Earning a full-time income isn’t easy as a writer. Between the competition and the frustration, writing is seen as a hobby rather than a job. The idea that you can’t make money as a writer is not accurate, and with the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever.
If you’ve ever wanted to write professionally, you may be confused about where to start or if it’s even possible. Rest assured, we will be covering all of the basics of making money as a writer.
Back in 2019, I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, and though having a degree is nice, it’s not needed to be a writer.
Don’t worry if you feel unqualified, under-experienced, or anything similar. In this series of making money as a writer, we will be covering everything you need to know.
That being said, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on future posts in this series, as well as exclusive content and free printables!
5 Things You Must Know To Make Money as a Writer
It may take time.
Earning a full-time income from writing most likely won’t happen overnight. It will take time to build a good reputation, a large audience/clientele, and experience.
Slowly, over time, you should see your income increase. It’s important to remember that some months will be better than others—that’s completely normal. If you track your income on a graph, there will be many peaks and dips, but the overall trend should be positive. If it’s not, that’s when you’d need to re-evaluate your methods and try something new.
Don’t expect instant results. A month or two of low income isn’t enough time to decide it’s not worth it. You’ll need at least six months to a year to see any substantial growth.
Build a nice portfolio.
To grow your writing business, you will need to create a portfolio. Your portfolio is a place to showcase all of your achievements and skills as a writer. You can create a portfolio website or make a page on your existing site dedicated to your portfolio. Either way, your portfolio is where potential clients will be able to see what you have to offer.
What you include on your portfolio is entirely up to you; however, a proper portfolio features your best assets with some other information. It should be easy to read and straight to the point. Also, it can be nice to include a few things about you to showcase your personality.
What you can include on your portfolio:
- high-quality work
- contact information
For more information on how to create a portfolio, check out this post.
Decide your path.
Specifying in a particular writing style, genre, or medium can help grow your audience or clientele. People who need or want something you specialize in are more likely to find you if you make it clear what you offer.
Having a specialty will also make it easier to market yourself to potential publishers, agents, clients, etc. Most often, this specialty is what you most enjoy writing, but it could also be what you think you write best.
Preferably, you’d have a clear genre, medium, and format, but this takes time to recognize, so don’t be frustrated if you’re unsure which categories you want to specialize in.
Being diverse may seem to contradict the previous tip, though there is a difference. Even though you want to hone in on your niche, you’ll want to show potential clients and partners you have a broad skill-set. Try out a few different styles of writing and some new formats.
You may specialize in sci-fi novel writing, but you have experience writing poetry, screenplays, and horror novels.
The wider your skill-set, the more likely you’ll have something to offer a potential client.
A lot of time spent growing audience/clientele.
Making money as a writer sounds like most of your time would be spent writing, but a lot of time is actually spent growing your audience or clientele. You may love or hate this aspect of the job, but it’s essential in earning a full-time income.
If you fail to market yourself, very few people will find you, no matter how excellent a writer you are. You will need to grow your social media presence, network with like-minded people, and consistently post new content.
Social media has become such a fundamental part of our society, and it is so necessary for growing your business. This is how you will not only increase your following but also interact and engage with your audience.
I suggest having at least three social media accounts but focusing on one. You want to have profiles on a few different platforms so people can quickly discover you. However, trying to stay consistent on multiple accounts isn’t easy. Focusing on one platform will allow you to keep on top of your business and growth while still benefiting from various platforms.
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