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How to Earn More From Your Writing

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How to Earn More From Your Writing

Writing is a very solitary activity, but many creators are eager to get their work out into the world to be read and enjoyed by others. That would be much better if they could make a little money from their post. The problem is that their own website may not generate much traffic. That’s why many writers are now sharing their stories on Vocal Media. 

Vocal Media is a proven way for writers and other creators to earn more money for their stories. Using their storytelling tools, you can earn a solid income from your writing. 

Not sure if this platform is the right fit for your creativity? Let’s dive in and see if it’s a match for you today!

How to Earn More From Your Writing

First things first, we need to explore what exactly Vocal Media is and what it offers to its creators. This is a robust platform that allows you to publish your creative work and receive payment based on the number of people who engage with it.

How does it work? 

First, you sign up for an account and then start to post your very first story. It can include text, music, images, and more, depending on how creative you are and what mediums you like to work in.

After you implement their storytelling tools, your piece gets sent out to their engaged communities. In exchange for engagement, Vocal Media believes in rewarding creators.

The more people who engage with your story, the higher your pay will be. Plus, users can send you tips and pledges to continue supporting your work long-term.

Type of Work Accepted from Vocal Creators

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When it comes to media, Vocal offers just about every type of medium you can think of creating. They believe that every creator deserves to have a place where they can share their work with the world.

If you can dream it, chances are you can share it on this platform.

To give you an idea of how creative you can be, here are a few categories they permit: 

  • Blogs
  • Stories and essays from authors
  • Professional videos
  • Original music
  • Podcasts
  • Photography.

However, most of the work featured here is submitted by writers. It’s a great place to share your stories and build up a following if you want to do more publishing work in the future, such as writing a book.

If you have no experience writing a book, you might learn more by utilizing Vocal to start. 

Following Community Guidelines

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While they are fairly open to all creative pursuits, they do have some rules for submissions. These can be found under their community guidelines.

Of note, authors should heed their word count (600 words minimum for prose, 100 words for poetry), the grammar rules, and formatting. 

Keep in mind that your work may not be appropriate for Vocal if it is NSFW or contains graphic content of any kind. You must also think about their rules on the assertion of personal beliefs (namely, they do not accept content that could be divisive for their readers). 

They also only allow work submitted in English at this time. Of course, you must also own the right to share work and maintain the copyright on it. Plagiarized work is not accepted. 

Vocal+ Subscription for More Earnings

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Unlike other sites, Vocal Media has a subscription service, but it isn’t for readers; it’s for the creators. For a small membership fee ($9.99 per month), you can gain access to new features that can scale your income and grow your audience.

It’s a small price to pay for the potential to almost double the earnings on your reads. 

For example, you earn $3.80 per 1,000 reads with a normal account. That number jumps to $6.00 per 1,000 reads with a Vocal+ subscription.

In addition, you get a 4.1 percent reduction on fees from tips. This membership also allows you to accept pledges from your audience. 

Keep in mind that you can also gain access to their challenges when you sign up for a subscription. It’s one of the easiest ways to make money writing

If you already have a body of work, it can be time-consuming to think about where to upload to earn the most money. Vocal Media might be the right choice for you, with some of these tips to earn more. 

Average Earnings Per Read

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As mentioned earlier, Vocal creators earn based on the number of people who engage with the content. This is calculated on a CPM (cost per mille or cost per 1,000 views) basis. For every 1,000 views, you can earn $3.80. 

Of course, you also earn more if you happen to be in their Vocal+ program ($6.00 for 1,000 reads). 

This might not seem like a lot, but it can really add up if you get featured on their main page. Keep in mind that you may even be able to get your piece to rank on Google if you pay attention to keyword research and search engine optimization while writing. 

Gain Access to the Bonus System for Top Stories

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Writers and other creators can also earn more money by tapping into the bonus system on their social media and website.

They have a straightforward bonus system of helping to support creators who nurture readers along the way. The extra payments are factored in addition to your CPM revenue and can range from $5 to $50. 

Here are a few of the bonuses you might get for tapping into your creativity with Vocal:

  • First 5 articles: $5
  • First 10 articles: $10
  • First 50 articles: $50
  • Liking 15 stories from other creators: $5
  • Top story qualification: $5
  • Awesome story qualification: $5.

It pays to be active on the platform to understand what readers are looking for, regardless of whether you write fiction, non-fiction, self-help, or any other type of creative endeavor.

Tips for One-Time Payments

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Maybe what you write resonates with your audience. When they come back to you time and again, they may find themselves compelled to support you.

The tips function allows them to do just that via a one-time payment to creators. The amount you will net depends on the generosity of your supporters. 

However, you will lose some percentage of this tip to the Vocal platform. Creators are hit with a 7 percent transaction fee (2.9 percent for Vocal+ members). 

Pledges for Recurring Income

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Vocal+ members can be rewarded for their hard work due to the pledges function that was added to the platform just a couple of years ago.

When someone loves what you create and wants to support your efforts on an ongoing basis, they can commit to sponsoring you month-to-month. 

Pledges cost readers $2.99 per month. After fees from both Vocal and Stripe, creators net $2.30 per pledge.

The best way to capitalize on pledges is to focus on creating a consistent fan base. People aren’t likely to pledge to you based on a single article, especially considering they can read it for free.

It may take some time to build up a catalog of work and create a consistent readership. 

Challenges for Friendly Competition

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Want to stretch those creative muscles and let Vocal review your work? Join in on the Challenges section of the blog, and you could tap into a massive grand prize.

This could be a massive windfall of hundreds of dollars all in one fell swoop. Some prizes even top $1,000. 

While competition to win is fierce among the artists on the platform, it can be a great way to get noticed by more people around the world.

Some of them are even quite short, requiring a maximum of 50 to 100 words for micro-fiction pieces. 

You can browse through their past challenges to get an idea of how much money you could earn if you were to win some of these categories.

Referring Others to Open a Vocal Account

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Maybe you know lots of other artists who are keen to get their work out into the world as well. Once you sign up for a Vocal account, you can start to refer other people to the website and membership plan as part of their Ambassador program. 

For every person who signs up using your unique link, you can earn $20. Not bad for not having to do any heavy lifting, right?

The best part is that you don’t even necessarily have to be active on Vocal Media to cash in on this money. As long as you put your link out into the ether, anyone who signs up using it nets you $20 in your account, no questions asked.

They have the possibility of earning more, and so do you; it’s a win-win situation!

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Curious how you can cash out with Vocal before you get started? All you need to do is sign up for a Stripe account, and you can cash out as soon as you hit the $35 minimum in your account ($20 for Vocal+ members). 

The benefit of using a Stripe account is that they don’t have access to your bank information. Money gets directly transferred from your Vocal wallet into your Stripe account, where you can move it around as you see fit.

It takes just a few clicks to get the two systems integrated, even if you have to create a Stripe login. 

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If you’re looking for a platform that prioritizes rewarding creators, Medium often comes to mind first. 

Unlike Vocal, they aren’t as straightforward on how earnings are calculated. It’s a complex mix of time spent on the page actively scrolling, reading, and listening time. 

Boosted content that might show up on their front page often earns higher rates than regular content. 

Of course, content is locked behind a paywall. If someone wants to read your work, they have to sign up for a membership that allows them to peruse the site as much as they want.

You get a share in the profits once they read your work. Vocal doesn’t require anyone to pay to read your work. 

For more information on other platforms, be sure to see our article on Substack vs Medium here.

If you are looking for a free platform to make money from your creative work, then Vocal Media might be the right place to turn.

Your first piece may not go viral, but future work could build up to a long and happy career with lots of tips, pledges, and reads. It’s a legit and safe way to earn money, especially if you can win their challenges. 

What’s stopping you from signing up for Vocal Media today and starting your writer side hustle?



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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan shared how he started AppSumo, a “Groupon for software,” in one weekend in a new podcast episode. The startup cost was $60; AppSumo earned $80 million last year and Kagan is still its CEO.

In 2010, Kagan was 28 years old and had already experienced what it was like to be the 30th employee at Facebook and the fourth employee at personal finance app Mint.

“I think I just felt insecure at some of these places,” Kagan told fellow entrepreneur Jeff Berman in a June episode of the “Masters of Scale” podcast.

Kagan was fired after nine months at Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and later fired from Mint, too. He realized that dedicating his time to his day job carried a risk — another person could decide to let him go at any time.

Related: The Author of ‘Million Dollar Weekend’ Says This Is the Only Difference Between You and the Many ‘Very, Very Dumb People’ Making a Lot of Money

“I think I wanted to prove that I’m smart or prove that I’m successful or prove that Facebook when they fired me, and then when Mint fired me, [that] I can do it,” Kagan said.

The idea for AppSumo, a marketplace of software deals for small business owners or solopreneurs, was born when Kagan thought there was a way to promote software tools and also get paid for it. He saw that the site MacHeist gave Apple users discounts on software bundles and wanted to try making the same type of discounts available to a broader audience.

“My interest was letting the geniuses create software, and my skill and my excitement is promotion,” Kagain said.

The business came together in about 60 hours. First, Kagan found software he wanted to sell: the image-sharing service Imgur. He cold-emailed Imgur’s founder on Reddit and got approval to sell a discounted version in exchange for a cut of sales.

Related: Here’s Why Reddit Turned Down an Acquisition Offer From Google in Its Early Days, According to Cofounder Alexis Ohanian

The next piece was meeting with Reddit’s founding engineer to ask for free advertising. He got that too.

The final part was paying a developer to create a website with a PayPal button and purchasing the AppSumo.com domain name.

What was the total cost to launch the business? $60 and one weekend of his time.

AppSumo made $300,000 in the first year, and $3 million in the second, Kagan said in the podcast. It brought in $80 million in revenue last year.

Kagan now has a net worth of $36 million.

Kagan said that the crucial part of business was being invested in the problem and getting excited about it.

Related: This Flexible Side Hustle Is Helping Millions Earn Extra Cash — and Might Be ‘More Attractive’ Than an Office Job

“I think that’s the thing in business people are kind of missing out,” Kagan said. “They’re chasing AI now or chasing being an influencer. I think find areas [where] you’re like, I don’t know if I’m going to ever get tired of this.”

Starting a side hustle or finding an extra source of income has an upside — according to Kagan, you have more control over your future.

“If you can just give up 30 minutes a week, if you can just give up one Netflix show a week, if you can give up one thing a week, and you keep doing it weekly, eventually you can have that business,” he said.

Related: This Is the Winning Formula for Starting a Successful Podcast, According to a New Analysis

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