If you’re a self-published author just starting out, the income you earn from your books may not be sufficient to pay your bills. And even if it did, it can be an enormous advantage to have other (less stressful and less time consuming) means of income—you never know when that writer’s block is going to hit, or if your previous book would have low sales.
When you have multiple streams that generate income passively (without you having to actively work for it), you don’t need to rely completely on your book sales and stress yourself out. Passive income sources only require you to do some work initially, and then you can sell them over and over again while still having time to work on your book.
“Too many authors have had their accounts closed by big distributors for indies not to pay attention to what can happen,” says Sacha Black, Blog Editor of the Alliance of Independent Authors. There are plenty of ways to utilize the experience gained as a writer besides writing a book every six months.
Having a blog is essential for any writer. It helps build your reputation as an author, and gives a way for potential buyers to find your book. You can also reach out to your fans through newsletters, updating them on your new releases and book offers. When your website has gained enough momentum, you will be eligible to monetize it in other ways—like advertising.
You can add advertisements to your website using services like Google Adsense, but make sure you don’t overdo—nobody enjoys scrolling through a website that bombards them with irrelevant ads and pop-ups. Whenever a website visitor clicks on an ad, you earn.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you earn money by promoting a product or service by sharing a link on your blog posts. Unlike advertising, you don’t get paid for the number of clicks on the link. Instead, in affiliate marketing, you get paid whenever someone makes a purchase by clicking on your link. It is essentially a sales revenue. Some popular affiliate networks authors partner up with are Amazon, Grammarly, ProWritingAid, etc.
3. Write for Revenue-Sharing Websites
Revenue-sharing websites like Medium have built-in traffic and a community of dedicated readers. Publishing your posts on such websites can turn out to be a significant source of income—especially if your own blog isn’t attracting as much traffic as you would like. They also have a compounding effect: it doesn’t matter how old your article is, if it is still relevant and if people still keep reading it, you get paid.
On Medium, for instance, some writers even earn more than $1000 a month!
4. Online Courses
When you self-publish a book, you hone not only your writing skills—with self-publishing, you also need to educate yourself on marketing and promoting, editing and graphic designing. You can create courses for upcoming writers based on this experience. Give your social media followers and readers reason to trust you—show them your successes and the ways you overcame your failures. You can give them insights into the self-publishing world, tips and tricks of the industry, lesser known strategies and methods you followed.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.