Many individuals aspire to start an online business. Still, they feel overwhelmed by the plethora of options available to them. With varying models such as SMMA, drop shipping, email marketing, affiliate marketing, print on demand, SAAS, Amazon FBA, advertising, SEO, and more.
These models can be successful with enough time and effort dedicated to learning and understanding the subject.
What many people may not realize is that the backbone of most online business models, marketing products and services is writing.
Everything revolves around writing. Whether it's writing captions for social media posts, scripts for YouTube videos (Yes, videos tend to be better when scripts are prepared and organized), or copy for emails, articles, and product descriptions for all types of websites. The ability to express and persuade through writing is essential for any online business.
Even platforms such as TikTok, which primarily focuses on short videos, have increased the character limit to 2200 for captions to improve SEO.
That is how information is indexed and organized online…using text. Even images rely on metadata and alt text.
The online economy is a rapidly evolving landscape that requires skills and knowledge vastly different from what is traditionally taught in the classroom. For those who desire to succeed in this digital economy, learn to write.
But we are not talking about writing as in writing novels or essays. We are talking about digital writing.
Digital writing is a discipline that is distinct from traditional forms of writing. It is characterized by brevity, concision, and a format designed to capture readers' attention within a highly competitive pool of information.
Unlike essays written in school, digital writing is optimized for the digital medium, considering factors such as screen size and reading habits of our content consumption online.
One of the key benefits of learning digital writing is the ability to monetize one's work, no matter the niche. The internet provides various opportunities for individuals to earn a living through their writing, such as an email newsletter, affiliate marketing, building a brand (yes, through your writing, you are the brand), sponsored content, and selling one's own products & services. Effective digital writing opens the door to a wide range of revenue streams.
In the creator economy, writing helps you build an audience and establish a connection with potential customers through offering free, high-quality information or low-cost product/service.
Maintaining this relationship over time involves continuously exploring your passions, understanding the needs of your readers, and identifying other products that will benefit them.
This allows you to better understand your subject and write and share it with your audience, which increases your credibility and profit margins.
If you don't have a product, writing helps you sell other people's products, eliminating a lot of work, such as dealing with inventory, customer service, payments, and refunds.
All your writing will be available online, whether through published articles on a website, or an email newsletter. It can attract subscribers in a fully automated system that can help you sell products and services while you sleep, providing financial security, freedom, happiness, and time for yourself.
So It is through writing that one can lay the foundation for the distribution ecosystem necessary for success in the online economy.
To add depth to your content, you may need other tools, such as photography, graphics, or videos. But writing will be the glue that pulls all of these various elements together, in order to carry sales of products and services.
Ok, so how do you do this? Where do you go from here?
Build an audience. Build an email list. Build a community. Build a list of buyers.
There are many options you can start today and build on. As you begin writing, you will learn what you like, what you don't like, then adjust and refine your writing practice.
Start an email list and drive free traffic to it! Why is building an email list essential?? Because it will allow you to create a platform for whatever topics and work you like, to document and share your skills, expertise, and interests.
You have heard that "the money is in the list."
Building an email list is your new net worth and allows you to control your audience, unlike social media. What does that mean?
You can use social media platforms to build a following, but a follower doesn't equal a dollar amount, and a tiny percentage of them even see your posts. You don't own your following and could even lose your social media account for no reason, as is happening for thousands of accounts daily.
As you know, exporting followers to a list from Instagram or Twitter is impossible. And even if you could, you would need their email addresses and permission. To capitalize on your followers, you need to use your writing to drive them to sign up for your email/newsletter/content to build your audience.
And don't say Email is dead because Email isn't dead.
91% of people, if not more, check their Email daily.
Email marketing surpasses all other channels, as 66% of people will buy something online after receiving an email promotion.
While Facebook has 1.5 billion users, Twitter has 450 million users, Snapchat has 363 million users… Email has 4.3 billion users.
4.6 Billions email users projected for 2025.
Those are some serious numbers.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $40 (Omnisend, 2022).
The trick here is to write quality, creative emails that your subscribers are happy to open and read.
People will always be interested in hearing from you if your message satisfies their needs. Your psychographic should align with the message you're sending, which is why they subscribed to your email list and content.
Starting a newsletter and deep diving into your chosen topics is an attractive practice that brings depth to your reader, which builds your authority. And again, this allows for a deeper connection with a loyal following and opens up new opportunities to monetize it.
In the last few years, there has been an explosion of newsletters and email channels about all types of interesting niches and micro niches. Many fortunes have been amassed using Email.
Get a free autoresponder and start writing. Start a website and curate what you love on it. The world needs your curation and your perspective more than you think. Many people will connect with your output and will want more. If you have the expertise, teach people; if not, you can curate authority sources you continuously learn from and share them with your audience.
Even if you have a 9-5 job and want to maintain it, write and build stuff. That's what employers are hiring based on, the content you share online, which is your public resume. HR will stop using education for hiring; they have used it as a proxy.
Education guarantees that a candidate has the ability to commit to a challenging environment for growth, and has the character to show up to reliably and punctually, and follow projects through to completion.
Still, many people with higher education aren't suitable for many job positions today as they find themselves oblivious to the current practices in their fields.
Many individuals are turning to online creators for education and skills development, instead of traditional education.
Online creators share their knowledge and experiences through digital content, such as writing and videos. They monetize their expertise by selling digital products and prioritize educating based on what is relevant to today's best practices and techniques.
First, you start small, and as your list grows and your interest builds up, you will naturally be inclined to do more and grow your online ecosystem.
As you stack up a collection of writings, this will become your distribution platform and open up opportunities to sell your paid products.
We live in a consumer culture. People are willing to spend money on things they feel will improve their lives. And your audience, exactly as we speak, is looking for the next product to buy.
Depending on your niche, your writing frequency, and a few other factors, you can offer your services or sell affiliate products that align with your niche, collecting up to 75% in commissions.
You can leverage your platform, expertise, and authority to teach, guide, and sell your customers tools, software, educational products, physical products, and buyables. The opportunities are endless.
You can drive free or paid traffic from different sources. When someone clicks on a post or an ad on Google or Facebook, they have no prior relationship with your business.
This is "cold" traffic and requires a warm up, education on the subject and persuasive and compelling marketing message to convert them into customers or subscribers.
However, an alternative approach is to offer a valuable gift in exchange for their email address. A free lead magnet that will invite them to opt-in. This will establish your symbiotic relationship.
This shifts the focus from immediate sales to building a relationship with the visitor. By capturing their Email, you welcome them to your list, engage with them and earn their trust, leading to higher conversions and the long-term benefits of a strong customer relationship.
Just don't be fake, aggressive, or annoying.
Don't be too salesy or pushy; your subscribers will leave.
Authenticity gets the best results.
As you continue to provide an excellent email experience and quality information, you will build credibility as an expert in the field. Or someone with a unique perspective on the topic or topics. Which then will define your niche and remove the competition.
Your one-person business has no competition.
The brand is you.
The voice is you.
The product is you, your perspective, experience, and expertise.
Some emails will be purely informational/educational, and others will require using copywriting skills to persuade your customers to make a purchase. As you get better at this, you can sell for yourself, offer writing services, and collect thousands of dollars for short amounts of work.
Copywriting is a skill in high demand because a serious number of businesses are going remote. And it will keep growing. E-commerce is an exploding industry and will continue for the next decade.
Writing Leads to Money and Freedom
Many of us are doing this not only to exercise fulfilling work but also to survive and thrive. We are still hunters and gatherers. The new digital entrepreneurship is the hunt, and the internet is the terrain.
We want to make a decent living with work that doesn’t take all of our time and leaves us tired and scared. Solving our money-making issue opens room for creativity, vacations, less stress, and working through your personal avenues towards purpose and happiness.
Now the online economy enables us to pursue our passions and interests, exploit skills and techniques to find freedom from the grueling reality of the corporate world, and free up more time to enjoy and do life as we please.
Money will come through the business aspects of your writing practice, buying you freedom in your external world. At the same time, giving you the freedom and time to do the internal work through spiritual and creative explorations.
But the key here is to monetize your online business using writing, sales, and building your platform using no-code tools. Learning to earn with your mind rather than with your time. Writing and copywriting will make you money while you sleep.
Writing and content creation are very powerful.
Companies the world over know that content is the new oil. And they are investing in the best content creators to keep educating and entertaining their readers and customers.
The business and tech media newsletter the “Hustle,” was acquired by Hubspot, estimated at $27 million. This differs from the deal price, as the merging parties agreed to keep it private. Here is an example of how good newsletters can create value and be acquired by software companies.
"By acquiring The Hustle, we'll be able to better meet the needs of these scaling companies by delivering educational, business, and tech trend content in their preferred formats," said HubSpot's senior vice president of marketing Kieran Flanagan in a statement. "Sam and his team have a proven ability to create content that entrepreneurs, startups, and scaling companies are passionate about, and I'm excited to bring them on board to take that work to the next level."
There are many other examples of how newsletters open up all types of opportunities for their authors/creators, in addition to maximizing time and freedom, while making a good living doing something you're passionate about.
Writing for self-help, growth, creativity, and planning
It is important to note that the role of writing extends beyond just creating catchy headlines and articles and writing for products and services. Writing is crucial for planning and organizing one's thoughts and ideas. As you plan your life and business, writing down your plans increases the chances of achieving them.
Define yourself using writing. Write down your values, your goals, projects you want to implement, and products you want to develop.
Writing will help you understand your psychology, translate your intuition, discover your true passions, formulate ideas, and figure out what direction to go in your career and other avenues of life.
Beyond its practical applications, writing is an essential tool for creativity and self-expression. It allows one to work through ideas and gain clarity on thoughts and feelings. It can also be therapeutic, promoting personal growth and development.
There is tons of evidence of this in practices like Morning Pages.
Recommended by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, a successful and famous practice requiring blocked artists, writers, and people from all walks of life to write 3 pages by hand, first thing in the morning, about whatever comes to mind.
This practice has unlocked productivity for millions of people (yes, millions) and unleashed the momentum of daily journaling, writing, creativity, other non-art and non-writing related work, allowing the vital byproducts of this practice to come to life.
All in all, writing is an evergreen skill. Build your skills, company, and community, and create your life using writing. It is just a part of the puzzle but an important one that glues all the other parts together.