You write for fun and profit, or you’d like to. Can coaching help? Yes, it can. As you may know, I coach writers and love it. Not only because I help writers to successfully build their businesses, but also because it renews my enthusiasm for my own writing.
Getting coaching is fashionable. Business and sports people have coaches, because coaching helps you to put your efforts into the right areas to make the most of your potential.
Writers often ask me how coaching can help them, so let’s look at five ways.
Write ebooks? Blog? Which is the right pathway for you? A coach can help you to decide. Not by pushing you in any particular direction, but by asking you questions. Your answers will show you what’s right for you.
2. Your Coach Helps You to Set Exciting and Achievable Goals
Once you’ve decided what you want to write, your coach can help you to set achievable goals. We’ve all got a tendency to aim too low. Usually it’s because we’re not sure about what’s achievable for us. Yes, other writers can make a great income, but that’s impossible for us, because we don’t know enough. Or we don’t have the education. Or we’re too young, or too old. Or… Excuses are depressing.
A coach helps you to sort out the real challenges from excuses based on fear, and helps you to create plans to overcome your challenges.
3. Your Coach Acts as Your Cheer Squad
You’ve set goals. Now you need to make a plan which will help you to achieve your goals. I often tell my students that the plan doesn’t matter. What counts is that you have a plan, and put it into action. As you’re working with your plan, you’ll refine the plan. Certain steps may not be needed. Other steps may develop.
Your coach helps you to develop your plan, then gives you information which helps you to put your plan into action. However, writing alone is challenging. You’ve got questions, your coach gives you the answers.
Your coach also acts as your cheer squad. We all have times when we’re depressed by the gap (or chasm in some cases) between where we are, and where we want to go. A coach gives you ways to bridge the gap.
4. A Coach Gives You Another Point of View
We all lose perspective. One of my coaching students was struggling with an ebook. I suggested that rather than struggle, she chop the ebook (she’d written 40,000 words) into three. She had more than enough material, and within a week, she had her first ebook up and selling on Amazon.
She published the next two ebooks quickly, and then compiled all three into a bundle. Another perspective always helps.
One student was struggling with her clients. She’s a new writer, and was a little too deferential. Of course, it’s good to be humble. The problem is, that it can lead a certain kind of client to disrespect the work that you do. These kinds of clients convince a writer to accept less money than he should be making, and slow-pay, into the bargain. A coach can reveal what’s happening, and gives you an insights into ways you can deal with it.
5. A Coach Inspires and Motivates You and Shows You How
You can read a library of how-to information, but it’s hard to turn that information into knowing what to do, right now. Your coach gives you personal guidance; you receive what you need, according to your situation. You coach helps you to identify pitfalls, and avoid them, or develop a plan to overcome them.
So there you have it: five ways coaching can help you to write for fun, and for profit too.
Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity Into Profits
Writing as a hobby is fun, and fulfilling. However, if you want to creative a profitable creative business, you need to develop a professional mindset. Your Creative Business Coaching helps you to develop that mindset, and to achieve your goals.
There’s never been a better time to be a writer because there’s no ceiling on your income. You don’t need to write for others, you can sit on your sofa and make six figures. But… there’s always a but. 🙂
In 2014, and most certainly in 2015, content is a business. Large companies are pouring millions of dollars into content, because it works for them. They get sales and customers. There’s a tsunami of content pouring online. Forbes for example, posts 8,000 pieces of content a month:
D’Vorkin called this a “distributed authorship” model, one which churns out 8,000 pieces of content a month including text and video. And an increasingly lucrative slice of it, he added, was paid content via Forbes’ Brandvoice platform.
(That was in 2013; heaven knows what they publish today.)
Individual writers can’t hope to compete with that — or can we? You can’t out-do Forbes, and similar content behemoths. What you can do however, is realize that you, sitting on your sofa, in your jammies, can write, and make money. If you know how.
Making money from content doesn’t mean that you type your fingertips to the bone for $10 an hour: “Blog writing, Article writing, Compose tweets, Create taglines for memes, Compose emails”. I copied that directly from a project posted on an outsourcing website.
You can, if you wish, of course. No judgment here. However, the mere fact that you’re reading this tells me that you almost certainly want to do better than $10 an hour.
To repeat, writing content is a business. I revamped Writing Genii, hoping to help you to turn your writing into a real business. If you’re writing content, have a blog, are writing ebooks, are doing your best with social media, and so on — you have the good sense and ability to make a killing from content.
You Need Goals, and a PLAN
Big companies do not act stupidly, generally speaking, of course. 🙂 If major companies are pouring millions into content, the crumbs from the table can feed you and me.
But only if you have goals, and a plan.
I work with writers every day, and most have goals, but very, very few have real goals, and real plans to achieve those goals. I’ve often told you the story of my goal to publish a novel. This was in the early 1980s, ancient history, in a very different world. I set a deadline: ten years. If I hadn’t had a novel published in ten years, I’d give up writing for good. That was my deadline.
I made a plan: I’d write a book proposal (three chapters and an outline), a month. For ten years, if necessary. Long story short, it took six months, and I had a multi-book contract.
When you set a goal, with a deadline, and create a plan, you will succeed. I’ve yet to meet a writer who said: I WILL DO THIS, and didn’t succeed.
In a nutshell, you will SUCCEED, if:
You have a goal;
You have a non-negotiable deadline to achieve that goal, and there’s a penalty for non-achievement;
You create a plan;
You’re willing to work your plan, and do what it takes to achieve your goal — as long as it’s legal. 🙂
You will not take NO for an answer. You’ll keep writing in the face of temporary setbacks, until you either achieve your goal, or your deadline runs out.
Your Sales Funnel: the Secret to Turning Content Into Your Personal Bonanza
A sales funnel looks like this:
An intake system (the wide part of your funnel);
The neck of the funnel (someone takes an action);
The resulting payoff: cash from your content.
Every piece of content you create needs a goal. The content can be: an ebook, an article for a website, a blog post, a posting on Facebook, a tweet… there are many different kinds of content. Each piece needs a goal: a reason for existing.
However, getting people who hear about what you have to offer to take ACTION is something else again. It takes more than a tweet. More than a blog post. More than a WISH that people will buy.
Writers always have choices. You can go the $10 an hour route, and get paid. There’s plenty of writing gigs everywhere, at that rate of pay. If you want more, you need to create a goal, and make a plan. Then you need to persist. And you need to burn your boats. That is, create a penalty for non-achievement. My penalty was giving up writing. I was serious.
Today, you can make whatever money you choose. From your sofa. In your jammies. But only if you have a goal, and a plan. And are willing to do what it takes. Granted, $10 an hour is easier — so it’s up to you. 🙂
New — Creative Content Secrets: Create Six-Figure Content in 2015
Thank heavens, our newly revamped Writing Genii is now live. It’s been a frustrating exercise to get it off the ground. We hope you enjoy its free content library for creatives, called oddly enough, the Free Content Library. Currently we’ve two free ebooks for you to download, and more are coming.
Why a free Content Library?
Basically, because the Web has changed. Our Fab Freelance Writing Blog launched in 2006. In those days, the Web was very different. Professional writers looked on Web writing as… odd. Beneath contempt. Not worth a professional’s time and attention. Well, times change, and we change with them.
All the “Web writing’s not real writing” writers are now writing for the Web. Some are doing a great job of it, others not so much.
My primary goal in all my teaching has been to help writers to make a career of writing — to make money. It’s always seemed unfair to me that writers who create the words usually make the least money. They write for magazines in which a full-page ad costs $10,000 and make $300 for their article. Or they write the content for a website which pulls in $100,000 a week, and make $100 a webpage.
Not to put too fine a point on it, writers get shafted because they’re babes-in-the-wood when it comes to business. I created Your Creative Business to help writers to get a foothold on business. Over 12 years ago, my first ezine was called Creative Small Biz. The first of several years of weekly issues was published on September 14, 2002. The ezine’s tagline was “Make money, have fun and get creative with your small business.”
New Writing Genii: Make money, have fun and get creative with your small business
So, in a very real sense, new Writing Genii is a reiteration of Creative Small Biz. Same aim: to get creatives to pay attention to business, while they’re writing. Ideally, to have their business sense inform their creativity, and vice versa. And have fun, of course. 🙂
Today, 30 MILLION pieces of content flow onto the Web, each and every day. That’s a LOT of content. You, I, and every other writer has to compete with that for attention. As we said in Professional Writing Going Forward to 2015, professional writing is changing. If you want to make a great income from your writing, you need to become much more entrepreneurial.
The Free Content Library helps new writers to get up to speed on the world of writing as it is in 2014, and in 2015 and beyond. Eventually, we’ll have many ebooks in the library for you to download, and put to use. You can download the first two ebooks now. My hope is that they’ll arm you to develop a real writing business.
Going Forward: New Opportunities for You With Our Affiliate Program
Writers keep asking for an affiliate program to promote our products, and that’s coming. New Writing Genii gives us the framework to put that in place; we’ll announce the affiliate program when it’s ready to be launched.
You want to sell your writing online. You need to do two things, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Firstly, let’s talk about the word “sell.” It makes some writers uncomfortable. Other writers suspect there’s a trick to it— and they’ll never learn that trick. And yet other writers expect their writing to somehow magically sell itself.
Let’s look at those misconceptions one by one.
The thought of selling makes you uncomfortable. Please get over it. If trading money for your words truly makes you uncomfortable, treat your writing as a wonderful, creative hobby. You may need to build your confidence before you can sell;
The trick to selling your writing: no trick. Just stuff to learn and do. You can do it. It may make you uncomfortable, and it’s work. On the other hand, selling your writing can pay your mortgage, so learn how to sell. See Your Creative Business.
Your writing will magically sell itself. I’m trying to think of one writer who was “discovered”, or who magically sold his writing without selling… nope, still thinking. Writing a book, or writing anything, and finding someone else to sell it for you? Illusion. Bestselling writers, before they were bestsellers, had to SELL their writing to editors who believed in them. And then they had to market their writing, after that. No writing sells itself.
More magical thinking: you can get others to “sell” for you. Literary agents (don’t get me started on that one) and affiliates spring to mind. However, there’s a catch, and I’m not talking about their commissions. You have to sell to them, before they’ll sell for you, and even after they’re selling, you need to keep providing material for them which will help them to sell your writing.
How to sell your writing online: two essential tips
I use a simple mantra: create, and promote. You need to create, or you won’t have goods to sell. Every trader needs goods to sell. Traders aim to buy cheap, and sell dear.
The difference between what a salable item costs the trader (to buy, and to sell) and the trader’s profit on that item is the margin. As a general rule, ten per cent is an excellent margin. Many businesses trade profitably with much smaller margins than that.
A creative business produces goods, and sells those goods. Your margin is the difference between what something costs you to produce, and what you can sell it for.
Top tip: a creative person aims to keep as many rights in his goods as he can. Ideally, all rights. So he sells copies of his goods directly to buyers, who have the right to read and view the work, but no other rights. If a creative person “sells” his goods to others to sell, he LICENSES specific rights in his goods, rather then selling his goods outright.
A creative person may also create “works done for hire” which means that he sells all the rights in whatever he creates. (Most creatives start out this way, then transition to selling copies, and licensing rights as soon as they can – they want to increase their margins.)
Tip 1. Create and offer your writing for sale.
See above. Creatives create what we sell. Creation always needs to come first, otherwise we have nothing to sell. Keep this in mind, because selling, once you become comfortable with it, can take up lots of time.
Always give yourself plenty of time for creation. Remember your margin, too. When you’re starting out your margins will be slim.
Once you’ve created something, you need to make it as EASY as possible for people to buy your writing. That’s why Amazon’s KDP is wonderful for writers. Amazon does it all for you. (Delivers your goods, takes the money.) However, Amazon doesn’t market your writing on its own: you have to help.
Which brings us to…
Tip 2. Promote.
Promotion is marketing. However, marketers will tell you that promotion is only one aspect of marketing. It’s true. However, it’s the one aspect of marketing that writers get stuck on, when there’s no need for it.
So, there you have it. To sell your writing online, you need to do two things – create the goods you want to sell, and promote them. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.
If you can get your head around selling your writing, and can clear misconceptions out of the way, you can make a great living at it. Remember, there’s no ceiling on your income – just run your creative business… creatively. 🙂