Living as a writer is the dream of many talented people.
I’ve been exploring this world since the publication of my first novel, “Ultimo Fuoco” in 2008 and then with the two other novels (Faintly Falling and Diversamente a Sud) and I was able to learn more about old style publishing industry and the new frontier of self publishing and web writing.

Then I discovered how is it possibile to earn money by blogging and ghost blogging… in short I can tell you that

  • there are several ways to “write” following your creativity and desires,
  • there’s more than one way to make money by that (I mean, no need to become a novel best seller author… bit if it happens it’s ok 😉 )
  • there is more than one single way to publish a book or a novel.

And now I’m going to tell you more about the way I’ve been earning by writing.

how to live and earn money as a writer sabrinabarbante in my suitcase

First of all, what I want to tell you is that writing is not just a matter of “waiting for inspiration”. When you want it to be your job or at least a way to make an income, then you must think at it like a job. A pleasant and amazing job, for sure, but ALWAYS a job.

So there are days when you MUST sit down and make the inspiration come. There are several ways to do that, some of them are suggested in my post about “Blogging Burnout”, well suited for writers in general. 

living as a blogger sabrinabarbante in my suitcase

Now that I know you are not scared in front of this uncomfortable truth, I can go on and tell you how do I live as a freelance writer (although I’m not – yet – a billion copies novel best seller).

Ghost blogging

Are you a good writer? Are you creative, able to attract people and make them feel like going on and on reading?
Well, until a big publisher will be ready to propose you the contract you deserve, you can monetize this virtue (believe me, it’s a very rare virtue) working as a ghost blogger: you can write for other companies blogs in order to help them to be known, to sell their products, to have more web traffic.

Nowadays, those who were very good in writing at school can have their revenge in front of those who said that writing well is useless, if compared to math and more technical subjects.
Because actually there are companies crazily looking for good writers able to make them stay at the top of Google and other search engines.

For sure, you need to trust the product you are writing about and need a huge amount of creativity to invent every day/week/month a new idea to write about. But this is also a perfect way to increase your writing skills and speed.

how to live as a freelance writer sabrinabarbante in my suitcase

Monetizing your own blog

Do you like writing to be read by others? So why don’t you start your own blog?
Apart from writing about whatever you like whenever you want (but constantly is much better and recommendable), you can even monetize it thanks to you traffic.

How to increase your blog traffic NOW.
Tricks and tools

The process is long, you might need several months of VERY GOOD BLOGGING STRATEGIES to have a traffic suitable to make you earn money, but if I made it you can make to too!!

Magazines who pay

If you are Italian you might find it hard to believe it, but there are many magazines all over the world (mainly in the US and UK) that pay contributors for their articles even if you are not a famous name in the writing and journalism field.

They pay even for short novels and they pay VERY WELL. The New York Times is one of the best examples. They have a weekly space for short novels about modern love, for instance.

Search in the internet MAGAZINES THAT PAY CONTRIBUTORS or MAGAZINE HOW TO SUBMIT CONTRIBUTION PAYMENT (this match should show you a good number of magazines)

blogging and writing sabrinabarbante in my suitcase


In order to be always informed about new magazines in search for contributors, you can submit newsletters such as “Freedom with writing“.

Every week they send you a list of opportunities, specifying the payments sums and method too.

Write a book or a novel

Well, if you’re not a best seller you won’t become rich by doing it, but if you get published (for free) you’ll have some money at the end of the year.

love and travel short novels

Let me give you some tip about this world, after my 3 novels published.

  1. Avoid paid publishings: there’s plenty of publishers who ask you money to publish your novel.  suggest you don’t accept their contract, at least if you have some expectation for their efforts:
    They will never help you in the sales, promotion etc. because they already made the money they wanted. In my opinion, if they ask you for money to publish a book that they will never promote and trust, they are no publishers, they are just typographers.
  2. If you don’t find a publisher able to make this job (i.e. publishing your work and invest in your job or tell you “babe, this novel will be hard to sell so thank you, keep on writing, but this is no good for us) try with self publishing.
  3. Accept collaborations:
    Making networks is great! It’s motivating and it’s a good way to get better in what you do. I was asked to write a short novel about my homeland for Inchiostro di Puglia (soon translated into german!!) inchiostro di puglia sabrinabarbante in my suitcase
  4. No matter if you publish with publisher or by self publishing, if you are not yet a billion copies writer you’ll have to promote your book in any possibile way: you must organize book launchings (also in private homes with your friend’s friends, this is very diverting) a you must not be ashamed to sell your product.
  5. Yes, this is another new: a book is a product. An amazing, valuable, creative product… but still a market product and to be sold you must treat it like a business.

Sell your own e-novels

You can write and sell your novels through your own blog or website, also as e-books (I wrote short novels about love&travel that are here in this blog, but they are not for sale, you can download them all for free and I’d be honoured if you did it! 🙂 )

The publishing industry is not suited to publish very short novels because the printing costs of a small book are more or less the same as a big one so they should sell a 50 pages novel at the same price as a 300 pages one. It’s quite sure that, unless you are Banana Yoshimoto or Alessandro Baricco, you will not sell your 50 pages novel if it costs 14 euros.

So, why dont’ you step this old fashioned book business world to sell your works as an e-book to download by your website?
There are several on line sales plugins you can dowload to do that. Just search SALES in the search bar of your blog plugin area.

Do you dream to become a novel writer? Have you ever published a book? Can you add any tip to my list? I’d really appreciate your suggestions 😉 


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17 commenti

  1. I am trying to become a freelance writer but i m really struggling, I have contact few magazines but they are not willing to pay, which is not fair. I have recently worked for a mag and written a 3000 words article for free. x

  2. It’s not an easy occupation but it’s a rewarding one at that. Writing is my form of therapy and it would be nice to be able to write for a living! These are great ideas and I’m sure this will help a lot of aspiring writers.

  3. Recently I tried ghost blogging and now that I found your article I feel more confident and motivated. Until now I have not payed much attention to my blog plug in area, but thanks to you from now on I will use that search bar 🙂 Loved this article !

  4. I am not a freelancer but I do take opportunities to monetise my blog so that I can finance my hobbies. I think that if you build a strong trust relationship with your customers, as a freelancer, you have a lot to win, as people will recommend you for doing a great job.

  5. That’s very useful and motivational. I’d also mention Amazon and Kindle selfpublishing, it’s for free, you get from 6-8% of sales, it’s visible in kindle stores all over the world. Besides, you can also choose to have it paperback, also for free, because they use on-demand printing. You can choose both at the same time, too. Good luck as a writer, and I love the idea of writing a short novel from every place you visit!

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