I’ve embarked on the journey to learn as much as I possibly can about making income online. After reading the book titled Get Rich Click by Marc Ostrofsky, I discovered a number of potential money-making outlets for students. I visited the physical sites of these resources and determined how invaluable they might be for earning income on the side. Additionally, I love Amazon’s opportunities for self-publishers, whether of ebooks, physical books, music, or video. Seriously, you can record your voice on a USB microphone and upload it on Amazon for sale as an MP3 in a matter of minutes (pending approvals, I believe). If you are a budding videographer, you can upload your video works, price it, and start selling shortly thereafter.
So, here are some of the best of the tidbits I’ve encountered for students and budding authors for making money on the Internet via writing skills:
You are likely a student, and you might even be an expert in some area. Why not try your hand at answering people’s questions within seven minutes from the justanswer.com site? As a user, I selected the expertise area of homework help with writing, typed in a simple question of “do you actually write the papers” into the field, and went through some additional screens, one of which listed the fee for the service, which ranged from $47 to $96, depending on the urgency and the detail required.
Why not you become an expert on justanswer.com? The expertise areas they are seeking include, but are not limited to, legal and tax help, cars and vehicle advice, computer advice, homework advice, writing advice, Powerpoint and Presentations advice, math homework help, relationship coaching, health and medical, and etiquette coaching.
If you want to make in the $50 range (or higher, though no-one seems to know for sure what their range of pay contains), then consider writing for about.com magazine.
About.com is looking for writers in topics such as computer science, anthropology, Arabic language, art history, engineering, medical school, Hindi language, and other areas. They also look for entertainment writers, such as writers on comic books, dating and relationship advice, oil and gas articles, travel commentaries, and hobbies such as photography or drawing and sketching, to name a few.
On Amazon Createspace, you can produce print books, audio downloads, and digital downloads that Amazon places on its site, selling your products at a profit to you. There are no outstanding fees, other than assistance with helping format the products, such as the print books. You can upload a word document or a PDF file, and they have a converted to make it work on the fly. Yet, it likely won’t look as appealing as it could have if you paid $199 out of pocket to purchase a simple interior design. You upload your edited book, and the Amazon staff will format your book for the interior design you chose within eight days. It is not a good fit for incorporating images, and you will instead want to go with something like Blurb for photo ready projects (see below for more on that).
As an example, if you make a 6 inch by 9 inch black and white book with 250 pages, and you list the book at $20 (which is reasonable for a print book), you would earn an $8.15 USD commission if you upload it to Amazon.com. If you register for a Createspace account, you can go into its royalty calculator to see how much you can earn per book.
There is a cover generator, too, where you can use an image and have it placed on the cover page along with your title and author name, etcetera. I would recommend you either use the free cover generator or make your own cover, although making your own cover gets complex because the different number of pages of your book change the length dimensions of your book slightly. You will want to create the cover after you have finalized all of your book editing. If you make the cover yourself, you will want to go to the article titled Artwork & Templates within the Createspace portal to set your book dimensions and get a PDF or .png file that is to be used as the guide for your cover page in any program you use. It is then $99 to get assistance from Amazon with help to ensure your PDF is in the right format. A cover design by Amazon can cost $399 for a custom cover with a single image to $599 for an expert cover. I’d highly recommend you do it yourself.
Once your document is ready, Amazon can optionally convert it to a Kindle format for you for $79.99.
Some worthy sites to visit pertaining to Createspace include https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp for Microsoft Word interior templates and https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do for cover design templates that you can import into your favourite art program, such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
If you are interested in making an illustrated book, particularly with photographs, or a magazine of sorts, then the direction you want to go to is at blurb.com. Blurb is an ambiguous service at the outset. It seems to be print on demand service that can be associated with booksellers like Amazon, but also offers sales by quantity, including 1-9 books for US $12.99 per book at 20 pages per book. At 100 pages per book, the price goes up to what seems to be an exorbitant and uncompetitive level.
Yet, Blurb has some amazing templates for Adobe users in addition to services for those with an existing PDF or Microsoft document in the proper format. For those students who wish to hone their Adobe skills, the free lynda.com service available through the Students’ Union offers extensive instruction on how to work in Adobe. That’s how I learned the program, and once you have mastered the basics, free, beautiful templates on Blurb are available at the following url: http://www.blurb.com/templates. There are even templates for cookbooks, for students who wish to take their home culinary expertise to the next level. Magazine templates, portrait style templates, portfolio templates, and landscape templates are all made available at your fingertips.
Amazon Kindle is the easiest medium to publish in from the starting point of a Word document. It helps to know some HTML, although it is not vital to the process. A free ebook at Amazon called Building Your Book For Kindle will help guide you through the simple steps of setting up your word document and preparing your zip file for upload. It takes all of an hour to an hour and a half to read, and you are ready to go. To sign up for the Kindle account as an author, go to the following url: https://kdp.amazon.com/signin.
I noticed that a number of authors write short, 30 page ebooks on a variety of topics of interest, including careers, how to play a musical instrument, and leadership (sometimes all by the same author). If you spend 30 days writing a page a day on a topic that you love and wish to share, you too can make your first draft of a book. But be sure to give it at least four polish rewrites and hire an editor.
So, if all those essays have hiked your desire to write for extra income, above are some possible venues to realize greater earning potential for the New Year.