If you’re retired or just have more time because your children have moved out of the house or just want to fill your time doing something productive, you might want to consider writing for residual income. If you enjoy writing, this can be a great way to practice your skills, learn a few new ones, and make some money at the same time.
What is Residual Income?
Residual income is when you do something once that can continue to make money for you over time. When you write for someone else (like if you were a freelance writer) you do the work and get paid. You’re trading a specific amount of time for a specific amount of money. But with residual income, you could write one article that earned $1.00 the first month but over the next year could earn $20 or $30 or even more.
Residual income doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work for it – you do. There is still effort and time involved in order to see that income start coming in on a regular basis, But we’ll get into that in a bit.
What Kind of Writing Can You Do for Residual Income?
The nice thing about using your writing to make residual income is that you can choose one way to do it or you can do it in several different ways. Personally, I like to have options so I have several ways that I utilize my writing skills to make residual income. When I put my focus in different places, it makes me feel a little bit safer because I know if one thing ends (like a writing site that closes down), I still have other ways that money will come in.
Here are a few suggestions for making residual income with your writing:
#1 Start a Blog
This is something I recommend to everyone. I think that having your own blog is a good idea because it is yours and as long as you keep up with the hosting payments and renewing your domain, you aren’t going to lose the blog or the content that is on it. I’ve been blogging for a long time and I love doing it. It’s a fun way to express myself. I’m also in charge of what topics I write about. You can have a niche blog (a blog that is on a very specific topic) or a general blog (also called a personal blog or a life blog, like this one). Which one you choose is up to you. There are advantages to both and I’ll likely talk about that at a later date.
If you want to start your own blog there are free options (like using Blogger or WordPress.com) but I like to suggest that people buy a domain and get hosting. It’s a little bit more of a long term plan. If you’re not paying for it you’re less likely to take it seriously. For domains, I always suggest NameCheap. Why? I trust them.
There are other places where you might get a 99 cent domain or even a free one but do some research to see if the company is reputable. NameCheap is one of the most reputable domain providers out there. And if you buy a .com domain, you can usually get a discount code simply by doing a Google search for “Name Cheap discount codes” and then include the month and year.
You’ll also need somewhere to host it. You can host it at Blogger for free (but you’ll have some limitations here) or you can use a company like HostGator or BlueHost. I use HostGator and I’ve had some problems with them over the years. I hate to say it but I don’t really recommend them. Do a little research before you decide on who to use.
#2 Write E-books
You can write fiction or non-fiction and you’ve got several choices of where to publish them. What kind of e-books you write is up to you, but I will tell you that fiction sells! Non-fiction does, too, but it’s a little harder to find your audience.
Now, Amazon is definitely the biggest seller of e-books. The publishing process is not terribly difficult but there is a little bit of a learning curve. I think that applies to any place you decide to publish at though. You need to format the books correctly, edit them, and create a cover for you e-book. Once it is uploaded to the site, you can start making income.
Of course, it’s never as simple as publish and watch the money pour in! You’ll have to learn how to get your books in front of the right audience and you might have to put a bit of money into advertising. It all depends on what you are writing. But publishing e-books can be a good source of income.
In case you are thinking that you could never write a novel, don’t let that hold you back! There are plenty of writers who are making money selling short stories and short informative non-fiction e-books. Short is not always a bad thing – especially in a world where people are so busy that they may not want to invest time in reading 300 pages but are comfortable with 100 pages or much less. Think about it. Lots of people are so busy that they would prefer to sit and read a story that they can complete during their lunch hour and they are willing to pay for short stories that entertain them. Write good e-books and lots of them and readers may come back to you again and again.
#3 Write for Revenue Share Sites
Revenue share sites eliminates the need for you to have your own blog. You can write articles or blog posts on almost any topic under the sun. The owners of revenue share sites take care of things like the domain name, hosting, design, SEO of the site, and other important factors so that you don’t need to. They also might use advertising to bring in traffic. And because there is constantly articles being added to the site, Google indexes the articles fairly quickly (whereas on your own site, Google might only check it once or twice a week, depending on how often you add new content). That means that the site is getting more traffic and there’s a great chance of your article being seen.
Now – money! That’s what you all want to know about right? The site owners generally take a percentage of the ad exposure and give a percentage to the writer. This is called Ad Share. You usually need to have an Adsense account for that. If you don’t have an Adsense account, you’ll need to start your own blog with your own domain and your own hosting to get one. It will take a little bit of time, but it’s not impossible.
If you don’t have an Adsense account though, it doesn’t mean that revenue sites are not an option for you. There are some revenue share sites (and I’m going to give you a list below) that allow you to add links of your choosing and you can use affiliate program links that will make you money when people click on them. Amazon is likely the most popular affiliate program. One of the reasons it is so popular is that they have so many products that it is not hard to find one that fits in with your article, no matter what you are writing about. Another reason it is popular is because it is a well-known and trusted name. If someone clicks on a link in your article that leads to Amazon, they won’t be offended or worried about getting a virus or something. There are other affiliate programs that you can use but one of the ones I often recommend is shareasale.com. They also have a wide variety of programs and products that you can promote and have a good reputation.
Finally, there is also the PPV option – pay-per-view. With sites that pay-per-view, you get paid for the traffic you bring into your article. Pay per visit varies by site. Now, there are not a lot of sites that still offer this option because it is hard to make sure that the views are legitimate and that people are not trying to scam the system. I do have a few recommendations though.
The sites below that I am going to recommend are all mine. Yes, I own revenue share sites, with a business partner. We were both writers that were becoming disillusioned with the writing sites that were available. We felt that most of the revenue share sites out there didn’t really understand writers and didn’t listen to what they wanted. We felt that they didn’t really value their writers. So, we decided to start our own. Michelle, my business partner is extremely knowledgeable about search engine optimization (understanding what search engines want) so that helps our sites get indexed. While other sites have suffered from updates to algorithms, ours have not. We don’t try to scam the system. We focus on quality and following the rules. I’m good with the writers and social media and stuff like that. We work really well together.
So, if you’re interested in trying out a revenue share site, whether you’re an old writer or a newbie, I’d like to invite you to check out one of our sites. If you’re really new and don’t have a clue how to get started, we take pride in helping new writers on their path to residual income and I will personally walk you through it all. You can email me at hmmnewreg @ gmail (dot) com and ask for help any time!
Ok, here’s the sites:
- Writedge (for more serious articles, 400 word minimum)
- Daily Two Cents (more casual, 200 word minimum; entertainment stuff does really well here!)
- Listofied (lists, lists, lists!)
- Trendzic (sales posts)
- Honest Reviewz (reviews of stuff you own or have used personally)
Do I really not recommend any other writing sites? Ok, I will say that InfoBarrel.com is still a very good site with involved owners. They are honest and they work with writers and listen to them. Any other site? Nope, I can’t say I do recommend them. They either have not been around long enough to have earned trust or they treat writers like – well, just not very well. Maybe I’m a bit biased. Ask around though. It is never a bad thing to do your own research.