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Active and Passive Freelance Writing Income Explained

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There is more than one way to make a living writing online

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

First time writers have a lot to learn about making a living as a freelance writer online, and one of the lessons that many learn much later than they should is that there is more than one way to make a living writing online. If you’ve ever had a job, you understand the normal concept of employment. Work an hour, get paid for an hour. If you’re salary, work a month, get a month’s pay. While this model does exist (and is most prevalent) for freelance writers trying to make a living, there is also another payment model that writers must be made aware of.

For example, maybe you ghost write an article and get paid $10, or you write one article for an online writing website and get $5 up front. This is the one time payment, and the type of payment that most freelance writers are used to. This is also how most people are paid in the real world.

But there is another form of income that should be very appealing to freelance writers. In fact, it has spawned a whole new job category of Internet Marketing. There is the payment method that is called residual income, also referred to as passive income. The best example of passive income in the real world would be royalties, or some type of a system where you get a percentage of a referral’s income.

Residual income is the second option that a writer has. Unlike pay per job, residual income is when an article or some other bit of writing you’ve already done and finished. You won’t get as much money up front, but as opposed to one $10 payment for a single article, that article might make you $2 a month, every month, from now until the Internet no longer exists. Building a passive income is a major goal of many freelance writers because it grants a level of freedom that they won’t otherwise have with a more traditional freelance writing business.

Google AdSense is probably the most common form of monetization, but there are other ad providers, as well as affiliate marketing and even several pay per view which are websites that pay you based on traffic. With this method, as your articles or websites rank higher in the search engines where web surfers can find them, you continue to earn money on writing you finished years ago.

Online freelance writers are in a situation where they can actually earn both types of writing income: both passive and active. This is actually one of the best strategies that a beginning freelance writer can have. The one time payments help you pay the bills, learn your craft, and get an idea of how the markets work. Meanwhile, when you have sent out query letters or have all your bids out for online jobs, you can write for yourself and build up your passive online income. It takes a lot of time for passive income to grow, which is why it’s so important to have a writing strategy that uses both.

Online freelance writers can enjoy two streams of income: the active and the passive. The best part about this is that when there are tons of active jobs you have to rush to get done, the passive income streams will just keep on making money without any help. When work gets really slow or thin (like during this last recession), then you can keep working on the residual income knowing at least a little more is going to come in. The combination of these incomes, and perseverance, is the only way to have a successful freelance writing career.

When writing online, don’t limit yourself to only one type of income. Freelance writers need all the income they can get, so work to get all the passive and active income that you can earn!

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