It’s not a forbidden thing to do.
I earn less than $1 writing 30+ blog posts every 30 days.
This is not a complaint, and if I’m being honest, it’s a vast improvement over the first eight years I spent doing this. It was, and still is, my choice to keep ads and brand deals off this site. It has never felt right to do that to my audience and it never will. So I’m totally OK with not making a living doing what I do.
If we’re being technical, I actually lose money on this blog every year after paying the costs of my domain and WordPress.com hosting.
And yet I’m still here doing the thing. It’s almost been 11 years, and I’m still here, writing for free.
To be clear, this isn’t the only writing gig I’m happily committed to that does not pay me at all, and there are several others that don’t pay much for the amount and hours of work that go into the content I produce.
But still. Why? If I’m trying to make a living as a writer, why do I do so much work without much financial reward?
Add in the amount I do earn that doesn’t get taken out for taxes at payout, meaning I’m going to have to pay the government out of my own pocket in the spring because that’s just how things are (#adulting #work), and … yeah. People think making money as a writer is so easy. It’s not. It’s really not.
I am fortunate enough to be in a position where multiple websites pay me for my work. A company also pays me to edit other people’s words, which I would some days argue is a thousand times harder than actually writing. I know I have an advantage over many aspiring writers who have to trudge through jobs they don’t like while also figuring out how to set aside time in their personal lives to pursue their writing goals.
But I also know this whole “should you write for free and when” debate is an ongoing thing for many writers, because even I still struggle with it sometimes. I wanted to bring up the topic with the general understanding that anyone reading this, while searching for paid opportunities to grow as a writer — as you should be — are also concerned about growing and establishing yourself from the ground up.
Hopefully some of the insights below can help.
Continue reading “Why I’ve Never Stopped Writing for ‘Exposure’”