There are a lot of great things about writing a book. One of the best parts is being able to tell the world about your ideas or knowledge. Art is made to be shared, after all.
But another big reason to write a book is that it can bring in money while you sleep. In other words, you spend time writing the book and then make money from it after it comes out.
Sadly, that money isn’t always enough to make writing a full-time job. And this is where passive income comes in.
To be clear, passive income is not easy money. Instead, it’s putting in work at the start to make money easily in the future.
If you’re looking for more ways to use your writing skills to make money while you sleep, here are five options to think about.
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Making money from your blog
If you write fiction, you should take making your other content as seriously as you do writing your books. Consider this part of the job if you want to write full-time.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about how to start a blog. One of the most useful tools a writer can have is a blog. A blog not only helps you get more known online, but it can also make you money if you do it right.
How does that look, though?
For one thing, posts should always be the same. Don’t take more on than you can handle. Instead, make a plan for when you will post on your blog. Anything works, as long as you can stick to it without getting tired of it.
You should also think about what kinds of posts you want to put on your blog.
I’d suggest writing thought leadership pieces that are updated every so often. “Thought leadership” is a fancy term for writing content based on your expertise that will help people. Want an example of leading people’s thoughts? You can see one right now. Updates will be about your works-in-progress, new book releases, and anything else related to your work as an author.
Remember that the more you write and give away for free, the more likely it is that people will give back, and the more people Google SEO will send to your site.
When you do both of these things, your readership will grow over time, and you’ll eventually be able to make money from your blog.
2. Join affiliate program
You can use your content to make passive income if you join affiliate programs. Affiliate programs allow you to work with a business to send customers their way in exchange for a cut of the profits.
This won’t be too hard to do if you have a blog with a lot of readers.
To show how it works, picture this:
You have 5,000 people who read your blog. Company X hosts your blog, and you join Company X’s affiliate program, which pays you $100 for every person you send to them. For your next post, you write about the benefits of having a great blog and include an affiliate link that encourages people to sign up with Company X. If just 1% of your readers, or 50 people, do something, you’ll make $5,000 from that one post. On top of that, anyone who finds the post in the future could also make more money without doing anything.
Isn’t that cool?
Of course, this only works if you have a blog that a lot of people read, but if you work hard enough, you can do that.
Now that you know how it works, you can go look at other affiliate programs to see what might work best for you.
Start a podcast
Podcasts are a fun way to make money and add content to your author platform at the same time.
The idea is like a blog: make a show where you share useful information with other writers who want to get better. As a novelist, you already have a lot of knowledge that people will respect, so if you’re comfortable in front of the mic, starting your own show could be a good move for your brand.
For episodes, you could make anything from how-to videos to interviews with successful people in the industry. And don’t forget to include a blog post with every episode to get people to download it.
When it comes to making money, a podcast is different from a blog in that it is easier to use ads to make money from it. You can look for sponsors or affiliate deals once you have enough listeners.
From there, each new episode you post gives you a chance to make money without doing anything (especially if you stick to evergreen content).
If you’re a writer who wants to grow your brand, you need a list of people who want to hear from you. Simply put, this is a list of people who have given you their contact information, likely through a website plugin, and it keeps growing. Once you have it, you can use different software to send out newsletters, and you should try to do this at least once a month.
Setting up a newsletter takes some work, but once it’s done, it grows on its own.
A lead-gen piece is often the best way to get things going. For example, you could write a short ebook called “5 Ways to Write an Awesome Thriller” and have your software send it to everyone who signs up and gives you their email address. Or, if you don’t have time for that, maybe a “sign up to get all the important news” form will do.
Once you have a list, it will only get bigger over time, and each new subscriber gives you a chance to make more money.
You can make money with a newsletter in three ways:
- Sell ad spots on your own site based on how many people see them (as in, offering your readers a chance to advertise their own product in your newsletter)
- Find sponsors based on their views.
- Use an affiliate chance to get people to act.
There is no best way; only the best way for you. Once you find yours, every newsletter you send will make you money.
Don’t underestimate how much a good newsletter can help your business.
Create an online course
This idea for passive income is the most “passive” of all the ones on this list.
With an online course, you can share your interests with people who want to learn about them and get paid for it.
Every year, more platforms for sharing skills appear. Each one has its own bells and whistles, but they all work pretty much the same way: you make a class, sell it, and get most of the price for each person who takes it.
Putting together the course can be a lot of work, especially if you want to do a good job, but it is well worth the effort.
Stumped on what to teach? Think about what you already know. Here are some things to think about:
- Choosing the best main character for your book
- How to put together a mystery book
- The best ways to sell your book after it comes out
Find a topic that is narrow enough to get people interested but broad enough that you can fit several “lessons” under it.
Then, once you’ve put the class together, promote it on your blog, newsletter, podcast, social media, and anywhere else you have followers.
A successful online course could be a way to make money for the rest of your life.