There is a million dollar question every writer has asked at some point: How do I monetize my writing skills? If you are a writer reading this, you might have probably asked this question too. Away from those moments of genius where your pen inks sheets of paper or your fingers type away on the keyboard, you have undoubtedly asked yourself this question. In this article, I am going to share some tips on how to make money as a writer in Africa.
How to Make Money as a Writer in Africa
I understand that writing is your passion and that you do it for the love of the work, not the love of money, but you know, like every other artist, the difficulty of sustaining a craft can be challenging while struggling to make ends meet. You know that getting the writing done is near impossible without the financial means to feed yourself, clothe yourself, pay the rent — to ensure you can keep alive long enough to write. And, It’s okay. You are not alone. There are lots of talented writers just like you who are tormenting themselves with this very question every single day.
In Africa for instance, the value for the writing craft is not as pronounced. Almost everyone else feels they can do your job, so earning requires a certain measure of deliberateness in communicating that this is not just an art but a profession.
A lot of writers find it very difficult to distinguish writing, the art, from writing, the profession. There’s always a question looming regarding whether writing is personal or professional. Looming, maybe more ominously, is the bleak reality that, historically, there have been more writers who have died poor than those who have achieved any wealth or fame. Writing is hard, sometimes thankless, work. And, your suspicions are true — the art, itself, is growing more and more misunderstood and undervalued. Almost everyone has a Facebook, blog, tweets on Twitter, writes poems, constructs highly curated, essentially fictitious, stories on Instagram, Tik-Toc, Snapchat — everyone thinks they can easily do what you do. But you know that writing is an art, that it is hard work.
Fortunately, it isn’t necessary for writing, alone, to be a writers primary source of income or fame. When paired with other wealth building strategies, writing — or perhaps simply being a well-informed, financially literate writer — can actually be quite lucrative.
Several world-famous authors have had to do a few odd jobs here and there just to keep the passion alive by finding something that pays the bills for the time being. Margaret Atwood, for instance, was a coffee shop cashier; Stephen King worked as a high school janitor.
Here are some ways to Make Money as a Writer from Africa:
You might want to go solo-lobo in an independent freelance role to make money as a writer, but the truth is that getting the gigs isn’t all green and rosy especially when you are starting out. That’s where Freelance Sites come into play. There are quite a number of sites where Freelance writers hone their skills while getting paid too for it.
Enter Writing Competitions.
For a lot of African writers, there are quite a number of writing competitions out there that come with monetary rewards. This might be a very good platform to bring your skills to the fore, while earning also. A very good site to be in touch with these opportunities is:
Start a Blog
One of the ways you can make money as a writer in Africa is to start a blog. I know there are so many blog already, but your voice is unique as long as you have the creativity. Building a popular blog might be very difficult, but with the right information and action taken upon that information, the money making potential is unlimited.
Start a Writing Consulting Firm
In this age of social media, it is very easy to create an office via your social media handles and promote yourself and your craft. Your writing consulting firm can span from writing sales copy for brand, content marketing, reviewing and optimizing resume/Curriculum Vitae, editing services, etc.
To earn as a writer requires strategy. It is not just about having the desire to make money; writers need to be informed on the wealth building opportunities available to them and to, then, take action. So if you were looking for how to make money as a writer in Africa, know your value, be willing to put in the work, explore every great opportunity and deliver great content when you have opportunity.