Welcome back to the Authentic Online Marketing podcast, I’m your host, Ruthie Gray, and all month long we’re covering Entrepreneurial highlights that go with running an online business. Many of our listeners are writers and authors so I know you’re going to especially love listening to 10 Ways Writers Can Make Money with my guest, Kent
Sanders. You’ll learn why he feels so strongly that writers are entrepreneurs, a different mindset about generating funds, and how to develop your writing passion as a way to pay the bills!
Kent Sanders is the founder of Inkwell Ghostwriting, which helps leaders grow their businesses through books and other content. He is also the author and co-author of numerous books, including 18 Words to Live By: A Father’s Wisdom on What Matters Most and co-author of The Faith of Elvis: A Story Only a Brother Can Tell with Billy Stanley, Elvis Presley’s stepbrother. Kent is the host of the Daily Writer podcast and the founder of the Daily Writer Club, a membership in the community that helps writers build a business with their skills.
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Ruthie: Welcome to the show, Kent. Tell us a little bit about what you do, your podcast writing, and all the things so our listeners can get to know you.
Kent: Basically, my whole life revolves around writing and books, and there are a few different ways that happen. My main thing and I would say my bread and butter, so to speak, or my day job is that I’m a ghostwriter and I write memoirs. Business books and personal growth books for people.
Kent: I run a membership community called the Daily Writer Club, which is for authors who want to write books, build their writing business, show them that writers can make money and make a bigger impact in the world. Then I also am actually just now launching an upper level mastermind called the Daily Writer Elite Mastermind.
That’s for authors and writers who are already making some income from their business but want to increase it and make a greater impact in the world. Also, I do live retreats as well, so I have a host of things around this daily writer concept.
Ruthie: When did you develop this passion? Or did you al always have a writing passion?
Kent: Yeah, I’ve always loved writing, and even from the time that I was back in junior high school, I loved writing and creating. My favorite teacher’s name was Mrs. Tull, and she was amazing because she was not only a great teacher, but she was also really inspiring. One of the seminal moments in my life. She said, “Kent, I want you to
dedicate your first book to me.” I was, what, 11 or 12 at the time or something. That was such a key moment because I was like, oh wow, somebody implanted the idea in my brain that I could write books and be an author. And I thought about that for about 25 or 30 years.
Ruthie: It’s that mindset thing. That you can actually do this. How did you get all this knowledge?
Kent: In terms of where I am now and how I got here, I would say it’s been a process. Stumbling forward. Started off with blogging and podcasting almost 10 years ago. I think my first podcast was in 2013, which is hard to believe it’s been that long ago. But I wrote my first book and nobody read it or bought it. Maybe 10 people read it if that but it gave me the experience of having written a book and it gave me the joy of seeing a finished product, which was a lot of fun. I went on from there. Began writing more, doing more podcasting, and more freelance work. Over the years, that built into what I have now, which is The Daily Writer stuff, as well as a ghostwriting agency. The hostwriting aspect and the daily writer are currently my containers for my passions and the way that I feel like I can serve people.
Ruthie: Isn’t it fun to be able to do your passion for your work?
Kent: Yeah, I think that’s important. I know there are people who just feel like life is too short to be involved in work that you don’t really like. So many times we get into different types of work, or we take these jobs that we don’t really like because we feel like other people expect us to, or because it’s socially acceptable, or for whatever reasons that we do things that we actually do. However, I think there comes a point in your life where you have to take an honest assessment of yourself and go do what you really enjoy doing.
Ruthie: When Christian writers come to you, what is their biggest hang-up about marketing?
Kent: I would say the number one thing is Christian people, struggle with time and again(I’m painting with a very broad brush stroke here). As a whole, people of faith tend to be very uncomfortable talking about money, and
I think the reason is that we have been taught that money’s bad. It’s not good to want money, that wealthy people are bad or they’re evil, or they’re greedy or whatever.
I thought that way for a long time because I came from the world of church ministry and I worked at a Christian college. There was really an ethos that the more that you’re struggling financially, the more spiritually beneficial that is.
Oftentimes I share something that really impacted me. This has been a few years ago when I still worked at our college. We were doing this big event where we would have all these guys from area churches come in and they would have speakers, take a big offering for the school and things like that. I was standing in our gymnasium and the president of our school at that time was talking about a donor who promised to give a matching gift to the school of up to 40,000, in my mind, I was like that’s a lot of money!
The realization came that if I could be a business person and grow my business to the the point, where I could be the guy who writes a $40,000 check, wouldn’t that be something that was really cool?
Many times there’s a small handful of people who do have money who keep the lights on in those places. And I was like, man, it is good to have funds. It is good to make money and to be generous. Because when you are able to do that then you can really help. There are a lot of good causes. You can give a lot, can establish scholarships for students, or do whatever it is that you want to do. I try to help people of faith see that perspective on things.
Ruthie: Let’s talk about tips for generating funds As a writer, what would your top three tips
Three Writers Can Make Money Fast
Kent: Number one is just to do some freelance work. I know that sounds really simple, but for me, the number one way that I generated money at the beginning of building a business was just doing freelance work. The very first thing that I did is I wrote podcast show notes for this is a very successful guy in the business world. Probably everybody knows who this guy is. He’s written tons of books. So that’s what I did at the beginning and I loved it and
learned a ton from this gentleman because I was listening to his podcast every week and I was like, That’s cool. His guest would be talking about generosity and business and success and all these things. I found that doing freelance work with the right person actually made me a better business person. The value for me wasn’t just in getting paid for it.
Sell Stuff You Have In Your Home
Another great way that writers can make money is just to sell some stuff because we all have junk in our houses. You can just go ahead and sell some stuff if you need to hire an editor for your book or a graphic designer or whatever. Just go through your house and sell some stuff. That’s actually how I funded the editing of my second book. I didn’t have the extra money to paint an editor, so I sold a bunch of my books and raised a few hundred dollars and was able to pay for editing that way. That’s so practical.
Stop Spending and Cancel Subscriptions
I think the third tip would be just to stop spending money on some stuff, like eating out or canceling some subscriptions that you have. Cancel Netflix for a little while or whatever it is. There are all kinds of ways to generate a few extra dollars. It doesn’t have to be really complex.
Ruthie: Super practical. and probably most people have not thought about just selling their stuff. That brings me to my next question for you. You have, obviously these different hats that you wear. You have the ghostwriting, and then you have your daily writer umbrella of services. How do you market your own writing services?
Kent’s Secret Marketing Tips
Kent: That’s a really good question, and I would say that. I don’t do any traditional marketing at all for it. It’s all referral and word of mouth.
So I have a little strategy, which seems silly on the surface, but it’s very effective in terms of building a relationship. There’s some cross-pollination between my author coaching and The Daily Writer podcast and the membership group and ghostwriting. But really they’re separate.
In terms of the ghostwriting side of things, my secret strategy is I try to find an excuse to get into people’s mailboxes. What I mean is that I try to find a reason to send a thank you note or to send one of my books. Something in the mail because it’s a really inexpensive way to make a good impression on somebody. It costs what, a couple, two, or $3 for an Amazon author copy of your book, which is really cheap. Costs a few bucks to mail something, and I make my own stationery. This is like super simple. I made this myself. This is my daily writer logo, but it’s just a typewriter.
So this works for ghostwriting stuff too. It just says, from the desk of Kent Sanders, I literally printed this out on my printer. I fold them myself. It’s good to try and find a reason to send people stuff in the mail.
When I have somebody on my podcast I typically send something in the mail to them. A note or a book or something. If I met somebody at a conference, I’ll send ’em a note, or if they’re a client I’ll send them a really nice gift and a note. I just try to find reasons to do some act of kindness. I think that’s effective because most people don’t want to go through the hassle of sending stuff in the mail. Buy mailers from Amazon in bulk. I keep a bunch of stamps. And actually have an account with stamps.com where I post stuff. Get a postage meter, I know how much it weighs. Print out the postage and I put it in my mailbox and it’s really simple.
Ruthie: Yeah, that’s a great tip. I have a big mailing that is supposed to go out, so I’m gonna use that. So you recently got on Instagram. There was a graphic that caught my eye and it was 10 ways to make more money as a writer. Can you briefly speak to those 10 ways?
10 Ways Writers Can Make Money
Kent: I think they’re things that are doable for every author and they’re definitely within reach. Some of them are simpler than others.
- Book Sales
- Editing and Publishing Services
- Memberships & Masterminds
- Affiliate Marketing
Ruthie: So you have a membership. Tell us a little bit more about that and how the folks could access that or be involved in that if they wanted.
Kent: It’s called The Daily Writer Club, and this is a membership community that helps non-fiction authors write books and build their platform so they can grow their income and increase their influence and impact.
Essentially, if you’re non-fiction, This community will help you. Number one, it gets around other people who are on the same journey. And that’s half the battle, honestly. It’s not just about knowledge or skills, it’s also about being around a supportive group of people who are running the same race that you’re running and who are going to support you.
That’s huge. We also do weekly life calls. I do teaching almost every week. Sometimes we have guest experts come in. Like yesterday I talked about the power of anti-goals. So not just have goals that you want to accomplish, but what are some things that you need to stop doing to help you become more successful? Stop doing things you don’t want to do, stop committing to extra things, and stop comparing yourself to other people. Those are all things that hinder our success.
We also do a two-hour writing sprint as part of the club. Not everybody does this, but a pretty good chunk of people do. We get on Zoom for a few minutes, then we shut Zoom off, and then we write. Then we check in at the top of the hour, to see how our progress was. We get off Zoom for the next hour. Yeah, it’s really simple. It’s the dailywriterclub.com
Ruthie: Okay. This has all been amazing, Kent. I’m thrilled to share you with our listeners. So tell us, tell the
folks where they can connect with you.
Kent: The best place is to go to my website, which is dailywriterlife.com. Now, if they go to dailywriterclub.com, it really just redirects to dailywriterlife.com to a specific page for the club. Then they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anybody would like to have to chat or has questions about how to make money writing. Then I do a podcast called The Daily Writer Podcast as well. So as you can see, pretty much it’s all daily writing.
Kent Sanders is the founder of Inkwell Ghostwriting, which helps leaders grow their businesses through books and other content. He is also the author and co-author of numerous books, including 18 Words to Live By: A Father’s Wisdom on What Matters Most and co-author of The Faith of Elvis: A Story Only a Brother Can Tell with Billy Stanley, Elvis Presley’s stepbrother. In addition to writing books for himself and his clients, Kent loves to help other writers. He is the host of the Daily Writer podcast and the founder of the Daily Writer Club, a membership community that
helps writers build a business with their skills. He lives just outside of St. Louis and enjoys spending time with his wife, Melanie, and their son, Ben. You can connect with Kent at kentsanders.net and dailywriterlife.com.