5 Sustainable Ways To Make Money As A Writer.
Asides making it in life, one of the things a lot of people want to make is money. Yes, we want to make magic, make the world a better place, even make cute and adorable babies but I think at the top of that pyramid is MONEY.
We all want to be where the money resides and the emphases are on MONEY and RESIDE. I have drawn the conclusion that whether millennials or Gen Z, we want to have mad money and we want to leave mad money behind for the coming generation but making money as a creative might seem like a long shot. I’m not here to debunk anything, running a creative career requires more tenacity and drive than you think.
This is the point where I tell you to check on your creative entrepreneur friends. Those folks who rejected the traditional work system and are trying to run global concepts in Nigeria, those whose artistic talents have been subdued by the pressure of the security in traditional jobs and just took a bold step to follow their passion so they can turn it into profits. Do an extra check on your creative friends who tell you they aren’t being paid their worth or hirers don’t get it.
People think being a creative is just faffing around, wearing hoodies and jeans with the coolest sneakers or they think it’s being your own boss but the reality is far from that.
The reality of building a creative career and portfolio is that you’ll be undervalued, misunderstood, broke, uninspired, pressurized and probably have the best times of your life and a mental breakdown all at once.
When I hear people tell me “you are your own boss and you’re the one calling the shot” I just laugh because I know that the exact opposite is the case.
I am not the boss of anything, sometimes not even my own creative direction — I’ll be asked to reword, rework, restructure and revise as many times as possible until someone or a group of people are satisfied. Does that sound like being the boss or calling the shot?
If this is the first of my articles you’re reading, let me briefly introduce myself so you can get the context of some of the things you’ll read in between the lines. I’m a Nigerian creative living in Nigeria providing writing, content marketing and creative solutions for brands on freelance basis.
The things that would make up this list are things I have seen work, heard from writers I admire and experienced on a personal level.
Just like every genuine article about how to make money, let me introduce the caveat now that this isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme or some impossible things to accomplish. Everything on this list would require your resources, input, effort and would take the process of time.
To make money, money is needed. Money plus smart work, dedication, consistency and a bunch of other good virtues. You’re going to need all of these and more to make this money we’re talking about.
Writing is already a creative venture and whether people accept it or not everyone needs it in the modern world. As our world becomes more digitized, we see the need for storytelling and creative writing on the innumerable lists of platforms available for personal brands, businesses and large corporations to take advantage of.
I’m beating my chest like King Kong does when he wants to let out a fit (I really aren’t but just imagine that I am) when I tell you that as a writer, you’re sought after and you’re a modern spec. The way people have lists of the qualities they are looking for in a partner, you are making the list of those who have a vision for themselves or their businesses. The world is looking for you to solve its problems. Your talents and skills aren’t archaic at all. Your ideas and dreams are valid and all I want to do in this article is to help you realize those ideas, bring them to reality and while doing all these make some legit money.
If you are a spec and you hide in your house, don’t go out, aren’t friendly; no one would know. You have to position yourself to be seen by the right folks or you have to walk up to them and sweep them off their feet.
I know there are different kinds of writing and I tried as much as I could to make sure this list contains practical and useful tips for every kind of writer. I made sure to make this as generic as possible. Whether you write poetry, short stories, or are a digital writer (SEO writers, content writers, copywriters, landing page writers, technical writers, UX writer, etc), write fiction, non-fiction, inspirational works; whatever it is you write in this world; we all can make this money together. Here are 5 creative, elaborate and sustainable ways you can make money as a writer here in Nigeria or from anywhere in the world:
1. THE BUSINESS OF WRITING: One of the oldest myths in the writing space is that most writers never get rich on the job. I have heard it since I was a child and I hear the doubt in people’s voices today when they ask me “how do you make money with this writing?”.
There’s gold in every field. The possibilities in 2021 are endless; from the comfort of your home, you can pitch your writing skills to businesses all over the world, show them their problems that your writing can solve or samples of how you’ve solved such problems in the past and demand your worth. You can write for companies and brands on a full-time basis or as a freelancer. You can even make that choice. The business of writing is the one true offer that shows off the creativity of writing. If creativity means a different, unique, unconventional, smart, fun way to solve a problem, don’t you see a massive opportunity to show off writing is a different, unique and unconventional method to solve a problem? The business of writing is a spectrum and the pieces on the dimension are unique.
You can build a business as a writer in any of the following niches:
· Content Writing
· Technical writing
· Script writing
· Collaborative writing
· Social media writer
· UX Writer
All of these are different skills and different cash cows. Sometimes, some of them interface but they are very distinct career paths. In case you’re new to writing and all these seem like skills that would take forever to master, you are right. It’ll take time, effort and perseverance to know either of these enough to make great money from them. You can build a career path in any of these niches. The first step will be to check out these concepts and get started with the one that interests you or the one that feels more at home based on your experience and skill sets. Take a free course, read a blog, buy a course, join a community, try your hands at private practice, ask to work on small projects showcasing the skill, make mistakes, learn, correct, revise, restrategize and go again. And if none of these interest you, you might be the next innovator in the writing industry. Don’t think that idea is stupid. The world may need that solution more than you know. Just remember that I was among those who cheered you on, feel me?
2. COURSES & TRAININGS: If you love passive income or consistent multiple streams of income, this is the card you’ll deal. You have enough value to deposit into others and you can even make money doing that. Teaching isn’t about being the absolute repository of knowledge but the ability to do more than teach what is written in ink. It’s the ability to bring life to an abstract concept and guide learners to create something tangible out of all the experiences and knowledge they gain.
If you think you are a great teacher, you should definitely consider creating a course or a training that could be held at different intervals in the year. Who are the writers that should create courses and trainings?
· Writers who are successful. The blind can see and the deaf can hear that you’re great at this writing thing. Your words inspire others, elevate people, solve problems and fixes glitches. You have an archive of milestones and achievements to your name.
· Writers who enjoy helping other writers become what they can be. Some people enjoying helping others become — they have the patience, tenacity, strength to follow through with people. They know how to spot potential and they derive joy in nurturing it.
· Writers who are skillful in not just writing but other non-writing elements that have added a different yet vibrant colour to their writing careers. Some of the reasons some writers aren’t as successful as they’d like to be is because all they have is their skill to write but they know they need more.
You can develop a course or a training workshop that is automated and paid. There are resources and courses online on how to create courses and training. There are even communities of coaches and educators online that could help you revise and build valuable courses.
3. OFFER CONSULTING SERVICES TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: This is a chill strategy to make money as a writer. Consulting is helping people identify the challenges they are faced with and provide the appropriate solutions they need. Consulting is a skill anyone can cultivate. It requires active listening, expertise in that field, a wealth of knowledge and experiences, sometimes even intuition and a mind that derives joy from solving problems. There are different niches of writing and to be able to be a consultant, you need to identify your target audience — those whose questions you already have answers to.
You also need to:
· Identify their pain points and how best you can address them
· Know where you can find these people with these challenges
· The different methods you’ll use to grab their attention
· Develop irresistible offers for them.
One of the common questions in my inbox is “how do you get to write as much as you do and still focus on work?” It’s not just a question of consistency. One of the things I hear when I read this is “I am a writer too but I don’t have the energy, interest, discipline, inspiration or ideas to write.” I usually ask them a bunch of questions around what I think they are really communicating to me and I pay attention, check my mind for similar situations that has happened to me or to some other writer I know. I draw from that wealth of experience and I proffer solutions that would energize them, inspire them to write or that would push them to write.” I share actionable steps for them to take to move from asking how to write, what to write or when to write to them checking off their writing goals, creating a writing schedule, working on systems.
4. BOOKS: I still do not have a book published to my name even though I deeply crave to. I know for a fact that every writer who wants to write their own book yearns to write something they have never read before. Being an author is great, fulfilling and it automatically puts you on a different writing pedestal and it’s also profitable.
People buy books for different reasons. Many books sell out for different reasons. If you’re like me who wants to make money in a creative way; writing and publishing a book might the best shot out here. Books doesn’t just let the money flow, it’s also where fame and recognition resides. If I tell you to list your best writers, they are probably people whose books you’ve read more than people whose blog you read or whose online conversations interest you. You probably became a writer because a book inspired you to. Writing a book isn’t all there is to publishing a book whether you’ll be self-publishing or you want to hire a publishing house. You need editors, proofreaders, salespersons, marketers, creative collaterals and maybe even a media campaign. You can also start small with e-books. You can publish these on Amazon or Kindle. You can become an author by the push of one button.
5. BLOGGING: I haven’t tried this before but I have read and heard other writers talk about how they profit from blogging. Brands would collaborate with them to show off their products or services on their personal blogs or would pay them to write a guest post on theirs. I’m sure there’s more than enough resources on the internet on how to make money from blogging if you are willing to search them out.
For the past 2 years, I have been building my writing business and just recently I have added consulting and courses as other means to make money. The keyword in this article is sustainable. This answers the questions:
· Can a system or structure be created for this?
· Can it be recycled?
· Can it be replicated?
· Can it be tried in other forms of writing?
· Can it be replicated in a different system than mine?
This article answers yes to all five questions.