How to Turn Writing into a Profit Center
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The following is a sample from my book Writing Habit Mastery – How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer's Block. If you want some ideas on how to earn from your writing, the following ideas can help get you started. Be sure to check out the book to learn more about how to write better and faster.
The ultimate litmus test of a written piece of work is to ask people to pay for it. There’s nothing like the rush of getting that first paycheck or making that first sale.
Monetary compensation will reinforce your writing habit and propel you into subsequent projects, providing internal motivation to keep writing. If you can establish a positive relationship that links your daily writing habit to making money (or meeting another measurable goal, like how many followers you have), you will be more likely to finish your writing project and continue writing.
I’ve made money with my words in a variety of ways, so I can attest that it’s a viable business model. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Idea #1: Self-Publish
One of the best ways I’ve found to generate income from writing is to self-publish. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s easy to make money from self-published works.
There’s a lot to it, from formatting and promoting your work to building a following and a reputation—but it’s a lot easier today than it was a decade ago. The tools you need are readily available, and the skills needed are easy to learn. You just need to get ahold of a good guide and do the work required to get your book published and noticed.
Kindle publishing is my favorite vehicle for self-publishing. As I mentioned before, I’ve published 35 books, and I will continue to build upon this library. Right now, Amazon is the top place to quickly publish, get feedback from customers and refine your writing process.
If you’d like to know more about how I operate my Kindle publishing business, I recommend you check out my “Steve Scott” author page, which has a variety of titles on this subject.
If you’re looking to write a novel or set of short stories, I’d encourage you to read the book, Write. Publish. Repeat., which is put together by the guys at The Self-Publishing Podcast. (One bit of warning—they love to curse on this show, so don’t listen to it at work or if you have kids around.)
The fiction market is a little tougher to break into than the nonfiction market, but it can be more financially rewarding if you’re willing to work hard and learn from each book you publish.
Idea #2: Blogging, Affiliate Marketing, Information Products
I’ll tread lightly over this subject, because many people feel that any “make money online” opportunity is a scam. Truth is, there are a number of ethical ways to generate an Internet income. Again, it requires hard work and a lot of dedication.
There are a lot of sites where you can learn the principles of running an Internet business. My suggestion is to start with the sites that teach you how to do it in a straightforward, honest manner:
You can build a viable business online, but there are a lot of sharks in the waters. My suggestion is to check out the free content on these sites and educate yourself before spending a dollar. That way you’ll know if a specific program or tool is worth the monetary investment.
Idea #3: Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is a business model many use to make money with their words. Instead of developing a website from scratch, you build a database of clients who hire you to create blog posts, articles and eBooks.
Now, I’ve never been a freelance writer. However, my friend Tom Ewer (of Leaving Work Behind) supports himself through his freelance writing. You can read about his experiences on his blog.
Idea #4: Traditional Publishing
If you have written a piece of fiction and aren’t sure you want to tackle the self-promotion required to make money off your work, submit your work to a literary journal (for short stories or poems), contest, agent or publisher.
You will need to learn the proper format for submitting. One resource is the free writing forum Absolute Write. And you could also check out the submission website Query Tracker to learn the proper way to submit your work.
Your New Habit
Develop a workmanlike attitude towards your writing. Don’t wait around for inspiration. Treat it like a job where you put effort in, get results and hopefully make a little bit of money.
Trust me—there’s nothing more motivating than seeing income come in from your written words.
To learn more, I encourage you to check out my book Writing Habit Mastery – How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer's Block to start building a powerful writing habit.