If you want to make money writing in 2016, you’re golden. Teenagers are making millions on YouTube and Instagram. As are novelists on Amazon. Hundreds of thousands of bloggers are making six figures… Why NOT you?
I’ll tell you why. You hit the Pause button. You get scared. You listen to naysayers, instead of ignoring them.
Make money writing in 2016: the opportunities have never been greater
I work with writers every day and I adore my students (you’re my people, and you have all the challenges which I had too once upon a time, so I understand.)
Here’s what I know. No matter who you are, or where you’re at in your writing journey, you can do it: you can succeed. Here’s why: today you have endless, unlimited opportunities. You can turn your words into gold.
Let’s look at five tips to help you to make money from your writing today.
1. Write what sells: who’s buying what?
Three words. Everyone is buying.
For example, reports suggest that 80% of businesses will be using content marketing in 2016. That’s amazing. That means out of every 20 businesses in your local industrial park, 16 could become your clients.
The operative word here is “local”. I know, I know. You want to get writing gigs online, and you can. Think about this however: it’s very easy to load a simple presentation onto your iPad or notebook computer, stroll around a local business park, and within a couple of hours, have at least one writing gig.
An overachieving writer managed to get three gigs — and $6,786 in her PayPal account — just in her local city’s business park. Businesses need word slingers.
Do it — go for a little stroll. It works. It’s EASY. If you’re shy, that’s OK. That’s why you have a presentation. 🙂
2. Focus on relationships: people hire and/ or buy from people they know
Tip: remember that your blog is both your calling card, and your writing sample. It’s an introduction to you, which is why you spend your time blogging. (You do blog, don’t you?)
When it comes to selling your writing, consider this. Broadly speaking, your prospective clients fall into two groups. Those who don’t know your name, and those who do. The first group is larger of course, but the second group is profitable.
It’s your goal to convert as many prospects as you can from the first group into the second. Your blog helps you to do that.
Another tip. Print a few articles from your blog. Make 20 copies of each article, and staple your business card to each article. Hand out those articles everywhere you can, to all the business owners you meet. And yes, that includes your hairdresser, your accountant, and the local car wash guy.
Their businesses may be too small to be able to afford you, but they have clients too. One student got a $20,000 ghostwriting gig via her hairdresser after I suggested this tactic.
Print out lots of copies of a couple of your articles today.
3. Think: be YOURSELF and get creative
You’re you. No one else. That means that you’re an original, and you can trade on that. What’s your story? Why are you a writer? What drives you?
Here’s a snippet of my story. I became a copywriter when I discovered that writing copy helped small businesses — I loved doing that. I still do. I like knowing that a press release, or a blog post, or a direct mail letter helps someone to do more business.
I also became a writer because I love to read. I never want to run out of great stuff to read, so once I learned that people wrote books… I decided that that’s what I wanted to do, too.
What do you love? You’re a communicator: you can share what you love. Get creative with it. Maybe you love cooking, or football, or traveling. Write about your loves on your blog. Share images on Instagram or Pinterest.
Thousands of food bloggers cook, and blog about it.
“I couldn’t cook!” she laughs. “But I had read about people who had managed illness through lifestyle and diet and was so inspired… so I decided to start writing the blog to learn to cook and explore this new world of healthy eating.”
4. Scared? That’s great! You will be scared, so do what scares you ANYWAY (tell yourself that you’re not scared, you’re excited)
I’ve often shared the story of writing my first novel. I was terrified. I sat at my IBM Selectric typewriter each day with tears running down my face. Worse — when I mailed the manuscript to my editor in London I had to stop the car to be sick on the side of the road. I was a wreck. 🙂
You can be scared — if you’re doing something that’s important to you, I guarantee that you’ll be scared out of your wits.
Tell yourself that you’re not scared, you’re excited. And do it. Doubtless you won’t be the quivering mess that I was, but even if you are, tell yourself that you will do what scares you. After a while — it may take a while — it won’t scare you at all.
Bonus tip: follow your impulses — you know more than you think you do
When I coach writers, my primary aim is always to help the student to trust himself. That’s a challenge. Writers want rules. Believe this: there are NO rules, there’s only what works.
When you get an impulse to do something or other related to writing, follow that impulse. Years ago, when blogs were relatively new, a writer sold his blogging services on eBay. At that time, no one else had done it. It got a lot of attention.
Please don’t be scared of your own ideas and inspirations. Be open to them, no matter how crazy they seem. Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen? Your mad idea may not work. But what if it does?
Have you joined our free writing class?
Our first free writing class is: Write More, Write Well.
Upcoming: focus on fiction.
Fiction is all about EMOTION. We’ll explore that in next week’s lesson. Join us.