From Unpaid To Paid Writing: A Journey Of Monetization
What turns a hobby or a passion into a business or a job? Simple: getting paid to do it. Ever since I started my business there was an odd period in it. The period where I started developing the habit of writing daily and publishing my work.
This was the birth of the blog that I run today, but for two years I made hardly any money. Yes I had paid advertisements, but they paid me pennies. At the time of writing this (January 2018) I’m still waiting for the first cheque.
But I still consider myself a writer, after all I am getting paid in a different manner. But what I believe is important isn’t the details of it, but the mindset I had on money. Who did I need to become in order to accept money in my life? What were my largest roadblocks? How does it feel now I’m making money?
This is my journey.
Who I Became
To first understand who I became, first you need to understand who I was. To give you the short version my mindset was all kind of screwed up. Even after I started my blog and was talking about self improvement.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying I was faking it, but through blogging I met a variety of people who had different concepts of money. My view of money was that I needed it to survive and help others.
However at the same time I wanted my first stable gig to be something hilariously easy. Like printing money. In the end I did get something like that, but it took a few years of working my ass off and fixing my mindset.
Anyway, the people I met and chatted with opened up my mind about money and even how to earn it little by little. As much as I wanted to earn it, my body was pulling me back. I was purposely barring myself from ever achieving my goal and I didn’t know why.
The big difference that started to set everything in motion was action. Throughout the years of trials and errors and writing every day, I realized many things. I realized that I was holding myself back.
So I became a man of action.
What It Means
That’s not saying much, so let me explain it in more detail. First let me ask you a question: have you heard of the law of attraction?
It’s the belief that when you think inwardly and outwardly about something you’ll attract that in due time. It’s a concept that I believe in as I think it’s important to shift your mindset. But the concept is a little off.
In the end it’s suggesting that you prepare your surroundings for whatever you want to attract. If you are looking for a potential partner start leaving space in your closet or dresser for their clothes. That sort of thing.
But a man or person of action doesn’t do that. They instead take action. You’ll see them at social gatherings, using dating apps, networking. This is what I eventually did with my goals as well as getting paid.
I started to write guest posts, much like this one. I also addressed the multitude of issues with my goal setting and adjusted. Even my own mindset of money, I shifted.
Money is simply a stepping stone to how I want to live my life. And since I changed my perception of it, I started earning and putting effort. I stopped being lazy and procrastinate. I gave up on excuses and making a show out of my life.
All that changed.
Obviously that shift was time consuming. It was the summer of 2017 when all of those shifts happened. For two years I struggled and learned how to start generating revenue. It’s a little sad, but I know I’m not the only one who thought that way.
The roadblocks I experienced were difficult. But what’s important about these roadblocks isn’t what they were, but what I did to overcome and even approach them.
This is where listening to stories and being exposed to a variety of information changed me. Even today I go back to relaying on quotes and stories to explain things. I talk about the experiences of people like J.K. Rowling, and Thomas Edison. I also interpret videos from Prince Ea and Jay Shetty.
I’m also exposing myself to videos from GoalCast, a group where they show videos of successful people sharing lessons. It’s videos like those that shifted my mindset. From long ago I had hints deep down that I thought the rich were shallow or greedy. But that conflicted with what I was watching. Would someone greedy encourage people to live their dreams? To work really hard for it?
A little over 80% of millionaires are self-made, meaning that the vast majority are people who have been in our position.
I used that belief over and over again to get over the hurdles and to start thinking solutions. To stop dwelling on problems or past mistakes. Instead I used my writing as a tool to help me sort my mindset and feel through my emotions.
It didn’t matter if no one read my work. I wrote it for my own sanity and growth. If others read it and felt inspired then great. I overcame the roadblocks, and soon started to the serve the people. Even now I’m still learning how I can better serve.
How Does It Feel?
When I first accepted the offer I was speechless. For the first time I started to earn money. It’s nothing to write home about. At the stage I’m at I’m still paid less than a minimum wage worker in my country, Canada. However it’s a huge step from the $1 or $2 I was earning in ad revenue per month.
My potential monthly income jumped up by realistically by %1000. I’m not kidding. It feels great.
But now I have a responsibility. With money comes responsibility. Of course I spent a little on fun things. But now I use my money to help increase my potential earnings. I’m doing this because I understand money a little more.
The big issue with accumulating wealth isn’t making money. I’ve said before it’s incredibly easy. It was hard for me because I had to work through several years of twisted thinking and doing things so roundabout.
The difficulty to being wealthy is saving but also keeping an eye on where your money is going. Are you saving for the iPhone X when you already have an iPhone 7 you bought not long ago? Do you go to Starbucks every weekday because you need coffee to wake up? Do you spend all of your money partying every weekend to forget everything?
Those types of memories are brief, and may not even do much at all in experiencing a life well lived. Obviously you can live the life you’d like, but I don’t see the appeal in coffee, getting drunk, or having the latest tech. I’m satisfied with my iPhone 6 my dad gave me. It works just fine.
It feels great to have money, but I feel now more than ever that I need to spend my money wisely. Yes I’ll buy video games, but those are distractions. I can also entertain myself for hours with a handful of games.
Instead I’ll focus on how I can grow my wealth. After all this is how the rich get richer.
I’ve said before to truly grow is to ask yourself the difficult questions. When you are looking to improve yourself it’s really a matter of doing that, answering it, and assessing it. Are you satisfied with the answer? Yes means you keep doing what you’re doing. No means coming up with a plan and committing.
It can be difficult to do that. After all I spent two years of my life bumbling around. But it was an adventure of discovery. Discovery of myself and how I work and think. They weren’t meaningless.
So what will your wealth story look like?
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon