November 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments
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I can see from the website traffic and occasional comments that folks are still visiting this site (thank you!), though I haven’t updated it in ages.
I had someone else writing for my blogs for a couple of years while I worked on finishing some fantasy novels, which I chose to e-publish on my own (more details on my author blog). I’m now making enough money from that to quit the “day job” (blogging and article sites) completely, so I decided to sell my old sites and move on. I can’t give up teaching and blogging completely, though, so I’m posting over at a new self-publishing site. That one covers e-publishing, book promotion, and social media tips for authors.
If any of those things interest you, please stop those sites. In the meantime, best wishes with all your writing (and money making) endeavors!
Tags: Lifestyle Design
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If you enjoy writing and you’re looking to make money (which is probably a given if you found your way to this blog), then you may have considered writing ebooks. Unlike traditional ink-and-paper books, ebooks cost very little to create (you may pay a bit for some “cover art,” but your time is the main investment) so the profit margins are close to 100%. Let’s take a look at three ways experienced ebook writers make money with their digital texts: direct sales, affiliate links, and as a leader to generate other sales.
Making Money with Direct Sales
This is the most obvious way to make money with an ebook. Write quality content that informs, entertains, and/or solves a problem, and you have something people will potentially buy. You can sell ebooks directly through your website or blog (if you’re not a tech-stud, you may need help setting up a shopping cart) or through various marketplaces. Clickbank and E-junkies are both options; they offer you a place to sell your digital products, and they also help affiliate marketers find and promote your ebook.
An example of an ebook that makes money through direct sales is WriterGig’s How to Earn Passive Income at eHow.com: Residual Income for Web Content Writers. She worked her way up to making $1,000+ per month from eHow and makes additional money by selling her instructional ebook for $25. An affiliate program, which offers a 50% commission, entices others to help her promote it.
You could do the same thing, turning a little bit of expertise into an ebook that others help you sell over and over again for continuing income.
Making Money by Embedding Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketers have long used ebooks as a way to embed affiliate links that are related to the material in the text. If the reader clicks through and buys something from a merchant you’re associated with, you make a commission. An ebook that you give away for free on your website can end up making you a lot of money this way.
Some enterprising ebook writers will sell their ebook to the reader and embed affiliate links, so they have the opportunity to get paid twice. My recommendation is to do this with care as readers may feel gypped if they pay good money for the ebook and then find they have to buy another product in order to find the solution they were seeking.
An example of an ebook with affiliate links is Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook. Almost since the beginning of selling on the web, she’s been making a high six-figure income by promoting other people’s products. Because of that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that her ebook sells for $47 and includes affiliate links. Fortunately, she incorporated her links in a way that didn’t leave me feeling jilted when I read the book. For example, when she suggests purchasing your own web hosting and domain name rather than using free sites, she uses affiliate links to send you to web hosting sites. Sure, she makes money, but she’s recommending products you would have had to buy anyway if you wanted to follow her style of affiliate marketing.
Whether you sell your ebook or give it away, embedding affiliate links can be profitable.
Using Your Ebook to Promote Other Products
This method of making money requires you to have other products people can purchase. You write a solid, informative ebook and then give it away for free. This becomes a promotional opportunity, offering you a way to get people to visit your site and purchase items that you can sell for more (in some cases, much more) than a simple ebook. This is where it helps to have friends in the biz. If you can get people to blog about your free ebook and share the download link with their mailing list subscribers, then you can get a lot of exposure.
An example of an ebook that does a wonderful job of this is Yaro Starak’s Blog Profits Blueprint. He uses the free how-to text to subtly promote his membership site (which teaches you all about creating a profitable blog in a niche you’re passionate about). If you read the ebook, you’ll probably be surprised at how thorough and helpful it is, considering he gives it away for free. But, if you think about it, this is a wonderful way to establish a rapport with an audience, build trust, and entice readers to buy an online course (I’ve gone through the course myself, and thought it was a valuable experience, so I have no problem mentioning Yaro’s ebook here).
You never know: giving away a free ebook might just turn out to be the most profitable way to make money writing ebooks.
If you’d like to share ways you’ve made money with ebooks, please comment below. We’d love to hear about your success (or even plans for future success)!
Tags: Books & Ebooks
January 25th, 2010 · 8 Comments
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Out of curiosity, I looked up “make money writing” on Google. I found a couple of decent links and a whole bunch of pages designed to sell me make-tons-of-money-super-pronto ebooks. Since I make a living writing content for my blogs and websites, I thought I’d chime in (no ebooks to buy in this post, sorry).
There are two basic ways to make money writing: write content for others to sell (or otherwise monetize) or write content that you sell (or otherwise monetize). Let’s take a look at both methods.
How to Make Money Writing Content for Others
We’re essentially talking about freelance writing here, and it’s my least favorite way to make money for a couple of reasons:
- In most cases, you only get paid once for your work (no matter what rates you’re eventually able to command, it’s always going to be an hour’s work for an hour’s pay), so there’s no opportunity to earn significant passive income.
- You’re competing with a lot of people, and there’s always going to be someone willing to do the work cheaper.
- In selling your work to someone else, you give up the rights to it. It belongs to a new owner, and, in most cases, you can’t ever use it again.
All that said, writing content for someone else is the easiest way to start making money quickly. (In the next section, I’m going to talk about building up your own sites as a way to make money from advertising, affiliate programs, or creating your own products–i.e. ebooks or training courses–but this takes longer to get off the ground.) You can find a gig on Rentacoder or post an article to Constant Content and possibly get paid within a month.
If you’re trying to make money writing right now, then this is the way to get started. Here are some sites you can check into:
Elance & Rentacoder — These are sites where you can bid to get freelance writing jobs. Someone may be looking for a ghostwriter for an ebook or content for a website. To give yourself a good chance of being chosen, you’ll want to put together an online portfolio with sample articles you’ve written (if you don’t have a site of your own yet, you can use some of the sites I’ll post next as places to “publish” your work). Chances are, the pay will not be good, as people generally come to these sites looking for as good a deal as possible, but it can be a way to get started while you work on other ways to make money from your writing.
Associated Content, Helium, eHow, Hubpages — On these sites, you create an account, and submit articles (you have a lot of freedom on what to write about). These sites make money displaying ads next to your work. In some cases you’ll earn a couple bucks for articles that are accepted, in some cases you’ll earn money based on page views (basically a percentage of what the outfit is making from advertising), and for some sites it’s a combination of both. An article that’s initially purchased for a measly $5 may end up making more if it becomes popular and gets a lot of views. The outfit will encourage you to promote your own articles so you can get more views and thus earn more (in my opinion, if you’re going to go to that much trouble, you might as well create your own site, and keep 100% of the advertising revenue).
Constant Content — This is another site where you can publish articles, but it’s a little different in that you get to set the prices for your articles. You’re not selling them to CC, but to buyers who will come to the CC marketplace in order to browse articles. You have the option of offering a usage price (meaning the article can be sold numerous times to folks who just want to use it and don’t care if it’s unique) or an exclusive price (meaning the person who buys it is the only one who can ever use it). The passive-income-loving writer in me likes the idea of selling articles again and again for usage rights, but from the message boards it sounds like most folks are lucky to sell articles more than once or twice.
How to Make Money Writing Your Own Content
This is what I love to talk about and largely what this site focuses on. The way to make good money writing for the web is to create assets that you control 100% and which pay you again and again.
Blogging — Creating a blog can be an ends in itself or it can be a launch pad for other ways of making money from your writing. I’ve talked about blogging quite a bit (check the category), so I’ll just touch on it lightly here, but the idea is to choose a niche you’re interested in, create quality content that informs people (if you can solve people’s problems, you can always make money), and build up the number of visitors it receives (through building links to your site). Once you’re getting a decent amount of traffic, you can make money from your blog by adding advertising, such as Google Adsense, or selling advertising directly to merchants. You can also sign up for affiliate programs and make money promoting products that are related to your niche.
Books, Ebooks, Newsletters, and Other Products — Once you have a blog built up, you can also use it as a platform to launch products of your own. While I’m a big fan of selling advertising (I love Adsense, in particular, because it’s so low maintenance and there’s absolutely no customer service involved), I fully acknowledge that the real chance to build wealth and control your destiny is to have your own products. As a writer, books or ebooks are natural first steps, but, depending on your niche, you may want to create higher-ticket products as well. Many entrepreneurial types favor training courses (which may be offered through membership sites) or paid-subscription newsletters. These types of services involve people paying for monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions, so you earn money over and over again, with earnings increasing as the number of subscribers increase.
No matter which road you take (you may like a mix of both), you can make money writing for the web. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise!
Tags: Writing for Wealth 101