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Mfonobong Inyang: The Many Ways You Can Make Money From Writing



There is something known as soft power, the ability to influence the behaviour of others through attraction and appeal rather than through force and coercion. Although it’s more pronounced in international politics, individuals and organisations can wield levels of soft power just like countries of the earth do. Do you know that certain person and product brands have grown their appeal to the point that when you think of having a soft drink, buying clothes, travelling via air or eating at a restaurant, certain products pop up in your head immediately? That is your (sub)consciousness projecting a choice for you based on previous exposure or actual customer experience. Why do you think big brands splurge a ton of money on ads? They want to invade your mind through your eye-gate and ear-gate. It’s called top-of-mind awareness. In case you’re thinking of making yourself a well-branded writer, there are many ways to become one and even make cool cash from it.


There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

When you decide to author a book, except if it’s a memoir, autobiography or a product of some deep research, it’s not breaking news. Someone has previously explored what you just decided to explore. Therefore, to make what you are saying important, you have to refine how you say it. That’s what makes it new. People don’t read what I write so much for its material relevance than they do for the creative intelligence I deploy in documenting my thoughts. People want to buy into your POV. We all know water is wet, the grass is green and the sky is blue, so why would anyone buy your new book that talks about water, grass or sky? There is the science of a story; those are the hard and inerrant facts. Then there is the art of a story; those are the elements that make the story a journey that readers want to follow to the end.

Your story is beyond writing, your story is in the moves you make. That is why movies are called motion pictures; a concatenation of movements. For me, there are five things you can anchor your story; origin – where you’re coming from, your antecedents, and your nativity; expertise – your competence, your ability or your prowess; innovation – the solution you bring to the table and what makes you different; purpose – your calling and its role in the grand scheme of things; influence; how far-reaching your message is and its propensity for change.

Content Marketing

The only thing better than creating good content is selling it. Robert Kiyosaki once told a reporter that he wasn’t a best writer but a best seller. After you serve, you sell. After you give content for free, you then give content for a fee. One of the greatest skills you can learn and develop in the digital space is the ability to sell. Your product makes sense but does it make money? Don’t just develop your message but also understudy the market. Start early because attention is a currency of the digital age. Be heavy on leveraging tech because when creativity meets innovation, magic happens. Don’t just write a great book, use these hacks to make great sales.

Also, build a community. Remember the two most important words in Economics – demand and supply? The mistake many of us make is that we create a supply of a product or service then we begin looking for a demand for it. First, there is absolutely no product that has a universal demand. The only thing that you can sell and everybody will certainly buy is air but then again, God beats you to it made it available for free. So identify your demography, the target market or the audience that you have in mind.

Then, productice. From your purpose, create products. Whilst I am passionate about human development, I further create knowledge-based products like books, premium ghost-writing, consultancy, public speaking and other associated services. Faith is creating something visible from the invisible and since money is a medium of exchange, I now have something of value I can use for trade. Hope is not a strategy.

Impact is a great thing, I do not doubt that those who read your book will add a thing or two to their lives. Although the value of information in that book is priceless – that book will have a price tag. Multiply that by the thousands of copies sold, you have a healthy sales revenue. I have seen people package mediocre products and sell them at a premium, why would you create something special and not be confident enough to charge people for it?


Do you know that we all write? From text messages, WhatsApp chats, X-ing and miscellaneous documentation. While all that is good, it is not proof that you are skilled enough to write a book unaided. What such writings generally lack is form utility which is one of the utilities a great product should have. People don’t want to pay for the things you scribbled in your journal, they want to buy a brilliantly written book. Just like people hardly buy cocoa but everybody, well, almost everybody, loves chocolate.

A ghost-writer gives you the gift of perspective; most people write for themselves and a closed audience, hence they miss some important nuances that make their messages more cosmopolitan. A ghost-writer is more than someone who amplifies your thoughts and converts them into choice words, he or she is effectively your sounding board. You need such a person to help you refine your primal and sometimes, uncouth thoughts. A ghostwriter is also an accountability partner because just as you need commitment to start, you also need consistency to finish. Many people have been writing a book since 79 B.C. You need someone to structure your workflow when writing, which for me is heavy lifting. Finally, a ghostwriter is your insurance policy against unforced errors. Ever read a great book but were turned off by schoolboy errors that littered the literature? Excellence isn’t what it costs to get something done well, it’s a response to the realization of the actual cost of not getting things done well. So stop dragging your feet about hiring a ghost-writer and to quote Layi, “wrap it up”, fam.

The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Gree

One thing you shouldn’t do this year is to be humble; by that, I refer to the connotative meaning of humility, not the denotative meaning. Per the traditional definition, humility is waiting for someone to recognise your talent and engage it. That passive perspective is quite disempowering because it makes you outsource your power and look to someone to save you instead of looking at the mirror and realising that nobody is coming to save you – you are your own hero. In today’s world, if the proverbial patient dog no dey on guard, e fit no see any fat bone chop. If Caesar no dey careful, what belongs to him will be given to someone else. Business coach, Steve Harris puts it this way, “money doesn’t necessarily go to the person who delivers the highest value but the person that makes the loudest noise about the value they can deliver!”

Sabri Suby corroborates this in his bestseller, Sell Like Crazy, where he submitted that there was a desperate need for organisations and brands to effectively communicate how what they offer helps their prospects to solve their challenges because money doesn’t go to the organisation with the best products, rather to one that communicates its offers in the best possible way that prospects can connect with. Branding connoisseur, Leke Alder opines that “It is not enough for us to build businesses; it is important to build brands. Branding is an economic discipline.”

Now available in select bookshops and on my Selar Store - get your hands on my brand new book, Hope Is Not A Strategy; Faith Is Not A Business Model - Mfonobong Inyang is a creative genius who works with top individuals and institutions to achieve their media, tech and communication goals. He is a much sought-after public speaker and consummate culture connoisseur who brings uncanny insights and perspectives to contemporary issues. As a consummate writer, he offers ghostwriting, copy-writing and book consultancy services. A master storyteller that brilliantly churns out premium content for brands on corporate communications, book projects, scripts and social media. A graduate of Economics – he speaks the English, Ibibio, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages. He appears to be a gentleman on the surface but the rumours are true - he get coconut head! Reach out to me let us work together on your content project(s) - [email protected].

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