4 reasons why no one is paying you to write

Disclaimer –  This post is NOT for everyone. Some people have chosen to write for passion and are not interested in financial rewards and that’s okay. But if you are one of those people who want to make your writing a career, this is for you. 

Although writing may not look like the most financially profitable careers, a good number of writers have found their sweet spot and are able to monetize their skill. These writers have given their sweat, blood and money to get to this point. 

You may already be asking ‘sweat and blood’, is it that deep? Yes it is, because with writing and every other thing you want to make money from, you’ve got to be intentional. Don’t expect someone to come and say, “Hey there. I heard from someone that you were thinking of writing something and I’d love to pay you to see where that could lead to someday.”

That would be nice but it really wouldn’t happen. 

If you think you’ve tried everything and you’re not getting money, we’d tell you four reasons you probably have not heard before or ignored which may explain why you are not being paid to write. 

You haven’t become an authority in the field. 

Yes, you need to become an authority is certain fields of writing. It’s ok to be a Jack of all Trades but it is much better (and profitable) to be a Master of Some.

Which areas of writing interest you?

Which can you master and become an expert in?

Then can you begin to share content around those areas so people begin to see you as an authority in that field?

If someone Googles ‘Top editors in Lagos’ for example and you are a good Editor in Lagos, your goal is to ensure that your name appears on that list.

Also, when people ask for good content writers from people in your network, they should be able to remember you without having to think too much. That is what Brand Gurus call top of mind awareness! 

You’re wallowing in negative thoughts 

All these your;

‘I am not good enough’

‘This writer is better than me’ and 

‘I can’t’ thoughts would do you NO good. These statements kill your dream, weaken your spirit and if you are not careful, they will affect your entire morale. How will you write well when you are not feeling good about yourself? 

When you are beginning to think you are not good enough, counter that thought by speaking confidently and positively;

‘I am good enough’

‘I improve my writing skills daily’ 

‘I can and I will.’ 

Now go ahead and make things happen

You’re stuck with old knowledge

Any writer who wants to make money from writing and has refused to upgrade his skills and knowledge has not started.  Writing is an ever involving industry and only those who are able to keep up with trends and new developments can remain relevant to clients. For example, if your client wants you to update their blog with content and you don’t know how to edit pictures with basic editing tools, your post obviously will not reach its maximum potential because the picture was not properly edited. 

You have to write often; stay abreast of what’s happening in the writing world and understand multimedia and social media. Today’s writer must be tech savvy 

You’re thinking like a writer and not a business person


If you want to make money from writing, you have to think of your writing as a business not just a hobby . Generally speaking, most creative people like to create. Period.

Writers like to write, painters like to paint, and musicians want to play. However, until we attach a value – specifically, a Dollar (better than a Naira) value to our expertise – we will continue to be starving artists.

We are not saying you should go about demanding payment from everyone including Instagram for writing captions; all we are saying is that if you’ve chosen to make writing a business, some things have to be put into perspective. 

There are five things to consider when assessing value:

  • The services you are going to offer
  • To whom you will offer your services
  • Your experience
  • The value of your time
  • The value you provide to your customers.


Ultimately, the answers to these questions will become the foundation of your business plan, which is your roadmap to becoming a well-paid writer.



This is how Suhaib Mohammed became a millionaire as a freelance writer

This is the year of being intentional about our writing; so how about this insight we found on Bella Naija to get you totally inspired. Not only is the interview inspiring, it provides useful tips for those who are ready to do the work.

Are you ready?

How he started

I remember the day I earned NGN182, 600.00 (or $550) in a single writing project on Upwork.

For many online writers from this country, that’s an unimaginable jackpot. It’s like a young student from a public school vowing to get straight As in their WAEC. You hear it, and you automatically think, “Nonsense.”

If you could make 182, 000 naira in a single writing job, you could build a career from your skills. You could quit your day job today, and eat three protein-rich square meals every day. In fact, you could even start traveling within Nigeria for sightseeing in places like Obudu, Tinapa, and Yankari National Park.

Nobody can earn that much. Nobody. Or can they?

When I called my friend and colleague, Jamila, earlier in January, and told her, “I want to earn 1 million naira this year,” she laughed out loud. An average freelance Nigerian writer like my friend would tell me, “Well, you can make it,” even though deep inside their heart they have some doubt. I myself didn’t believe I could achieve that feat.

But I insisted.





Master the Business of Writing this October!

The Sparkle Writer's Course

Another opportunity to enrol for The Sparkle Writer’s Course is here! 

As you already know, our aim is to empower every writer and ensure that they achieve their writing goals. It’s not too late for you to begin your journey as a professional writer. It’s not too late to begin to earn money from writing. 

When you attend the Sparkle Writer’s Course, you’ll learn all you need to know about turning your writing skills into recurring income. You will learn how to harness the power of social media to open up opportunities for you, both locally and internationally. 

We will help you build your brand and show you the areas you need to work on in order to increase your earning capacity, 

The course is thorough and it is personalized so every challenge you have faced so far as a writer will be resolved. Most importantly, the course yields results. Previous participants have been offered lucrative full time/ freelance writing jobs; some have launched their blog/ website while others have been able to build a strong brand which has opened up opportunities internationally for them. 

The Sparkle Writer's Course

Don’t be left out. The course is taking place on Saturday 29th October, 2016 by 12 pm at Ignite Africa Library Oregun. The fee is N10, 000.

This month, we have also introduced the online version of the course for writers who are outside Lagos or would love to attend but are not free on that day. The online course is a one-on-one session which will run for four hours via Skype throughout the month on fixed dates. The fee is N10,000. Dates will be confirmed once payment is made. 

Limited slots are available so register today by sending an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.

#ChroniclesOfAWriter – Should writing really be a business?

Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

“I feel like a fraud when I ‘flaunt’ my writing. It makes me appear cocky.”

“I just want the freedom to be creative and write what I want, when I want. Writing shouldn’t really be a business.”

Thanks to our coaching sessions at The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, I get to have one on one interaction with a lot of writers.

Many are ready to take writing to the next level. They’ve been writing creatively or just putting down the words as they come for years. Now, they want to make something out of it and I help them figure out how to achieve this.

Transitioning from being a personal writer to becoming a professional writer requires a certain kind of shift for that transition to be successful.

One thing I make our writers realize is that to become a successful professional writer, they must begin to see writing as a business. You can imagine that this statement meets with some resistance from these writers.

I understand.

You want the freedom to write how you want and when you want to. You don’t want your creativity to be limited in any way.

This is ok if you want to be a fiction writer (actually, it’s not the best but we’ll talk about that another time) or remain as a personal writer.


To become a professional writer who makes money from writing any kind of content, you need structure. Writing is a business and the sooner you begin to see it that way, the sooner you’ll start getting the rewards of being a professional writer.

If writing is a business, it means you need to define the services that you offer. While speaking to writers who registered for The Sparkle Writer’s Network, I realized some of them don’t know the kind of writing opportunity that they want.

When I ask them what kind of writing they want to do, I get generic answers like, “Oh, I want to write articles and edit.” That is too vague. What kind of articles do you want to write? In what area or field? If you want to edit, what are they things that you want to edit? If you think the only thing there is to editing is editing books, then you really have a limited view of what you can do as a professional writer.

Be specific with what you want and the services you offer. Then you need to define how much you want to be paid for those services. I have shared how you should determine the price to charge as a freelance writer in a previous post. You can read it if you don’t know what to charge for your services.

Once you’ve defined your service offering and how much you want to charge, you will have a clearer idea of who your target audience/ client is and what approach you need to take when you want to advertise your services. Yes, you need to advertise your services but there is a subtle art for achieving this.

Don’t make the mistake of advertising yourself as a professional writer on social media without defining your services and your price first. Clients today are very specific about the type of writers that they need. While generic work like ghostwriting and editing will bring you money, doing more specialized content will bring you more money if you position yourself correctly.

I’m offering a free 20-minute coaching session to writers who are finding the transition from personal to professional writing challenging. If you’re stuck in your writing career, or you need to figure out how you can begin to make money from your writing skill, then sign up for a coaching session by sending an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com or you can leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you. The sessions will take place on Thursday 22nd September. I look forward to talking to you!

#ChroniclesOfAWriter – So you want to be a successful writer? What have you done about it?

Adedoyin Jaiyesimi

I had such a great time last Saturday teaching the writers who registered for the Sparkle Writer’s Course how to create platforms and earn money from their writing skill. The session was enlightening for me as much as it was for the participants.

Although it was unplanned, one thing I realised as we discussed (the session was very interactive) was that many writers fail to succeed simply because they are not intentional about their success. Sounds simple right? It’s so simple that is taken for granted.

You’ve been saying that you want to become a successful writer but what have you done about it? Perhaps, you have taken some steps but you haven’t had much success. Have you stopped to find out what is not working for you?

Being a successful writer will not happen overnight. It comes as a result of being intentional. Have you set your writing goals yet? Do you know how much you want to earn every month from your writing skills? Do you know which platforms you need to be visible on in order to reach your target audience and get clients to notice you? These are important questions you need to ask yourself.

One of the participants who also attended The Sparkle Writer’s Hangout in July gave a testimonial that reinforced the need to be intentional. Before she came for our hangout, she had been neglecting her blog. She wasn’t intentional about her message. After the hangout and a coaching session with me, she decided to launch a series on self-love on her blog. She did this consistently for a few weeks and also used social media to engage her audience.

sparkle writer's course

Guess what happened as a result of the steps she took? She was approached to work on a book project that deals with the subject matter of self-love. She has also been invited to speak about self-love in one of the popular universities in the country.

I’m not surprised with the results she has achieved. You will be amazed at the doors that will open up for you when you decide to become intentional. You can start today by doing the following;

  1. Write out your writing goals. What do you want to achieve 6 months or a year from now? Write them down.
  2. Do something every day towards the achievement of those goals. All the writers who came for our course have been put on a four-month road map. They identified their goals and the immediate steps they need to take to achieve those goals. We also gave them targets too. By December, we will have follow-up sessions with them to ensure that they are actually making progress.
  3. Be consistent. I have written about this in previous posts in this series. You need to be consistent if you want to succeed as a writer. Don’t be lazy about it. If you need to post on your blog every day, do it. If you need to write a page every day towards your book project, please do so. And I will add, learn something new every day to improve your skill.

There is no more room for excuses. This is the time for less talk and more action. The next batch of our writer’s course will take place in a few weeks. I recommend it for every writer who wants to position themselves to earn more from their writing skills. Watch out for more details about the course and how to register in the next few days. You can also send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com to signify your interest.