Monday, May 17, 2010

A day in the life of a content publishing writer

I have a file on my desktop. Actually, a have a bunch of files on my desktop. But this one particular file is my workflow schedule for the day. It tells me what I should be doing that day.

See, I'm a writer. I write at home for a living. I write for blogs . I write for content publishing websites . I write guest posts on other people's blogs . It's what I do. It's how I make a living. I'm not getting rich, but it's not a bad time. I write about books . I write about video games . I write about beer . And, of course, I write about writing .

Back to this file on my desktop. It holds my schedule for the week, broken down by the seven days. This schedule allows me to keep track of what I should be doing each day. With five blogs, guest postings, six regular content writing sites, fiction writing and other odds-and-ends writing gigs, it's not easy to keep track of everything I do and need to do.

That's why the schedule exists. It allows me to keep track of what I need to be doing.

The morning

So, first thing I do in the morning is check that schedule.

Then I check my earnings from AdSense , an advertising site for online content.

Next are my e-mails. I run through them to see if there's anything I need to do immediately or anyone I need to get back to.

After that I head on over to Triond . Triond isn't necessarily the best nor worst content publishing site on the Web, but it fits my needs perfectly. It's sort of my home base for most of my online writing projects. Since you can only publish new material at Triond, I start there.

Usually by early morning on Triond any articles I wrote the day before for the site have been published. I get to work doing some linking and promotions. I copy and paste and do a little rewriting and place my articles on other content publishing sites, such as RedGage and Bukisa , though there are others I use. I also make sure to place links to my Triond articles on networking and linking sites like Twitter and Reddit and Hitmarks , and there are several other sites, too.

I then get around to updating my blogs.

All that takes at least an hour, sometimes a little longer. I usually take a short break. Eat breakfast. Walk the dog. Whatever.

Mid day

Then I'm sitting in front of the computer once more.

I check my e-mails again.

The next two to four hours are spent doing mostly promotions work for my online writings. I go to at least 10 blogs and leave a message post or two. I go back to the networking and linking sites I utilize for Triond and make sure to post some messages, do some tweeting, whathaveyou , mainly so I won't seem like a spammer on these sites but also because it does indeed help to drive traffic to my articles (which is important because that's how I make money). I check out some articles on Triond and similar sites, sometimes leaving a post, and I'll briefly run through the Triond forums.

Sometimes I'll check in with Amazon to see how some of my ebooks are selling.

Now it's time for another break. Often this break is a long one. I'll have to run to the store for the wife, or I'll have bills to pay or other errands to run. This is usually the time of day when I get other things done.

Late day

I'm usually doing promotions work and checking email again for at least an hour, often times more like two or three hours. Promotions is really a big key. I honestly get more views on my articles, and more AdSense dollars, through my promotions work than I do through my actual writing.

At this point I begin to do some Web exploration. Are there any other writing sites I need to know about? Are there any blogs I should be reading? Any new linking sites? Advertising sites? Promotional sites? This can take an hour, sometimes less, depending on whether or not I'm signing up for any new sites. I also check in with various websites that often include news that could be of not only interest to me, but to my writing.
Another short break. Maybe a late lunch or early dinner.

Night time

I usually do some email checking and Adsense checking and short glancings at promotional sites, etc.
You have to be wondering, when does this guy do any actual writing?

Usually about now, late in the day or late at night. I only write a couple of actual articles a day, at least one for Triond and sometimes one for a blog. Sometimes I have a guest post I have to do for someone else's blog. Sometimes I've got some other kind of writing to do. At very rare times I will write more than just a couple of articles, but that's usually just if I'm in the mood to write something.

Then, late at night, I do some fiction writing. This is normally how I end my day, other than reading a little before going to bed. Sometimes I'll check in with my blogs and with AdSense just before nodding off.

Winding down

So, that's my day. Nothing special, but it keeps me busy and brings in a little money. It's full-time work, and it's not easy, though by far it's not the worst job in the world. I get to write for a living. I can't ask more than that.

But what's to be learned from all this, other than I spend a ton of time in front of a computer?

To make it as an online writer, you need to be organized. Which is why I have a schedule for each day and I try to stick with it. And you need to try to avoid distractions throughout the day; sure, you have other things to do, but I try to work them in between my writing and promoting.

If you decide to give online writing and blogging a try, keep in mind it's not easy. To make money at it, even a little money or at least more than a mere pittance, takes a lot of work. It's a full-time job. And it takes a while to begin making money, sometimes even a couple of years.

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