If you read my post on whether a back catalogue could sustain your income, you may be wondering how this went. Well if you are interested I will not keep you waiting. The question I asked was by advertising older posts, would I sustain my income? The quick answer no I didn’t make the same money.
The surprising answer, I made more than normal. Not more than normal, but I had my best month on Medium since starting writing here two years ago. I earned almost 30% more than a standard month. No one is more shocked than me. So let’s break this down and examine the other advantages this had.
Without talking about money, there are several more positives from this form of promoting. Some of these more positive than the extra cash. I am not a writer that writes for money, it helps but it isn’t everything.
When you don’t pressure yourself to keep a gruelling publishing schedule, your writing becomes freer. The weight seems to come off your shoulders and you can start enjoying yourself again. Freedom means that the writing you produce is a higher quality. You are not struggling for ideas, you are creating with joy. This shows in your writing. The posts you do publish will be received better because they are better.
For me when I released my publishing schedule I chilled for a whole weekend. Sunday night my brain went into overdrive. I wrote the bones of two posts within an hour. The inspiration struck because I hadn’t put pressure on my brain to perform.
With this freedom, the ideas also came quicker. My ideas folder is bursting to capacity now. As writers, our brains are full of new ideas, articles we are working on and novels. By freeing the brain from worrying about one of these, allows it to work on other areas. Hence the increase in ideas.
What The Statistics Showed
I have always suspected that older posts pay higher than new posts. The statistics would support this. If you range my posts in order of payment, only one of my new articles made the top 5 earners.
Strangely, my top-earning post this month although old, I did not publicise at all. It took off all on its own. I have a suspicion it may have been promoted through the excellent publication I placed it in. Overall though I never added it to any of my social media and it performed best of all.
Many writers, talk about sometimes it takes months for a post to get traction. I didn’t believe them until this month. It appears many months after writing it, one of my posts hit a home run.
Drive the views.
This was a one-off though. As writers, if we do not drive views to old posts, they will not be found. To keep your income high, even when not writing, you still need to promote older posts.
I would suggest two methods of promotion, add backlinks to older articles in your new. Ensure they are relevant don’t throw links in anywhere. Promote daily to social media, especially Facebook groups.
Factoring in the time to read the work of others. This should take no more than an hour a day and is a good use of time if it means your income remains consistent.
This month has been a joy and not because of the extra income. I have fallen back in love with writing. I have enjoyed the process and generated some work I am very proud of.
I have also started a new publication dedicated to quick bites of information. Rule of One challenges you all to hone your writing skills to say what you want in one minute.
Overall I don’t believe you can just make income from posting a back catalogue. However, if you have a substantial article count you can use it to enhance your time.
I will certainly be using it again in months when I need a break or when my family need me to be present for a whole day, not a proportion of it.
Moving forward my plan is for three planned posts a week all on different platforms. Murder Monday will be published on Medium. Writer Wednesday to be published on my website and pulled through to Medium, if relevant. Finally, Family Friday to be published on my new parent and teachers magazine.
Daily, I will market articles and ensure eyes are on my work, whether this is old or new. I will publish more than once a week on Medium, but no pressure.
As writers, why not promote older articles as well as new. The knowledge is just as relevant if they are evergreen articles. Giving yourself time to write better articles, can only be a positive move.