Welcome back to my series of articles on the topic of creating streams of income, how I did it, how I got to the point where I am, and where I intend to go.
So, as I noted yesterday, I have been wanting to make writing and publishing the mainstay of my income river. Many people ask, though, how does a “regular guy” make income from writing and publishing? I mean, don’t you have to be a super good writer or a wealthy guy to get into publishing?
These days, with the Internet, as long as you have expertise on some topic, you can be successful in writing books and websites. And, the good thing is that you can do it for little money. You don’t need a ton of seed money to get started if you have expertise. In fact, the truth is that for less than $50 in capital you can, I believe, set out on a very successful business. It will take time and it will take hard work, but it is very doable.
Basically, there are two ways you can make money through writing and publishing using the Internet:
- Write and publish free information on the Internet
- Write, publish and sell electronic books through a website.
Whoa! Hold one, Bob. You were going to tell how to make money, but #1 says to publish “free information” – there is no money in that!
Sorry, my friend, but you are wrong. You can indeed give away information for free and make money doing it! How? By selling advertising on your website. The information you publish on the site is free for the taking, but it is supported monetarily by advertising on the site. The advertisers pay you to present their ads to your audience. The site readers get the information they want for free.
Profits can be small…
Doing something that is “advertiser supported” will likely start off as a very small earner. The time when you will start earning a large amount of money from this type of venture is once you have built up a following. If you are well known and have a lot of traffic on your website, that is when advertisers will pay you good money, and there will be plenty of advertisers knocking on your door. If you are still small, relatively unknown, you will likely have to depend on Google AdSense ads, and for a small guy without much traffic… well… You won’t be rolling in the dough, believe me.
…but you can make a lot of money!
Wait, “Profits can be small, but you can make a lot of money”? That doesn’t make sense.
Well, perhaps it will as you continue reading.
Both statements are true, believe me. But, you have to wait and see how they work together before they will make sense to you.
You see, when you first start out, profits will be small. In fact, you probably won’t make a profit at all.
But, if you have something to say that people will consider being worth reading, and if you keep your nose to the grindstone, you have the potential to make a LOT of money. I mean, some of the “big boys in blogging” make tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.
The key to making a lot of money, though, is in 6 words found in the previous paragraph.
Keep your nose to the grindstone
Yes, those words are truly the key.
In my experience, it can take up to 5 years of dedication with only small rewards before you will “make it”. And, “make it” is a relative thing. Some guys, as I noted, as making literally hundreds of thousands of dollars from writing, both online and offline. But, for some of us, when we “make it” we might be just making a few thousand dollars per month.
What determines how much we make?
- Our marketing skills. No matter how smart we are, no matter how skillful we are, or how good our ideas are, our level of success is truly limited by our skill in marketing ourselves. One good thing is that there are lots of successful people online teaching how to improve our marketing of our own writing and our own products. If you choose the right ones to listen to, your marketing skills will only improve with time.
- Our level of determination. Many people give up too early. Say they go 3 months and make no money, or they go 3 years without making a dime. Fact is, if you quit trying, you will be guaranteed of only one result – failure. I mean, let’s face it, if you quit, you will quit before you succeed, right? Nobody would be making a ton of money and suddenly quit. But, if you just write one more blog post, that might be the one that pushes you over the top and gets the ball rolling.
Free and Paid Content go hand in hand
I noted above that writing and publishing free content and also writing and publishing paid content are the two ways to make money in the niche. Simple, right? Well, follow along here, because the next thing I am going to tell you and explain is that writing free content is the key to being able to successfully write and sell paid content!
That’s right, the free content is the key to it all.
Let’s say that you are unknown. Other than your Mom, Wife, and kids, nobody has ever heard of you. You may have the world’s best information about the topic of using Widgets to propel yourself to the moon (and a lot of people are looking for that info!), but nobody knows who you are. Let’s say you write a book and offer it for $20 that will explain how to propel yourself to the moon using widgets. Well, you don’t have any authority, because nobody knows who you are. A few people might take the chance and spend $20 to find out what you can offer, but in general, nobody is going to spend any money on the book of an unknown quantity.
Back 30 or 40 years ago, becoming a published author was difficult, because you needed authority to be successful. You got authority by being a published author on your niche topic. It was a catch 22. Today, though, the game has changed. You can make yourself into an authority on whatever topic you choose.
How to make yourself an Authority
Well, of course, you need to do research and learn the topic. The next step is easy. Write. Write often. Write over a long period of time. Keep on writing until people notice.
But where do you write?
Start a blog. Yep, it is that easy. Start a blog, write frequently and keep doing it. Sooner or later, people will notice what you are doing. Once you do that for long enough, you can write that $20 book (now that you are an established authority through your online writing, you may now be able to sell the book for even more money than you thought you could) and sell it. Where do you sell it? On your website, of course! The sales will come, believe me.
What about a publisher?
Truth is, the days of needing a publisher or needing bookstores to sell your book are gone. Yes, you can still go that route if you wish. I have done both (I was a published author of paper-based books way back in 1991 and beyond), and believe me, you will make way more money writing a book, self-publishing it as an electronic book and selling it on your website. That is where the money is, and you can do it for a very small amount of investment.
So, how can you make money as a writer?
I hope, and I truly believe that I have given you enough information here that you should be able to figure out the path that is right for you. The path that will lead to a nice income that you can earn from writing and publishing what you write. It works for me, and it will work for you too!
I hope this has been helpful to you. Hope to see you again tomorrow when I will tell you about Why I wanted to turn writing and publishing into an income river.
See you then!
I’m three hours away from boarding a bus for the first leg of my journey to live in the Philippines. I’m a believer in what you have outlined in your article because you are living proof a person can be successful.
I myself have purchased some books and other services from you and I thank the Good Lord I took that chance because those materials saved me a lot of money. Maybe I’ll be another one of those guys who can pull in a few bucks to pad my income. One thing is for sure…..
I’m going to have fun along the way and just focus on that part of it. No expectations! However, if an apple falls off the tree I won’t complain. haha
Great article Bob!!
Hi Bill – You are practically in the Philippines already! Congratulations on keeping the strength to actually make the move! You would be surprised to know how many people seriously want to do it, but cannot muster the confidence to follow through! You are already one step ahead!
You can make money on your blog if you keep plugging away and don’t give up. When we get together, after you have been here for a while, I’ll give you some tips!
Good encouragement, Bob. I have two months into my blog and fully expect it to take 2-3 years before I would even worry about making things commercial. I’m having fun but I sure can’t wait till I have a bit more traffic.
Hi DaveW – Thanks for stopping by! I hope that the article did offer you some encouragement. I have visited your blog a couple of times, and I wish you the very best of luck! If you keep the commitment to keep working and publishing more content, I am sure that you will hit the tipping point and be able to make some income from it! One thing is for sure.. if you don’t keep trying, you can’t succeed then! 🙂