Much has been written about the wisdom of writing for upfront pay vs. writing for residual income. Up until now, I have mostly been focused on writing for residual income. I have already blogged about the fact that my online residual income goes toward paying cash for my daughter's college education, which is one of our financial goals. Another goal we have is paying off debt, and lately I have been feeling that our progress in that area has been too slow. I wanted to do something to speed it up, and I had started to consider looking for a part-time holiday job or tax season job. That's when an email from Demand Studios landed in my inbox.
Up until this point, I had written exactly three articles for Demand Studios (now called Demand Media Studios). Each was an eHow article for an upfront payment of $15. I had since decided that writing for Demand was too time intensive and not much fun, and I focused on residual income. But since I was considering taking on some part-time work, and since the email from Demand was an offer to write personal finance articles for a $20 pay rate instead of $15, I decided to take a look.
Upon logging into Demand, I updated my bio, and starting browsing available articles. I quickly claimed several and set about writing one. It took a while because I had last written for Demand over a year ago and I had to reacquaint myself with their requirements. Still, it felt good to know that when I was finished with the process, I would have $20 in my pocket (or, more correctly, my Paypal account) that could be applied to the credit card we are working to pay off.
How to Turn Up Front Payments into Residual Income
In the time I was considering looking for a part-time job, the though of writing for up front pay never occurred to me, even though I had done it successfully in the past. The Demand email caused me to rethink writing flat fee articles, as long as the money was applied to my debt. My reasoning is that every dollar that our debt is paid down results in reduced interest payments and an increase in cash flow, which becomes a kind of residual income.And while I could continue to write flat fee articles indefinitely, using the money to pay off debt gives it a finite time frame, in a way that using it to pay for ongoing expenses does not.
During the time that we're paying off debt, I plan to research other kinds of residual income that are not writing related. My thinking is that if I still want to continue writing for up front pay, I could use the money to invest in a residual income investment such as dividend paying stocks, thus using writing to create residual income in a non-direct way.
A Helpful Demand Studios Ebook
As I was about to begin working on my next batch of articles for Demand Studios, I ran across the ebook, Demand Studio Secrets, by experienced Demand Studios writer and copy editor, Kent Ninomiya. In addition to writing and copy editing for Demand, Kent has reviewed writer bios, reviewed writer applications, moderated eHow articles, managed eHow topic guides, and was the first ever Featured Creator and winner of the Quality and Quantity Award from Demand. In other words, he knows what he's talking about and this is 182 pages of quality, insider information about succeeding as a Demand Studios writer.
I read Kent's ebook before I began my next article at Demand, and I can say without a doubt that it provided me with valuable information, even though I had already been accepted at Demand Studios and had four articles approved. (If you haven't yet applied to Demand or have had your application rejected, Demand Studio Secrets can help you with that process. Remember, Kent has worked as an application reviewer at Demand and has approved and rejected many writer applications.)
Demand Studio Secrets is offered at a cost of $19.99, which is simply amazing to me. I made it back with the first article I wrote after reading it. The sections on writing strategies and improving my scores have been especially helpful to me. I plan to write a more detailed review of the book in the future, but for now I'll give you my three word review: worth every penny. It's one of the least expensive ebooks I have read and it's been one of the most valuable.
Since I received my Demand Studios email and read Kent Ninomiya's ebook, I have earned $120 in the span of a view days to apply to my debt. Writing for upfront pay is definitely going to speed up our debt reduction efforts and Demand's twice weekly paydays (they pay via Paypal on Tuesdays and Fridays) is helping to keep me motivated. And the good news is that my residual income will continue to grow in the meantime.
What's your split between writing for up front pay and writing for residuals? I'd love to hear other thoughts on the topic.