Wednesday, June 15, 2016

9+ Ways to Earn an Income as a Writer: Choosing a Life of Writing - Part 2

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In the last post, we discussed how it's possible to make a living in the writing industry. The average author doesn't typically make enough to live off of from their book sales alone. However, there are several other avenues in which today's word-lover can generate multiple streams of income. 
Here are some options:

      1. Become a prolific author.

A prolific author is one who writes and publishes multiple books per year. More books, of course, equals more sales. Since the traditional publishing route tends to move at a slow pace, several published authors have found success in pursuing an indie/hybrid model. This option is great for those who view their books as a small business and would like to become an author-entrepreneur. 

      2. Sell your book through multiple formats.

If you're an indie author, you could publish your books through various formats--including ebooks, print, and audio. You could then sell it through these formats in multiple languages, thus opening up multiple streams of income. (I highly recommend reading Joanna Penn's book, How to Make a Living With Your Writing, for more info on how to accomplish this.)

      3. Monetize your blog.

If you enjoy blogging, consider creating a monetized blog. There are several ad services that will pay you for sponsoring their product/business on your blog. You could also offer an affiliate/sponsorship service on your blog, become an affiliate for a business, or write paid reviews for companies

      4. Become a public speaker.

If you have an established audience and enjoy inspiring, informing, educating, or entertaining, why not brand yourself as a public speaker? You could offer your services to schools, churches, libraries, conferences, etc. (Of course, it's even better if you have a product, such as books, to sell at these events.) If you like to teach writing as well, then perhaps you could hold writing workshops and teach at writing conferences. 

      5. Become a freelance writer.

If you write a blog, then chances are, you enjoy writing non-fiction. A freelance writer is someone who is paid to write articles, devotionals, fiction, blog posts, website content, etc. for publications. If you'd like to launch a career as a freelance writer, purchase the latest copy of the Writer's Market Guide (or Christian Writer's Market Guide) and submit to magazines/publications that are interested in what you have to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to build your writing resume and earn a little extra cash by doing what you love. You could also set up a profile on freelance editing websites, such as

      6. Tutor students in writing or teach creative writing courses.

For the past two years, I've mentored teens online through my creative writing through my program, WRITE NOW. If you, too, enjoy helping others in their craft -- and if you have experience and knowledge of the craft/industry -- consider starting your own creative writing coaching services. You could even set up courses through websites such as

      7. Become a freelance editor.

Freelance editing is a craft within itself. If you have mastered the basics of grammar and punctuation, and if you have a clear understanding of fiction techniques, it might be a good idea to open your own freelance editing services. Make sure, however, that you have researched immensely on the craft of writing. I recommend purchasing the Chicago Manual of Style and joining an editing organization, such as The Christian Pen.

      8. If you have skills and interest in another area, offer your services to authors.

If you haven't yet noticed, being an author can at times become an investment. Self-published authors especially have to invest in services that will help turn their book into print. 

Here are a few ways you could offer various services to authors: 

  • If you're a photographer, advertise your business to authors who are in need of professional headshots
  • If you're a graphic designer, consider creating high-quality book covers, bookmarks, promo materials, and websites for authors  
  •  Create high-quality book trailers
  • Establish a platform and offer promotional services for authors (example: blog tours, Twitter promos, etc.) 
  • Design the inner layout of books
  • Become a freelance editor
  • Become an author's assistant

      9. Search for a writing-related job that can support your author career.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm a firm believer in working at a job you love. If you have a passion for words, why not search for a job that's within the industry? You could apply to work at magazines, newspapers, publishing companies, literary agencies, become an English teacher, etc. 

For instance, I've worked as an intern for Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency for the past six months. Although I don't exactly write in this job (other than emails), it has still allowed me to stay immersed in books. It also gives me the opportunity to fulfill another passion of mine, which is helping other authors by launching or furthering their careers. At the same time, this internship has furthered my writing career as well. I've been able to stay updated within the industry, establish networks, and form relationships with other authors within the industry. 

If you'd like to further research how to become a full-time author, I recommend these resources:


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 Would you like to pursue a full-time career in the writing industry? Are you interested, or have you tried, any of the ideas listed above?


9+ Ways to Earn an Income as a Writer: Choosing a Life of Writing - Part 2 #amwriting #writerslife

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