Here are 3 things you should consider.
If you are stuck figuring out what you should write, then your focus is in the wrong place. You are getting fixated on things like subject matter and niche. And all these are not essential to developing your calling as a writer.
The words you say are the paint on the house. The foundation is the belief behind them, which is something most writers miss.
As writers, we must begin, not with what we say, but with how we say it. People care more about the why than the what.
In other words: voice trumps the subject.
Everyone has a story. The easiest way to find your voice is to tell yours.
People connect to other people’s experiences, especially when it’s painful to embarrassing. When you share yours, you’re inviting others into a place where they feel heard. Write one true, vulnerable story, and see how people connect.
Your work has to have a purpose.
If you make something because you like it or because you think it’s necessary, the best you can hope for is a small audience who agrees. In the worst case, you’ll have an audience of one — you.
But if you can answer the question, “who is my work for?” and “what does my work do?” you will attract a large audience who will benefit from your work.
Many people say, “I’m a writer.”
Fewer can say, “I’m a writer whose words help people overcome mental health issues.”
Even fewer can say, “I’m a writer whose words help people overcome mental health issues, particularly depression, with a focus on actionable frameworks.”
When you get clear on why you are doing something, the who and the how becomes easier.
When you know your purpose, you discover the audience.
No matter what you make or what you make it about, you have to make it for something. Your work has to have a purpose.
We all need to figure out “who are we writing for” and “what does my work do?”
Does it entertain or inform?
Does it solve a problem?
Does it provide a service?
Does it make a person’s life easier?
Answering these questions can help unlock your true potential.
What is your business?
A blog is not a business. A podcast is not a business. A YouTube channel is not a business. Content is marketing.
A business is activities that produce and sell goods and services for profit. A business model turns your blog, your podcast and your YouTube channel into a business.
What is a business model? A business model is a plan for the successful operation of a business, identifying sources of revenue, and the intended customer base, building products to meet their needs and selling them while making a profit.
Understanding these concepts is important.
Many writers do not understand the basics of a business.
In the writing industry, the following story plays out time and time again. It typically goes something like this:
A person discovers blogging for the first time while sitting in their cubicle at their day job or waiting on the kids to get home from school. They get lost in this new world they’ve discovered, reading everything they can find on the subject. They get their nerve up, buy a domain, and start a blog. They’ll worry about the money part later — the goal from the outset is simply to have a creative outlet… And then they wake up a year later wondering when the money part was supposed to happen. Did they miss a step?
Well, yes, they did. They forgot to make a product or service. At some point, every professional creator has to turn the corner from blogger-looking-for-a-creative-outlet to creator-trying-to-build-a-profitable-business.
The key change along the way? Start making money by building a product or service and selling it to your audience at a price that makes sense.
It’s important to choose a business model right in the beginning so that you can design your website, your content calendar, and all the rest of your marketing efforts to help build that business model.
Here are the four fundamental online business models you can choose from:
- Ads, Sponsorships, & Affiliate Marketing
- Physical Products (t-shirts, mugs, anything personalized)
- Digital Products (books, novels, ebooks, workbooks, journals, planners, posters, wallpaper images)
- Services (workshops, courses, coaching)
While Affiliate Marketing seems to be an easy way to start, it actually needs millions of visitors visiting your site for you to make any money from it.
Digital Products and Services are a good starting point.
Forget about Ads and Sponsorships until you have millions of views each week.
Your homework this week:
- Choose your business model.
- Make two digital products.
- Offer the first one for free so that people get to know your work. (Mine is at the end of this article).
- Put up the second one for a low price so that people don’t hesitate to buy.
Every professional has tools specific to their trade.
Plumbers have tools; electricians have tools, and so do the doctors and engineers.
Writers too need tools to be effective in their trade.
Download my latest book, Writer’s Toolkit, for free.