The internet is chock full of crazy schemes to raise cash. All you need to do is search on relevant keywords on Google to find every money-making trick in the book. Sadly most of them are hyped up scams where the only thing you are likely to earn is a bad back from sitting hunched over the computer clicking ads all day.
However, there is one way to make a healthy chunk of change that is legitimate and even fun to do: sell your real life story!
Most people have read real life stories in magazines you know the type, My Boyfriend is a Love Rat or I Won a Million and Spent the Lot.
3 Common Hurdles to Overcome
Sometimes the stories are sad; true live tales of love lost or parental bereavement. Sometimes the stories describe events in which the protagonist showed amazing courage or endurance and sometimes they are tales of recovery or triumph, but they all have one thing in common – true life stories touch the reader in ways that fiction cannot.
“But Nothing Ever Happens To Me!”
Many people reading this will scoff and say ‘But nothing ever happens to me! What would I write about?’, and yet everybody has their own unique experiences to share.
Were you bullied at school? Have you lost a ton of weight? Did you have to deal with a stressful /romantic/scary situation at work? You have no doubt lived through several experiences that have touched you deeply or changed you in some way.
And that is really the secret of a successful true life story. It is the tale of an ordinary person who has experienced something extraordinary and lived to write about it.
“But I Can’t Write!”
Told that if they get their experience down on paper it may be worth a considerable sum of money, many people will still protest, “But I can’t write….”. Thinking about the polished articles in magazines that they have read in the past, they instantly doubt their own ability to create something similar. What they don’t realise is that the real life stores you read in magazines have most likely been ghost written by an agency writer to get them ready for sale to a publication.
“Who Would Buy It?”
Popular magazines each have their own policy for accepting real life stories. Some offer a flat rate to everybody who has a half way decent tale to tell regardless of the importance or uniqueness of the situation. For example a story about surviving a murder attempt might sell for the same as a story about a romantic break up/make up.
However entertaining the romantic tale is, it could not match the story of murder for thrill factor and suspense. It does not seem fair that both stories should be offered the same payment.
Other magazines have a representative who is responsible for sourcing real life tales. The drawback is that these people have a budget and her job is as much about getting your story for as little amount of money as possible as it is in sourcing new material.
So what to do? Well, if you have a real life story to sell, get in touch with a content agency. With experience in the media business, the content agencies have contacts in the editorial departments of hundreds of publications. They know what kind of story sells and who will pay the most for it. As their agency fee is a percentage of your own, it is in the agency’s best interests to get you the best possible deal for your unique tale and what is more, they will have professional writers on staff to help you get the words down.