Developing Multiple Income Streams

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Writers should strive to have more than one income stream.

Is there such a thing as a writer’s identity crisis? Because I sure feel like I’m having one!

I’ve been working as a freelance writer and magazine editor for the past 10 years, and I’ve always relied on a few steady clients to keep the income coming in. But with two kids getting older and more involved in extracurricular activities (not to mention the looming threat of orthodontia) I’m beginning to realize I need to diversify (and by diversify I mean increase greatly) my income streams in order to keep the cash flowing in a positive direction.

You’re probably thinking “Yes, Renee, this is a no-brainer. You should never put all your eggs in one basket.” And I know this, really I do, I’ve just been dragging my heels on actually doing something about it. I keep telling myself I’m not qualified “enough” to offer the writing/editing/consulting services that come to mind.

Here are a few things I’m considering to bring in extra money:

Reprints. I spent about an hour the other day updating my spreadsheet of regional parenting publications and going through my hard drive to find articles to re-purpose and re-sell for passive income. This is one of the quickest ways a writer can get more leverage out of interviews, research and story ideas. I also need to spend more time querying the higher-paying markets with my original ideas, such as national and trade publications. I’ve gotten lazy on doing that and need to dive back in.

Micro-publishing. A few years ago I wrote a pretty lengthy non-fiction book proposal about freelance writing for the parenting markets, sent it off to a few agents and then let it languish on my hard drive after just a few rejections. I’m now considering selling it as an e-book and also possibly self-publishing a book of short stories that I’ve written over the years. I understand that I’ll need to make sure I market these efforts appropriately, but it could be a fun way to build upon my platform and earn some extra income at the same time.

Editing/Proofreading. I can draw upon my experience as a magazine editor to help people and/or businesses to proofread and edit any number of things such as resumes, non-fiction books, novels, essays, commercial copy, brochures, press releases, etc.

Writing coach. I love talking to people about breaking into writing, and I have many years of experience in realm of non-fiction. I’d love to develop my own online course on breaking into freelance writing or brainstorming article topics for parenting magazines, using the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

Now to just implement all these ideas . . . it’s looking to be a long, busy spring and summer.

What types of multiple income streams do you have, or hope to have in the near future?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor who also blogs at Renee’s Pages.


Barbara Barth said...

Now you have me thinking! I need to up my income too. I think of things to do - some on your list - my own list - public speaking to women's groups, etc. I am slow to start. You have encouraged me! Thanks for a great post.

Margo Dill said...

Great advice. I completely agree with having multiple streams of income. In this economy, you can not have all your eggs in one basket (excuse the cliche). But it can make you feel a little crazed at times. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

I have a small amount of eggs and after they're laid, I just let them roll around on ground all willy-nilly.

I need to get myself some baskets and start making those eggs work for me.

Seriously, Renee--a great post. I know I SHOULD be doing more freelance writing and dipping into different markets...I just am exhausted from my "real" job. (But then I look at a writer like Linda O'Connell--who has the same job I have--and yet she manages to submit a dozen things every week.)

Yes, I'd like some cheese with my whine...

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