Today, I want to share my top 10 alternatives to blogging. These are simple ways to make money writing without having your own blog.
I’ve been blogging for about 9-years now. While it’s been a great experience for me overall, I’m not sure if I would do it again. To be quite frank with you, I have a love-hate relationship with blogging. It is very demanding and time-consuming.
I love that I can express myself and be in complete control of what I write and when and where it gets published, but sometimes I feel like a hamster on the hamster wheel, always working on my next piece of content.
Plus, blogging is a lot more than just writing god content. When you have your own blog you have writing, editing, SEO, updating your blog, responding to customers and inquiries, sending out emails, marketing and so much more. You might be the CEO, but you’re also the editor, H.R. director, marketing director and Chief Bottle Washer.
At times, you just want to write, because that’s what you love to do the most. However, just “writing” new content is not enough to convert your blog into a profitable online business. That’s why you might want to explore your other options.
10 Alternatives to Blogging
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume that you are considering blogging, and want to make money writing, but you want to know what options you have available. Here are 10 options I would consider.
# 1: Write & Publish Books
Instead of creating a blog with several thousand articles, why not write and publish 50-100 short books? It would take the same amount of time.
You could publish your books on Kindle, Amazon KDP, or even self-publish. As the books start to sell, you can create a mini-series. Rather than post 5 long blog posts per week, you could write one book a week (or one a month), spend the next week editing it, and publish it the following week.
By doing so, you don’t have to worry about people stealing your content (this happens to bloggers all the time), trying to get Google to like your website, or worry about who will click on your ads or buy one of the affiliate products you promote. You just focus on what you love to do: writing!
Today, self-publishing is respected, even admired and applauded. By authoring and self-publishing a book on your niche topic, you can position yourself to be recognized as an expert on that topic.
When you’re a top author in your niche, that’s a huge differentiator so you can stand out from other bloggers. This is not only a nice ego-boost, but it’ll also help you to grow your blog’s audience and power your other monetization efforts, such as if you sell products or services from your blog. Being seen as the expert in your niche can enable you to set higher prices for those product and services, and be more in demand.
According to Pew Research, over half of all Americans own a dedicated device for reading e-content. Nearly a third of all people surveyed said they read ebooks – and that percentage is rising every year.
# 2: Work as a Freelance Writer
Rather than spending thousands of hours writing articles and trying to create a successful blog of your own, you could simply be a freelance writer for hire. Good freelance writers are in HIGH demand. You could post your services on websites such as Fiverr or Upwork. You could also reach out to successful bloggers.
You could set up a simple website that showcases your writing to let people know you are for hire. I don’t know how much money freelance writers make, but I do know that I pay my writers anywhere from $20 to $50 per article depending on the word count and quality. If you can write 3-5 articles per day, you could make a comfortable living as a freelance writer.
Compared to blogging, freelancing can save you a lot of time. Before a blogger gets their first paycheck, they’ll likely have to work for at least several months. They would have to get a blog first, then write content and finally promote that content to their audience all before making a dime from advertisers or affiliate relationships. This takes a lot of time! With freelancing, you get paid by the hour or after each project is completed. At times, the money can be paid in advance (depending on your work agreement).
The freelancer doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in a certain field, but being an expert could be an advantage for them. The core skills they need are an ability to research and write for varied topics and clientele; it’s as simple as that.
# 3: Write for a Magazine or Trade Journal
Believe it or not, magazines are still quite popular, even in the digital age. Depending on your niche, or what you enjoy writing about, you could have several options to choose from. I suggest you subscribe to several magazines that interest you, read their articles and decide if the publication might be a good fit for you to work with.
You could offer to submit an article or two for free to showcase your talents. From there, you could build strategic relationships with the editors and potentially get hired as an employee or freelance writer.
In some industries, you’ll need specialized, advanced knowledge to write for industry publications, but other fields are far more open to writers who don’t have advanced knowledge of the field. Be sure to read the publication’s guidelines to see if you have to be an industry expert before spending your time pitching.
“I admit it — with trades, the glamour factor is missing in action,” Linda Formichelli, cofounder of The Renegade Writer, wrote “You won’t get the same thrill seeing your byline in Boating Industry as you would in Glamour. But guess what? I’m not in this game for the bylines. I’m in it for the paychecks.”
These magazines can pay up to $1 per word or more.
Source: The Write Life
# 4: Start a Newsletter Business
Newsletters are a secret and fun business that can be very profitable. In most industries, there are newsletters you can purchase a yearly subscription to. By doing so, you either get an email newsletter every so often or a mailed newsletter.
By publishing your own newsletter, you can write about whatever interests you, sell advertising, and have something you can be proud of you. Build up your newsletter business big enough and you could even sell it one day for a nice profit.
An e-newsletter is like a magazine stripped to its essence: One article plus one ad, emailed every day. Most articles are under 180 words, with a consistent voice and theme, catering to a specific audience. But it’s not just about efficiency—it’s personal. “When someone subscribes, they invite you into their inbox on a regular basis,” says Ben Lerer, Founder of Thrillist Media Group, which has an audience of over four million, and revenue of more than $50 million. “That’s why advertisers continue to love email as a marketing tool. It gives them a chance to build a one-to-one relationship with consumers that few other types of media can match.”
A standard approach is to send an email every weekday with an ad next to the editorial, and then one email every week or two that’s purely an ad, called a “dedicated” email. The real action happens on the email. Visit the website of an e-newsletter, and the most prominent message you’ll see is sign up here. That’s because while archives and forums are helpful, email ads pay the bills.
# 5: Online Forums
Another alternative to blogging is online forums. You could create your own online forum around any topic that interests you and you could run the day-to-day operations. You could create posts, reply to posts and so much more. You could sell advertising or memberships. You could promote affiliate products and create multiple streams of income.
You could also be a “moderator” for hire and work for someone else who owns their own online forum. You could run the “day to day” operations for them, keeping the forum updated, moderated, and operating smoothly. This is a great way to make money writing.
Online forums allow both real and potential customers to interact with you and with each other to discuss your products or services while helping you troubleshoot flaws. They can even help you learn about possible improvements to make. Online forums often consist of a variety of different technology tools, including message board forums, chat, instant messaging and more. Community members join the forum and use these tools to communicate, while your company moderates the discussion and makes sure it’s achieving your business goals.
“The whole point of an online forum is to create a space that connects customers with companies and customers with one another,” says Keith Messick, vice president of marketing for Get Satisfaction, a San Francisco-based company that offers a software-as-a-service online community solution. “It’s a great way to engage customers and a great way to get people passionate about your brand or company.”
# 6: Podcasting
While this option might not appeal to everyone, having your own podcast can be very lucrative. A podcast is simply an online radio show. You could write up your scripts for the show and then do a daily or weekly podcast around whatever topic interests you the most. You could sell advertising, have “sponsors” and monetize it any way you’d like. I’ve created about 800 podcasts myself (on iTunes) and I really enjoy it.
Podcasts continue to gain popularity due to the global proliferation of smartphones. These seemingly essential devices are most popular with the 18-34 year old demographic that makes up 44% of the global podcasting audience. Over 40% of Americans aged 12 and older have listened to a podcast, with 24% of Americans listening to podcasts regularly.
What makes podcast advertising so attractive to business owners? Seth Greene, author of five best-selling marketing books including the Market Domination for Podcasting, and Direct Response Marketing Expert, explains: “Podcasts offer advertisers the ability to hyper target.” Greene also says, “Many brands are experimenting with creating their own podcasts, this way, they control the entire process from start to finish. A bonus of having your own show is that you then own the media and can advertise to your own following as much as you want at no extra cost.”
# 7: Video
Let’s face it, YouTube is here to stay. People are captivated by videos. I understand many writers are introverted and might be camera shy, but this could be a very lucrative option for the right person. You could create funny videos, do reviews, have rants, make educational videos or whatever else appeals to you.
You would “write” the script or outline for the video and then give your presentation. To monetize your videos, you could use Google Adsense or promote affiliate products.
Since its introduction in 2005, the video sharing/social media site YouTube has become an indispensable advertising and marketing tool for businesses in every industry, of every size to promote their products to prospects and customers.
Just about every type of business can benefit from this channel, including online business, small offline businesses, even freelancers and consultants who offer their services.
As you create more videos, you’ll get better at filming, refine the styles and formats you use, and improve your use of keywords. Don’t forget to get the word about your videos through social media and other methods. And be consistent; upload new videos on a regular basis. Over time, you’ll grow your audience and YouTube marketing will become an essential advertising channel for your business.
Source: the balance small business
# 8: Online Courses
This is one of my favorite alternatives to blogging. It’s a great way to make money writing. You could make online courses and publish them on Udemy. You could charge $20 to $300 per course, depending on your niche. People could go through your course and learn about the specific subject. The best thing about online courses is that they will create you passive income. Create the course one time and keep getting paid for it.
Traditionally, we’ve shared knowledge online with blogs, videos, social media content, and podcasts. You’ve probably produced some of that content yourself at one stage or another: maybe it was a Facebook post, YouTube channel, or blog sharing advice on a particular topic. You are the master of your own craft and have skills that other people want to learn. It might be time for you to consider how you could potentially collate your ideas, skills, and knowledge into an online course format.
According to Teachable, “teaching online is one of the most effective and attainable ways to make a living on the web in 2017.” Uber-successful online entrepreneur Tai Lopez has also highlighted the economic boom of online education: “in the past 4 years, the market has doubled in value alone. It’s on track to pass $1 trillion in the near future.” Normal, everyday people are capitalizing on the rise of online courses and turning their knowledge into passive revenue-generating machines! Udemy alone has over 35,000 instructors teaching 80,000 different courses to 24,000,000 students.
# 9: Seminars or Workshops
If you love writing, you could host your own seminars or workshops. You could charge a few hundred dollars per person, have 50 to 100 people attend your event and have one big payday each month, or every few months. Of course, you’d have to fill the seats. That would take some time and money, but if you can build up a good reputation and really over deliver, the word of mouth advertising will take over and help you fill seats at future events.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people pay to attend meetings, seminars, workshops and training programs where professional presenters encourage, enlighten and enliven them. Some of these folks are sent by their companies to learn new skills–everything from time management to basic math smarts to super sales techniques. Others attend on their own, seeking personal growth–how to communicate better with spouses, significant others and kids; manage stress; assert themselves; or invest for the future. Still others sign up for seminars and workshops as part of a professional or social association to learn everything from quilting to romance writing to tax preparation.
Not everybody is cut out to be a seminar production professional. This is not, for example, a career for the creativity-challenged. It takes lots of foresight to figure out what will be a winning program, to design and construct it so it sells, and to promote it effectively. If you’re one of those folks who’d rather undergo a root canal than have to come up with peppy advertising copy, then you don’t want to be in the seminar business.
# 10: Coach or Consultant
Another great alternative to blogging (for writers) is to become a coach or consultant. If you are a skilled writer, you could have businesses or people hire you as a coach or consultant to help them solve a problem or teach them a new skill. Some people might say this is similar to being a freelancer, but I think it’s a little bit different. You could charge an hourly fee or by the project fee.
If you enjoy working with people and helping them reach their goals and potential, a home-based coaching business might be for you. One of the great advantages to coaching today is that technology has expanded your ability to provide coaching services. No longer are you limited to having an office where you meet people in person or a phone where you might miss subtle visual cues when helping others. Video conferencing has made face-to-face coaching with clients all over the world possible, which may be one of the reasons the coaching profession has exploded the last few years.
Source: the balance small business
In summary, these are 10 alternatives to blogging. These are simple ways to make money writing, without needing your own blog. If you’re thinking about starting a blog of your own, put some serious thought into it. If nothing else, compare it with a few other alternatives, just to give you some perspective.
What are your thoughts? What do you suggest? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think are the best alternatives to blogging. I look forward to hearing from you.