Can A Back Catalogue Still Make Money

For the year I have been writing on Medium I have posted five times a week most weeks. Like any writer, I have set myself a gruelling schedule.

This weekend I posted on Twitter that everything I had written recently was rubbish. Not one half-finished draft thrust itself forward as a post. The advice I received was heartfelt. Whether it was advice on how to go forward or posts to say writers had been there. Each comment was a little hidden gem.

Sat with my partner this weekend I said the same thing to her. Her answer was, you are writing for the money you have forgotten to enjoy the process. She is rarely wrong, although I try not to tell her that too often.

As the other priorities in my life have come forward, my writing time for Medium has been encroached on. Since the lockdown, my priorities have changed. My priority now is my Patreon account and mentoring course. Coming a close second is my website which has seen massive grown in the last couple of months.

The growth I feel is the result of posting to there first and then pulling my writing tips posts through to Medium. Yes, I am giving the advice away for free. I have advocated for this in several of my articles recently. You can make money other ways from your website.

The schedule has to go

There is an excellent writer on Medium called Tommy who experiments with his writing monthly. Following his example, it is time to experiment this month.

The experiment is simple. To ditch the writing schedule and publish when I have something to say. The only schedule I am keeping is to post at least once a week to my website and my exclusive post for my Patreon followers.

Social media marketing is important in everything we do. The days I don’t have anything to promote I will turn to my back catalogue and promote that.

Can your back catalogue sustain you

Having written as much as I have, I have a reasonable back catalogue to fall back on. There are posts that new followers will not have read.

The first thing a writer needs is a back catalogue. If like me you have been writing for a while on Medium you will have older posts people have not seen. Can our earnings be sustained through a back catalogue?

In the long run no, mathematics shows us that there will come a point when everyone has read all your articles. If you aren’t adding new material to your catalogue then this cannot be an endless process.

However, there will always be new readers that come to you. You will not run out of material quickly.

As writers, will past articles pay us as new do? My statistics tell me they pay better. So the question will be whether my earnings can remain the same for a month when I am not publishing as much.

I am not talking about quitting publishing altogether, but having a mixture of old and new posts to market. Daily I will use the same marketing process as I previously mentioned.

As writers, you should all be asking these question. If we experiment with our writing and marketing, we can then speak with authority about what works and what doesn’t. Writers should not become stagnant. Even if everything is going well for you, there is always room to diversify.

The market changes to enable a profitable side hustle you have to try new things and be as adaptable as your readers. Don’t be frightened to try new things, some will work and some won’t.

Whether my back catalogue will sustain my earning remains to be seen. For this month though I am willing to experiment with that and see where it takes me. I will let you know next month whether I am flat broke or not.

Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and blogger. Click here to take you writing to the next level and start earning three figures a month.  To follow all her work find her on Facebook or join her Email List for a copy of her writing tips book. 

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