Can writers actually earn money? Sure, nevertheless it requires you to discover ways to make a residing as a author.
For many of my life, I used to be firmly within the ‘you’ll be able to’t make actual cash writing’ camp. It was a narrative I grew up believing, which was why it took me years to even consider I may make a full-time career out of writing.
Possibly, like me, you have been instructed an identical story about what it means to be a author. Don’t stop your day job, you have been instructed. At all times have one thing to fall again on. Creativity is a pleasant outlet, they mentioned, however by no means one thing you need to go all in on.
As a result of actual artists starve, proper?
Over the previous six years, I’ve been making a full-time residing off my writing, and I’ve helped hundreds of different individuals do the identical. Sure, hundreds. You don’t should starve on your writing. You’ll be able to thrive.
Sadly, this concept nonetheless surprises individuals at present. So through the previous yr or so, I’ve been interviewing numerous writers who’re making a full-time residing off their writing. I compiled lots of their tales in a e-book for creatives usually known as Actual Artists Don’t Starve.
After I was scripting this e-book, I observed that profitable inventive individuals do quite a lot of issues unsuccessful individuals don’t do. I need to share three of them with you right here — together with 4 sensible methods to thrive as a author.
1. Observe in Public
Step one to creating a residing writing is sharing your work with the world. The perfect writers do that by training in public, particularly at present.
With the Web and social media, by no means earlier than has there existed a chance to publish your work with out having to undergo gatekeepers. One of the simplest ways to do that is to, within the phrases of Seth Godin, choose your self.
Don’t wait on your huge break. Make it occur.
For many writers, this implies beginning a weblog and an e mail listing and sharing your writing on it a minimum of as soon as every week. Each week, write a brand new story, share a brand new concept, supply a brand new perception. Whenever you do that, two issues are occurring:
First, you’re training. So that you’re getting higher, sooner. All of us do our greatest work when another person is watching.
Second, you’re advertising and marketing. You’re broadcasting your work to the world. Whenever you do that, you find yourself constructing an viewers of people that need to see you develop and success.
So when it’s time to promote one thing — a e-book, a course, a training program — you’ve gotten somebody who’s already listening.
2. Cost What You’re Price
Step one to creating a residing off your writing is you need to cost one thing. In my analysis, I discovered that the majority Ravenous Artists despise the necessity for cash, whereas Thriving Artists usually don’t work without cost.
The trick right here is to at all times work for one thing, and that one thing must be greater than alternative. Writing is a type of expertise that anybody thinks they’ll do however only a few can do nicely.
On the identical time, while you’re simply beginning out, you don’t need to cost an excessive amount of and worth your self out of your first few paying jobs.
So right here’s how to do that proper.
Set two costs. One is your ultimate worth. So should you’re a contract author, perhaps that’s a charge of $100/hour. However you’re simply getting began and don’t need to worth your self out of the market immediately.
So that you set a low worth of what you completely want simply to make it price your time. Possibly that’s $20/hour.
Now, when somebody asks you what you cost, first ask what their funds is. Then, in the event that they don’t have one, quote them your excessive worth. If they’ll’t try this, then you’ll be able to negotiate all the way down to your backside, however don’t take something lower than that.
This will likely require you to stroll away from a couple of “alternatives” however you should have set the precedent that you simply don’t work without cost, which is significantly better than the choice. After all, if you wish to volunteer your companies to assist somebody or barter with one other skilled, that’s one other matter. However usually, it’s a foul concept to not cost what you’re price.
If you happen to don’t worth your work, no one else will.
3. Diversify Your Earnings Streams
One factor skilled writers know that the amateurs don’t is that typically you don’t make your cash simply off the writing. More often than not, your revenue as a author will come via a number of streams. The neatest and most profitable writers embrace this.
Which means, as a author, you could make a few of your revenue off e-book gross sales, however you may additionally embrace talking or different digital merchandise in your suite of choices. The purpose right here is to not get too connected to a single revenue stream. Be open to new alternatives. As Jeff Bezos says, “Be cussed on imaginative and prescient, however versatile on particulars.”
The typical millionaire has a mean of a minimum of seven totally different revenue streams. So your project right here is straightforward:
If writing is certainly one of your revenue streams, what are six different methods you’ll be able to monetize this talent? May it’s via teaching different writers, talking at occasions, promoting on-line programs, providing audio packages that complement the books you write? Consider all of the other ways you should utilize your expertise as a author to generate revenue.
Then choose the highest three that excite you essentially the most and begin there.
Warning: Don’t Do It for the Cash
After learning the lives of hundreds of profitable writers and artists for my e-book Actual Artists Don’t Starve, I spotted one thing:
The other of a Ravenous Artist is just not a rich artist. It’s a Thriving Artist.
How will we thrive? Not by ravenous and struggling for our work. On the identical time, writing is just not concerning the cash, not for many of us. As Walt Disney as soon as mentioned, “We don’t make movies to earn money. We earn money to make extra movies.”
I prefer to say that cash makes a greater means than a grasp. It’s a software that helps you do extra of this work you like.
So if you wish to make a residing writing, why not do what profitable writers do? Construct an viewers via training in public, at all times work for one thing, and construct a portfolio of diversified revenue streams.