How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More
How much do I want to read more? 7/10
This reads like blog post. It also looks like real life. There's authencity in it.
So it doesn't look as good as a good author book, but if you want to write a book and make money from it, then it's definitely worth the read.
Yes, it is possible!
We're living in the best time ever to make a living with your writing!
The internet makes it possible to sell to a global audience.
If you're ready to learn different skills and adapt to a changing environment, this can be a new, exciting phase in your life.
In this book, I'm going to explain exactly how I make a living with my own writing and how you can do it too.
I'm not a Kindle or blogging millionaire. But I will share with you how I make a six-figure income from writing books, blogging and marketing in an ethical manner.
I was a cubicle slave and I certainly didn't start out doing creative work.
I started reading self-help books and decided to write my own book about the search for a job I loved.
I learned about writing books, self-publishing, online marketing, blogging, podcasting and social media. I started selling books, products and services online. I embarked on a journey that led to me writing both non-fiction and fiction, speaking professionally around the world and finally leaving consulting in September 2011 to become a full-time author entrepreneur.
What do you want to do with your life?
You need to answer that question for yourself, because life is way too short to spend it doing things you hate or that don't bring you alive. If you love to write, I hope this book will help you to make a living from it.
Overview: How I make a living with my writing
my six-figure income:
- 50% - fiction and non-fiction book sales,
- 25% - affiliate commission from selling other people's products/services from my blog
- 10% - course sales from my own products sold from my blog.
- 10% - professional speaking
- 5% - consulting, podcast sponsorship.
(1) Think of yourself as an entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs create value from ideas.
writers are the ultimate entrepreneurs. taking words and turning them into value.
(2) Focus on creating scalable income
With scalable income, you create once and you sell over and over again.
In writing books, Your time is spent once but the income from that time can continue for many years.
Is what you're doing scalable?
(3) Develop multiple streams of income
(4) Think global, digital and mobile
your future income is likely to come from the rest of the world, not your local bookstore. A book that will change your perception on this is Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
(5) Decide on your definition of success
you will also need to decide what you want for your writing career, as this will determine what you write, how you publish and what you do for marketing.
Tips on writing and productivity
(1) Sort out your routine and writing habits
In many ways, it's easier to write when you have a day job. Your time is restricted so you have to make the most of the time you have and you're driven to achieve in that period.
- I'm a morning person so I need to write fiction in the morning and then do marketing/running the business activities after 2pm.
- getting enough sleep is critical. Our brains pay the bills so we need to look after them.
- I write in libraries or cafes and I always plug in my headphones, listen to rain and thunderstorms album
- Diarize your time and make slots for your writing as you would for any other appointment.
(2) Get the right tools for the job
Scrivener software. I use it to plot and (roughly) outline as well as write, organize and manage my books.
(3) Understand first draft writing vs editing/redrafting
Writers will usually create a first draft, a splurge of words and ideas that definitely will NOT be seen by others. They will then spend time rewriting, editing and polishing until the manuscript is ready for public consumption.
I recommend you read Anne Lamott's book, Bird by Bird where she talks about this saying, "Write shitty first drafts." Then clean them up!
(4) Fill the creative well and then trust emergence
I still remember when this seemed impossible to me but once you start the flow, ideas will never be a problem again.
For me, it's all about research – this can be online or through books, but I also like to go visit places, immerse myself in new experiences and give synchronicity a chance.
just log it and I trust that I will come back to it another time.
the process of noticing ideas and writing them down will prime the pump.
Trust those impulses and write them down.
I don't believe in writer's block. I think it's a symptom of letting the creative well run dry. Go fill it up, get excited about things again and then come back to the page.
(5) Find your voice by writing lots
so many writers get obsessed over their first book, spending years writing, editing and polishing it without moving on to the next.
The best thing to do is to write that book, then write another, then another, then another.
Tips on mindset
(1) Maintain a positive, proactive 'can do' attitude
(2) Keep focused on YOUR definition of success and ignore everyone else's
This is important as you may find yourself off course, chasing something that doesn't fit what you actually want. It's very easy to get waylaid into things you don't want or need to do just because people say you have to.
The authors on stage mostly had day jobs and only published books every couple of years. They were briefly in the spotlight but they weren't living the life I wanted.
Write down your definition of success and pin it near your writing desk!
(3) Find your tribe and embrace social karma
There will always be people ahead of you and behind you, and all of us need to pay it forward and help others as we move up the ladder.
Read blogs and find your online mentors. Read books by other authors.
Surround yourself with people who love writing.
Social karma is about generosity: sharing other people's blog posts, talking about other people's books and reviewing them on Goodreads, linking to others and giving what you would like to receive with no expectation of it coming back to you in exactly the same way.
(4) Keep learning all the time and expect change
These keep me inspired:
- The Tim Ferriss podcast
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch Business blog
- Sell More Books Show podcast
- Dean Wesley Smith blog and WMG publishing workshops
- Self Publishing Advice blog - from the Alliance of Independent Authors
- Brain Pickings
- The Self Publishing Podcast
- Rocking SelfPublishing Podcast
- The Passive Voice Blog - curates a lot of news from the publishing industry
- The James Altucher show
- On Being – Krista Tippett's podcast
- Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields