For the impatient writer, I discussed in my last post how selling short stories can be a (possibly) lucrative direction to go in, and a definite way to build clout and a writing portfolio.
The next discussion on how to make money with your writing is creating a blog.
Blogs are awesome, and there are thousands of them—especially by authors, aspiring authors, book reviewers, and others in the publishing industry. Creating your own blog and reading/commenting on others are fantastic ways to network with others, gain a readership before you’ve even released any of your work, or to build your readership around the work you’ve already published.
However, none of those things are going to make you money, unless you have a book available for purchase and your blog convinces readers to buy it (an absolutely viable option, but that’s only if you have something to sell). But what about when you don’t have something publication-ready or you want to make some money fast? Well, according to experts, you’re still not going to make a lot of money from your blog at first. However, with patience, dedication, and some tech-savvy style (or at least enough research to get you by), you too can start a blog to earn revenue off your writing before you’ve even published a book.
To create your own blog, you can use an array of free options available, including Tumblr, Blogger, or WordPress.com, but none of those let you advertise. You will have to purchase your domain name through a hosting site like GoDaddy.com or HostGator.com (the one recommended by both bloggers I cite further in this post) and then install WordPress.org to it. There are tons of easy YouTube videos on how to do this.
The ones I’ve used to set up my website here and here.
Still, prepare yourself for a learning curve, and possibly a big one if you’re not a tech-whiz. And remember, if your computer is in danger of going through a window due to frustration over web site-building, consider hiring Midnight Publishing or another’s website designers to do the heavy lifting. (You should go with Midnight Publishing though. We’re kind of awesome.)
So, on to making money with said blog. It’s going to be through advertisement. And I don’t mean by advertising your writing, though you can certainly do that as well (just don’t muck up your subscriber’s emails or your twitter feed with tons of posts about your book—because that’s a surefire way to convince people never to read your work. Ever. Because you are being annoying. I digress).
Bob Lotich is a relative expert on the matter of making money with your blog—after all, he was able to start a blog and a year later be making enough money to support himself. Check outhis journey to blogging.
Here’s a quick run-down of the hefty post:
1) There are a variety of different advertising companies you can work with through your blog. One of those is Google’s Adsense program, which is popular due to its ability to place relevant ads next to the specific post a reader is viewing. For example, Adsense may place clickable links about Createspace or self-publishing guides on Amazon next to my “Self-Publishing Blunders” post on here a few weeks back. This makes the ads informative and beneficial at times, and less like annoying…well, ads.
2) While Google’s Adsense pays on a click-by-click basis, there are other advertising companies that pay by the total number of impressions, or the amount of times the advertisement is shown. This is called CPM, and the companies that pay CPM normally give a certain amount per 1,000 views (not very much, hovering around $3 to $6 per 1,000 clicks. So yeah, don’t go quitting your day job yet—unless you’re crazy like me. Curious?)
3)After you’ve selected your other means for advertising (Lotich touches on some others, like affiliate sales and direct ad sales), then you need to make your blog. According to Greg Narayan, another successful blogger, WordPress is the be-all and end-all to blogging. It’s also the hardest one to master—I speak from experience as I’ve recently gone about buying my own domain and creating my site through WordPress.org, which is separate from WordPress.com. It’s complicated, and something I’ll explore in a future post.
Here is Narayan’s awesome website for beginning bloggers, chock-full of info to get started
So there you have it, a quick overview on other methods of making money with your writing. Next Tuesday, I will focus Part Three on self-publishing as a means to make money with your writing.
Until then, keep writing and keep dreaming!
For more information on Ashley R. Carlson, see “About the Author” below and find her dilly-dallying at her:
Midnight Publishing offers skilled and affordable media architects for manuscript editing, self-publishing consultation and guidance, and author marketing. The ultimate role of the editor is to help the author connect with the reader. A good editor enhances that connection, providing another eye and view for the author. Our editors are artists of language, grammar, and the mechanics that help a manuscript take the journey from ordinary to great. Midnight Publishing also offers self-publishing consultation, query letter editing, graphic and web site design, business copy writing and editing, and more.
Follow Midnight Publishing on Facebook Midnight Publishing’s founder, Lauren Wise, on Twitter: @MidnightWriting
Ashley R. Carlson grew up wanting a talking animal friend and superpowers, and when that didn’t happen, she decided to write them into existence. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with three (non-talking) pets and one overactive imagination. Her debut novel, a young adult fantasy entitled "The Charismatics," can be found on Amazon or through her website at www.ashleyrcarlson.com. Ashley is obsessed with Yelping to find local restaurants, fostering animals from nearby shelters, and the Real Housewives of...anywhere. She also loves to hear from you!