Why I Didn’t Make Any Money in 6 Years of Writing
Don’t make the same mistakes as I did
Hello dear friend,
Do you know how much money I have earned from all these?
Zero. Zilch. Naught.
That’s right. I used to write something daily, I poured my blood and sweat into my books, but I invested so much in publishing the first, that all the earnings from the second and the third failed to recover that money.
I was young and inexperienced. I fell into the trap of vanity publishing for my first book — a mistake I regret till this day. I was naive, and yes, you can blame me for that.
It was only in the first quarter of 2020, with the Covid19-imposed lockdown upon us all, that I started to seriously devote time to understand the market and look up ways to hone my craft. I attended courses on book outlining, writing, editing, and marketing. I spent hours perfecting my skills and exploring different platforms.
I applied these learnings to my writing and made around $250 from my writing in May 2020. In June, these earnings doubled and crossed $500. By mid-2021, I was constantly making 10x that amount every month.
In retrospect, I realized that the only things holding me back from becoming a successful author were my own limiting self-beliefs.
In this newsletter, I’m going to dissect all of them one by one and give you a framework you can apply to become a successful, well-paid writer.
1. I followed my gut instinct
No, you cannot.
If you follow your gut instinct, you are writing for yourself. To be a successful writer, you need to write for the reader.
This is applicable to fiction as well as non-fiction. Your story has to either educate the reader about how they can get rid of what is presently troubling them, inspire them to move on, or provide an escape from reality and entertain them.
2. I thought I will make money from book sales alone
Unless you are a New York Times bestselling author, book sales are probably going to earn you the least chunk of your income.
As an author, it is crucial to have multiple sources of income. I learned this lesson too late, and have, of late, started to maximize my digital footprint. I started writing seriously on Medium, creating content on Instagram, and making videos on YouTube.
These platforms don’t make me much money until I learned the transformative power of building a strong personal brand that keeps making you money even while you sleep.
3. I believed I needed to sell my work
The people who read your work are not doing it because they are interested in what you have written. They are interested because it is written by you.
To be a successful writer, you need to sell yourself.
You have to learn to promote your voice to your target audience and find a group of loyal readers.
Whichever marketing strategy you choose, you have to understand that the people who follow you do it because they love your voice and the way you present stories and facts. Leverage this and market yourself in the direction you are planning to write your next book or series of articles.
4. I thought if I have talent, the money will come
You may write the best stories in the world, but how would people know about you if you don’t reach out to them?
Marketing is the crux of your career as a writer. It is the only thing that has the power to make or break your book.
You need to study the rules of the platform and apply it to your work. Just creating quality content is not sufficient if it does not adhere to the policies and format of the content favored in that platform.
5. All I need to do is write
Isn’t it ironic that we call ourselves “writers”, and yet, we have to wear several hats? Based on my experiences, and as I had written in a previous article, here are four skills essential to being an author (apart from writing):
Shameless self-promotion skills to ask for money for writing assignments, get event invites to literary festivals and pitch your books to reviewers.
Public speaking skills to convert a hall of listeners to potential readers and the confidence to speak fluently without fumbling for words.
The confidence to appear natural in front of the camera and basic video editing skills to join video snippets together and remove background noise.
Social media skills (with a focus on Instagram) which include posting consistently and engaging with your readers.
Does this sound like way too much work?
It did to me at the start of my career, and that’s why it took me so long to monetize my skill and become a successful writer.
Join me live, and I’ll discuss all the strategies I mentioned here in detail. You also get to ask your burning questions live. You’ll also get to be a part of an amazing community of passionate writers and be eligible for lifelong support.
If you want to end this year with a bang and start 2022 on a high, this training program is definitely for you.
And bonus point, if you enroll today, you’ll be eligible for an early bird bonus of 75% off that’s only applicable to the first 50 sign-ups.
I hope to see you there. Let’s create some magic together.