This morning I decided to have some lazy time in bed before getting up. I opened my phone and began scrolling through Facebook. My husband came in and asked what I was doing and I told him. He responded with “Oh, doom scrolling,” with a laugh.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider scrolling through FB as doom scrolling, but today it was!
An author I know posted how much money she’s been making and how she “exploded” with some successful posts on TikTok. She went from making in the four to low five-figure range to six figures a month. Yes, you read that right. She made $128,000+ at Amazon in one month! Take off those three zeros at the end there and you’ve got close to what I earn in an average month. Okay, maybe a little bit more, but not much.
It makes me think… what am I doing wrong?
Well, I know what I’m doing wrong. I’m not advertising enough. I’m not spending a thousand dollars advertising my books everywhere. I’m not even on Tic Tok!
I spend about $100-150 a month on advertising. I split it up among FB, Amazon ads, and various newsletters and I change it up all the time depending on what seems to be working this month – in other words, nothing really works very well all the time.
Does this bother me that this woman is making so very much more with her books than I am?
No, actually, it doesn’t. Would it bother you?
I think about how much time I spend on advertising (not much!!), and how much time she probably spends (she makes Tik Toc videos, follows the market, runs FB ads, and goodness only knows what else). There is undoubtedly a direct correlation there.
I don’t enjoy marketing. I do it because I have to, but clearly I don’t do it well nor consistently. This doesn’t worry me.
Because that’s not what my career goal is. I’m not a writer so that I can earn money. I’m a writer because I’ve got stories to tell and I enjoy writing. I’m a writer because it’s my passion.
If you want to earn a six figure income, please go and follow the market. Make videos. Find out where your audience is and reach out to them there (I am going to attempt to get a foothold in Tik Toc, but I don’t have great expectations that I’ll do very well there because I don’t think that’s where my audience is, but I’m hoping to expand my audience and so I will pursue it… soon!). Spend money on your advertising and I hope you earn back what you spend and more—much more.
But when people brag about how money they earn, I recommend smiling and nodding and saying, “Wow, that’s great for you!” And then go on doing what you’re comfortable doing. Not earning tens of thousands of dollars is not the end of the world. Yes, it would be nice to do so, but is it really why you write?
Think about that as, clearly, I am. Think about what brings you joy (yeah, we can totally Marie Kondo this! LOL!) Keep doing what you love. Don’t do what you don’t love. And congratulate people for achieving their dreams whether they are yours or not.