have been writing on-line for a little less than a year and am just now exploring magazine print publications. If you feel you are ready for that, then dive in.

I needed some time to gain confidence as a writer and develop a portfolio. I started at AC, wrote there for less than 2 months, then moved to Suite 101. I prefer Suite for several reasons - better profit for me than AC, directly work with an editor, you have deadlines to work with, etc.

As far as profit, I am expecting that my non-seasonal articles are going to average out to an earning about $20-$25 per year per article. From what I have gathered from other Suite writers, I can expect those articles to bring in similar profit for several years. The thing with Suite is that the profit is spread out over a longer period of time. So if you are looking for fast-cash, Suite isn't the right fit for you.

If you are more interested in raking in cash quickly, Demand Studios is a faster profit, though you forfeit all your rights as an author. Because Demand can alter your work, I don't know if that is the best route to go if you are seeking on developing a strong on-line writing portfolio.
Holy cow that was a great response! So at $25/article/year, how many do you keep going at a time?
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#7 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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I'm currently making $3k/mo from home while homeschooling my kids (OK- it IS summer...)
I write for demand studios, hotel reviews for a travel website, I blog and write for Suite 101. Suite is a long-term, residual income thing, not a lot of income each month, but compared to the work involved it's better in the long run because it never stops paying. The others I get paid by-the-piece for easy brainless work. My computer is on all day & I'm on it pretty much all day except when I'm ... not... I'm feeding my kids, working on the house, the yard, bathing, sleeping, helping husband with something, helping kids with something, going somewhere, cooking, whatever else moms do...

I love it. I love that I can support my family with words. Words are free.
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#8 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 08:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deuxceleste View Post
Holy cow that was a great response! So at $25/article/year, how many do you keep going at a time?
The way it works is you just keep adding your articles to the site. I started writing for them in December and I have just shy of 60 articles written there. I am a Feature Writer which requires me to write 4 articles and 4 blogs a month, and also qualifies me for bonus pay. Articles that I wrote in December are still earning me money. I generally put out between 5 -10 articles a month, but there are those at Suite who write several articles every day. It's all up to you how much you want to write.

I am a bit of geek and I crunch my numbers once a month to figure out how much they may potentially earn me overtime. The interesting thing is, the more articles that I publish, the more it improves my revenue on all my articles. Again, it still is nowhere near as profitable as the potential of print publication, but I have found it personally rewarding and working with an editor has improved my writing in more ways then one.

We do have a Suite 101 thread, currently there are... 8? of us who write at Suite. There is an application process. If you want to apply, let us know if we can help you with your submission pieces. Suite does have a strict house style, so when you apply you want your pieces to align with their guidelines. We can help you with that.
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#9 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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I will jump in to say that I first wrote for AC but I felt that the consistency of the work across the site was weak and I didn't want my reputation as a writer linked to that which is why I switched to Suite101, which imo has much better articles and is working on developing a good reputation.

If you decide to make writing a long term income generator remember that every article you write either builds up or tears down your body of work and pick publications that represent you the way you want to be represented. In the end, the fast dollar isn't always the best dollar.
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#10 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will jump in to say that I first wrote for AC but I felt that the consistency of the work across the site was weak and I didn't want my reputation as a writer linked to that which is why I switched to Suite101, which imo has much better articles and is working on developing a good reputation.

If you decide to make writing a long term income generator remember that every article you write either builds up or tears down your body of work and pick publications that represent you the way you want to be represented. In the end, the fast dollar isn't always the best dollar.
I agree. I don't know much about this stuff, but I do agree. I was looking at some of the articles on AC, and... well... you're right.

"Well see, that's the problem right now" (in the words of Napoleon's brother Kip)... I don't HAVE a body of work. I thought maybe AC was a good place to start by just plugging some stuff on (assuming it gets approved), and then moving along later. Suite 101 requires writing samples, correct? Do they have to be published? Or can you just arbitrarily write an article and throw it at them?
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#11 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by deuxceleste View Post
I agree. I don't know much about this stuff, but I do agree. I was looking at some of the articles on AC, and... well... you're right.

"Well see, that's the problem right now" (in the words of Napoleon's brother Kip)... I don't HAVE a body of work. I thought maybe AC was a good place to start by just plugging some stuff on (assuming it gets approved), and then moving along later. Suite 101 requires writing samples, correct? Do they have to be published? Or can you just arbitrarily write an article and throw it at them?
When I applied (a little over a year ago), I just wrote some articles and sent them in. I didn't want them to see me as an AC writer.
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#12 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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I agree. I don't know much about this stuff, but I do agree. I was looking at some of the articles on AC, and... well... you're right.

"Well see, that's the problem right now" (in the words of Napoleon's brother Kip)... I don't HAVE a body of work. I thought maybe AC was a good place to start by just plugging some stuff on (assuming it gets approved), and then moving along later. Suite 101 requires writing samples, correct? Do they have to be published? Or can you just arbitrarily write an article and throw it at them?
I wrote two new articles for Suite101 and ended up using them on the site. One of them is STILL in my top 5 viewed each month - nearly two years later. :-)
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#13 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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I agree about AC, but I still write for them now and again. I do use a pen name there - lol.
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#14 of 19 Old 06-21-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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I am brand new to the "writing for money" bit. I started writing several years ago to further other businesses I was involved in. I had a column in a local monthly newspaper ( $35 ), write for my own website and occasionally for websites of others (never really paid). Several years ago I had two articles published in an upstart magazine ($100 each) (magazine has since gone under). But I just got an article accepted in a national magazine and they pay they are offering...well, I am excited (!) and interested in persuing writing more as a career rather then a means to an end, kwim? I think writing for magazines offers a great work anywhere oppertunity...


tanya
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#15 of 19 Old 06-22-2008, 08:05 AM
 
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When I applied (a little over a year ago), I just wrote some articles and sent them in. I didn't want them to see me as an AC writer.
:

I also have been very cautious about being associated with Associated Content. I wish there was a way to buy back our articles from there.

I will admit that after writing for them and saw some of the articles coming out, I became very concerned about the type of journalism they occasionally promote on their "Calls for Content" section. Some pieces published have been libelous, sometimes they are pulled, other pieces dance on the line of it and remain. I cannot respect a company like that and will not contribute to their bottom dollar.

*I am not saying a majority of articles are like this, or the writers there are all doing it. For me though, the fact that it is happening at all is unacceptable to me.

/steps of soap box
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#16 of 19 Old 06-29-2008, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've since pulled my "pending" article from AC... I might look at Suite 101 as an option. It was the writing sample thing that I was concerned with. I have NEVER been published. ANYWHERE.
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#17 of 19 Old 06-29-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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I would encourage you to give it a shot. Just reminder yourself that it is a process, if you don't get in the first time, you can certainly try again. I know of several people who were diligent, didn't take rejection personally, and applied 3-4 times until they got in.

I know the mamas here on the Suite 101 thread would be happy to help with your submission pieces and application process, too. It's exciting to have more of us writing there. I've found it to be a great place to be, and it has opened up many new publication doors for me.

I would suggest you look through the topics and get a sense of what areas you feel you already have a good body of knowledge. http://www.suite101.com/available_topics.cfm Click on "Show All" to see the range of topics. It doesn't matter if there is a star beside it or not to start writing at S101, as Contributing Writers can write for any topic. However, if you find you like S101, down the road you may want to apply for a Feature Writer position on any of the topics without a star.

Seriously, it can't hurt to try. Let us know if we can help.
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#18 of 19 Old 07-02-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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you can use your personal blog for writing samples.
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#19 of 19 Old 07-03-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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Have you read the Renegade Writer? Or checked out their website? If you are serious about writing for magazines, you can begin with print publications from the start. Even national mags. You can start by carefully examining a magazine that you think would be a good fit for you, and figuring out if they use freelancers for some of the smaller pieces, like FOBs (front of book), or departments, for example. These are shorter than features and you have a much better chance of breaking into a magazine that way.

There is also an entire world of trade publications, regional parenting publications, and other regional lifestyle-type magazines that can give you a good place to get your feet wet. You don't necessarily need clips. Yes, it helps, but you can showcase your writing by putting together an awesome query. This is your chance to show the editor that you know what the magazine is looking for and that you can match their voice.

Do you have any local free magazines? The good quality ones, that make their money from subscriptions and/or advertisements, usually pay. The pay will be much less than a national mag, of course, but it is a chance to get a good clip and make a small amount of money. You might make a few hundred dollars for a feature, I guess depending on the area.

If you want it, go for it!
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