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How to Make Money Writing Poetry

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Writing poetry for money? Yes, it's possible. You might not be able to become rich, but it will give you a little bit extra cash to spend on stuff to pass the time. Besides, if you ever get the chance to make money doing something you love, do it! So here you go, a few ways to earn a bit of money doing something you love: writing poetry.

Create a poetry blog
This is probably the easiest way to get started. However, it isn't a magic leap towards riches. In order to start a blog, you must have a host. I recommend Blogspot if you are looking to do advertising (such as Google AdSense) and WordPress if you are looking to do something with Amazon or your own sales.

After you have your blog set up, you'll want to do a bit of SEO (search engine optimization) and write a few blog posts to get initial visitors interested and wanting to come back. The more you write, the easier it will be to attract visitors. Of course, this doesn't mean they'll all come back. The better you write and the more interesting your writing is plays a large part in that. Find a happy medium and go for it.

Write for a greeting card company
There are thousands of poets writing short rhymes for greeting cards at this very moment. Of course, there are also a few hundred tired of the boring work and giving up the industry. The great thing is, it doesn't have to be full-time. Just right a few lines and if it's published, cash a small check. Rinse and repeat.

Do some slam poetry nights
Yep, slam poetry. It has been an ever growing industry since around the early-80s. Many clubs will have slam poetry nights allowing poets to get on stage and say their piece. Some of these places will be completely free, some will offer prizes to those with the best receptions, and others will pay you to read your poetry once you are well-known. So go to the clubs, read your poetry and get known.

Get published in magazines
There are thousands of newsletters, magazines, ezines, and others begging for poetry. No, not all of them pay but there are some that will. Many of them will offer a free copy of their magazine, $5, and a chance to get republished. Others will pay you $200 straight up. If you become a regular at any of these, they may even begin to pay you per word.

Check out "Poet's Market" if you are interested in getting published.

Publish a book
This is something only a few lucky people have been able to accomplish. Of course, you could always publish the book yourself at CafePress or Zazzle, but they don't offer you the same exposure the major publishing houses do (and you probably won't make much money).

Most publishing houses will offer you a small upfront payment, then royalties from each book sold. That is of course, if they love your poetry and people know you by name. This probably won't happen unless you have been published in magazines before.

And there you are, five ways to make money by writing poetry!