One of my favorite sayings has long been: “write it once, and sell it forever.” Today, that’s easy because self-publishing is so simple — you no longer have to write endless proposals to intrigue a literary agent, and cross your fingers hoping that you get a publisher. So let’s look at some writing opportunities which will help you to develop your own passive income streams. You can get started setting up one today.
A little piece of advice… “Write it once, and sell it forever” doesn’t mean that you can blithely forget about an income stream that you’ve set up. There’s more to it than that.
Today, the competition online is much greater than it was in the early days of selling online. So, be aware that once you set up your income streams, you need to promote them. Think of it this way: “write it once, and promote, so that you can sell it forever.”
By the way, I wrote this post in 2016; the advice is still applicable today.
Passive income for writers: 5 opportunities to consider — choose, and persist
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Time is the biggest challenge for all writers, even full-time writers. I’ve been a full-time writer for most of my writing career, and I still struggle with time management daily. I tend to take on too many projects, and then I wonder why I have no time… 🙂
Whatever our personal reasons, we all struggle with a lack of time. Therefore it’s vital that when you pick an opportunity, you stick with it. We’ve talked about the acre of diamonds syndrome. Writers work hard at something, then they give up.
They believe that they failed. And they did. They didn’t fail at the opportunity: they failed because they quit. Unless someone gives them a hard shove to get them moving again, they never realize that everything is hardest just before you break through to success.
I’ve no idea why this is so, but it is. I’ve seen many writers suffer through a back moment of deep despair, when they were ready to give up, but they persisted — and they were glad they did.
To repeat: when you choose your opportunity, persist.
1. Blogging: pick a niche, write content, and promote
You know that I’m a blogging enthusiast. Blogging builds your platform (readership) and gets you known. Blogging is a greater opportunity than it’s ever been, because there are many more ways to make money blogging than there’ve ever been.
As a blogger, you can make money when you:
- Sell information products, courses, and printables on your website (you can pretty much sell anything you choose);
- Get sponsorships;
- Sell advertising and/ or affiliate products;
- Sell physical products, usually with the product fulfillment handled by someone else, although you may fulfill your own orders, if you’re creating what you’re selling.
2. Self-publishing fiction: tell great stories, and promote them
There’s money in fiction. Everyone wants entertainment. Writers have been asking more questions about fiction than they’ve asked about any other form of writing, for at least a couple of years.
I started my commercial writing career as a novelist. Copywriting, ghostwriting, and writing business books came later. So I’m thrilled that you can now make money writing fiction. It’s a HUGE opportunity.
3. Create fiction serials: your readers want to know what happens next
Staying with fiction, serial fiction is now popular. I enjoy writing serial fiction in various genres, because once you get people hooked on a story, they’re hooked. They’ll buy your first book, and then they’ll buy the next, and the next, because they want to know what happens next.
4. Write non-fiction: solve a problem, write an ebook, build an empire
Fiction’s a huge opportunity, but so is nonfiction. Writers are making a full-time income publishing short ebooks. They find challenges that readers face, and they offer solutions in short ebooks.
A couple of friends with whom worked in my magazine writing days have made the switch to writing nonfiction ebooks. Once they find an ebook topic which sells, they lean in, so to speak. They offer online courses in the same topic, and they do very well indeed.
5. Blogging: spot trends and opportunities, and capitalize on them
Yep, back to blogging. 🙂
Here’s the thing. You can set up a blog using the self-hosted WordPress script in seconds. Add an appropriate theme and plugins — which takes you perhaps half an hour. Sprinkle on a little content (takes around a week, with an hour spent on the content every few days), and hey presto — you have a website you can sell.
The key with this opportunity is your skill in spotting current fads, or upcoming trends. Create the blog — and sell it. If you’ve picked the right trend, you’ll be able to monetize the blog very quickly, and the more the blog is earning, the more you money you’ll make when you sell it.
I’m including this opportunity to create and sell blogs in our passive income streams because you can outsource the content creation and blog promotion. Hire someone to blog, and promote the blog. Then a few months or a year later, sell the blog. You’ll get back the money you’ve spent in outsourcing and promotion, and then some.
Choose your opportunity, and get started
So, there you have it. Five writing opportunities which are hot today. Please remember: choose one opportunity, and stick with it. Never give up when you’re close to your very own acre of diamonds. 🙂
Update: January 30, 2018
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