The title of this article might sound wild.
Isn’t AI and ChatGPT going to leave writers homeless?
Well, as my friend Dakota says, “You’re replaceable as a writer if you think the purpose of writing is to write.”
But a writer’s job isn’t to write but do the difficult task of thinking.
Maybe AI will help with the donkey work of writing, but it’ll always be up to a writer to think, synthesize, join the dots, and actually live life so there’s good stuff to write about.
ChatGPT can’t make love to a sexy human for you and then turn it into a raunchy romance novel. Only us writers can do that.
Writers who can see the trend of AI and exploit it will make 6 and 7 figures because AI will become a team of digital employees for their writing.
No blog, just a newsletter
The barrier to entry for new writers used to be high.
You had to understand how to code or get a web developer to build a website for you to write on. Then you had to understand the confusing as hell google search engine through the hand-wavy art of SEO.
Now blogs are dying.
Like when was the last time you pissed your pants with excitement to go check out a website blog? Probably not in the last few years.
Newsletters took over blogging. And now with in-built discovery that allows writers to find readers, it’s a huge opportunity. We’re only just getting started.
Newsletter platforms like Beehiiv have been around for a bee’s d*ck length of time. We’re not even close to saturation. Most of the best newsletters aren’t even a year old. Holly hell, right?
Newsletters take writers out of the attention economy and into the subscription economy. This new economy for writers is based on value — not your ability to scream about politics into the void and raise an army.
Direct monetization is the hardest path
Writers used to shout “pay me for my writing.”
As more writers transition into 6 and 7-figure incomes this cliche income stream is being exposed.
Making money directly from writing is the hardest path. Those that insist on this way have a scarcity mindset and end up frustrated and broke.
Good writing makes you a magnet for opportunities. Those indirect opportunities make the most money. Why is that the case? Because free writing is 10x more shareable than paid writing.
It’s why I’m still so scared to monetize my newsletter.
Sure, it could make me some cash, but will people still share it via tweets if their friends get smacked in the face by a paywall seeking to reach its hand into their ass pocket and grab their Visa or Mastercard? Maybe.
There’s something about free that’s irresistible. Free builds relationships instead of transactions. And relationships make you big money over time (if you can resist grabbing reader ass).
The other path is freelancing. Sure you can write words for others and get paid. But then your income is tied to your time. For many writers, they don’t want to do this long term.
For me, there’s no amount of money that would cause me to take on a freelancing client and have the equivalent of a dictator 9–5 boss again telling me what to do.
More and more writers are learning about in-direct monetization and giving the words away for free.
- Live events
- Online education
- Public speaking
No website, just a landing page
Writers have become masters of landing pages.
Instead of the spray and pray approach of the old days, smart writers are using landing pages (one-page website with a single button) to get readers to take action and become part of their community.
Reader communities are the future. Gone are the days of reader one-night stands and trying to find your long lost reader cousins.
The new path is to get readers from free channels like social media into a simple community. Once readers are there you can find out their problems through writing, and ask them what options they might pay for.
I run weekly surveys to my community. Each week I target different segments. I’m simply looking for what readers need help with.
Then I build a solution to their problem or find someone else who’s solved the problem and affiliate their solution. Writing is now no different to business.
Businesses solve problems to survive and so, too, do writers.
It’s only the writers who think like employees — and treat writing as some hipster art form people fall head over heels for — that are going broke.
It’s sad, but there’s not a lot people like me can do, other than explain how writing now works. The good old writing days are dead.
No book deal, just a self-published one
The idea of being chosen used to get writers off.
They’d imagine a day when Hollywood or Penguin would knock on their door and say “congrats, we want to publish your work and make you a star. Please give away your life by signing here, here, and here.”
The seasons have changed for writers.
Book publishers scout writer platforms looking for writers. They are now hungry for writers with existing social media audiences. Then they use their publishing business to amplify their work.
Despite that book deal option still existing, many writers prefer to self-publish because:
- They keep all the money
- You can charge crazy prices
I’ve written before about writers charging $100+ for a book. This is now possible thanks to creativity and book publishers being less influential.
Books are relationship builders. You can now self-publish a book a month if you choose. Then use Amazon ads to promote it to an audience and make a positive ROI on your investment.
Lots of cash, lots of free time
Writers are no longer starving artists.
Internet-savvy writers who act like a business are taking over the internet and drowning out the romantics that refuse to evolve and have a chip on their shoulder — you know, the life-ain’t-fair-for-writers crowd.
The world isn’t fair. You make it fair with your creativity.
And right now is the greatest time in history for writers to make 6 and 7 figures through online writing and have more free time to do whatever.
All it takes is an open mind and the ability to duplicate what already works.