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The Shocking Truth About Writing For Money

You’re probably a rich freelance writer with lots of clients and a fat bank account.

You make so much money that even your dog can smell the wealth.

Well, good for you!

This was the case with Larry, a 21 year old freelance writer who was making a killing online. He had a few big clients who allowed him the opportunity to make about 5 figures every month.

After a whole month of hard work, he finally decided to take a day off. With a bowl of popcorn in his hand, he relaxed on his sofa to watch his favourite movie, “Total Recall”. But something unusual caught his eye.

To the left, a dark figure stood holding what looked like a long stick in its hand.

To Larry’s despair, it wasn’t a stick, but a long barrel shot gun pointed straight at him.

The next thing he heard was a loud noise; and to his horror, he felt his skull crack open and a sharp pain in the front of his brain.

In two short months, lots of cash was sucked out of his bank account. Debts and surgery expenses had to be paid.

After 6 months, Larry came out of his comma to a bank account with only 3 figures. Worst of all, a vital part of his brain was damaged.

Larry could no longer read nor write! He was forcefully retired from freelance writing.

And he was broke!

If he could turn back the hands of time, there’s only one thing Larry could have done to ensure he always had some cash in his account, regardless of what he did or where he was. Unfortunately, many freelance writers, both the successful and struggling, haven’t done this one thing.

The ONE Thing Every Freelance Writer Must Do

Retired government workers are always entitled to one thing – called a pension. Successful private organizations compensate long serving employees with some form of gratification.

When you stop writing, what will you be entitled to?

Many will go broke. And the few successful ones will spend their money… and then go broke!

The truth is bitter, but like it or not, you have to taste it.

Unfortunately, not many freelance writers are financially intelligent. And not many of us make the effort to become so.

With the countless resources and guides on passive income available online, we really need to start thinking of a backup plan, an alternative source of income that can be available to us in sickness, health, in old age or even during relaxation periods.

Just in case you’re wondering what passive income means, here’s how Steve Pavlina of defines it;

“Passive income is money that comes to you even when you’re not actively working, such as royalties, investment income, and revenue from automated systems.”

In other words, it is money you make while you sleep, eat or even write.

So the question is, “how the heck can a freelance writer earn passive income?”

Well, here are a few things people are doing to make this work:

1. Sell E-Courses and E-Books That Increase Your Credibility

After all you write, so this should be pretty easy for you, right?


Freelance writers who just generate any kind of content for any kind of website may not be able to create passive income this way. This is because in order for you to really make money from selling e-courses and e-books, you must target the need of a specific set of people.

In other words, you need to be an expert in a specific area and write e-courses targeting your specific market.

A simple proof of this fact is the interview that Oni had with Linda Formichelli of Renegade writer. According to Linda;

“Right now only half of my income is coming from writing for magazines and corporate clients, and the rest is from e-courses and e-books…. I would recommend that a writer create e-books in her area of expertise and sell them cheaply through her website and Amazon.”

2. Build Passive Income Blogs That Run While You Sleep

Managing one blog is nerve racking, not to mention building more blogs in the name of making more money.

Well, the difference is that with passive income blogs, you only put in one time effort, which yields recurrent income. Of course, this can only happen as long as the blog is up and running.

Your passive income blogs, or minisites as Yuwanda Black of Ink Well Editorial likes to call them, can only succeed if you “write what you enjoy- and what you know”.

According to Yuwanda;

“My plan is to build 5 of these sites to actively promote, with the goal of making just $100-$200/day from all of them combined…. One day, I know I’m going to retire as a freelance writer. But I’m still going to need an income. My plan is to have minisites provide that.”

And the good thing about these sites is that you can create as many as you want!

Pretty genius, don’t you think?

You don’t have to be a killer web designer before you can start to create such minisites. With WordPress, everything is possible…well almost :-).

3. Create, Sell and License Apps That Move with The Latest Technology

Just because you’re a freelance writer it doesn’t mean you can’t tap into other niches.

For some weird reason, apps seem to become more popular every day. According to a press release by LightSpeed research;

“Social apps such as Facebook are used most frequently by Smartphone owners with almost three quarters (73%) accessing social networks through apps daily.”

Here’s another cool insight;

“The top three most used kinds of apps on a Smartphone are social networking, news and weather. By comparison, for tablet owners the top three are games, business and finance & banking.”

So, your apps don’t really have to be for social networking alone. You can create just about any app that is viable and that can make you money.

I would check out that press release if I were you.

According to the personal development authority blogger, Steve Pavlina;

“I started earning passive income in the 1990s by creating, selling, and licensing computer games. Once those deals and systems were established, I continued to earn money from those products year after year.”

Being that you’re a freelance writer, I wouldn’t advise you to stop writing and dive into programming. You don’t have to do it yourself. The magic word here is…


You can think of the idea for an app, let someone else do the work, and then you reap the benefits. However, it’s not always as easy as it sounds (I’m sure you know that already).

Just in case you’re new to the concept of outsourcing; Tim Ferriss of The 4 Hour Work Week can walk you through that.

4. Write Evergreen Content for Revenue Sharing Sites

There are various kinds of such revenue sharing sites. Some pay you based on the number of views your articles get. Others pay depending on the number of views/clicks the ads in your articles receive.

While this may look like a way to get-rich-quick, it isn’t. You’ll need to learn a few content creation skills, especially SEO. If the articles you write aren’t properly optimized for search engines, then forget about generating any passive income from this method.

Some of such revenue sharing sites include,, and a few other sites. To make this kind of income source work for you, you need to write lots of articles. Lots! Nothing good comes easy.

I’m 100% sure that you don’t want to end up like Larry, do you? I definitely don’t. You won’t be a freelance writer for ever. The sooner you come to terms with this truth, the better.

Passive income isn’t just for internet marketers and executives of organizations. And you don’t have to be a rich and successful freelance writer before you start brainstorming possible passive income streams.

Perhaps if Larry had read this post earlier, his story would have ended differently. But you have read it and still have the opportunity to take action and change your future reality. So, “what are you gonna do about it?”

Your Turn

What do you think about passive income? What other passive income streams do you think should be part of this list? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Lanre Solarin is a WritersinCharge team member and a freelance writer who helps service professionals generate leads online using content marketing. Download your free copy of his Proven 20-step blueprint to start generating your first few leads online.

12 Comments on "The Shocking Truth About Writing For Money"

  1. Zee says:

    Dear Onibalusi! could you plz. recommend me some paid news and article writing sites, I am professional journalist with exclusive news and Socio-Economic, Political affairs expertise.

    Thank you and looking forward.

  2. Khaja moin says:

    Believe or not yesterday this caught my mind, what will be next, when I don`t work? And I decided to plan for it.
    Thanks for sharing this, anyhow I was about to write a similar post on my blog too! But you did before me.


  3. Maksim N says:

    Ok, so two questions.

    1. Why did he get shot?
    2. Another way to guarantee income is to buy Disability insurance. It is very afforable for young people, and will pay you money if you cannot perform your work.

    Wow…. this story is horrible. Where did this happen?

  4. Sam@Goa Casinos says:

    There are a lots of things to do with your skills after use this techniques.

  5. SuccinctBill says:

    That story about your blogger is so tragic.

    I’ve always understood that real estate is the best form of passive income you can create. If your blogger was pulling in that much cheese from his online activities, he could have amassed a huge portfolio and paid a property management company to help manage his estate. After a while, he could have hooked up with professional investors that would have shown him the ins-and-outs of investing in bigger projects.

    Land is one of the most valuable resources because there’s only so much of it and the best parcels keep value for decades.

  6. Ben says:

    Great tips for ensuring a positive future. So many people forget all about the future and don’t make this kind of plans!

  7. I’d definitely agree with some of the other commenters here that say the solution isn’t necessarily passive income, but a good private disability insurance policy (work with an agent – these are surprisingly hard to find!) and a healthy savings account.

    Very few forms of passive income are truly passive. In this blogger’s case, it’s likely that the amount he earns from the sources you describe will decline if he isn’t actively managing his blogs, info product sites and so on. They might provide some temporary relief, but – in my opinion – shouldn’t be counted on entirely for income in the case of catastrophic disability.

  8. Aqif Azizan says:

    This article is killing me.

    Thank you for providing an exit strategy for most of freelance writers including me. It is important for writers to have both active and passive income.

  9. Eric says:

    Wow what an incredible story! Thanks for sharing and making us all think about the future especially with this new year starting of how we need to continue to plan for the future especially for our families too!

  10. Betrand says:

    This is a well educative information I just read. I haven’t considered doing some of the things mentioned here. I wouldn’t want to end up like Larry so I guess i have to make some changes.

  11. Elsa says:

    I’m not a freelance writer, but I’ve been learning from books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and others by Robert Kiyosaki on this (not being in the self-employed quadrant).

    I think we should all focus on building assets – the tips you outlined here are good ideas. But I’m still having troubles on outsourcing. I still like to do things myself…lol

  12. Tim says:

    Maybe Larry should have just moved to a better neighborhood.


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.

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