I'm re-posting this post from April of 2004 because...le plus ca change...
Just a few minutes ago, I happened upon a discussion on Blog Catalog about the credibility of people blogging about making money when they weren't making any money and I recalled this post that I'd written three and a half years ago. Only the forum, it seems, changes.
Writing about Writing about Writing (April, 2004)
I've found a cutting edge way to make money as a writer. After generations of writers struggled to make a living, the current generation of professional writers has found a steady stream of income in writing about writing--instructional and inspirational articles that tell other writers how to write, how to sell, how to choose markets, how to query, how to land clients, and how to get rich and famous. At the relatively small-scale end are magazines and websites upon magazines and websites offering advice to beginning writers, often purchased from writers just one small step up the food chain from those beginners.
Many of these, especially the online versions, pay $25/article. This leaves me asking myself: Do I want to accept career advice from writers who are still selling their work for $25?
After all, at $25/article, a writer would have to sell 20 articles each and every week of the year in order to earn $26,000/year. That's more than a thousand articles a year. For those thousand articles, the writer would earn the equivalent of $12.50/hour at a full time job--assuming that she could crank out those 20 articles in a 40 hour week.
Of course, there's bigger money marketing tips for writers on a larger scale. Writers like Peter Bowerman have seen great success marketing books like The Well Fed Writer. However, Bowerman, a successful copywriter, openly admits that the bulk of his income comes not from marketing copywriting services as he describes in the book, but from sales of the book.
If these writers are making their livings not so much by writing alone but by writing about writing, I've discovered a pure and untapped market that is sure to bring me fame and fortune: writing about writing about writing. That's right, I've decided to write a book explaining how to make big money writing books about how to make big money writing. Between you and me, though, I wouldn't buy it. After all, no one paid me to write this article at all, and at that rate you'll never hit the six-figure mark.