Success is Just a Dollar Away By Rachel Carrington

You’ve always wanted to stay at home and write, but can you really survive on an “eat what you kill” plan?

That depends on your determination to succeed. If you have tenacity, you’re in good shape, and, if writing is your passion, you can make decent money online.

First, you need a clearly written daily planner so you will be motivated to move ahead each day. I use a calendar book and plenty of written lists.

My day goes something like this:

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Submit already prepared articles to prospective paying magazines or e-zines.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Enter at least two no-entry-fee writing contests. (They must offer money as a prize and have a short turnaround time)

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Submit one of my short stories to at least three online markets. (They must offerpayment, not just complimentary issues or publicity.)

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Work on writing queries, articles and short stories for the next day’s submissions.

I’m sure you get the picture by now. Set an egg timer if you need to so you don’t get bogged down with one task. Knowing you’re on a schedule can motivate you.

Second, you need to spend at least half a day each week researching the markets at places like and, and a writer’s guidelines databases like the one at Writers Write. Once you have done your research and know which markets you’d like to target, put a solid idea together and submit a query letter.

Next, learn to think outside the box. It’s a tired saying, but true when it comes to earning a living online.

Most article ideas can be tailored to specific markets. For example, when pitching to a regional publication, simply find interview subjects in their region. Your favorite cooking magazine may not be interested in your great grandmother’s famous pot roast recipe, but they may be interested in a story about your neighbor who lost 40 lbs. by cutting out fats.

A regional magazine or newspaper in your old hometown might be interested in an article on how some of their old high school alumni fared in the real world. They’d probably be interested in publishing it around the time of the school’s annual reunion or homecoming.

Think about using the skills you’ve learned at your previous job or college. For instance, I spent seventeen years as a paralegal until I decided to focus on my writing career. One of the places I write for now is a website for legal assistants.

Short stories are a way to earn some pocket change online. There are hundreds of markets for fiction stories. Places like Vestal Review publish flash fiction, but they don’t pay very well. While you’re not going to get rich writing for fiction markets, if your story gets accepted, that will be money you didn’t have in your pocket before you submitted.

Next, if you’re creative enough to write short prose or poetry, writing for greeting cards could be an open door for you. P.S. Greetings, Inc. and Blue Mountain Arts have guidelines posted online and are consistently soliciting new contributors. Check out Writers Write for many more greeting card markets.

More markets include Gallant Greetings and Kid Quote Greeting Cards.

Want yet another market? Write a career guide for Fabjob, or become a freelance researcher/writer for them. You would need extensive experience in a specific career field, but the payment is good.

So with all these markets and possibilities, you should be able to keep yourself busy for quite some time and keep your wallet from gathering dust.

Rachel Carrington is a multi-published author of fantasy and paranormal
romance, freelance editor/writer and editor and business manager of a small press dedicated to historical romances. In April of this year, she left a seventeen year career as a paralegal to focus solely on her writing career. Visit her on the web at