If you are thinking about publishing for an income, is it better to write books or blog regularly?
Each one has advantages and disadvantages. But the critical element for both is that you know how to write well.
The most significant difference between being an author and a blogger is that you need good technical skills to make an income from blogging.
But for authors, publishing books using self-publishing is a relatively straightforward process.
Deciding to write books or blog content
One of the best ways to improve your writing is to start a blog.
But you have to maintain your enthusiasm and regularly write new content.
You can start with a free blogging platform, so it’s easy.
The main benefit is that you learn to appreciate what readers like and don’t like so much.
Another is to connect with readers via comments or perhaps email and get feedback on your writing.
If you want to write books, establishing your blog well before publishing gives you a platform to help launch your new book.
Should you choose to concentrate on building a blog to make an income, you still need to develop your writing skills.
For new authors, I would always recommend blogging.
It is the best way to learn and improve your writing before publishing a book.
Fantastic writing is always the key to success for any form of publishing.
Figures vary considerably, depending on where you source the information.
The New York Times gave these estimates for writers’ pay in general.
According to the survey results, the median pay for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017, and that number decreased to $6,080 when part-time writers were considered.
It depends a lot on how you publish when it comes to authors. There is a difference between traditional and self-publishing incomes.
Although it’s a little dated, earnings data published by the Guardian is still indicative of author incomes today.
In the wake of a year that has seen a bitter war of words rage between traditionally published and self-published authors, the survey shows that the old way of doing things continues to reap the most financial rewards for writers, with traditionally published authors making a median annual income of $3,000–$4,999, and independent writers a median of $500–$999. So-called hybrid authors, however – those who publish in both ways – did best, earning $7,500–$9,999 a year.
It’s a little easier to find information about how much bloggers make from their sites.
According to Indeed, bloggers average reasonable annual incomes.
On average, bloggers make $37,073 per year, though this can depend on how long the blogger has been blogging, the size of their audience, their traffic, and what they write about. The larger their audience, the more opportunities they have to earn money from it. Some report making as much as $100,000 or more, although this is rare, especially for new bloggers.
As I said, you can find many other sources of income information for writers. But in general, professional bloggers usually earn more than authors.
What does it take to write books or blog for an income?
The skill sets are different for each choice. Of course, excellent writing is necessary for both.
For an author, learning how to promote a new book is one of the greatest challenges.
It’s not as easy as popping a few posts on social media or writing a couple of quick blog posts.
Book sales depend on understanding, learning, and applying search optimization and metadata.
These include researching the best categories and search keywords for a book.
Preparing for a book launch takes time and a lot of effort. Most of it involves soft skills in persuading people to help you.
Your launch might include blog tours, paid promotion, readings, or book signings.
One of the most challenging tasks is to gain as many book reviews as you can BEFORE you publish your book.
For new bloggers, the learning curve is a little bit steeper.
There are a lot of technical skills you need to develop to run a successful self-hosted WordPress site.
You need to be confident with managing a server, have some basic coding skills, and be an excellent problem solver.
Free blog sites do all this work for you. But you can’t expect to make a decent income from them because there are a lot of restrictions.
You have to develop your skills or be prepared to hire an experienced WordPress developer to help you manage your site.
How much do you need to invest?
Whenever you want to make an income, there are always expenses.
On the plus side, for authors, you can contain your expenses.
You will need to pay for a book cover designer, perhaps an editor or proofreader, and book publicity.
But once you launch your book and it is available for sale, there are very few ongoing expenses. Perhaps only some book promotion costs.
For a self-hosted blog, there are always ongoing expenses.
These include annual hosting charges, domain registration, theme and plugin subscriptions, and perhaps the cost of a developer.
Email delivery services, advertising, or promotion subscriptions can also be quite costly.
Depending on the ranking and reach of a blog, annual costs can easily be over $2-3,000 or more.
Which one is the most profitable?
As always, the answer is it depends.
The big benefit of writing and publishing books is that your income can start immediately.
That is, as long as you wrote a fantastic book and got all your book launch and promotion right.
Yes, you can make good money from book royalties, but it always wanes away after the first few months.
Then you have to write more books to generate more income.
With a blog, it takes a long time before you can expect to make any income.
The general rule of thumb is that it can take up to two years to gain enough regular traffic.
Until you can get a lot of visitors, you can’t make much from Adsense advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling services.
But on the upside, when you get to say 70,000 session visits per month, you will be earning a very regular income every month.
I can only say that from my experience, blogging is the most profitable over the long term.
Deciding whether you want to write books or blog for an income is not a simple choice.
Writing has never been a profession famous for making lots of money.
But you should consider your skills and how you can adapt them. Also, think about your aims and the time you have to invest.
Do you want to develop an income that takes a lot of time to develop but can last for years?
Or do you want to take your chances with a book and hope it sells?
Of course, you also have the option to do both.