Writers' Website Planner
by Tom Brosnahan
Can a writer make money on the Internet?
First you must realize how different it is.
We call ourselves writers, but before we are writers we are thinkers, researchers and organizers. And that's what counts in the Age of the Internet...
Writers always have a problem: how to make money doing what they love: writing. In the age of the Internet and of digital media, the ways to make money as a writer are very different than in the Age of Print.
If you still think in terms of "articles" and "books" and "pitches to editors" and "publication," you're stuck in the 20th century, and it's going to cost you...big...if you don't adapt.
You are living at a time of epochal change in the communication of information. It's bigger than Gutenberg, it has already happened, but—as in the age of Gutenberg—most people don't yet realize how big it is or what it means for them.
For nearly 40 years, I enjoyed quite a successful career as a travel guidebook author. My books sold tens of thousands of copies in a dozen countries and made me a very comfortable income.
Now that I'm on the Internet, I number my readers in the millions, in more than 210 countries. My income is still as good as it was at the height of my guidebook career, and I expect it to get much better.
And I know writers who are doing even better than I am on the Internet.
Imagine this: you write something good, something that you feel lots of people will want to read and will benefit from. You've finished the piece. Normally you would "let it sit" overnight and re-read it the next morning to see if it could be improved (and to catch any typos or awkward turns of phrase). Normally you would double-check before you sent it to an editor.
Instead, you put it on a web page, on your website, immediately, which is to say you publish it yourself, immediately, worldwide, at once, at a cost of nearly nothing.
The next morning you review it. If you want to change something, if you find a typo, you change it in seconds. No problem! Overnight, the search engines have come, and your article will soon be indexed for anyone in the world to find.
Notice! No query letter, no editor, no rewrite, no contract, no publisher, no rejection. Your piece has been published worldwide, and will never go out of print or into a recycling bin. It can earn money for you today, tomorrow, the next day, and forever.
I know it's difficult to imagine a successful career in which you need not deal with all the traditional paraphernalia and tedium of print publication, but it exists, it's here now, and if you don't understand it, you will soon find out what it was like to be a vaudeville star after the invention of cinema.
Here are 7 Reasons for a Writer's Website.