How To Make Money Writing Fiction On The Internet

If you tell someone that you’re a writer then you must prepared to get certain looks.

I’m sure you’ve experienced it.

It’s that, “You poor soul” or “Have fun in the poor house.”

If you’re in school, everybody seems to love asking “how do you plan on making money?” and “you’ll have to get a real job one day.”

I can’t tell you how sweet the satisfaction when you get to say to people later on that you are in fact making money.

Then, the jealousy comes when people find out about your flexible schedule and how you get to work from home.

Plus, sometimes it’s nice to to post a picture on Instagram of you sitting in your hammock in the backyard overlooking the forest while you caption it, “My new office.”

It’s even better when you can make some money writing fiction.

Ghostwriting can be lucrative and so can freelance writing, and I’m glad they were able to help me get started with a writing career, but I got into writing to write stories, not TPS reports. (To be honest I have no idea what that is I just remember hearing about it in Office Space.)

But many people think that making money writing fiction is an unobtainable goal.

Most people think the only way to make money writing fiction is via a book deal where one is paid for a novel or sending short stories off to a literary journal.

To be honest, a book deal is still the best way to make money and if you want to make a substantial amount of money selling a novel is most likely our best bet.

By and large longer work will make more money.

However, I am also outlining another avenue for income by writing short fiction.

Yes, I’m aware of short fiction’s reputation as the domain of the literary elite and one mostly things of short stories only being published in journals and magazines.

And that’s maybe what you should do if you want to build your reputation in the writing world and have an eye towards becoming a creative writing professor, or to build your resume when you start shopping your novel.

I’m here to make money though and that’s why I stopped submitting short stories to publications and started publishing them myself independently.

For example, my story “The Curious Case Of Emma Lee” is a hair over 1,000 words. If I were to send it to a journal it one, it most likely wouldn’t be published because it’s on the short side for a proper short story, and two it would at best get me 25 bucks and a free copy of some journal I would never read.

But, that story has made nearly 200 dollars on this site alone, and still makes money every month.

It also made me over a thousand dollars on another website. I wrote about that here:

It wouldn’t have done that if I had sold it to someone else.

So, if you want to make some money this is what I would suggest you do.

I would start writing some short stories and then find a place to put them.

Either create your own website with advertising or find a place that pays for views.

I like Vocal.media. I’ve published with them for years and I’ve always had luck with them.

Then, you need to be able to drive traffic to your stories. I find Reddit to be one of the best to use for this. It’s tricky but I wrote how to do it here:

So now you can turn out some stories and let them start generating views.

You can also start building a readership.

Then, if you want you can start collecting them and putting them together in collections and sell the books. You can make the book a part of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and now each story is making money twice and these collections are a good source of passive income. People that like your stories will find your book and books are good marketing tools you can use to direct people back to your new stories that you’ve published.

It takes some work but after a while you can start making some real money with a relatively small group of readers.

Another version of writing short fiction online is called a serial. Serials were once how all books were sold. Each week or month a new section of the book would be published in a magazine and then the complete volume sold afterwards. This is how Charles Dickens published many of his works and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sold the Sherlock Holmes stories this way.

Serials have made a bit of a come back and the Internet has made it easier to do so.

I’m writing a serial called “King and Crown” which can be found here:

So if you want to make some money writing there are other ways to do it other an writing life hacks and asking people to join your email list.

I started writing online because I wanted to write these silly little horror stories and fantasy tales and there wasn’t anyone that wanted them so I made a place for them.

If you get creative you find a way to write the stories you want to write AND get paid for them.

Written by

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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