When you own your own business, there are a lot of decisions you have to be prepared to make. For writers, the question of writing for yourself, versus writing for others, comes up frequently. I’ve ghostwritten books, getting an upfront payment for what I’ve done, but no share of the royalties. I know that if I wrote my own book, I could have potentially limitless earnings. However, as I found out from co-authoring a book recently, you don’t get the up front security that comes with writing for someone else. The same is true when it comes to blogging. Many people have asked me why I don’t start my own personal finance blog — owned by me. The answer lies in the security vs. unlimited earning potential issue.
Advantages of Writing for Yourself
There are clear advantages to writing for yourself. First of all, you maintain the rights to your work. Almost nothing I’ve written, except on my sporadically updated personal blog, is owned by me. None of the financial stuff I’ve done, including what I’m writing right now, is actually mine. The rights belong to someone else.
Additionally, there are limits placed on my earnings. If I ran my own blog, worked hard, and built traffic, I could theoretically earn a lot more. It’s true that I have agreements with many of the people I write for to get AdSense or traffic bonuses, but my earning potential — especially in terms of passive income — could really be improved if I wrote more for myself.
Advantages of Writing for Others
On the Internet, there is an opportunity to write for others, making money blogging. The drawbacks, of course, are that you don’t always control the content, and your earnings can be somewhat limited. But there is security. One of the reasons that I focus my freelance writing business on providing blog content for others is because there is a measure of security. I know that I am going to get a flat rate for what I’ve written (unless someone doesn’t pay — another hazard of writing for someone else).
Also, I have a pretty good idea of what is coming in each month, and my basic earnings have nothing to do with the traffic a web site or post receives. This type of security can be very comforting and helpful during tough economic times, and when your family is counting on you as the primary breadwinner.
One of the biggest advantages is that there isn’t as big a concern with marketing and social media. A a professional blogger, I’m expected to help out with social media, and consider keywords to a certain extent, but it’s not something that I have to deal with too much. I’m a writer, not a social media maven. Obviously, there has to be some traffic to my posts, but fretting constantly about building an awesome Digg account or making sure the whole site follows SEO rules isn’t a huge concern. If I were to begin my own blog to make money, I would have to start from scratch — and there’s a lot of work involved.
Would I someday like to have my own blog providing some solid income? Yes. It would be great. But right now, the amount of time it would take to be successful is rather daunting. My responsibilities to my family include a somewhat predictable freelance income. However, my husband should be finishing up with school soon and (hopefully) getting a job. Perhaps that would be a good time to wade into the waters of my own blog. But until then, I’ll be writing more for others.
What do you think? Would you rather write for others, or write for yourself?
This article was included in the Carnival of Money Stories
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.