Many writers consider blogging a waste of time because time spent blogging “for free” takes them away from time spent on paid work—like articles and books. In fact, blogging can lead to more paid writing gigs. And your blog can even generate income.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which your blog could lead to more money from writing.
- Articles: By blogging on a particular topic frequently and consistently, you become the expert on that topic. According to Technorati.com, 56 percent of all bloggers say their blog has helped them establish a position as a thought leader within an industry; 58 percent say they are better-known in their industry because of their blog. If, for instance, your blog has achieved #1 Google page ranking—or appears anywhere on that first Google search engine results page, try adding that to your bio when you send out a query. Or add your most impressive Google Analytics figures for unique visitors (real readers) and page views to your query letters. These stats should get you a few more positive responses. As you become more discoverable on line and have more readers to your blog, you will command a higher pay rate for those articles as well.
- Paid Blogging: If you can blog, you can apply for and get hired for short-and long-term blogging jobs that pay. Thus, learning how to blog provides you with another source of income. Your blog does not have to be the most successful one in the blogosphere to begin applying for paid blogging jobs. You can find blogging jobs by following @problogger on Twitter or going to http://jobs.problogger.net/ Learning to blog adds just one more way for you to earn an income as a writer.
- Books: You can turn writing a blog into money from books in several ways.
- A traditionally published book deal: A successful blog—one with a lot of readers—equates to part of an author platform and in some cases a whole author platform. And you need a platform to land a traditional publishing deal. You might get discovered on the internet by an agent or publisher and offered a contract for a book simply because of your blog. Julie Powell (Julie & Julia), Christian Landers (Stuff White People Like), Jill Smokler (Confessions of a Scary Mommy), Jenny Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened), and Neil Pasricha (The Book of Awesome), among others, all have landed book deals because of their successful blogs. Or you or your agent can approach a publisher, which is what I did for my book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time. You will then receive an advance; the more successful your blog, the bigger the advance and, later, the royalties.
- A self-published book: You can use the platform created with your blog to successfully self-publish a book. The reason publishers like to publish bloggers is simple: All those blog readers equate to potential book buyers. Indie authors can make a tremendous amount of money from their books—if they sell well. The more successful your blog, the more books you will sell. The more books you sell, the more money, obviously, you will make.
- A blogged book: You can actually write your book—or many books—on your blog. You can plan out the content for a book and write it, post by post, and publish it right on the internet. As you do so, you build platform at the same time. You can then sell your blogged book to a publisher or self-publish it. How to Blog a Book was blogged in just 5 months. I blogged another book, 10 Days and 10 Ways to Return to Your Best Self: A T’shuvah Tool Bridging Religious Traditions in (you guessed it) 10 days. (Of course, you can also repurpose old blog posts into a book.) I did this with my most recent ebook, The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified: An Easy-Schmeasy Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Your Book. You can make money off the sale of the book to a publisher and off sales of the book to readers; again, the more successful your blog, the more money you can earn with your blogged book.
- Products and Services: In addition to books, you can also create products and services that relate to your writing and offer these on your blog. Your blog serves as a website, and on this website you can begin to create and sell teleseminars, webinars, online courses, membership sites, coaching and consulting, and so much more! You can build a business around your blog—and around your books or articles. Not all of this involves writing, but it should all help you make more money as a writer and leverage your written products.
If you want to see how quick and easy it is to blog, give it a try for just a month. Start a free WordPress.com blog if you must; I recommend you start a self-hosted WordPress.org blog instead. Create a blog plan so you know what you will write for the next month. This will make it easier for you and your blog post will be more effective.
Or take the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, also called National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), and start a blog in November. Write and publish a post every day for a month. If you post just 300-500 words, and promote those posts in your social networking status updates, you’ll gain readers even in that short a time span.
Better yet, blog a book during NaNonFiWriMo. Plan out your book. Using your table of contents, break your book’s content into 30 blog posts. If you write one post per day, by the end of the month you’ll have blogged a short book. Then publish it as an ebook, and start making more money as a writer. I challenge you to try…
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Elizabeth Cottrell says
Nina, you have such a gift for clear, actionable information. You’ve inspired me to use the “blog-a-book” method to get a couple of the darned book ideas in my head actually out and done. Thank you!
Nina Amir says
WOOT! I’m so glad, Elizabeth. Watch for some info in November about some online classes I’ll be offering on blogging books. I also have a class at Writers’ Digest University that runs every few months. The next one starts in November.