You’re a content marketer. I get that.
But have you thought about leveraging your writing skills and topic expertise into other kinds of gigs that can bring in revenue?
Diversification is key. Even if you’re great at what you do, developing multiple streams of income is a great thing:
- It helps keep your income steady. If one type of gig tanks, or just slows down for a while, you have others to rely on as backup.
- It keeps you from getting burned out. No matter how much you love what you do, there will be times when you would rather stick hot pokers into your eyes than write another white paper, newsletter, or client blog.
So, what else is a 21st-century content creator qualified to do?
Here are three ideas to get you started, I’m sure you can come up with many more:
1. Write for magazines
Many of the same techniques you use in copywriting and blogging work for online and print publications — from trade magazines like In-plant Graphics to consumer markets like Family Circle.
Trade magazines typically pay up to 50 cents per word, and newsstand magazines from 50 cents to $2 per word and up.
Grab a copy of Writers Market or get the online version to find magazines that accept freelance pitches, and check out your local newsstand and good old Google.
Then you need to learn how to write a query letter, which is basically a sales letter about your idea and why you’re the best person to write it.
Right up your alley, yes?
Blog posts, books, and online courses about query writing abound, at all price points. A little education, combined with your already-stellar writing skills, can get you started on this divergent path.
2. Teach online courses
I’m all about the courses … I teach one of my own, and also co-teach a couple with Carol Tice for the Freelance Writers Den.
As of this writing in mid-August, I’ve earned more than $26,000 from the e-courses I’ve taught this year — mostly from the audit version, meaning I do no more work than send out the lessons — and I still have a few to go.
The takeaway: People are hungry for the expert knowledge you have!
My classes are about breaking into the writing business, but if you’re a subject matter expert — for example, you write for healthcare companies — you can teach classes for people (writers or otherwise) who want to connect with that market, or for healthcare companies that want to learn to better market themselves or create collateral that rocks.
I decided to upgrade my teaching skills in preparation for developing some new classes, and have been taking — and loving — the TeachNow course by The Teachers Path. And of course, Copyblogger offers their ultra-comprehensive Teaching Sells course, all around building your business on a foundation of teaching.
You can also start the way I did at first, which is to learn by trial and error. Offer your first class gratis or cheap to a group of beta testers in exchange for their feedback.
3. Become a mentor or coach
If you’ve been doing this (content marketing, remember?) for a while, you know things that other people would pay to know.
I charge $250 per 90-minute mentoring call (and pro-rate for shorter calls) and I’m booked for as many sessions as I want to do. Other coaches and mentors I know charge about the same. Can you say lucrative? Not to mention how wonderful it is to connect with others in what’s typically a solitary career, and help them reach their goals.
Mentor or coach? Mentors are like consultants who supply advice and answers, while coaching is a more gentle approach of helping the client discover the answers on her own. I like to have all the answers and boss people around, so I bill myself as a mentor.
What credentials do you need to become a coach or mentor? Just superb skills in what you do and the ability — the need — to teach it well to others. But if you’re looking for some letters after your name, you can certainly take certification courses.
How about you … how have you diversified your writing career, and what have the benefits been?
Let me know in the comments …
About the Author: Linda Formichelli of UsefulWritingCourses.com is taking a survey of content mill writers in preparation for an e-course called Escape the Content Mills. If you write for mills like Elance, oDesk, Demand, or BlogMutt, please take this quick survey and you'll get a free copy of the ebook 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster.