Earn £60 an hour as an online Advice Columnist

Social IssuesWomen's Issues

  • Author Rosemary Price
  • Published June 27, 2023
  • Word count 1,507

How do you fancy earning a good living, around £60 or so an hour, working from anywhere on your computer helping others as an advice columnist? I've been doing this type of work and similar work for many years so I can tell you how to get involved if this interests you. Start off by asking yourself what you seek from this. As you probably already know an advice columnist is very much the same as an agony aunt, someone who replies to problems in a newspaper or magazine. The usual way is for a person with a problem to write to her asking her for advice on that problem. She or one of her team then reply with advice or useful information, how useful that is depends on many things. If you write to a celebrity advice columnist I can tell you that the celebrity does not read or answer any of those letters themselves. They are merely the person who fronts it, to draw people, it would be far too expensive to pay them to do all of that, and they would be too busy, they also would not be able to do it, they are not experienced and skilled as advisors.

The people who work as agony aunts through a magazine or newspaper are caring, patient, good with people, charming, friendly, able to put others at their ease, good with words, English and grammar. They are also very knowledgeable and have some experience of life and it's problems. But what a lot of people do not know is that there are private agony aunts too, people who instead of writing for a newspaper or magazine take on individual private and confidential clients. I've been doing this for many years. People write to me and pay me to email them back with my thoughts, opinions and advice. If they want to return to me and ask for more advice they do this again, sending me a second email or letter and paying for a second reply - and so on. Each and every time that same client writes to me for advice they pay.

The private agony aunt has to work by a system which is practical and safe for both people. It would not be safe to receive a letter from a client, write back to them with advice and HOPE they decide to pay for their advice after. It would also get ridiculous if you had to keep writing and asking them to pay, wasting a lot of your valuable time with no guarantee of success.

When you work as a private agony aunt you have two ways of doing this. One is to go onto a website which concentrates on and specialises in such advice online and join their directory, being listed as a professional. You then take on any clients who come your way if you want them.

Another is to become well known in your own right, as I did, this takes time and costs money. You then set up a website and advertise your services. This also takes time and a lot of money, and you need to keep on paying for it to keep the website up and running and working. Of course it is far easier and saves you a lot of time and money to go onto an established website and leaves them to run it and put all of their time and money into the rest.

One of the great things about being an agony aunt is that you do not need official qualifications. Two of the most famous ones ever, Marjorie Proops seemed to be very ordinary women at the start of their career, both were going to be nurses, both ended up with a long string of work on television, radio, newspaper, magazines and much more, with a fantastic income. Simply because they liked to help people, gave good advice and put themselves out there.

Another great thing about doing this type of work is that the person who has an agony aunt job does not need to invest a lot of money elsewhere. Someone who sets up as a hairdresser or builder needs to do a long training course, this costs money and sometimes up to ten years. They then need to buy a shop, tools, equipment etc. This often means getting a huge loan from their bank so that they can continue. All with no guarantee of success. There are a lot of people who try to go into business but do not have the business brains and sense to succeed, great at cutting hair but useless at the rest, I often give advice to such people about how to set up or run their businesses because they cannot work these things out for themselves. Getting an advice columnist job is so much easier. You are your tool! You and your computer. No need for an expensive shop, lorries, trucks, cement mixers, staff etc.

Another advantage is that you work when it suits you. A mother could choose to be with their kids during the day and do the work when their kids are sleeping or at school. The hairdresser and builder do not have such choices.

Some of the forums online are great to practice on, but you will never get paid to write on a forum. You will often find people on there who ask for free advice and understand it comes from amateurs, and of course they would not want to pay an amateur. They can get amateur advice for free from people they know and for all they know another person's amateur advice is no better and could be far worse. If you find a free agony aunt forum which is more serious you will perhaps enjoy using it but you need to go to a serious, serious, serious site where there is a directory if you want to actually become a professional yourself.

Are you the sort of person who always has people coming to you to tell you about their problems? Do they get comfort from telling you? Do you advise them? This is not much different to going onto an agony aunt forum and advising strangers - except for the fact that you do it online and they do not know your address, phone number, email, name and cannot contact you. To me this is a terrific thing! I can remember times when someone I knew would phone me at all hours, sometimes five times a day, expecting me to be glued to the phone for hours and hours each time while they go on and on about their nasty boyfriend or whatever. People who are online cannot invade your privacy or rob you of your time. You choose if you reply to their plea for advice on the forum. They cannot reach out and touch you at all.

If you work as a self employed professional listed on a directory you are safe. People can pay you through pay pal for your advice but they cannot come to your home, know your address, phone you, email you etc. They may be paying you to send them a two hundred word reply to their letter. You do this and email it to them and you have earned the money they sent you. Your job is done and they cannot contact you again unless they pay you again, because that would be unfair on you.

You can also think of other ways to get clients by perhaps putting the word about that you are now a professional advisor. You could point them to your listing on the directory of the agony aunt forum. This would be much quicker and easier than letting them email you where many would try to get you to email them back with free advice or want to email back and forth over and over with time wasting silly questions.

But if you do decide to go down this route remember not to be so eager to give free advice to anyone as you will lose clients that way.

I've been doing this type of work for decades. I now live a very good lifestyle and could easily afford to totally retire and never work again, but I continue to work because I enjoy it so much, it keeps my brain active, gives me a purpose and means I do not waste all of my skills and knowledge. You may have your own reasons for doing it, only you need to know what they are.

I was excited about getting into this line of work and doing an agony aunt job when I began years ago, I still am now, not many people can say they feel that way about the work they do. I used to know so many people who moaned and complained about the boring work they did or the terrible pay they worked for. You do not need to be one of those people. The choice is yours.

Charlotte Craig is a self employed full time agony aunt and psychic, she is also a qualified therapist and relationship expert. You can see her directory listing and much about her at https://www.askagonyauntsadviceonline.com and https://www.unexplainedmysteriesforum.com

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