I have a bee in my bonnet.
Something that bugs me to the point where I can’t stop talking about it.
I have written about this before, but I just don’t feel like I’ve said enough.
If you make a living selling coaching sessions and workshops you aren’t making a living as a writer. That simple. You are only making a living as a writer if you make your living writing.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to make a living selling workshops, courses, coaching, whatever. You just aren’t doing it as a writer, you are doing it as a coach/facilitator/marketer.
There is a point where it becomes wrong though, where you have actually entered the con artist territory, and I see that point a lot here on medium — I especially see it with “free webinar’s”.
A pyramid scheme is pretty simple. You get people to sign up for your program and you get them to give you a couple of bucks. They get a couple of people under them, and those people give them a couple of bucks. The people at the top get rich because they are getting money from everyone in the pyramid. The people on the bottom just gave away money for nothing.
The modern “free webinar/take my course on how to make money as a blogger” culture is more like a pyramid scheme than it is like a legitimate business. Not everyone can make a living offering course on how to make a living offering courses, and that’s what almost all of these people are selling.
In addition, to claim you are making a living as a writer doing this is like if I went to Starbucks every day to write, and then Starbucks hired me to be a barista. Sure, they hired me because the staff knew me because I write… but that’s pretty much incidental to my paycheque.
The kind of workshops that are legitimate, the kinds that are worth doing, are the ones that teach you how to be a better writer — or even how to market that writing better. Marketing that writing though means that the end goal is your writing makes money. The people buy stories from you.
Once you are actually making money selling your writing then you can talk about putting together a course teaching people how to do it, but if all you know how to do is sell a course… well, you are a con artist, not an educator or a writer.
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