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How To Monetize Your Writing Skills

One of the things I hate most is seeing unhappy, miserable people working a job they don’t like and don’t care about. It seriously annoys me and just makes me sad.

Because it doesn’t have to be like that.

I know the normal people of the world and society tells you that it has to be like that–that you have to go to college, get a job and then work until you retire. But it doesn’t actually have to be like that.

It’s a choice to spend your life that way. And it’s also a choice not to.

Choosing not to comes with its own set of challnges, obviously. But so does choosing to stay in a job you dislike that makes you feel like your soul is dying.

And in my opinion, the challenges of not spending your life that way far outweighs dying a little more every day in a soul-sucking job.

But even if you don’t want to work for yourself full-time, doesn’t mean you have suffer. Doesn’t mean you have to continue letting your income and your freedom be dictated by someone else. You can take back control and even make yourself a nice litle side income.

How amazing would it be to have extra money every month? Imagine the things you could do, be and have.

How badass would it feel to know that you never have to worry about money, because you’re not only making money from your day job, but you’re also making some on the side from the things you really care about (aka: your writing)?

This is totally possible. All it requires is for you to monetize the skills and gifts you already possess.

Writing services are a booming industry and will continue to grow and expand as more and more people and companies get online. Content is king on the internet, and writers are at the forefront of it.

Here are some writing services you can offer:

1. Copywriting

Tons of entrepreneurs are coming online every day and many of them have zero skill when it comes to writing copy. Which means there’s a great opportunity for any writer who’s good at writing copy (for emails, sales pages, product info pages, etc).

Copywriting is a skill that will always be in demand so long as their are entrepreneurs, companies and business owners.

2. Freelance Writing

This could cover most types of writing, as freelance writing is any kind of writing you’re doing for someone on a freelance (or contract) basis, instead of as an employee for their company.

As a freelance writer I’ve done everything from fictional short stories to blog posts to feature articles to profiles to emails to marketing and sales copy and more.

And the cool thing about freelance writing is you’re in control of when and where you work. You’ll have a deadline but the company who contracts you won’t tell you where to work or how to work or when to work. They’ll just give you the info they need you to write and you get to figure out how to get it done by the deadline.

But writing isn’t the only skill you can offer.

Just off the top of my head here are some additional skills you can monetize:

3. Beta Reading

There are so many writers out there writing novels and screenplays and poems and memoirs, etc., which means they’ll eventually need a Beta Reader. You could be that Beta Reader. If you know a lot of about stories and the craft of writing them, your Beta Reading skills could be invaluable to an emerging author who’s trying to make their book as good as it can possibly be.

Beta Readers are in demand in the writing industry. Majorly. And there’s a serious lack of them out there.

4. Editing

Again, there are tons of writers writing books, etc., and for anyone who’s self-publishing, an editor is a non-negotiable (it should be for someone who’s traditionally publishing too).

You could be that editor someone hires to read and give feedback on their story, or to line-edit and proofread the book once it’s ready for publication.

5. Content Marketing

If you know how to use social media to spread a message and grow a following, content marketing could be a very lucrative way for you to earn money with your skills.

Content marketing is in high-demand because of how much content companies and businesses are now pushing out to the online world through their websites and blogs. You could be the person who helps spread that content and that message.

Now these are just five examples. There are tons more ways to make money from your writing and communication skills. But my favorite is freelance writing, for a few reasons.

I love that you can freelance write while you hold down a regular job. I did that for years and it was a nice little side income that I’d use to buy things I wanted or to travel.

I also love that you can freelance write from anywhere in the world so long as you have a computer and internet access. Talk about freedom.

Getting to choose when, where and how you work is the kind of freedom I dreamed about for years while sitting behind a desk for eight-plus hours five days a week working for a company I didn’t care about. When I took my writing business full-time, I finally got to experience that freedom first hand (and I’d never go back!).

I don’t believe in working a job just to have a job. I believe you should do work you love.

I understand that sometimes you have to work a job you don’t like because you need to make a living (we all do it at some point) but you don’t have to only do that. And you don’t have to do it forever.

Now I’m not suggesting everyone go and monetize their writing skills. Well, actually, I am. But only if you actually have writing skills.

I don’t believe in trying to make money doing something you’re not actually good at or that you haven’t done yourself (for example, I see way too many business coaches out there trying to monetize helping people make money when they’ve never made money themselves… not cool.)

But if you’ve got experience in something or you’re passionate about something and you’ve got the skills to back it up, I see no reason why you can’t translate that into an income.

You can use your natural-born writing skills to create freedom for yourself, financially, physically and mentally. You just have to be brave enough to push yourself past the comfort zone you’re currently living in that’s stopping you from doing what it takes to monetize your writing skills.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Doors to the Freelance to Freedom: Get Gigs. Get Paid. Write for a living., are now OPEN!!! If you’re ready to monetize your writing skills and get paid to put words on the page, this is your opportunity to learn how to do that.

Like with all of my workshops, this is an interactive experience where you’ll be taking action, not just sitting around learning how to do something. You’ll actually be implementing the things you’re learning, and if you stick with it and do a good job, I will be introducing you to the editor-in-chief of multiple websites who is always on the look-out for new freelance writers (and the pay isn’t too shabby).

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/freelance

Freedom Is A Choice

When I was in college, I wanted to be a magazine editor (preferably fashion or lifestyle) in New York City. It was all I thought about.

I applied for jobs and internships all over NY as often as I could during my junior and senior year. But nothing really came of it.

I wasn’t deterred. I knew the NYC magazine world was a tough business to get into.

It was the second semester of my senior year and I had no idea what I’d be doing after graduation. I wasn’t worried, though. I already had a good job working for the local newspaper’s website and writing a weekly column in the print edition and features for its entertainment supplement.

And then something happened: my professor told me about a magazine internship she thought I should apply for… in Southern California.

Funnily enough, that same professor told me about that same internship (it was an annual thing) the year before, when I was a junior. I brushed it off because it seemed like a far-off idea to leave everything and go away for the summer.

But as a senior with no after-graduation plans who dreamed of being a magazine editor it was pretty much the best thing ever.

So I applied and got the internship and moved out to SoCal for the summer of 2005. I spent three months writing and editing for Reptiles magazine (by choice, I love reptiles!!), as well as helping out with other magazines within the company when they needed a hand (they had dozens).

I loved getting to dress up every day and go to the office, because that’s what I always saw my mom do growing up and that’s what I was always told you did. It was one of the best summers of my life.

Then I got offered a job as an editor for a pet products magazine, which I accepted without hesitation. I loved SoCal and loved working as a magazine editor.

At first.

But then I was really living out there. I wasn’t just subletting an apartment for 3 months in student housing, I was renting an house with a roommate and living further from the office, which required a longer commute.

And it made me realize something… why the fuck am I driving in HELL traffic to commute 15 miles from my house to the office to sit at a desk and go online and do all these things I could be doing from home?

I loved Southern California more than anything and can’t wait to move back there sometime in the near future. But what I didn’t love was working in an office.

I’d do anything I could to escape being there, including manifesting illness so I had to go to the doctor. And every time I’d be out of the office during the day, I would see tons of people out and about, enjoying their day. Eating lunch, drinking coffee, not living their life in an office all day.

And in that moment, I decided that’s what I wanted. To be FREE all day long and do whatever I wanted to do.

I had no idea how I’d make it happen, but I believed it was a future possibility.

Toward the end of my stint as a magazine editor, I hated going to the office so much that some days I’d roll in unshowered, wearing khakis, a hoodie and Chuck Taylors. I blamed it on the fact that I wasn’t doing enough writing and I wanted to be doing more writing.

So I left and moved with my now-husband to Houston to start a new adventure.

But then the same thing happened again. I got a great job, I loved it for a while, but I hated the commute and having to work in an office all day. And this job was a 100 percent online job, which meant I could do the whole thing from home (or anywhere).

And lucky for me I had a great boss who allowed our team to work from home 3 days a week. It gave me a preview of the life I wanted.

The freedom life. A life where I’m totally in control of my time and location.

But it still wasn’t enough.

I so badly wanted to find a job where I could work from home every day and never have to go to the office except for very rare occasions.

The problem was there weren’t very many jobs like that out there. Or at least I hadn’t been able to find any.

And whenever I jumped jobs for money (which I did often, I was totally driven by the money in my corporate career), I’d run into the same issues. I constantly tried to get my bosses to see how much more I’d be getting done if I was working from home full-time. But they’d never go for it.

I applied for work-from-home jobs all the time. Nothing came of all the energy I was putting into it.

That’s when I realized I had to stop giving other people permission to control my time and location.

I had to take back my power. I had to create my own freedom.

So that’s what I did. I quit my corporate day job in March 2012 and walked away to do my own thing where I’m in control of my time and my location.

I had no clue how I’d make money. It was pretty damn scary, actually, but I had so much adrenaline going from finally doing the thing I wanted to do–quit my job to work for myself–that I didn’t care. I just trusted that I took the action and something would work out.

And what worked out at the time, was freelance writing.

Back when I first moved from SoCal to Houston I couldn’t find a job right away and I didn’t want to settle for any crappy-ass job. So I freelanced for the first few months I was there, and I made a damn good income.

A job eventually came along, but I freelanced on the side now and then just because extra money is always nice. And there I was in 2012, having to figure out how to make my own money.

So I turned, once again, to freelance.

I wrote articles and marketing copy and feature stories and I interviewed people and I wrote my ass off. And I made a living.

It wasn’t a lot at first. In 2012 I brought in around $16k. But it was the best year of my life. Because it had been all on my terms and I was in charge of my time and location.

Freedom.

It’s the ultimate thing I value above everything else. Freedom.

My definition of freedom have evolved a lot over the years and I continue to create more freedom and it continues to be more and more on my terms. But that’s where it all started.

With freelance writing.

It gave me an income when I was in a job transition. It helped me support myself and my family when I first quit my job to work for myself.

Eventually I went from $16k to $25k to $32k and growing. Now I’ve added in several other income streams and make more money doing more things I enjoy.

But it all started with freelance.

Freelance writing = freedom.

Before you go jumping the gun here and quitting your job to freelance write, I have to add that freelance writing is a tough business. It’s an uncertain and sometimes inconsistent business. It’s an ever-changing business.

But the toughest part is being mentally strong enough to handle the freedom and all that comes with it.

Because now you’re in charge. You have to apply for gigs and you have to handle the payment arrangements and you have to keep track of everything and you have to pay taxes and discipline yourself to do the work by deadline.

Now your income is in your own hands.

And if you can’t handle the uncertainty and being in control and having the discipline to get shit done, the freelance life isn’t for you.

But if you can handle all of that, there are more and more opportunities available every day because so many companies are building online presences and on the internet, content is king.

Content can’t write itself. Which means they need writers to write the content for them.

There’s a whole lot more to know about freelance writing and living the freelance life. More than I can share in this post right now.

I really just wanted to inspire you to see that the freedom you so desperately want is yours, so long as you’re willing to do what it takes to create it.

Freelance writing isn’t the only option, obviously, but it is a great way to get paid for your words and to make a living as a writer.

And it also frees up your time so you can do more of your own writing too.

I’ve had the freedom life for 5+ years now and I will never go back.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

 

P.S. If you want to create your freedom life through freelance writing, stay tuned!! Doors to my new workshop, Freelance to Freedom, are opening on Thursday and we kick things off on August 1. More details soon… 

5 Ways to Make Money From Your Writing

Last week in my Facebook group, The 1% Writers Club (you can join the group here—it’s free), I asked: who wants to be a full-time writer? 
 
Out of the 65 people who responded, 60 said HELL YES, that’s me! 
 
And it makes sense. Most writers who were born to write want to do it full-time. That’s kind of a no-duh, I think.
 
Problem is, most writers don’t know what it really takes to be a full-time writer (and most aren’t willing to do the work—but that’s a whole other thing). They just imagine Stephen King or J.K. Rowling and see themselves sitting around all day drinking coffee and writing fiction. 
 
And that’s totally fine. We’ve all imagined that scenario before.
 
But a lot of times it doesn’t quite happen that way. And when you look at most writers who are making a full-time living from their writing, you’ll find that, nine times out of ten, they’ve diversified. 
 
They’re not just writing novels. They’re also writing nonfiction eBooks, freelance articles, doing some editing and creating digital products and services, for example. 
 
A writer who makes a full-time living from their writing knows you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. At least not at first. 
 
Unless you really do want to stay in your day job until you can write fiction full time. (That could take a while.) If you do, then go ahead and wait. 
 
But if you’re totally impatient like I am, I want you to know that can actually make a living from your writing in 8 to 12 months (maybe even sooner) if you diversify and don’t just try to do one thing. 
 
And really, why would you want to do just one thing? Owning a writing business and being a full-time writer is so much more fun when you’re doing lots of different things.
 
When I first quit my job in 2012 to take my writing business full-time, 90% of my money came from freelance writing projects, including writing copy, blog posts, emails copy, and social media content for companies. The other 10% came from my eBooks and coaching writers.
 
After a couple years, those percentages shifted, and most of my money was coming from coaching, writing services (like editing) and selling digital products. 
 
And now, after years of dreaming about it, a decent chunk of my income each month comes directly from my books (like this month, for example, I’ve made $1,190 so far… and the month isn’t even over yet).
 
Did this happen overnight? No.
 
Did it happen from one book? No.
 
Did it happen from doing only one thing? No. 
 
It came from diversifying. From writing fiction and nonfiction. From creating digital products and doing virtual workshops. From offering writing services and private coaching. 
 
I no longer do freelance writing. I no longer take on writing projects where I’m required to write for someone else.
 
All of the writing I do is stuff I actually want to be writing. It’s writing I want to be doing. 
 
The point of all this is to show you what it really takes to make a living as a writer. And also to inspire you to see that you don’t have to wait until you’ve made enough money from your books to become a full-time writer.
 
You can start right now. Here’s how:
 
Act As If—whoever that writer is you dream of being, be that person RIGHT NOW. Pretend you’re already a writer who makes a full-time living from your writing and then ask yourself every single day, what would I do if I was already that writer? When you absolutely believe at your core that you ARE that writer—even if your reality says otherwise—you WILL become that writer.
 
Start Doing Some Freelance Writing—there are tons of websites out there that list paid freelance writing gigs. Some pay more than others, but even the lower paying ones can be great experience for a writer who wants to get a foot in the door. One of my favorite freelance gig sites is: jobs.problogger.net.
 
Get On A Freelance Site—sites like fiverr.com and upwork.com are great places to offer writing services, depending on the kind of writing you enjoy. You can set up a profile and then offer yourself up as a writer-for-hire. 
 
Ask Around—let people know that you’re looking for paid writing gigs. You never know who has a connection or contact. When I first left my job I reached out to all the people I used to work with and asked them if they knew of anyone looking for content marketing and social media services (which is how I was using my writing back then) and I ended up with several new projects only a couple weeks later. 
 
Write A Self-Help Book—now you should only do this if you’ve accomplished something worthwhile or if you’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience in a certain topic. But in 2014 (the most recent stats I could find), self-help was a $10 billion dollar industry, a big chunk of which included books. Just imagine where it is now! And the reason?

People, more than ever, want to learn, grow and achieve things in their lives. They want to save money and learn how to do stuff themselves. They want to self-heal by using advice and experiences from people who’ve gone through what they’re going through and came out the other side. 

 
So writing a book about something you’ve been through or know a lot about is a great way to jump-start your pro-writing life and, if you do a good job, make some money. 
 
There are so many ways for you to start your pro writing career RIGHT NOW TODAY. You just have to be flexible and open to the idea of diversifying. 
 
Yes, we’d all love to do nothing more than write and publish our novels (or nonfiction books). And, yes, this can absolutely happen. 
 
But it’s not gonna to happen fast (in fact, it could take years and years and years). Whereas you can literally start freelance writing tomorrow. Money in hand, writing out in the world.
 
Pro writer, baby.
 
A lot of writers who see themselves as making a full-time living from writing only see themselves writing books. And while you can do that, you’re much better off diversifying. 
 
There are a lot of different ways to get in the pro-writer game, so don’t limit yourself. Explore all of your options and push yourself to try new things. 
 
Your full-time writer self will thank you for it.

Share With Us

Which of the 5 options will try to start getting your writing out there and making some money.

Ready to write and publish your nonfiction eBook? I have a self-paced eCourse coming out in mid-August that will help you do just that. Stay tuned!