Upfront Pay Vs Residual Income

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There is a debate that takes place from time to time in many freelance writing forums over what is better upfront pay or earning residual income. This innocent question from a beginning freelance writer can spark a heated discussion that can sometimes go way off the beaten path. There is no reason for this type of drama when it comes to the idea of upfront pay or residual income when it comes to your freelance writing. Each type of writing opportunity has its own merits that should be looked into.

Upfront Pay

Upfront pay is when you are given a set amount of money when you turn in an article to either a client or a content web site. The amount that you can get paid upfront for an article can vary greatly depending on who you are writing for. There are people and sites that pay less then a cent a word when it comes to upfront pay. There are others that pay more then a dollar a word. Some of the places that will pay upfront for freelance writing articles will want full rights and others will let you keep your rights. There is no one cookie cutter form that all upfront pay for freelance writing can fall into.

The number one reason to focus on upfront pay when you are a freelance writer is that you get paid as soon as you turn in work and it is approved. It is a beautiful cut and dry sale that is easy to understand when it comes to selling your freelance writing. You submit an invoice to the client and then you are paid accordingly to the rate that the two of you set. You know that you will be paid for you work when you use this upfront pay model.

The negative to going to the upfront pay route is that you only get paid once for your work. There is little to no option to get paid again on the same freelance writing articles. Most places will only pay upfront for first publishing rights if they allow you to keep the rights to your work. This means to earn more money, you will have to write more articles.

Residual Income

Residual income on your freelance writing articles is when you own full rights to your written work and earn money based on a revenue share plan where you publish your works. There are many freelance writing web sites that work with the residual income model. Some of these sites pay on a per one thousand view ratio. For every 1000 views of your articles, you will get paid set amount of money. There are other residual income sites that pay you a percentage of the ad click revenue of your articles. Both types of residual income sites will help you to earn money from your articles.

The bonus to writing for residual income is that you will get paid over and over again for the one article that you write. Every article that you write has an unlimited earning potential. Once the freelance writing article is posted, you can continue to earn money from it for years down the road. Let’s say it took you to write an article that you posted to one of these sites. If the article makes a couple of hundred dollars in the first year that it is posted, that is a lot of money to earn from one hours worth of work.

The down side to focusing on residual income is that there is a possibility that an article will never earn you money. For every article that you post that earns you hundreds of dollars with residual income, there can be another article that will only earn you a couple of dollars. There may even be the occasional one that will not earn you any money if you do not pay attention to keywords and search engine trends.

The answer of which way to go as a freelance writer in regards to upfront pay or residual income is a tough one. It is one that every writer will have to face. For many freelance writer, the best thing to do is to integrate a little of both types of writing to reach their earning potential.


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