|Alexis Grant, editor/writer/traveler|
Even when you’re a great writer, it’s not easy to make money off the skill. That’s because you can’t simply write; you have to write something people will actually pay for.
Traditionally, writers have made money by offering services. We write for newspapers and magazines. We ghost-write stories for important people. We create newsletters and advertising content and anything that allows us to put our pens to paper in exchange for a paycheck.
Those of us who are really lucky graduate from selling our services to selling products. Often our products are books that are bought by a publisher and resold to readers. Many of us labor for years to create just one product, desperately hoping the publisher – our distributor and a key link in this money-making plan – will shell out some serious cash for our baby.
A New Dawn for Writers
But now that we’ve entered the age of the Internet, we no longer need a publisher to create and sell our books; we can do it ourselves. Of course, most of you have figured that out already. Yet what many writers haven’t yet figured out is how to take that self-publishing shift and apply it to other opportunities, how to take it one step further – by creating products other than books.
I’m now using my writing skills to create several exciting types of products, including digital guides (essentially short e-books) and online courses. In my quest to make a living doing what I love, I identified and adopted this relatively new way to bring in dollars.
How to Make Digital Products That Sell
So what do you need to make money by penning a digital product? A successful strategy includes two vital pieces:
- A fabulous product that people will want to buy.
- A way to sell that product.
But in this online world, creating something awesome isn’t enough. You then have to create a means of selling the product, what we often call platform. How will you get eyes on your product? How will you convince people to buy it?
Making Money Isn't Magic
Once you’ve got those two components down, you can write whatever, whenever and wherever you want; it really is that simple. And yet, too many writers fail to make a living doing what they love because they gloss over the importance of No. 2. They make the mistake of thinking that if they create something wonderful, that product will somehow magically turn into money.
But the truth is, as any writer working to build his/her platform will tell you, accomplishing No. 2 is just as challenging if not more challenging than No. 1. To make money from this type of writing, you have to be able to sell what you create.
If you can truly wrap your head around that idea, it will give you total freedom. After all, that’s why I’m so happy working for myself: because I can create the content I want to create without anyone else’s approval – so long as I can figure out how to sell it.
|Use Social Media to Make Your Own Luck|
By the way, Alexis begins a 4-week course on making your own luck with social media on May 7. Participants will learn how to get important people to notice you online, build your network strategically (instead of haphazardly), and more. In fact, maybe the most important lesson Alexis will teach involves how to spend less time on social media and still use it effectively. Since she's always filled with practical and actionable advice, I'm sure most participants will make their money back (and then some) before the end of summer. She's just that good.
Click here to view more details.
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Check out previous Not Bob posts for writers:
- 3 Tips on How to Get Published If You're a Writer.
- What I Got Out of Self-Publishing.
- 11 Google+ Tips for Writers.