I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since this whole thing started. Can you? I go to the store and see patches of empty space where there once used to be completely full shelves. Meat, juice, and beans are no longer impossible to find, but toilet paper still requires a hunt. What was initially going to be a couple of weeks (supposedly) of #SlowtheSpread has turned into the beginnings of a new normal. For now, anyway.
And here in America, the unemployment numbers keep climbing.
So, I decided to do what little I could to help. This post is the first part of that. Because the worst thing is to not even have an idea of what to do when it comes to bringing in money, and because I do have some experience in this, I thought it might be good to share the resources I’ve found helpful when it comes to non-fiction writing.
Why am I starting with non-fiction if I’m all about self-publishing fiction? Here’s three reasons:
- Non-fiction is easier to market because the need is concrete and can be easily explained (lose weight, improve memory, etc.), plus it can easily flow from skills you’ve already gained over the course of your life. Fiction delivers an abstract experience that can be difficult to put into words, and that can cause issues when it comes to finding your audience.
- Non-fiction identifies and helps solve an immediate need. People turn to non-fiction when they have a problem they want solved. Now.
- Non-fiction is, in many ways, easier to write. Because you know the problem and often have a clear idea of your audience, everything from research to the writing itself is geared toward solving your audience’s clearly defined problem.
If you need money, need flexibility, and also need a portable job that can easily be done at home, it’s hard to beat freelance writing. I highly recommend trying it if you have a basic grasp of grammar, an interest in sharing information, and the ability to see viewpoints outside your own to give people what they need. Oh, and it helps if you have an intense curiosity about the world around you. Just sayin’.
If it sounds like something you want to check out, here are a few resources to get your started.
First, Moira Allen’s site Writing-World has info on just about everything you’d want to know in order to make money from your writing. It’s an older website, but there’s solid info on how to get gigs writing magazine articles, greeting cards, travel writing, tech writing, and so on. It also has general info for freelance writers (basics like info on grammar guides, how to conduct an interview, etc.), articles on productivity, business information, time management, book and author promotion, and a whole lot more.
If you prefer something a bit more intensive with a site that looks more contemporary, I strongly recommend Carol Tice’s website, Make a Living Writing. Carol Tice is passionate about helping writers make money writing and has a fantastic blog that updates regularly with great info. Though it wasn’t as easy for me to navigate as Moira Allen’s site, she covers an enormous amount of ground, with an emphasis on making sure writers get paid what they’re worth for their work. Highly recommended for those who want to get started making money from their writing fast.
Next, if you like helping businesses sell their products, there’s a wealth of information about copywriting out there. Personally, I recommend Bob Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook to learn the basics of copywriting and the website Copyblogger for more specific information and courses. Another very good resource is The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (link takes you to his site, which includes info about his book).
If you want to get into blogging for businesses, Sophie Lizard’s Be a Freelance Blogger has great info about not only getting started in this particular aspect of freelance writing but how to handle the other, non-monetary aspects of the job.
ProBlogger is for those who want to make their own blog start paying. Excellent resource, and it has a job board, too.
This final resource is actually kind of interesting. The Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a book meant for freelancers of all kinds, not just writers. It’s available for free on the author’s blog, but she also has it available at all major ebook/paperback retailers.
I own a copy and it’s an excellent resource. She really does take the time to try to reference other freelance professions in her examples and her points are clearly stated. Great for those who want to look at general principles when it comes to the freelance life.
(Side note: Kris Rusch has been writing about the corona virus and it’s impact on her blog, particularly on the publishing industry. If you’re interested.)
Those are the resources I’ve found most helpful. More soon.
What about you? Any resources you recommend or ideas for generating income? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!