It used to be that the only way you could make money with your poetry was to go through the long and arduous process of finding an agent and then wait for that agent to find a publishing house willing to promote your book. The path was littered with rejection slips and to even consider self-publication was literary suicide. These days though, you don’t have to cow-tow to the publishers anymore. Now you can make money online writing poetry.
Self-publication no longer has the negative stigma it had in the past. In fact, publishing houses are starting to feel the pressure because so many authors are having success publishing there own books. The Internet is a wonderful invention that anyone can use to promote whatever product they want. You can use it to promote your poetry books.
The first thing you’ll need is a collection of your poetry which you probably already have. Sort them is if you were planning your book with a dozen or so poems each. And keep 10 to 12 aside for use on a blog. Yes, you’re going to be setting up a blog.
You’ll need a blog so you have a ‘home’ on the Internet where you can promote your book and start attracting an audience for your poetry. And before you can set up that blog, you’ll need to buy a domain name. Don’t worry – it’s less than $10. Your domain name is your web address, it’s how people can find you on the Internet. So choose something relevant. In this case, since you’re an author promoting your work, you might want to choose either your name or your pen name to make it even easier for people to find you once your name becomes a household word.
Next, you’ll need web hosting for your blog. I suggest using BlueHost. If you’re only going to have one blog get the smallest hosting package they offer, usually around $7 or $8 a month.
Then all you need to do is set up a blog. Most hosting sites have WordPress built in. It just takes a few clicks and you’re ready to start blogging.
Here’s why you need a blog
You need a blog for a number of reasons. First, you’re going to be selling your poetry online so you need a place where you can promote it and have it available for purchase.
But the Internet is a really big place and just having a blog won’t do you much good. You’re going to need to do your own promotional work so people will be able to find you. So setting up a blog not only gives you a place to promote and sell your book online, it also acts as your promotional vehicle.
Now, use that smaller pile of poetry that you set aside and use it to create blog posts. When people come to your blog they’ll be able to see your writing and that will help them decide if they want to buy your poetry books. You can also write any kind of blog posts you want. For example, maybe you’d want to review other poets’ work, or talk about your creative writing process. A blog is an ongoing piece of work and the more you write the more visitors you attract.
Alright, now that you have a blog, you need to turn the rest of your poetry into a book and it’s very easy to do. Just copy it all into a text file and turn it into a pdf file. If you’re very creative you’ll want to learn how to add chapter titles and page numbers and headings and such. But you’ll learn that as you go.
Now, you’ll want to upload your poetry ebook to the media files on your blog and remember where it is. Copy the link location and use it to generate a Paypal button so people can buy your ebook right from your blog.
In the beginning, you might want to consider giving away some free poems as an incentive to get your blog readers to join an email mailing list. Then each time you write a new book of poetry, you can send them an email to let them know about it.
Make no mistake here. You’re going to have to promote your blog if you want people to find it. This means you’re going to have to enter fresh content – poetry, blog posts, reviews, etc. – on a regular basis, 3 or 4 times a week. You’re going to have to join social networks and start making some connections. There are about a zillion and one ways you can promote your poetry online but the gist of it is, you’ll have to do the work.
The benefits, though, make it well worth the effort. You can set your own prices and you don’t have to work for pennies on the dollar. You can publish a new book of poetry when ever the muse strikes. And you don’t have to worry about stocking cases of books in your own basement – everything’s handled digitally online.
With a little bit of effort you can make money online writing poetry. Build a complete library of your own works online and beat those publishing houses at their own game.