Building a site that provides an income from writing is a challenge. One that I have taken up with NibbleReads. The path from a new site to one that generates an income is not an easy one, and a vast majority of publishing sites fail. The question is why do I believe my site and my plan will work where most have failed, and is there anything in my plan that could help a writer to earn an online income.
The first stage to earning online is to know your niche. And to make it a tight one.
If you are a writer who wants to produce content in twenty niches, expect a high chance of failure.
The ideal way to begin the process is to select one niche, make it small, and make it something that creates a fan base.
Here is the process of thinking I went through in deciding the niche for NibbleReads.
Firstly, I enjoy writing very short stories. I rarely write anything over 1000 words.
Here is the line of thinking I took to go from short story writing to making this site a tight niche.
- short stories is a broad niche. It can include stories from fantasy, romance, horror, humor, slice of life and many more options.
- I also wanted very short stories. So I initially wanted only stories under 1000 words. This narrowed my niche down a lot.
- But the range was still wide, plus I had to bear in mind that I could potentially have to write all the content myself for a long time.
- I also had to bear in mind that to gain decent traction I needed to produce daily contact. Writing a decent 100 word story every day was going to be a challenge for me, so I reduced the length of the stories to 100 words.
- While I love 100 word stories, I did not want to restrict the site to only 100 word stories, the plan is to start with 100 word stories and expand the length in increments until it stops at 1000 words. The name of the site need to accommodate the expansion in word count.
- With that criteria, starting the site off with 100 word stories only made sense because I can write enough content every day forever, I would be able to vary the content in different genres as I enjoy variety in writing. And I know that many people who read very short stories are okay investing one minute per story to take a punt on reading multiple genres that they may not typically read.
I had my starting off point, with a view to expanding the range up to 1000 word stories.
Now I have my niche, how do I earn?
Before launching into income generation, I decided to not concern myself with money making for a while because I want to build the audience first. This means that for the first six months I needed to be okay with only spending money to promote the stories on the site. While I seriously considered paying for good submitted work from day one, I figured I needed to focus on audience first, build up a list of writers who were okay with submitting their work for free with a view that later on I would be able to pay them.
In essence, I need to be mindful of building two audiences. One of readers who want quality short stories every day for free. Another of quality writers who want their work read but do not want to do the work of getting their work to readers and are okay with providing free stories for a while.
This is a contract of sorts. I promise to build the audience of readers to a point where I will pay writers later on.
In order to earn money, you need readers and writers. Both of these aspects are in progress, but in the beginning, there is no means to earn.
This is something all writers and publishing sites need to be comfortable with. I suspect the reason most publishing websites fail is the unwillingness to wait long enough to earn.
For the first six months of a site, but probably the first year, the expectation should be one of losing money while building the audience.
When you have a regular audience of fans, the earning comes into play, but the goal is not to charge readers for reading, not directly anyway.
How can I earn money without charging the readers?
Many people hate advertising. I include myself in this group. But I also include myself in the group that knows that advertising pays people an income for providing a service.
In this case, the advertising will pay the writers.
When the traffic volume is high enough to earn $10.00 per day from banner advertising, it will be done. Then I will pay writers $10.00 for each story and increase the amount paid per story to $50.00.
I have a course to teach people how to write 100 word stories. The idea is to help people become good enough to become a regular published author on NibbleReads. I have a vested interest in finding quality writers and helping writers who need more skills to reach the publishable level.
The idea is simple. The first month of the course is $10.00 then $2.00 per month after that. The course, if done daily, takes about nine weeks to complete. Writers will share feedback with each other with a tutor providing feedback on more technical aspects. In essence, writers will help writers with the course being the base for a writer’s community.
While I give feedback for every submission, it is typically short and to the point. I want to help people be better writers with a view to potentially providing a starting off income from their work.
But if a writer wants a detailed level of feedback, then I will offer that service as well.
In time there will be many writers and many more readers. With the restriction of one or two stories a day, there will be a build up of stories to read. So why not bundle them up into an ebook and sell them?
It would be wonderful to have a large readership who enjoy the daily stories, fall in love with a few regular writers and who want more from their favorite writer. Imagine that this is possible by purchasing an ebook with 50 stories that are exclusively in the NibbleReads ebook for $3.00?
The money earned from the ebook sales would be split between author and NibbleReads. In time, I am hoping to offer one or two of their ebooks per week and sell thousands of them each time. This alone could be a full time income for the writer, an ideal I would dearly love to achieve.
You are in love and want to give a special gift. Why not select your favorite love story and have it delivered to your door in a lovely frame?
Services will include site building for writers (it is not uncommon for a decent site to cost $2000 plus, which surprises me given I know good site builders who can build sites like NibbleReads for $500).
A course on how to start a publishing website like NibbleReads and earn money from it (I can only do this one after I am doing well enough).
To sum up…… if you want to earn an income selling your stories online, you need to plan it out, to be prepared to lose money for at least one year, know what you want to sell and when, and most importantly, have the patience to accept the slow start.
If you can do that, then you can earn a good income from writing and publishing from your own site.
If you can’t do that, then write and submit to sites like NibbleReads, work with the site owner, get to know them, and work on your craft. Publishing site owners are typically keen readers and writers who want to help writers improve on their skill levels. Don’t be afraid to approach them and submit your work, and be prepared for a no, read any feedback they give and act on it.