Since 2012, I’ve made a significant amount of money as a ghostwriter. It’s a great way to pay the bills if you love to write. However, there comes a time when you want to focus more on creating something for yourself rather than ghostwriting for someone else. This is why I blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing it regularly enough to make it pay. So, what do I do to help myself as a successful author and make sure the bills are paid?
Making the Shift from Ghostwriting to Author
Becoming an author today isn’t as difficult as it was in the 1900s. Blogs and the Internet have provided the platform for virtually anyone to get involved with creating their own literary works. The trick is to make it pay out so you can continue to do the things you love without worrying about the power being turned off. Is it possible to do both without stretching yourself too thin?
Blogging is a great way to get yourself started creating the works you want. There are no editors to make happy, no clients asking for revisions and your fans become yours. Your name is tied to the piece, and you are the one who gets credit. The hardest part about blogging for yourself is being able to market the website in order to make it lucrative. Me, I would just like to supplement my measly income throughout the month. Don’t get me wrong, my clients are awesome. I would just like my name to be tied to the amount of money I make.
Running a blog isn’t all the difficult. In fact, it can be quite helpful for fine-tuning your skills as a writer. Even if you spend most of your day ghostwriting, you’ll benefit by practicing on your own website. The more you create for yourself, the more practice you’ll get throughout the week. Apply what you learn to your own pages. You’ll see just how far you’ve come over time. I find it interesting looking back on this website and seeing just how much my writing has changed over the years.
Monetizing the Blog
Monetizing your blog is perhaps the most difficult aspect of trying to supplement your income. Sure, you’ll hear and read stories of people turning their blogs into money makers. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the blogs developed today will be successful six months from now. Don’t expect to get rich quick when creating your blog. While ghostwriting may have a daily pay-out, writing for yourself could take months or even years to match what you’re making now.
Writing After Hours
I dedicate a certain number of hours for ghostwriting every day. It’s what I do with my time afterwards that makes the difference. As of late, I’ve been incredibly disappointed in myself. I’ll spend close to four hours after work watching Netflix. Then, when the kids go to bed, the wife and I spend another two. Six hours of my day is wasted when I could have been working on my blogs or my self-publishing novels. It’s enough to almost make me hate myself for being creatively lazy.
Organizing your time is key if you want to make the move from ghostwriting to a well-known author. You need to find the things that tap your time and fix them before it becomes out of control. For me, I am going to limit my video watching. Although I am running a health site at the moment, there are still plenty of hours in the day where I could have been working on my novel. If I would have started this months ago, I might have been published by now. You need to move beyond thoughts like this. It can be damaging to your motivation. There is no time like today to get started as an author if you’re tired of working for other people.
Limiting the Distractions
I’ve covered this topic a bit in the past, and it’s as true today as it was a couple of years ago. Limiting the distractions can be quite difficult, especially if you’re simply looking for reasons not to write. If you truly want to explore your potential, you need to remove things from your immediate area that could compromise your integrity. For example, I don’t have speakers on my work computer. I can’t watch videos or play games. When I am in my office at my store, it’s pure writing. The hard part is achieving this when I go home.
A lot of publishing houses will require a certain investment. Personally, I’d rather use the free alternatives when I publish my first few novels. I simply don’t have the money to put into the creative process. It’s bad enough that I need to come up with $200 per year to maintain all of my websites.
Testing the Waters
When you’re moving from ghostwriting to author, you want to make sure it’s something you want to do. Personally, I am involved in blogging as well as preparing to publish my first book on Wattpad. This is a free system that allows virtually any genre of writing that nearly anyone can read. You don’t get paid for it, unless you win some awards, but it’s a great way to see if your writing style will be accepted by the masses. It’s also an incredibly way to get some constructive criticism from those who spend a great deal of time reading – like my wife.
Finding Platforms for Self-Publishing
There are a number of platforms on the Internet that can help you publish your work once it’s completed. Create Space is an Amazon company who’ll help you get a bit of recognition. Although you might not get rich from the process, it’ll give you a chance to see yourself as a professional. Once my book is done, I plan on buying at least one copy so I can put it on my bookshelf.
Transitioning from ghostwriting to authorship isn’t going to be an instant thing, especially if you’re in a position like myself. You need to make sure you have the time to put into creating something. Start off small and build a reputation. When you’re financially stable enough, attack your writing like a mother bear protecting her cubs. You’re the only one preventing your own future success.