How to Earn Money Online: Writing a Book versus Crowdfunding?

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In a previous post we profiled the Top 6 Trends for How to Make Money at Home.  Now we go a little deeper to explore and compare what is the potential passive income you can earn and what will be the better option for you and your current skill set.  This is what we call our “Versus Series” of articles on TheFreelancer.co.  Is it better to Write a Book or use Crowdfunding?

When I first started out being a Solopreneur in Dec 2013, I didn’t realize just how many people were already well established to earn money online.  Since then I’ve learned more about this world and still exploring to this day.  In this series, we are focusing the exploration on how to diversify your passive income as a Freelancer to doing other work that can earn you long-lasting recurring income.   There are a lot of websites out there that are very helpful to support people in achieving earning 1k/month or getting your business started without any business ideas.  Starting the businesses is likely the easiest of all the things as you have your core group of early adopters who are your diehard fans.  Getting diehard fans isn’t hard, but it’s growing that beyond your existing group that most startups tend to have trouble or run into hiccups.

First, let’s take a step back and a look at what it means to earn money online in general and what are the quality ways to do it.

So Many Ways to Earn Money Online

Honestly there are just so many ways to earn money online.  I recently read about a person who 3D printed his own part because his coffee machine’s maker doesn’t make that part (even though it breaks down a lot because that part breaks.)  He initially did it for himself and how sells this third party part for a sizeable monthly passive income.  So it’s just incredible what you can do with the internet and ability to ship products worldwide…oh and yeah also 3D printing.  But honestly, you don’t even need to complicate matters by doing e-commerce and having an online store or even the need to 3D print a part, there are so many things you can do to earn money online and here are just a few:

  • Knitting your own brand of baby clothes and sell them on Etsy
  • White-label another company’s products and use Amazon FBA to do all the shipping and handling for you
  • Start a YouTube channel (and sell ads) on your favourite recipes

There are so many more things you can do, and we’ll probably do an exhaustive list of these later, but right now we are going to focus on talking about two and contrast and compare them:

  1. Writing a Book (and self-publish on Amazon)
  2. Crowdfunding (an idea for a product/service you have and want to bring to market).

 

Writing a Book

As I mentioned, I started my solopreneurship and freelancing journey only a few years ago.  But it wasn’t until I joined an accelerator that I met so many other people who are writing for a living (blogging and books) and making a comfortable living.

Like everything you would do for building a software business, you have to know your audience and you have to know how to delight your audience.  So, first you need to pick a subject or category of books that you are knowledgable about and you know you can stand out in the crowd of self-publishers flooding Amazon these days.

So picking your topic is important so that you know you have a strong voice in that field.

But picking a topic is half the battle because…

what also matters is how popular it is amongst a particular audience.  Do this.  Go to Amazon.com and find the book category you’ve selected for your niche.  Take a look at the bestsellers in that category.  This will also help you in drilling down further what category you’d like your book to be in.  Be as specific and deep as possible.

Now look at the bestsellers.  Is there a common thing or thread to them?  If so, that might be where you should start thinking of your angle to be when writing your first book.

Know Thyself

You should also know yourself too and how strong a command of writing you are.  You might not be the best person to write it because you just suck at writing.  Or maybe you’re an average writer but you need an editor.

Luckily there are a lot of options these days.  Using UpWork or other freelancing services like that, you can hire an editor, a copywriter or even a ghost writer to support your book creation.  You have to very clear what it is you want to write of course and give the direction to your ghost what it is you want, but the idea is that it outsources your work so that you can focus on executing your idea and less on the words, syntax and semantics of it all.

 

Next Up: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding seems like it’s the newest thing to earn money online these days, but I think it’s really been around for quite a few years now.  I myself have personally funded over 32 projects on Kickstarter.com and it’s been fun being an early-adopter to a product.

The one biggest advantage to crowdfunding is that you are asking for the audience what is they want first by asking them to vote with their dollars.  If they didn’t like it they won’t be putting up money for a prototype.  Crowdfunding makes us like early investors in some way, except we don’t get equity in the company, just dibs on getting the product first.

If you were to crowdfund a idea for a board or card game for example, the initial money you put in is to make a nice video, create some nice infographics, maybe hire a copy writer and the costs of building the prototypes you wanted to create.

 

Which one is better?

I would that say while you can really do both, but if you had to pick one, the better idea is to use crowdfunding.  The reason is the crowdfunding gives you as the creator an upper hand in first gettign the product to market and also get a really strong gauge of your intended audience.  Is there really a market there for bags that can turn into coats?  Are there really people who are interested funding your short film about cats?  Crowdfunding allows you to be on a platform that helps you answer these KEY client questions before you even put serious money into it.  The book you are to write can also do that too, but it does require more guesswork and research to know if it’ll be successful overtime.

 

Have you written a self-published book and/or crowdfunded something?  We’d love to hear you thoughts and weigh in on the question which one is better to earn money online?

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