You have to decide these three things before monetizing your passion

Photo: Ivan Samkov

I monetized my writing last month.

I started writing back in December 2020, and I wanted to take writing seriously. Six months into writing, I made over 2k from writing on this platform and freelancing gigs.

I had no experience in writing before this.

One of the things I hesitated doing was to monetize my writing. But at the same time, I wanted to learn how to make money as a writer.

I was scared that if I monetized my writing, I’ll fell out of love with it. It would just be another “job.” I’ve done five projects for one brand, and so far, I still love writing. There are days that I don’t write, and my heart feels empty.

So if you’re thinking of monetizing your writing, here are some of the processes that helped me decide.

You’re comfortable writing

I published 60 long-form essays and 50 short-form essays before I monetized my writing.

I had to be sure that I liked writing, and what’s the best way to find out? By doing it a lot. For someone who’s multipassionate, I get bored pretty quick and easy. But writing seemed to be sticking with me, so I knew I had to nurture this skill.

I made sure to do that by doing it every day and publishing at least 3 per week on Medium and Twitter platforms.

Before you start thinking of monetizing, you have to be comfortable in writing. Because when you’re not comfortable, it’s going to be hard for you to write for other people.

How to apply this today:

Take some time in figuring out on a scale of 0–10 how comfortable you are with the skill. If your comfort level is below 5, then it’s a sign that you still need to keep practicing for free.

Practice writing until you’re comfortable in doing it for yourself. Eventually, you can figure out how to write for other people.

You need a new challenge

There are many forms to directly monetize your writing.

You can write long-form blog posts for others (i.e. content writing), or you can help people sell their product with written content (i.e. copywriting).

I was comfortable writing blog posts that I was starting to get bored. But of course, I didn’t want to drop it. Instead of picking up a new skill, I used freelancing as an excuse to help me become a better writer.

Freelancing helps you learn how to cold pitch, face rejections, negotiate contracts, get paid well for your craft. Overall, it helps boost self-confidence.

I do have the luxury to try out freelancing because I have my nursing job, so I’m not worried about putting food on the table. I understand that not many people can afford to try this journey before going all in.

But when you put yourself in a controlled challenging situation, you’re forced to grow.

How to apply this today:

If you want to grow as a writer, you have to learn how to challenge yourself. This can look like submitting your pieces in bigger publications or monetizing. You might not know what to do, but you’re smart enough to figure it out. The only way to know what you need to learn is by diving into the experience.

You want to gain more exposure in an industry

I’ve always wanted to become a travel blogger.

Before the pandemic, I travelled a lot. But I never took the time to document my travels, which has become one of my regrets. But I realize that it’s because I don’t want to be known in the travel industry.

Diving into the world of creator economy and entrepreneurship, I fell in love.

So I became a creator by being a writer on two platforms, one of them being Twitter. This helped me meet amazing and interesting people in the creator economy.

Now, I want to learn everything that I can in the creator economy. As a self-motivation, I’m using my writing as a service to help creator-focused businesses. You can find companies and brands that target you as their audience.

How to apply this today:

If you know how to write well, you can combine your skill of writing and your personal interests. If you have a love for travel, you can start looking up brands, companies or publications that love to post stories on travelling. When you do this, you showcase your writing skills and you’re forced to learn the trends in the industry you’re interested in. It’s a win-win.

Final Thoughts

My first freelancing gig fell into my lap, and I’m pretty grateful for it.

If you have no financial worries, you can take the time to decide if freelancing is for you. So far, I’ve had my misconceptions about this world busted. You don’t need to start on UpWork or Fiverr to freelance.

I learned that you could get paid well for your first writing project and use that to get new clients.

But again, this whole experimentation only works if you can afford to. If you still have a day job, keep it and use it to your advantage to fund your side hustles or your passions.

You can always leap later on, so there’s no need to rush monetizing your craft.

This post first appeared here.