Why wait until you get The Call to monetize your writing? There are ways to make money with the skills you already have, if you know where to look. How do I know? I’ve tried some of these ideas myself, and I’ve watched my friends try others.
If you’ve been trying to break into fiction as long as I have, you already know that it may take time—years for some of us!—to break into fiction. While I’d love to be singularly devoted to my story world and imaginary friends, real life beckons in the form of bills and obligations. And did I mention bills?
One day it occurred to me that with all the knowledge and skill I’ve accumulated over the years, I could be making money. The question was, how? I began to plot out ideas, mind-mapping all my random thoughts and seeing which ones would be the best fit. That’s when I realized that nothing in writing comes fast or easy, but as long as I was waiting for The Call, I might as well try.
There are myriad ways to monetize your writing, so these are just a few tips to get your started:
If you’re a brand spanking new writer, this one probably isn’t for you. If, however, you’ve been in the field and gained some credentials, this could be your gold mine. Now more than ever, you have the power to reach an audience and find ways to pass along your knowledge on how to write fiction.
- Workshops: adults, homeschool co-ops, youth programs, city parks & rec
- Online classes
- Private schools
- Charter schools (regulations vary by state)
- Community colleges
The following list is so thin it’s practically see-through. Opportunities for proficient writers can’t possibly be contained in one measly list! Again, search both online and in person to find openings. One thing—if you’re going to pursue freelance, you need to come out of your turtle shell and ask your friends, family and colleagues for referrals. This is no time to be shy about what you’re doing and the value you offer.
- Content Marketing
- Technical writing
- White papers
- Magazine articles
Even the best writers need a second pair of eyes. If you’ve done great critiques for your fiction buddies, then you already have built-in references. Note that professional editing is a different/deeper level than critiquing, and you need to narrow down what type of editing you’re qualified for.
- Fiction edits
- School papers
What are you an expert on? As a writer, you probably know more than you think you do! It might be a good time to capitalize on your hard-earned knowledge.
- How-to books
- In-depth courses
Like I said, these are just a few ideas to jumpstart your thinking. Greeting cards, bumper stickers, mugs, slogans, speeches, scripts, technical manuals…endless opportunities! Consider your strengths and what you enjoy, and work from there.
The key is not to get bogged down or overwhelmed trying to come up with a side-gig while you’re waiting for The Call. Pick one idea, maybe two, and zero in on making it happen. Try not to get so caught up in your alternative writing that your fiction takes a backseat, because where’s the fun in that?
Look around—see all the words? Someone has to write them, and that someone might as well be you!
What have you done to monetize your writing?