Six Ways of Making money from YOUR Writing
Filed Under: The Writing Industry
Date Created:16 Oct 2014
Last Modified:16 Oct 2014
Number of Views: 1014
How can a writer make money out of his writing and pay the bills? There are more ways than you can imagine. If you thought that being a writer makes you a loser, think again, because we writers can and have changed the world.
It saddens me to hear my fellow writers saying you can’t make a living out of writing. You can! I have done some research and I know it can be done! Lots of people are making thousands of dollars just by writing, and most of these are not even passionate about it.
I want to share some of my findings with you and let you know that writing is more lucrative than you thought.
By the way, my fellow Zambian writers are always complaining about the bad reading culture in Zambia; that even if they where to write anything, no one would read it. Think again. The world has become smaller. You are not restricted to the passive Zambian audience. You have the whole world at your finger tips—almost literally, so use it to your advantage!
Let me outline, briefly, some of the ways you can make some cash from writing. There are several ways. I’ll only talk about some of them, but this should give you an idea about the direction you should go if you are wondering how on Earth your can turn your passion for writing into a living.
1. Traditional Publishing:
Write a book, find a publisher, and watch the money pour in as your books sell like hot cakes.
Actually, it is not that simple. I am yet to break this market myself so I can’t say much about this, but what is true is that it takes time, patience and enough research to successfully publish a book and realize sales.
But if you want to write that great American novel, perhaps the biggest challenge you’ll have is getting started. Where do you start from? What you write about? How to you get it out there? Those are some of the questions you are probably confounded with.
Once you do write your book, you will need an agent as well as an editor to help make something out of your book.
It is daunting as well as exciting; but I strongly believe it is worth a try, because I don’t really feel much like a writer because I haven’t yet put one of my books on the shelf.
A goodly number of writers have made millions because they did their research, found a good agent and an excellent publisher. You can also make it. You do not necessarily have to write about something crazy or outrageous or even get Oprah to recommend your book for you to make it. You just have to try.
2. Self –publishing
Most people who have had it rough going about the traditional way of getting published usually opt for self-publishing—a do-it-yourself approach.
With so many self-publishing companies springing up, it almost appears too easy: you write something, format it in any way you want, design covers, and bingo, with one click of a button, your book is ready!
With this method, you can be your own editor and agent, as well as your own distributor.
The good thing about this method is that you do not need to have any money in your pocket to do any publishing. You do not need to pay any editor, agent or publisher; basically, what you really need is something to write.
But there is a down side.
Without an agent, it will be very hard to get public recognition. You may publish your book quite alright, but unless you are very famous or extremely good at marketing yourself, very few people will know about your book.
Without a well-established publisher, it will be difficult for you to distribute your work to retailers.
But, it has worked for others and can work for you.
And interestingly, most self-publishing companies offer the services that traditional publishers offer with just a little more cash.
Most writers nowadays have a blog. In fact, it would be very difficult for a writer to survive without a blog.
What is a blog?
Well, simply put, it is website where a writer posts articles and showcases snippets of her work.
A blog basically consists of posts that are arranged in chronological order.
A blog is a good way to showcase and market one’s work and an author can accumulate a large number of followers, that is, people who read his blog entries.
So how can a writer make money off his blog?
Primarily, through the selling of advertising space.
A writer can sign up for one or more several affiliate programs whereby she displays adverts on her site and gets paid commission for each click the advert gets. Google Adsense is a good way of getting started.
A writer can also sell other books on behalf of another writer or seller and get commission from each sell.
It goes without saying that a writer can sell their own book and products on their blog.
Indeed, with a blog, the possibilities are interesting. The hardest part perhaps is building a large audience to present your works to, but once you manage to build such an audience, you have a ready market for any books and products you may have to sell.
The most important reason though for a writer to have a blog is to develop a fan base, and keep his fans updated on her work, and whet their appetites to such an extent that they will be sent scurrying to the book store when she releases her book.
4. Ebook Marketing
This probably sounds like me repeating myself. Ebooks most of the time fall in the self-publishing category and the like, but I would love to put it in a class of its own. A lot of people make a lot of money writing and selling Ebooks. With the rise of smart phones and Ebook readers, most people prefer buying books online and reading them on their phones instead of going to the book store to get hard copy books.
You do not require a lot of money, if any, to write an Ebook. You just got to have something to write about, and a computer. Once you are done writing your book in a word processor, you can easily convert it to any Ebook format and upload it to any one of the online stores like Amazon. Amazon has a large number of customers that are thirsty for Ebooks and other such publications.
I have, however, come across some Ebooks that are badly formatted and have grammar irregularities. Just because it is easy to do it doesn’t mean you have to be careless about it. Edit your book thoroughly and get help from professionals if you have to. Make a good cover page that will attract your readers. Put up a good description that will make people want to read your book.
It goes without saying that many people who sell and distribute Ebooks are not even writers and make a lot of money off Ebooks. This is definitely something every writer should look into especially because this is the direction the world seems to be moving to.
Some writers have realised that most people nowadays do not have the time to read long books, so their split their long books into smaller books and turn them into Ebooks. You do not need to write a thousand page book to break this market. In fact that might just hurt you. Keep them short, topic specific, and exciting.
5. Freelance Writing
The world is getting hungrier for information; but producing that information requires time and effort. Not everyone has that time, and so some people would pay you good money to write articles for them.
Writing jobs are available. You just have to search for them online and sure enough, you will find someone badly in need of a writer.
It is not easy, of course, so tread carefully. Know what you can handle. Remember, most freelancers find themselves writing about topics they don’t like or niches that they are not interested in. This can be stressing. So know where to draw the line. Don’t overdo it.
However, for the most part, freelancing can help you pay most of your bills.
6. Writing for Media Houses
Have you got a skill at writing movies or plays? Then you can make quite some money from this art. The movie industry is thirsty for writers. Do a quick search and sure enough, you will find some openings in some media companies or even individual producers looking for something new.
As you have seen, writing is quite a lucrative job, and you can earn quite a descent living from it. You don’t have to be a broke writer or write just for fun. You can turn your passion into a living. Just do a quick research and you will soon see the possibilities.
Don’t write off writing! It is one of the best jobs in the world!
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