This is something that I struggle with greatly because I like writing but I don’t want to dilute what I am doing by focusing on the monetary aspect of this. I would like to make money but since it is not the focus, I find it hard to find its place against the creative aspects. The writing is relatively easy in comparison to the more technical things like making sure this looks good, its performs etc. I used to be a lot better in regards to the technical side of things but then I also used to not be anywhere near as good at the writing side of things. So as usual its swings and roundabouts trying to balance everything.
In addition to the books that I have written that are for sale on my Amazon author page, I have examined the possibilities that are present on the web for earning extra income. I have looked at Fiver which is a website where people post the things that they are good at in order that someone hires they to do one off jobs or possibly more if you really find them valuable. Proof reading is another aspect that you can do in your spare time but does bunch around exam periods. There are of course apps like Grammarly that do this for you now. I’m sure you have all seen the ads on YouTube before the video you selected plays.
As I’m not much of a public speaker, I haven’t done much in the way of YouTube videos. This can be beneficial to teach others a foreign language as many polyglots and hyper polyglots employ this strategy to demonstrate how proficient they all are. this helps drive business for them as they are very comfortable talking and in some cases this is in fact how they learn. You can’t underestimate the importance of spoken communication but for a person like myself that is notoriously reticent when it comes to presenting verbally, its not for me hence no language course.
I don’t particularly like dealing with strangers and I’m reluctant to spend my entire life online in front of a computer as its not good for my eyesight but occasionally needs must. As an introverted person I prefer to spend my time with those that I know. I don’t don’t like spending money much which I’m sure many of you can appreciate how difficult it is to part with your hard earned cash. Especially if its in short supply which it always seems to be with me. I have to rein in my impulses to spend money on frivolous items as then I will be able to contribute to more worthy causes and get better value for my money. This makes my online presence fraught with problems as its how much do you reveal to gain an audience and how much do you keep secret so that you are not oversharing? As you may come to realise, boundary issues are another bug bear of my life.
Since I don’t want to add ads onto my site, I’m battling myself here as I think over-commercialization cheapens something. Meaning, that the money is in charge here and the companies that are responsible for the advertisements and not myself. I in effect don’t want to be branded a sellout as many products lose the quality that you loved in the first place when they go chasing revenue streams. I don’t wish to jeopardise my authenticity and creativity for cold, hard cash.
I have looked into affiliate marketing which is essentially promoting others services in exchange for greater site traffic and brand awareness. Its almost like doing a deal with the devil. How much equity are you willing to sacrifice to gain a foothold in the market. I see these battles on Dragon’s Den all of the time. They always have to give away more than they initially thought to get the expertise and the investment.
Having passive streams of income is a nice idea as it seems that you can have a steady stream of money flowing into your account for very little work. Again this is dependant on whether you are appealing to the mass market and for most creatives since we are innovative, we tend not to be part of the in crowd. So this hasn’t worked for me so far but it does for others otherwise this option wouldn’t be available.
The next area to address when looking for funding is Patreon. This is a fairly new idea to the market that offers you the opportunity to market to a community of creatives. It charges a small fee while you hold all of the rights towards your work. You create content, decide who can view it based on the various tiers that are in place and your patrons pay you for the privilege of early access to exclusive content. Many artists of the past were only able to create the work that they did because wealthy people funded them.
I have a problem with subscription based services as I just recently cancelled my Apple Music subscription that I have been paying for a couple of years. I now have a phone filled with music that I can’t get from anywhere else due to it being in foreign languages that mostly no longer plays. Sure I can go to YouTube to play the videos but it was for when I went travelling and didn’t have access to the internet. This is why Spotify wouldn’t work here. Since I don’t have a laptop either I can’t download from various sites that are available. That’s slightly dodgy too so I don’t recommend the lengthy steps involved to achieve this result. So I’m left with a conundrum of what to listen to and how.
I am also left with the issue of how to promote myself while not asking for PayPal donations like some other bloggers do. Is it sufficient to just blog for the sake of it given the amount of competition out there and just hope that one day I will make it big like George RR Martin, J K Rowling or Victoria Hislop ?
(It took these authors quite a considerable amount of time before they became profitable.)
Here is the follow up article I did about this dilemma:-
Reasons for and against monetisation