Welcome back to our series on how to make a living as a writer by running a website teaching people how to make a living as a writer. (Missed part 1? Read it here.)
One thing people often ask me is, “If I don’t know how to make a living as a writer myself, how can I run a website teaching other people how to make a living as a writer?”
The answer, of course, is in the question. You do know how to make a living as a writer, because you are making a living by writing content for a website that teaches other people how to make a living as a writer!
Remember that your target audience are people who, by definition, are not making a living as a writer. They cannot prove you wrong, since to do so they would have to know how to make a living as a writer, and would therefore be making a living as a writer, and not reading your website. If anyone ever challenges you or the things you say, simply observe how many aspiring writers visit your site looking for information on how to make a living as a writer. Hint at the obscene advertising revenue you’re pulling in, without giving away any pertinent details that would violate your terms of service. And trust that your dedicated readers will spring to your defence.
Fact 1: you will influence far more people with an article about how to make a living as a writer than you are ever likely to influence with any book you ever write. It makes you wonder why anyone wants to write books at all, but be grateful they do, otherwise no one would visit your site that explains how to make a living as a writer.
Fact 2: It is easier to write articles about how to make a living as a writer, than it is to write a book. I can bash these things out in fifteen minutes, and people will still read them. Why? Because it’s easy, and it feels like they’re doing something constructive. Sure, they could write a few hundred words of their manuscript... or they could read whatever tripe you’ve streamed directly from your consciousness onto their monitors.
Remember that you can still buy novelty merchandise featuring cute animal puns. Notice how I casually slipped in a reference to a product I’m selling? I make far more money from each t-shirt sale than I do from each ad impression, so I try to encourage people to buy merchandise. You’ll want to do this too, with a pdf e-book or something similar.