Most people only dream of becoming a full-time writer. It sounds impossible, to make a living writing. So how do so many people do it? Today I’m breaking down how one becomes a full-time writer.
How A Writer Makes Money
Your primary goal as a writer would be to sell the book you write. But with it taking so much time create and no guarantee of investment, it can be a risky game. Multiple streams of income, or money form many places, is a great way to not starve. It’s primarily useful as a safety net, that way if your novels don’t pull in as much money one month as they usually do, you won’t be defaulting on your rent. Here are some ideas and how you can make money, though most forms of social media are monetizable.
Your Website or Blogs: Writing posts can only get you so far. You can run ads and be an affiliate with other companies, promoting their products for a cut of dough but there are a few other ways too. Of course, you should be marketing your own novel but also your other skills like author platform management, website creation, or coaching. Other things you can host or promote on your website may include:
You make them once and, if they’re good quality, sell them for years to come. Ebooks, video series, and powerpoint type presentations can be sold easily on your website as total guides. Write about any topic and sell for any price. Once you have them made, you’ll hardly even need to update them.
You can host classes either to one person or a group on a topic you enjoy and feel comfortable talking about in person or over skype. Post open spots on your website and advertise them through other media too. Then you become the teacher on a certain subject, talking with your students and assigning them work. This is the much more personal alternative to online courses.
Knowing how and when to post on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Tumblr will teach you a lot of skills that will not only make you money but can make you an expert. Then you can teach other writers how to use them in their own platform building. I’d recommend picking two that you enjoy and that your target audience frequents. Then you can expand from there.
Public speaking/ Coaching
Going out to speak in the community or at writing events and panels can be a fun way to earn some extra cash. But if you’re shy in groups you could also try coaching people one on one. This might be on skype or in person. You may help with one specific aspect of writing, plotting, character development, symbolic elements, or just read over the whole of what has been written and offer advice.
Keep Your Expenses Low
When it comes to starting on your path as a full-time writer you may not make much money the first month. So the trick is to keep your expenses low. Keep track of where your money is going and look at what you can cut out. And I don’t mean cutting your daily coffee or the little joys of life. Cutting big-ticket items like rent or car payments will free up a lot of wiggle room in your budget.
For the first three months of my full time writing path, I won’t have to pay rent, utilities, or car things: just student loans and food/fun. I’m doing this off of savings and using workaway where I’ll get a free room for about 5 hours of work a week with the added bonus of being in Japan the whole time!
Creating Your Budget
List out the solid/essentials first:
$600 for rent
$100 for utilities
$80 student loans
Then the things that are negotiable:
$100 bus pass
$300+ for food
See what you can cut out and what you need to set as your initial goal. be honest and write out how much you’re actually going to spend and look at what you actually have spent in the past. Being honest will keep you from going over in the future.
Look at all your options for how to make money as a writer and choose the ones you like the most, not necessarily the ones that will make you the most money. Put the majority of your effort into just those first few. Then decide what it is reasonable to earn/charge for each of there to reach your budget goal.
Do your research on those platforms so you can plan out a month to month or week to week plan. Plan out when you will create classes or posts, what you will post and on what platforms. Look at what you are already doing to see if you can consolidate your work. I recommend setting SMART goals, as does the rest of the internet.
Creating a ‘No Going Back’ Situation
I think the best way to become a writer/author is to force yourself to try it and see if you can make it or not. If you just have the option of writing, or blogging, or creating your course then it’s much harder to motivate yourself then if you knew it was your only stream of income. Putting yourself in a make or break situation will push you above and beyond your day to day life. This could be quitting your job, moving, breaking up with your downer friends. Getting away from the negative influences and the things that hold you back. You can start off slow but eventually, you just need to dive in. But you should probably have savings and a plan.
Start doing your research on what you need to do each
in order to start making this amount of money. Set a deadline for when you’ll need to have made that amount of money by. Then do your research for how to make that amount of money from your platform. Write down your goals and make sure you start small and work your way up so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Batch tasks to get projects out of the way early. Reuse content whenever possible.
Then just go for it! Write and release your book, teach your classes, post your pictures and don’t get discouraged by the response. Over time you’ll find your niche and gain your following. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Most forms of social reward the uses who post the most often, but don’t overwhelm your following either.
Enjoy yourself and just keep writing!