The dream of many around the world is to be able to live comfortably and thrive as a writer. We want to be able to write what we want — when we want. We also want to get paid very well.
At least, it’s my dream.
Is it too much to ask that we want to make a living doing something we love? Why, when people ask us what we do, and we reply with “writer,” do people always have rude comments?
- “You can’t make any money doing that!”
- “I used to write when I was a kid!”
- “When are you going to give up and get a real job?”
We’ve heard it all. We even have to put up with the people who don’t respect writing as a real profession yet have the gall to ask us to write something for them for free. Oh, wait, I forgot, they pay in “exposure.”
I’ve done many things to make money in my lifetime, and I never liked doing any of it as much as I love writing. I worked ridiculous hours for others for years and years, trying to support myself and my family. I started in fast food management and moved to other industries that afforded me a better lifestyle, but less personal time. I did it long enough to know that I didn’t want that life anymore.
After my fourth (fifth?) mental breakdown and hospitalization, I started collecting Social Security Disability. I learned that a person couldn’t live on what the government offers (based on what you have paid into Social Security over the years), even if you have good reason to get benefits. If you try to supplement your income, the powerful will assume you can work full-time, and you find yourself without any income rather quickly.
Entrepreneurship has been the big reoccurring dream of mine. I’ve tried many different types of businesses, from building bunk beds to eCommerce. My main problem with being an entrepreneur is that I wasn’t much good at it and I made a huge number of fatal mistakes. I was a wantrepreneur.
I know I shouldn’t give up, but my heart wasn’t in it.
For the past few years, I’ve been trying to survive on what I make from writing. I’ve tried blogging and freelance ghostwriting. I made some money, enough to pay the bills, but I’ve been looking for a way to push further. My goal is to make enough to say that I’m thriving, instead of just surviving.
How many of you are trying to do the same thing?
Along came Medium
As a way to make more money, I started writing on Medium in October 2018. I’ve slowly built my income and my audience. I know in a few months I’ll be making enough to stop freelancing and that will be huge for me. If I can focus all my efforts on Medium, who knows how far I’ll go.
I’ve been searching for other sources of income to supplement my Medium income. A while ago, I had an epiphany or two about what I could do, and I wanted to share what I learned with all my friends.
After all, we writers are in this together.
Two new ways to monetize our writing
As I said, I have been looking for ways to make money writing in addition to my income from Medium. I don’t want to have to fall back on the old standards of blogging and freelancing right now.
Been there, done that.
The first way you can start making money is by writing short eBooks and launch them on Amazon. I got the idea from the article, “How to Get Paid to Learn How to Become a Better Writer” by Ayodeji Awosika. Twenty thousand words aren’t very much, and all you need to do is find a cover designer and an editor.
Depending on how much time you have, you can put out a new book each month for the next twelve months. Then, you can analyze how you are doing and make sure you are doing everything you can to promote your books. Ayodeji has everything in his article to get started - you just need to write a lot.
I know several people who are doing very well with eBooks. All you and I have to do is follow a few best practices and do what writers have done before.
The other moneymaking strategy is revealed in the article by John LeFevre called, “How I Make Six-Figures in Passive Income as a Writer and Social Media Influencer.” This moneymaking plan is exciting because it’s something that can make a lot of money now and in the future with a little work upfront.
I still have quite a bit of work to do before I am a social media influencer or even a writer that has made a name for myself. The Huffington Post or Entrepreneur aren’t breaking down my door hoping I will write features for them. But I have enough confidence in myself and my writing that soon, I will be popular and sought after. I need to set some things up now so I can earn in the future. You do too.
The first thing you can do is to sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program. I completed the application in about 15 minutes but know that they expect you to make a sale within the first three months to stay active.
Medium is not a big fan of you putting affiliate links in your stories, and most likely you will not get curated. There is also a good chance you will get booted from the platform. But, if you have a blog or a newsletter, you can post the links there. You can also write guest features for online magazines that will allow you to place affiliate links in the guest posts you create for them.
If someone buys something after clicking on your link, not only do you get a percentage of that but of anything else they buy on Amazon in the next 24 hours.
It can add up!
What Are You Going to Do?
All of us who are tireless writers need to plan for when we start making great money on Medium (because it will happen). We need to set ourselves up for success. We won’t be unknown forever and doing a few things correctly now with be the difference between a 100K in our bank account or missing out completely.
If you do things now, like start an email list or sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program, it will be easier to keep implementing them when you have a larger audience to work with. We will all be successful (in the monetary definition of the word) in the future, and we need to start thinking about how we can create more and more income streams to keep the money flowing in.
We can all do it!
Remember me when you have your first bestseller or million-dollar paycheck.