June 15, 2011
Making Fast and Easy Money Writing Fillers By Barbara Weddle
When I first began my writing career, I was so excited by the mere thought of being published that I never gave a thought to making money at it. Being published was reward enough for all my hard work.
But then I decided I liked the idea of checks popping up in my mailbox now and then. So I began writing less for free and about anything that merely caught my fancy, and began instead to concentrate on articles or "fillers" for specific markets that would earn me a little income. I began perusing magazines while waiting at the doctor's office and other appointments. I studied copies of magazines at the library or newsstand. I searched through women's magazines, the type you find at the checkout line in the grocery store.
I found in all a steady market for kids' cute sayings, quips, recipes, humor, jokes, quizzes, cartoons, fact items, and tips on everything from gardening and travel to home decorating and parenting. I also discovered there was a demand for short (250-750 words) themed essays or true-life anecdotes on such things as your most nostalgic, inspirational, personal or even embarrassing moment. And who doesn't have a large repertoire of those to write about? FARM & RANCH, for example, paid me $50 for no more than 100 words for their "My Favorite Time of Year" column; BACKYARD LIVING paid me $25 for their "Backyard Blunders" page, and WOMAN'S WORLD paid me $50 for a kids' cute saying (I sold them several of these). MOTHER EARTH NEWS has "Country Lore", a short column that pays up to $100 for wise-living tips plus $25 for each accompanying photo they use. Many magazines use some type of filler material. And, if even a short 250-word essay or story is too much for you, many magazines pay up to $100 just for photos of your pets or children!
Barbara Weddle has had articles, essays, book reviews, service pieces, and fillers published in more than 200 magazines: CHICAGO LIFE, THE MISSOURI REVIEW, WOMAN'S WORLD, CHELSEA, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, THE WRITER, and others.
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