Get Paid to Write

Enter your name and email address to sign up to my newsletter and get my list of 47 Websites that Pay Writers $50+ Per Article (including a site that pays up to $1,000 per article)

5 Harsh Realities of Building a Successful Writing Business Online

The post below is an email in my autoresponder series; response to this email has been great and I thought I should publish it on the blog.



You want to build a career online, writing.

It’s probably why you’re subscribed to this newsletter.

Naturally, like everything else in life, building a successful online writing career isn’t without its challenges.

The most successful people have had to deal with various challenges, (and still do) as their business evolves. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting, or you have a solid enough business. Everyone – at each cross-section of their online career – has to deal with their own set of challenges; challenges they will have to face and overcome on their own.

Here are 5 harsh realities of building a successful writing business online.

Reality #1: It Takes Time

You’ve probably been sold the dream; that you can learn some ninja secrets, download a magic software, pay for a $1,999 course and expect success to come.

Unfortunately, writing online isn’t that easy. It takes time, and you have to put in the effort.

I might be the only one to tell you this, but succeeding online as a writer will result in countless sleepless nights. You’ll have to work your ass off and keep doing so even if you don’t feel like it. And there is still no guarantee that you’ll get results the following month.

Success won’t be handed to you on a golden platter; you’ll have to work hard for it – there’s no short cut.

Reality #2: No One Will Do it For You

I’m sorry, but that coach to whom you paid $250 per hour is not capable of helping you succeed.

This newsletter isn’t, and not a single blog is capable.

The only thing we can do is what we’re doing now; give you tips and encouragement.

The real success has to come from you. You have to put in the effort, you have to work hard for success, and you have to realize that it all lies in your effort.

No one will do it for you.

The more effort you put in, the more results you will get and the faster you will get it.

Stop waiting for the miracle to come, and start working hard to make yourself a success.

Reality #3: It is Lonely

Yeah, this is the harsh reality very few people talk about.

The cold, harsh truth about this is that it has nothing to do with your level of success. You will be lonely in this business.

To succeed online as a writer you should be ready to be lonely every once in a while, and you should prepare yourself for it.

Look for things that make you come alive, and surround yourself with them.

Being lonely is part of the game. Don’t try to avoid it. Instead, try to adapt yourself to it and make your environment more friendly to you.

Reality #4: It Isn’t Necessarily the Best that Survive

So you have a PhD in English.

Of course, the skills you’ve learned are useful. The level of professionalism you’ve acquired will soon be of help, but your degree is no guarantee of success.

You have to be prepared to face the worse.

This is a world in which good and bad writers get paid alike, and the key to success isn’t in boasting your writing skills. It is in knowing what it takes and adapting to the situation.

It takes more than just ‘being good’ to be a successful writer. There are a lot more factors that will influence your success, and I’ll be sharing them with you in future emails.

Don’t just rely on what you know right now. The key to success is in learning and re-learning.

Be prepared!

Reality #5: You Have to Commit

This is one huge problem I have to deal with every day, but I know I’m going nowhere without it.

Creative people have problems with ‘having to commit’. We find it difficult to follow routine. We believe creativity requires space, and that we have to do things on our own accord.

That is right, but it is also wrong.

The key to success is in standing out. It is in being different from others.

Being different means you have to get yourself to produce when you don’t feel like it. The quality of your work mustn’t be affected.

This means you have to commit. You have to work when you don’t feel like, so you can create a better future for yourself.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your freedom.

We’re just so lazy sometimes, and laziness is an enemy of success.

I deal with this problem a lot on a personal level, and I know most of us do, too!

Committing yourself is something difficult you have to overcome, but you will be better off than other writers if you can get yourself to commit.


For more awesome content like this, make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter!

9 Comments on "5 Harsh Realities of Building a Successful Writing Business Online"

  1. sabina says:

    Very good post indeed. Useful insights. Of course, we all secretly know each and every of these 5 points, but we’d rather pretend not to sometimes :).

  2. Joseph Adediji says:

    Great post, these are harsh realities indeed!!

  3. Gaurang Joshi says:

    Seriously Oni, its not a 1 month or 1 year task to get success in online business. You have to be committed forever. But once you learn the basics then you can easily survive into this but again you’ll always have to give your 100 %.

  4. I must say that one should be a very positive thinker for getting success in the online field. You have mentioned some good things for those who don’t understand that how hard it can be to get success in online field. I must say that one can definitely keep on improving the skills one has to do better in the online field.

  5. Grace @ Realty Box says:

    A post like this is definitely the reason why I keep coming back… Every post is one of a kind with the winning writer’s personality shining through. Dele, thanks also for the guidance you have given to the new “ESLer” writers like me. Because of you, I am now proud to call myself a writer even if my articles are not totally perfect. 🙂

  6. deco_slim says:

    thanks for this great post…lonely is one thing i suffer as a writter

  7. Ben troy says:

    The key factor in building a successful online business is traffic. If you can’t build sufficient traffic, you won’t be able to generate much, if any, income. And unfortunately most people are really bad at building traffic. They apply completely inept strategies that don’t work, and they usually give up within a few months after starting.

    Building traffic is not remotely easy for most people. This problem isn’t unique to the web though. You see it in every field. Some authors sell millions of books, while the average book doesn’t even sell 5,000 copies. Lots of people can write a book, but relatively few know how to sell a book. Lots of people can create a web site or blog these days, but few know how to attract large amounts of traffic.

  8. Alex @ How To Start A Blog 101 says:

    Point number 3 is so important!! Although one thing to remember it doesn’t have to stay lonely, be prepared to stay lonely for a year or so whilst you get your self out there and grow, but theres no reason why you can collaborate with other people when you have your self established and recognised in your field and even move towards creating your own products so you have a passive income so you can enjoy life a little more!

  9. deji yusuf says:

    You are so right on this one…most people think is a one day job to land a successful internet based business one need to strive to succeed…you know….


Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

Find out more »