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How to Get Paid Writing Poetry

People often ask me how they can get paid to write poetry, and the truth is, it’s not that easy. I mean, you can get paid to write lyrics for songs, or you can get paid to write blog posts for websites. But, you know, poetry is different.

What does that mean? Well, let’s look at the business side of things.

The Market For Creative Writing

Firstly, let’s consider the market for creative writing as a whole. I think most people would agree that poetry is a bit of an under-served genre when it comes to online markets, but that’s certainly not the case. In the last ten years or so, poetry has become immensely popular, and platforms like PoetrySoup and iWriter are testament to that. This makes sense when you think about it. After all, who doesn’t love a good poem?

Whether you’re writing for publication or just to entertain your friends, you’ll always need something to write about. And what better thing to write about than the world around you? We all have plenty to say, and sometimes we all need an outlet for these poems.

So, the demand is there, and the market is wide open. What’s more is that a lot of people are willing to pay for creative writing. In fact, the New York Times estimates that “up to 70% of Amazon’s 100 million global customers have purchased some type of creative writing product, be it a book or an e-book.”

Now, that’s a big number. Imagine what that means for writers who want to get paid to write poetry. It means that there is plenty of opportunity to make money writing about something you love, even if it’s not necessarily popular.

Why Do I Need to Get Paid To Write Poetry?

Let’s be honest. For most people, poetry is a passion, something they want to do for the pure pleasure of it. For others, however, it’s a way to make money. Truth be told, sometimes it can be hard to tell which is which. For instance, if you’re a poet who also happens to be a teacher, you might write a bit of poetry in the classroom, but then publish a collection of your work. That’s a double-edged sword. You need to make your students proud of your work, but you also need to make sure you get paid for it.

Another issue is that sometimes a publisher will go through a manuscript, looking for stuff that “sells,” and will cut out the bits that don’t. That’s a pain for the writer, because then you have to rewrite the whole thing. Not to mention the lost revenue. So, sometimes it’s better to take your chances, and see if an independent publisher wants to work with you. And, you know what? Sometimes they do. Just because something isn’t popular doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Just think of all the best-selling authors you know, and how many of them started out as complete unknowns.

Where Can I Get Paid To Write Poetry?

This is a question I get asked all the time. After all, the internet makes information accessible to anyone, anywhere. Surely, there must be someone who wants to pay me to write their poem. Right?

Well, yes and no. It all depends on where you need the money. Are you looking for a steady flow of cash, or are you looking to build your portfolio? Because if it’s the latter, then you probably want to start looking at other ways of getting money. The internet isn’t always a quick and easy way to make money.

For instance, do you have an expertise that can be bought and sold? If so, then you can develop a skill set and start charging for your services. Of course, it doesn’t have to be writing. You might find that you’re better at designing websites or creating charts. So, you can set your own prices and generate your own revenue stream. And that’s what many successful writers do.

How Do I Get Paid To Write Poetry?

Now that you have an idea of the various ways you can make money from writing, let’s talk about the ways you can get paid to write poetry. Obviously, you’ll first need to determine how much you’re willing to charge, and then you can decide how many poems you’re willing to write. So, in terms of getting paid to write poetry, your options are basically limited to:

  • Cold-calling potential clients and convincing them to buy your services.
  • Submitting your work to online publications and trying to convince them to publish your work.
  • Taking a paid gig as a teacher or a consultant (this one is a bit of a cheat, but still).
  • Selling your work to arts organizations and venues for artistic expression (like a gallery or a museum).
  • Or…you can just publish your work independently and see if customers want to buy your products.

So, the truth is that it’s not easy to get paid to write poetry. It doesn’t have to be, however. As I said before, there is certainly opportunity out there, and it’s up to you to figure out how you can make the most of it.