Useful Tips on Writing — for Pay

J. Danielle’s take at Media Strut this week following the news about HuffPo selling for a whopping $315 million allows us here at Feministing to continue the conversation on how women writers can monetize their writing.

So what’s the rundown according to J.?

Well first and foremost, J. encourages: make money. This is along the lines of what Linda Hirshman meant in Homeward Bound when she advocated that women should lose their capitalism virginity and get serious about balancing the pursuit of resources with “intellectual, prestigious, socially meaningful, politics-free jobs.” J. suggests that you can avoid the pitfalls of primarily writing for free by altering and re-posting the content you get paid to write. And how does someone get paid to write? They pitch. He encourages that smaller magazines are a great place to start and develop your niche.

I should also note that many of the high-dollar writing contests such as the NEA Literature Fellowship due March 3, 2011 won’t even consider your application unless you have published works in magazines or trade publications. In this case, HuffPo pieces and sites that don’t have editorial guidelines won’t be as helpful in one’s pursuit of grants to monetize their writing.

J.’s second piece of advice is: Get serious about your byline. This means welcome rejection as a sign that there are areas of your writing that need development. J. says this really well here:

If you plan to live off your writing you need to be submitting to publications that are likely to reject you if you suck. Rejected pitches and articles can be signs that your writing isn’t progressing. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of time blogging for free for other sites only to find out that when you want to be published your writing just isn’t there yet.

In the end, blogging for free and writing for pay work together to build a successful writing career. But it’s important to combine these two effectively if writing will provide you economic security while also allowing you to passionately engage in your career. Happy writing today!


This piece was updated because of a mis-attribution error. I still love me some Mark Anthony Neal, but these nuggets of wisdom are all J. Danielle’s. Sorry for the mix-up.

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