writer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8048/all en-US Can You Really Make a Living as an Ebook Writer? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_book_83658901.jpg" alt="Woman making a living as an ebook writer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ebooks have made self-publishing more accessible than ever. As recently as the 1990s, self-publishing meant paying to have thousands of physical books printed; a 1999 CNNMoney article pegged the cost at $12,000 to $30,000.</p> <p>Now that the majority of books sold are electronic, you can self-publish for much less &mdash; even for free. But does that mean you have a better chance now at making money on that self-published book than you did when expenses were higher?</p> <p>That all depends on how you go about it, and how lucky you are. Let's break down the process.</p> <h2>Where to Publish</h2> <p>The three main online stores that sell ebooks are Amazon's Kindle Store, Barnes &amp; Noble's Nook Store, and Apple's iBookstore. A few books are sold on other marketplaces as well, such as the Kobo US bookstore and GooglePlay Books. Authors can also sell their books directly to consumers on their own websites.</p> <p>Since <a href="http://authorearnings.com/report/october-2015-apple-bn-kobo-and-google-a-look-at-the-rest-of-the-ebook-market/">74% of all ebooks are sold on Amazon</a>, it's often the first or only place new authors think of to sell their work. And there are a lot of <a href="http://www.magnoliamedianetwork.com/sell-your-ebook-on-amazon/">benefits to selling on Amazon</a>. Kindle books are easy to buy, and the publishing process is straightforward. On the flip side, there are so many books selling on Amazon, including those from unknown new authors (like you), that it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Amazon demands that you <a href="http://selfpublishingadvice.org/alli-watchdog-amazon-vs-apple/">exclusively sell your book</a> through them if you want to take advantage of many benefits, such as the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. (Keep in mind that Amazon pays authors when people check out their books; one ebook author said the Lending Library accounted for <a href="http://upfuel.com/how-much-money-can-one-kindle-book-make-1-year-case-study/">10% of his revenue</a>.) The biggest disadvantage of selling with Amazon, for many, is that they just don't like the way Amazon treats its authors.</p> <p>Apple's iBookstore is gaining market share, and as you would expect from Apple, books published on this platform look beautiful. But while Kindle books can be downloaded onto just about any device, readers can only access iBooks on an Apple device such as an iPad or an iPhone, which limits the market.</p> <p>Nook seems to be getting squeezed out by the big two ebook stores, and should probably only be considered as a secondary place to publish. The bottom line is that you may sell more books on Amazon, but some authors don't feel like that's a good enough reason to publish there.</p> <p>&quot;I may not sell as many books with Apple &mdash; yet &mdash; but it's a whole lot more fun working with them,&quot; writes author Giacomo Giammatteo.</p> <p>No matter which platform you choose, you stand to make about $2 a book if you sell your ebook for $2.99 &mdash; which is a popular price point.</p> <h2>How to Publish</h2> <p>Once you've decided where to sell your ebook, you're not done making decisions. You must decide whether to create and upload your ebook all on your own, or to pay an epublishing service or distributor to do it for you. The top services include <a href="https://www.bookbaby.com/">BookBaby</a>, <a href="https://www.smashwords.com/">Smashwords</a>, and <a href="http://www.ingramspark.com/">IngramSpark</a>. For fees of $149 or more, these services can format your book and upload it to multiple different ebook stores. You can pay more for value-added services, such as editing, cover design, and even print-on-demand paper books.</p> <p>You can also hire editing and design professionals independently for these services.</p> <h2>What to Publish</h2> <p>What your ebook is about all depends on your goals. If your motive is purely profit, there are methods of figuring out which topics are most likely to sell books. An anonymous author, who claims to be making tens of thousands of dollars a month publishing short ebooks (about 20 pages), describes his <a href="http://thehustle.co/underground-world-of-kindle-ebooks">process for choosing topics</a> on The Hustle: &quot;I find books that are selling well, check out their tables of contents, and look at the negative reviews to see what they missed.&quot;</p> <p>It may be disheartening for a hardworking writer to hear, but this successful entrepreneur says that sales are driven mainly by the cover image and the book description: &quot;[T]he book's content is the least important part of the process.&quot;</p> <p>If your motive is more to get a great idea or story out into the world, rather than just cranking out any title that will sell, you should still do your research before you sit down and start writing. If you have a blog, poll your readers on what topics they'd most like to see expanded upon in a book. If your book is in a genre or niche, such as a cookbook, study the top-selling, well-reviewed ebooks in that niche and try to figure out what you could add that hasn't already been done well. Fiction authors can also benefit by looking at already published novels in their category, to figure out both how to avoid writing books that have been done to death &mdash; and to find out what types of novels are hot right now.</p> <h2>How to Make It Sell</h2> <p>Once upon a time, writers just turned in their manuscripts to publishers and left the advertising and promotion to the company. But even authors with book contracts nowadays find themselves doing their own advertising and promotion. <em>Before</em> you publish your book, consider the investment of hiring a publicist to let media know about your upcoming release. If you're publicizing it yourself, write about your upcoming book on your blog, and ask other bloggers to write about it as well. You can also create a new blog just about the new book or about its topic, in order to drive traffic to your book.</p> <p>Don't forget good old-fashioned advertising. Mark Dawson, who says he makes six figures selling his novels on Kindle Direct, pays $370 a day to advertise it on Facebook, according to Forbes.</p> <h2>Will You Make Money?</h2> <p>Of about 200,000 authors selling ebooks on Amazon, only about 5,000 &mdash; less than 3% &mdash; consistently earn $10,000 a year or better, according to the website Author Earnings. More than half of those are traditionally-published authors. So, only around 1% of all the people self-publishing ebooks are making much money on it.</p> <p>That's not to say you can't. One approach for ending up with more money in your pocket is to keep your investment low, so that even if sales are modest, you still keep some profit. To save themselves from investing too much time, some ebook authors suggest <a href="http://www.fabfreelancewriting.com/blog/2013/06/25/writing-kindle-ficion-make-money-with-short-stories/">keeping books short</a> &mdash; since people are about as likely to pay for a 20-page book or short story as they are for a full-length novel. Others minimize their time investment by outsourcing the cover art (<a href="http://thehustle.co/underground-world-of-kindle-ebooks">this guy gets all his covers designed on Fiverr</a>) or even the content.</p> <p>Again, it's all about your goals. If your dream is to delight readers with your imaginative novel or win a literary award, you're not going to dash out an outline and hire a low-cost overseas writer to flesh it out. But if your goal is to develop a passive income stream by pumping out 50 titles a year, outsourcing is probably your best option.</p> <p>In the end, the answer is that you can make a living self-publishing ebooks, but like a lot of business ventures, most people who try it don't cash in. If you decide to enter self-publishing as a moneymaking venture, make sure to research the market first and put in the time to create a product that's optimized to sell.</p> <p><em>Have you tried selling an ebook online? What was your experience like? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-as-an-ebook-writer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-turn-your-stress-into-money">8 Ways to Turn Your Stress Into Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-job-perks-that-can-lead-to-a-dream-career">6 Job Perks That Can Lead to a Dream Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Extra Income author books bookworm ebook author eBooks freelancer jobs novelist professional writer side hustle writer Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1742406 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_computer_cafe_84295655.jpg" alt="Woman looking for places to find freelance writing jobs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have ever read about work-at-home opportunities, freelance writing was probably listed as a top choice. While freelance writing offers a lot of flexibility for those who enjoy stringing words together, it is not always easy to find writing jobs.</p> <p>We've already linked you to 22 websites that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">pay individuals to write articles</a> for money. That is a great list to start with. I strongly recommend pitching directly to websites that are open to submissions, since they will pay for your work and can help build up your portfolio.</p> <p>Here are six other sources will connect you to a mass of writing jobs and individuals looking for regular writers.</p> <h2>1. ProBlogger's Job Board</h2> <p>ProBlogger is one of the top authorities on blogging. The&nbsp;<a href="http://jobs.problogger.net/">ProBlogger Job Board</a> is updated daily with unique writing positions. Companies pay ProBlogger directly to advertise their open positions, which I have found to mean two things. First, many of the positions pay pretty well. Secondly, since ProBlogger is the creator of this job board, you aren't going to see the same ad over and over again, like you might on Craigslist.</p> <h2>2. Craigslist</h2> <p>Finding a writing position on Craigslist should be approached with caution. There are many new websites that seek writing services, yet they do not offer compensation, or offer the bare minimum. Look for legitimate websites and make sure compensation is clear before starting. A sign of a good company is one that asks you to fill out a W-9 form.</p> <p>With that being said, I have written for some great companies through my search on Craigslist. I recommend searching under Craigslist's writing/editing section. Also, try searching for writing jobs in large cities across America. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well?ref=seealso">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a>)</p> <h2>3. FreelanceWriting.com Job Board</h2> <p>Another great site to check often is the job listings at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freelancewriting.com/freelance-writing-jobs.php">FreelanceWriting.com</a>. The site has been around since 1997 and pulls jobs listings from all across the Internet. You will find a wide variety of listings, but the listings do not seem to be updated daily. The site's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freelancewriting.com/newsletters/morning-coffee-freelance-writing-jobs.php">Morning Coffee Newsletter</a> sends new job listings to your email each weekday morning.</p> <h2>4. LinkedIn</h2> <p>If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile that details your experience as a freelancer, then I strongly suggest you get one. LinkedIn has allowed me to search for remote freelance writing jobs with success. Even better, I have been contacted by recruiters for writing work.</p> <p>I think it is also a good idea to follow other freelance writers to get an idea of who they are writing for.</p> <h2>5. MediaBistro</h2> <p>What I like about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mediabistro.com/jobs/search/?Duration=130&amp;countrycode=US&amp;Page=2">MediaBistro</a> is that their listings are geared towards more professional writers. They have listings for all types of writers, including remote listings for freelancers and contractors.</p> <h2>6. Journalism Jobs</h2> <p><a href="http://www.journalismjobs.com/index.php">Journalism Jobs</a> lists hundreds of writing positions across the U.S. While most jobs are for in-house positions, there is an option to search freelance positions. It's a good idea to add this to your weekly search routine. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-introverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts</a>)</p> <h3>What to Avoid</h3> <p>There will be many job listings that make their way on Craigslist or other freelance writing boards that only pay $3&ndash;$4 per article. They write their ads to say individuals can earn $15&ndash;$30 an hour, and that it just depends on how fast you write. I recommend staying away from these types of jobs, too, since you basically become an article mill for others who will profit off of your hard work.</p> <p>In the end, finding the best writing jobs for your experience level that fit your desired rate will take some time. Keep looking and keep building up your portfolio and experience. Almost a decade ago, I started writing online, and I can assure you that I did not make very much money at first. It took a lot of time, practice, and years of pitching to get paid a decent rate and to get regular freelance work.</p> <p><em>Where do you find freelance writing gigs? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy">Can You Really Make a Living in the Gig Economy?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-jobs-that-dont-pay-much">15 Great Jobs That Don&#039;t Pay Much</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting freelance jobs gig economy job search side hustle side job work from home writer writing writing gigs Mon, 13 Jun 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1728672 at http://www.wisebread.com Thrive as a Starving Writer--Lessons from the Experts http://www.wisebread.com/thrive-as-a-starving-writer-lessons-from-the-experts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/thrive-as-a-starving-writer-lessons-from-the-experts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/writer-at-typewriter.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The web is full of advice for starving writers. And why not? Any writer has heard the advice &quot;Write what you know,&quot; and one thing many writers know is about being a starving writer. Oddly, most of their advice is on writing. A couple of truly great writers, though, have left us advice on the much more important topic of not starving.</p> <p>One writer I'm thinking of in particular is Ernest Hemingway.</p> <p>Hemingway is hardly the only person to have written about a year or two spent as a starving writer. Another is George Orwell, who wrote the masterful <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/015626224X?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=015626224X"><em>Down and Out in Paris and London</em></a>. But although Orwell lived as a starving writer, the vivid descriptions in his book offer little in the way of practical advice for someone trying to carve out time and space to make a go of being a writer. Hemingway on the other hand, has plenty to say on just that topic.</p> <p>There's a short piece by Hemingway available on-line: <a href="http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Living_on_$1,000_a_Year_in_Paris">Living on $1000 a Year in Paris</a>. The article describes how cheaply it was possible to live in Paris--a room for $30 a month, breakfast for $6 a month, subway rides for 4 cents--thanks to the exchange rate at the time.</p> <blockquote><p>At the present rate of exchange, a Canadian with an income of one thousand dollars a year can live comfortably and enjoyably in Paris. If exchange were normal, the same Canadian would starve to death. Exchange is a wonderful thing.</p> </blockquote> <p>That was in 1921 and the dollar-franc (and now dollar-euro) exchange rate has long since reverted to something reasonable, but the central message is still valid: To thrive as a starving writer what you need is a very cheap cost structure for your home economy.</p> <h2>Living on $X a year</h2> <p>First of all, don't throw your hands up at the figure of $1,000 a year. Adjusted for inflation, $1,000 a year in 1921 comes to (according to the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>) $12,031 a year in 2009 dollars.</p> <p>Getting by on $12,000 a year would be tight in the United States--especially so if, as Hemingway was, you're feeding two people. Tight, and yet not impossible. Hemingway's $30 room translates to $361, and rooms for that price can be found in many parts of the United States. There aren't many places where a subway ride could be had for an inflation-adjusted 48 cents, but where I live a bus ride can be had for less than a dollar. You can eat very cheaply if your room includes access to a kitchen and you're willing to eat mostly rice, beans, and whatever vegetables are cheap that day at the grocery store.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416591311?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1416591311"><em>A Moveable Feast</em></a>, his memoir about those years, Hemingway mentions many little ways he economized. Gertrude Stein advised that he spend no money on clothes (although she thought he should spend the money saved thereby on art). He writes about saving money by not getting his hair cut--which had an added bonus for Hemingway:</p> <blockquote><p>I found out very quickly that the best way to avoid going over to the right bank and get involved in all the pleasant things that I could not afford and that left me with, at least, gastric remorse was not to get a haircut. You could not go over to the right bank with your hair cut like one of those wonderful looking Japanese noblemen painters who were friends of Ezra's.... &quot;You mustn't let yourself go, Hem. It's none of my business of course. But you can't go native this way. For God's sake straighten out and get a proper haircut at least.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>There are a lot of things that can be cut out of a budget--if you're a writer and if cutting them makes it possible to spend your time writing.</p> <h2>Live someplace cheap</h2> <p>The exchange rate no longer makes Paris a cheap place to live, but there are plenty of places around the world that are cheap. I'm sure in a couple of decades we'll be reading memoirs by a new generation of great writers who right now are living and writing in Malaysia or South Africa or Brazil. (Foreigners think it's funny that Americans worry about how dangerous it would be to live overseas, because they think of the United States as a violent place with dangerous cities and terrible health care.)</p> <p>It's really not necessary to go overseas, though, in search of a cheap place to live. There are plenty of cheap places in the United States. Rather, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">big stumbling block for most aspiring writers</a> is debt. If you can dodge that--get through school with little or no student debt, or else get your student debt paid off before you imbed the expenses of a middle-class American standard of living into the cost structure of your household, then you can go down the starving writer path--and probably do it without starving.</p> <p>And, if you can't avoid starving just a little bit, Hemingway managed to find an upside even to that:</p> <blockquote><p>You got very hungry when you did not eat enough in Paris because all the baker shops had such good things in the windows and people ate outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled the food. When you were skipping meals at a time when you had given up journalism and were writing nothing that anyone in America would buy, explaining at home that you were lunching out with someone, the best place to do it was the Luxembourg gardens where you saw and smelled nothing to eat all the way from the Place de l'Observatoire to the rue de Vaugirard. There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were heightened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry. I learned to understand C&eacute;zanne much better and to see truly how he made landscapes when I was hungry.</p> </blockquote> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thrive-as-a-starving-writer-lessons-from-the-experts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-ive-been-trying-to-say">What I&#039;ve been trying to say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-line-between-frugal-and-crazy">The line between frugal and crazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-takes-a-frugal-spouse-to-make-a-frugal-home">It takes a frugal spouse to make a frugal home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living frugality starving writers thrive writer writers Tue, 25 Aug 2009 20:02:28 +0000 Philip Brewer 3540 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spinning-wheel-and-yarn.jpg" alt="Spinning wheel with yarn" title="Spinning Wheel with Yarn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="227" height="399" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hobbies generally end up in the expense category. Depending on the hobby, you may be paying for equipment, supplies, books and magazines, classes, training--the list goes on. Short of turning your hobby into a business, is there any way to get your hobby to pay its own way? Very possibly.</p> <p>Most hobbies offer you a shot at any number of income streams. And, besides actual income streams, there are also ways to use your hobby to reduce expenses--which any economist will tell you is just as good. (Maybe better, because you have to pay taxes on any income.)</p> <h2>Sell your stuff</h2> <p>The most obvious income stream is to <strong>sell stuff you make</strong>. This really only works for hobbies where you make stuff, so it works better for potters and jewelry makers than for people whose hobby is mountain climbing or scuba diving.</p> <p>My wife spins and weaves. Each year the local spinners and weavers guild has a show and sale where members sell what they produce. Some members go beyond the single annual sale. Some set up booths at any number of arts and crafts sales. Some set up booths at the farmers market. Some sell things on consignment through local shops and galleries. Some run web-businesses to sell their creations.</p> <p>A single annual sale keeps you solidly on the &quot;hobby&quot; end of the continuum. The other options are all steps down the road to, essentially, running a small business. That's fine if you want to run a small business, but can take the fun out of a hobby.</p> <h2>Teach your hobby</h2> <p>The next obvious income stream is to <strong>teach the skills of your hobby</strong>. Some hobbies are very easy to pick up, and others have practitioners who are so excited by new adopters that they'll teach people how to do it for free. In either of those cases, it may be hard to make any money teaching. But, for many hobbies, there is plenty of opportunity to make a few dollars teaching classes or workshops.</p> <p>Some hobbies, such as scuba diving and parachuting, are dangerous enough that there are certification processes to make sure that instructors meet certain minimum levels, but in most hobbies anyone can teach.</p> <p>There are a hundred ways to get paid to teach. Around here it's possible to teach classes under the auspices of the local community college, the YMCA, the park district, and the public schools continuing education programs. Other places to consider are senior centers, youth centers, community centers, and public libraries. If your hobby has a local club, it may very well organize classes for members. Local businesses that cater to your hobby may offer classes as well.</p> <p>To be successful, a class requires students, which probably means getting the word out to potential students. Fliers at libraries and related businesses are a good idea, as is networking with local hobbyists. Develop relationships with others who teach related classes.</p> <p>If you've not taught before, it can be quite a bit of work to design a class, and then it often takes some experience teaching before you develop teaching skills to match your hobby skills. Knowing how to do something is not the same as knowing how to teach it.</p> <p>Besides teaching a class, it may also be possible to tutor someone one-on-one.</p> <p>Because of the work involved in developing, marketing and teaching a class, it too can turn into a small business, if you let it.</p> <h2>Sell a training DVD</h2> <p>A related option is to <strong>create a training DVD</strong>. The big attraction of this option is that, once you have the DVD, you can sell it and go on selling it, with minimal extra time and effort.</p> <p>The equipment to record, edit, and produce such a DVD is cheap and readily available, but of course this option requires not only that you know the skills of your hobby, and how to teach them, but also how to produce a video. Still, even if you need to learn new video-making skills, or bring in another person to help, the attraction of being able to go on selling DVDs makes this an attractive option.</p> <h2>Write articles or books</h2> <p>An obvious possibility is to <strong>write articles or books about your hobby</strong>. You can sell them to magazine or book publishers, both those that specialize in the area of your hobby, and (possibly) mainstream publishers.</p> <p>Start by surveying what's already available. Many hobbies have a vast array of specialized book and magazine publishers. Many pay quite well for well-written books and articles, especially ones that cover an area that isn't already covered.</p> <p>One advantage of non-fiction writing (over fiction) is that you don't have to write a finished work to market it. Create a proposal for an article or a book and shop it around to potential publishers. If no one wants to publish it based on your proposal, come up with some new ideas.</p> <p>Just as teaching is a separate skill from those of your hobby, so is writing. There are innumerable books and articles on writing books and articles (duh), so check out a few.</p> <h2>Become a local rep</h2> <p>If your hobby require specialized equipment or supplies, you may be able to <strong>act as a local representative for a supplier</strong>. For certain hobbies, it can make sense to do this simply to get the materials at wholesale prices. It may also be possible to sell to fellow hobbyists in quantities that will bring in some actual cash.</p> <h2>Give talks</h2> <p>If your hobby is interesting, it may be possible to get people to pay you to <strong>speak about your hobby</strong>. Many groups have regular meetings and want a speaker at each one--they often have a budget that allows for paying an honorarium to the speaker.</p> <p>Unless you're a celebrity, you're not going to make a living out of speaker's fees, but even a small fee can go a some ways toward paying the costs of your hobby--which is the whole point.</p> <h2>Lead groups</h2> <p>You can make money--or at least reduce your own expense--if you're willing to <strong>lead a group</strong>. Many hobbies--kayaking, rock climbing, bird watching, fishing, scuba diving--are more fun some places the others, meaning that participants end up wanting to travel to those places. If you're willing to do the work of organizing the travel, it is often possible to arrange things so that your own trip is subsidized.</p> <p>Even in cases where no travel is involved, it's often possible to get discounts on supplies, equipment, the use of a location, and so on, if you undertake to arrange an event where the other participants pay to attend.</p> <h2>Barter your products or your skills</h2> <p>Americans are so tied into the money economy that they often don't realize just how much opportunity there is for barter. You may be able to <strong>barter items that you make for other things that you want or need</strong>. This can work very well with individuals and local businesses; typically not so well with big corporations.</p> <p>You can also work out barter arrangements with your skills. Help someone make a yoga video in exchange for yoga lessons. Swap massage therapy sessions for rock-climbing lessons.</p> <h2>Make gifts</h2> <p>At gift-giving time, always think to <strong>give something that you've made</strong>. It's more personal and more thoughtful than buying stuff.</p> <p>I know lots of people who love the jewelry, quilts, scarves, hats, pottery, paintings, photographs, stuffed toys, and handmade books that people have given them, made with their own two hands.</p> <p>It's not an income stream, but remember--to an economist, not having to spend money is just as good as getting paid.</p> <p>All these ways of making your hobby pay its way work synergistically with one another. Writing articles gives you contacts for teaching classes which gives you contacts for leading groups which gives you contacts for bartering services, and so on.</p> <p>Any one of these activities could easily blow up into a business, if you're not careful. Most of them wouldn't blow up into a big enough business to actually support you, unless you have not only the skills of a hobbyist, but also the skills of a small businessperson. But one of them--or two or three of them--could go a long way towards bringing in enough money that you can enjoy your hobby and not be out-of-pocket for supplies and related costs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business">Who Cares if there&#039;s a Recession? I just started a business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies">Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-making-hobby-panning-for-gold">Money making hobby: panning for gold</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/istopover-earn-extra-income-or-travel-on-the-cheap-and-a-special-promotion-for-wise-bread-readers">iStopOver: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap, and a Special Promotion for Wise Bread Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Extra Income Lifestyle Art and Leisure extra money hobbies hobby make money Making Extra Cash making extra money sell teach writer Wed, 12 Dec 2007 00:41:57 +0000 Philip Brewer 1491 at http://www.wisebread.com Getting Rich Slowly: Interview with JD Roth http://www.wisebread.com/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fortune.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="248" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>JD Roth is a familiar face in the world of personal finance blogging. He started his site, Get Rich Slowly, in 2005, writing about his own experiences in trying to build personal wealth without gimmicks. He has since developed a loyal following readership, and has continued to build his site around personal finance. I asked JD to tell us a little about his personal transformation into a money-wise, financially-savvy blogger.</p> <p>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You write one of the most <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/">popular personal finance blogs</a> on the internet. What do you think it is about your content that people respond to so positively?</strong></p> <p>I think there are several things at work here. First, I'm just an average guy. I'm not some financial guru. I wasn't born to wealth. My family was poor, and I made things worse by making stupid mistakes when I was a young adult. I've been where a lot of my readers are now. People can relate to my journey.</p> <p>Also, I tend to write about a variety of subjects. If I were writing about the best credit card deals and high-interest savings accounts all day, it would bore me to tears. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for sites like that, but I couldn't write one. I think people like seeing personal finance covered from a variety of angles.</p> <p>Finally, I've been fortunate to pick up a large readership, one that includes some great folks with interesting financial experiences. I'm very open to sharing reader stories on my site. If somebody makes a great comment on a post, I will sometimes work with the author to turn it into an actual article. I field reader questions. I accept guest posts. I think all of these things help foster a community of like-minded people.</p> <p>Oh yeah -- I like to think that I write well. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I work hard to be a clear, effective communicator. That helps.</p> <p><img height="64" width="64" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/happyjdbw.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Are you actually rich? Do you believe that you, personally, know what it takes to accumulate wealth? In other words, what makes you so special, finance-wise?</strong></p> <p>Ha!</p> <p>Okay, maybe that's not a funny question. My first reaction is, &quot;No way! I'm not rich!&quot; But when I think about it, maybe I am. Certainly I am when compared to most of the world. But to answer the question I think you're asking:</p> <p>Before starting Get Rich Slowly, I was an average middle-class guy struggling to make ends meet. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck. As I mentioned before, I was raised in a poor family. Through hard work and good fortune, I've managed to create a firmly middle-class life for myself. I was raised poor, have lived middle-class, and am working toward becoming rich.</p> <p>Do I know what it takes to accumulate wealth? I don't know. I'm *learning* what it takes to accumulate wealth. I can see positive results in my own life that have come from following the advice I preach. I think what makes me special finance-wise is that I'm an average guy struggling to reach the same destination that my readers are trying to reach. I'm experimenting with things as I go along. I'm sharing my results.</p> <p>By the way, one thing I feel that I don't convey strongly enough at GRS is that *entrepreneurship is awesome*. If you have a talent or skill, brainstorm ways that it can produce income for you. Start a side business. This is one of the best ways to pursue wealth, yet I'd guess 95% of people completely ignore the suggestion to look into entrepreneurship. They think it's not for them. That's too bad. I think it's for everyone...</p> <p><strong>OK, OK. So being &quot;rich&quot; isn't just about being wealthy, but everyone's definition of &quot;rich&quot; is a little different. How would you define it for yourself?</strong></p> <p>This is something I've been struggling with lately. Now that I'm nearly debt free, I'm preparing to set other financial goals. But what will they be? Do I really want to be &quot;rich&quot;? And what do I mean by that?</p> <p>In the past, I always thought that a person with a big house and a fancy car was rich. Now I understand that material wealth just means a person spends a lot. They may or may not be wealthy. Aside from a few things -- a MINI Cooper, for example -- I don't really covet material goods anymore. Instead, I value time, both alone and with friends. So, for me &quot;rich&quot; now means freedom to do what I want.</p> <p><strong>Do you still have a day job, or are you blogging full-time?</strong></p> <p>Ah, what a deep question. You probably thought it was innocuous, didn't you? :)</p> <p>The answer is yes and yes. That is, I do have a day job, and I do blog full time. You do the math. It's not a pretty picture. Actually, I do have a timeline to begin cutting back at the day job. Beginning 01 Jan 2008, I'm dropping to 29 hours a week. This is a scary move for me -- the day job is a Sure Thing, you know? But GRS is producing enough income now that I can cut back at the day job and not feel the pinch so sharply. And by cutting back, I'll be able to have large uninterrupted blocks of time to write. Large uninterrupted blocks of time are golden.</p> <p><strong>You mentioned being raised poor. How do you think your upbringing influenced your financial habits, if it did at all?</strong></p> <p>It had a *huge* impact. Because we didn't have much, I grew up as a hoarder. I wanted to keep everything I could get. When I got older and had access to credit, I felt like I had to buy anything I wanted. On some level, I guess I thought that if I *didn't* buy the things I wanted, I might not be able to later. Speaking with other folks who were raised poor, many have had similar reactions. Unfortunately, we don't realize we're doing this until it's too late, and we're up to our eyeballs in debt.</p> <p>Looking back, I can see that part of the reason we were poor is because my parents were spenders. It's true that my family had a low income, but my parents did nothing to keep what little money they earned. My father bought all sorts of toys -- boats, airplanes -- and then had to sell them when he couldn't afford payments.</p> <p>Being raised poor warped my concept of money, I think.</p> <p><strong>What was it that caused you to decide to make a change from the paycheck-to-paycheck existence?</strong></p> <p>The answer to this is complex.</p> <p>In 1998, it looked like my wife and I might move across the country so that she could go back to school. When I looked at my financial situation, though, I realized that this would put me in a terrible bind. I had too much debt. This prompted me to cut up my credit cards.</p> <p>I carried that debt for a long time, making minimum payments, etc. Eventually I converted the debt to a home equity loan. This reduced the payments and gave the debt a finite horizon -- in ten years it would be paid off. Though I no longer accumulated credit card debt, I still found ways to spend. I took out private loans. I spent everything in my paycheck (and sometimes more).</p> <p>Finally, about three years ago I read Your Money or Your Life, and then The Total Money Makeover. These two books were wake-up calls. I sat down and drew up a plan to get out of debt. For a year or so, I just fumbled around. I made some progress, but not as much as I'd hoped. Then, in the spring of 2006, I read a couple of other personal finance books. As PF books, they're not much, but at the time, they spurred me to action. Now, eighteen months later, I'm nearly debt free.</p> <p>So, there wasn't any one thing that made me change from a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.</p> <p><strong>What was the best financial move you made to transition from someone who was struggling to make ends meet to someone who is financially solvent?</strong></p> <p>This is a tough question. There are a couple of good answers.</p> <p>First, I began to educate myself. I read books about personal finance. I read magazines. Second, I implemented Dave Ramsey's &quot;debt snowball&quot;. Finally, I started Get Rich Slowly.</p> <p><strong>Regarding entrepreneurship, do you have a single piece of advice that you would offer people who are thinking of starting a business on the side?</strong></p> <p>Take the leap! Starting a side business is scary. You're not sure what to do. But you learn as you go. It's a risky thing, but risk brings reward. If you have something you're passionate about, begin making small steps toward turning it into a money-making venture. Do one thing every day to lead you toward that goal. Don't be scared. Ask questions. Have fun!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs">6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-experts-people-in-their-40s-should-follow">5 Financial Experts People in Their 40s Should Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guest-post-now-is-the-time-to-think-long-term">Guest Post: Now is the Time to Think Long-Term</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-interviews-of-personal-finance-bloggers">40+ Interviews of Personal Finance Bloggers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance blogger blogs frugal websites get rich slowly writer writing Thu, 25 Oct 2007 13:30:05 +0000 Andrea Karim 1320 at http://www.wisebread.com