There are alternatives if you want to look at writing for money. For many writers, self-publishing is all about writing fiction. Then publishing books on Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords or Draft2Digital.
Of course, there is also a lot of non-fiction self-publishing too, such as self-help books, memoirs and biographies.
So much has been written about self-publishing, both positive and negative. But it would seem that these categories are the definitive areas for making a living writing.
But if you have great writing skills and you want to get paid to write, there are other ways.
There are many ways to make money from your writing
There is another face to self-publishing that does not involve writing books and it is often ignored as a very real part of self-publishing.
You can define self-publishing as writing and publishing without being contracted to a publisher. You can definitely apply this logic to blogging. Starting a blog is a logical independent step for any writer.
I write fiction and I have a couple of blogs. Both of these activities are connected by writing. From them, I make money. So for me, self-publishing is more than only one route for making money online.
Trying to get on Amazon’s bestseller lists is the way to make money from fiction, But it is a very tough assignment even for authors with a huge social media following. The truth is that very few authors succeed.
As any writer who is self-publishing fiction, I know that making a livable income from fiction is probably fiction in itself.
Some writers though have spread their wings so to speak and ventured into blogging as a means to make more money from writing.
A few years ago, my income was about 60-40 from book sales and blog income. But over time, that split has changed dramatically. I now earn well over 80% of my income from blogging.
Blogging for an income as a freelance writer and blogger
As far as success stories go, blogging is becoming by far a more realistic means of making a livable income from writing.
So much so that many bloggers are now posting monthly revenue reports. They make for fascinating reading, and perhaps for some, food for thought. Here are two blogs I came across, which have posted their income results.
This is a new blog started only a few months ago, so the report shows only a modest beginning. But I love this little snippet from the About page.
I created this blog to be used as a personal diary to track my journey. Journey you say?!
That’s right, I am on a full-blown mission to build enough passive income to quit my day job and become a multi-millionaire.
Ahh, the dreaded day job. If you’re reading this you most likely have one. And if you’re anything like me. You want out ASAP!! I am super determined and motivated to get out of this rat race.
Right, now let’s move on to a more established blog.
From the About page:
I used to have a 9 to 5 job, which I really did enjoy. I was working as a Job Captain in an architecture firm and loving the line of work I was in. I had no plans to leave, but unfortunately, there are some things you cannot control (like the economy) and so, in 2008 I was laid off.
Getting laid off is a weird feeling. One day you think everything is fine and for whatever reason the next day you don’t really know what you’re supposed to do anymore. Instead of feeling bad about it, I immediately decided to work for myself from home.
It turns out that getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me. Without my 9 to 5 job holding me back, I’ve since been able to earn more money and work less (with more flexible) hours – which in the end allows me to be home and spend time with my family.
A description that would be applicable to many of us. So what about the earnings?
How can you make money from a blog?
There are so many ways you can monetize a blog.
If you get the recipe right, your blog can earn much more than the pay rates for content writers finding work on job boards.
When you have your own blog and write your blog posts, you are in control. If you want to write short stories, and place Adsense ads to gain click income, then you can do it.
You can make money from affiliate links and advertising. You can accept paying guest posts from advertisers and sites that pay $50 or more for advertorial posts.
The biggest plus for using a blog as an income source is that you are in total control. You are not contracted to anyone so you can make your own decisions about every facet of your online business.
On top of that, the setup and ongoing costs are minimal for a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Blogging is a natural step for writers to make more money
This post was not to convince self-publishing fiction writers to drop what they are doing or give up on their dreams. But blogging is a logical extension of writing, so it is worth considering to create an extra passive income stream.
While some blogs are of course focused on finance or money-making, there are literally thousands of blog ideas that can make a very good income. Food, cooking, motherhood, fishing, photography and wine just to name a few.
In fact, photography blogs are among the most profitable.
It is only a matter of choosing a great idea that you are absolutely passionate about and that you will enjoy building from scratch. Then you need to start working hard to create a blog that could generate a reliable and livable income for you.
Is self-publishing more than ebooks? Yes, there is definitely more to it than that.
Related reading: 20 Practical Ways You Can Make Money From Home By Blogging