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Ask any poet you know if they ever considered making a living from their writing and you’re likely to get an incredulous laugh in response. That’s because most poets—particularly the ones who have tried to do it—understand that the prospect of making a career out of their poetry is slim to … well, very slim.
Granted, even if you made it to the number-one bestseller spot, $44k is arguably not a livable wage in many parts of the country. With that thought in mind, as a poet, you might want to keep your day job even if your work becomes a bestseller. However, if you’re looking to make a sizeable side income from your writing, that goal might be far less of a pipe dream than making a living from it. And here are a few ideas that can actually put dollars in your pocket because of your poems.
how to make money from poetry
Earn Money Writing Poems Uk
T-shirts, wall plaques, caps and aprons—the possibilities are endless for online entrepreneurship for poets who want to make a living out of their writing. With the right few lines printed on clothing, home décor, or other accessories, and the right amount of marketing put into selling them, your poems could be making you a livable income.
A quick search on Etsy for “poetry art” reveals pages of poems as wall art for sale. While many of these poems are written by famous poets, the option to sell your own poetry is there. You can view how others design the art and posters, and use it as inspiration for designing your own, including the media used.
Websites like Vistaprint.com provide printing services for everything from totes and luggage to t-shirts and polos. You create the design that goes on them—notably a design that includes your poetry—and then market those items in your own personal web shop or sales venue.
If there’s one poetic medium that still sells on a daily basis, it’s greeting cards. In fact, this post from the Penny Hoarder offers a run-down of eight companies openly seeking submissions for greeting card copy. These companies have different submission guidelines and content requests, so you’ll need to do some research to find out who pays the best rates and is seeking your particular style of writing.
This post from Poets & Writers offers a guide on the steps you’ll need to take to get your poetry manuscript self-published. It includes an overview of self-publishing, as well as tips on vetting your manuscript, setting a budget, creating the final product, establishing goals, choosing a platform and devising a marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that your self-publishing success as a poet will be directly tied to two things: 1) Your appeal and ability to engage audiences, and 2) your marketing efforts. Let’s talk a little about each and how you can increase your chances of sales should you decide to take this route.
Appealing to audiences
The number-one bestselling poet of all time is Shakespeare, according to Joan Acocella. Second is Lao-tzu, with Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet coming in third with his collection of twenty-six prose poems, delivered as sermons by a fictional sage. Published in 1923, The Prophet has sold more than nine million copies in its American edition alone.
In the above-mentioned article, Joan Acocella writes,
There are public schools named for Gibran in Brooklyn and Yonkers. The Prophet has been recited at countless weddings and funerals. It is quoted in books and articles on training art teachers, determining criminal responsibility, and enduring ectopic pregnancy, sleep disorders, and the news that your son is gay. Its words turn up in advertisements for marriage counselors, chiropractors, learning disabilities specialists, and face cream.
The point the author attempts to drive home is the widespread appeal of Gibran’s words. They are vague enough to apply to multiple contexts and multiple religious backgrounds, and thus, increase the readership to a much bigger audience. The author also notes how Gibran’s use of comforting, inspirational messaging contributed to his success as a poet. She writes,
More than the soundness of its advice, however, the mere fact that The Prophet was an advice book—or, more precisely, ‘inspirational literature’—probably insured a substantial readership at the start. Gibran’s closest counterpart today is the Brazilian sage Paulo Coelho, and his books have sold nearly a hundred million copies.
What these numbers tell us is that in order to find commercial success as a poet, you will need to reach large audiences with an inspirational message. However, perhaps you’re not looking to achieve the same success as poets like Gibran and Shakespeare, and simply want to make a decent, livable wage. In that case, keep in mind that the more niche your chosen topics, the smaller your audiences will be. If you need to write about trauma faced by women in abusive relationships, by all means, write about it. Just realize that your audiences will be limited and therefore, your sales will be as well.
Your marketing efforts
As with any self-publishing efforts, marketing will play a large role in the success of your sales. With social media advertising, particularly Facebook, you’ll have better opportunity to reach larger audiences than you’d have without it. That’s why it’s important to include marketing as one of your primary goals when venturing into the world of self-publishing. Getting the book completed and published is really just the first step.
Joanna Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F. Penn. She also writes non-fiction for authors, and her site, TheCreativePenn.com has been voted in the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
On her site, she offers free marketing advice for self-published writers looking to maximize the sales of their book. In this section, she covers everything from aspects of a successful book launch to building your author website and optimizing your book’s advertising copy for online sales. Additionally, she includes details on how to:
- Attract readers with a great book sales description
- Choose the right categories and keywords for your book
- Price books and use free downloads
- Use author pseudonyms
- Use box-sets and bundling
Teaching is a common day job for poets and allows you to be a poet while making a livable wage. However, as Rachel Friedman points out, with thousands of students graduating with MFAs in poetry, there are fewer than a thousand spots available for teaching positions for someone with those credentials. This means that there are a lot of poets unable to find teaching positions doing what they love.
However, you don’t necessarily have to be hired by a university to make a living teaching about poetry. Many community centers and libraries rent out space to hold classes you’ve organized on your own. In fact, you could teach after-school poetry classes for teens, summer camps for elementary-aged kids, or even “parents’ night out” workshops for kids to learn more about the process of writing poetry while their parents take a much-needed date night.
Jason Blume is a professional songwriter who is using his skills as a poet to make money. On his website, which offers advice for anyone interested in making money from writing songs, he notes:
Success doesn’t happen by luck or coincidence. There are no magic answers or quick roads to songwriting success; steer clear of anyone promising them. But, with hard work, practice, and perseverance, I’ve seen my students write #1 singles, sign staff-writing deals, publish their songs, win contests and festivals, have their songs recorded, and become hits.
The site Careers in Music provides this advice for anyone interested in songwriting as a way to earn money:
As a Songwriter, except for the rarest exceptions, 100% of your income comes from royalties earned when people buy digital and tangible recordings of your songs (downloads and CDs) and from streaming, as well as ‘performance royalties’ that are generated when songs are played on the radio, broadcast on television, on the Internet, on airplanes, and in places such as restaurants, nightclubs, and concert halls.
poetry writing jobs uk
While poetry is certainly not a lucrative career choice, writers who are passionate about the craft of writing it can certainly find ways to make an income from their poetry. As with any writing endeavor, if your passion for the genre and topic shows through, the likelihood of finding success in sales is much higher. So stay passionate and find your success as a poet.
With the new year in sight, everyone is eager to shake off the blues of the pandemic-ridden 2020. And what better way to see off a year spent cooped up at home than to travel abroad?! That’s why we come up with the 20 best places you should travel to in 2021.
Although not a common tourist destination, this Central-Asian country is definitely worth visiting. Steeped in history, Turkmenistan has plenty of archeological ruins and attractions like Merv, Konye Urgench, and Nisa for travellers to explore.
The Darwaza Gas Crater, popular as ‘Door to Hell’, is one of the strangest natural phenomenons and overnight camping here is truly a one of its kind experience. The capital city of Ashgabat offers plenty of tourist sites, such as the Neutrality Monument, Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque, and Ruhyyet Palace. The archeological site of Gonur Depe dates back to times before even Merv, and its Royal Palace and necropolis are the most intriguing to visit. Book your flights to Turkmenistan now
High-rising state-of-the-art buildings, well-developed tourist attractions, and lip-smackingly delicious food are reason Singapore has become such a wildly popular tourist hub in Asia. Modern with a touch of culture and heritage, this city-state has something to offer to every kind of traveller.
The iconic structures of Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay make the skyline of the country one of the most attractive around the world. Flora and fauna freaks will have a good time at the Botanical Gardens, Jurong Bird Park, and Night Safari. Singapore is a paradise for shopaholics, who’ll have the time of their lives at Orchard Road, Chinatown Street Market, or VivoCity. Book your flights to Singapore now
The Great White North is also a great place to spend you next vacation at. From metropolitan cities like Toronto and Vancouver to untouched natural beauty in the Rockies, Canada has got it all.
The most famous tourist point in the country are the spectacular Niagara Falls. The 20-minute Maid of the Mist boat ride is the classic way to experience the splendor of the falls, but remember to wear waterproof boots and gear. Canada is also the ultimate destination for snow-sport lovers and you can quench your thirst for skiing and dog-sledding in Alberta and Quebec. Another place to include in your itinerary is Montreal, the cultural capital, for all its old-world charm. Book your flights to Canada now
17. South Korea
It might not be very popular among travellers, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer its visitors. In fact, the country has a rich history and an even richer heritage, and you’re certainly in for a better holiday than you would have ever hoped for.
The capital city of Seoul has loads of temples and shrines, beautiful public parks, and shopping malls. The ancient city of Gyeongju will take you back through centuries as you roam around looking at the art and history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are seeking a more spiritual experience, the village of Andong Hahoe won’t disappoint. Book your flights to South Korea now
The Arab Emirates have become synonymous with city-breaks and family holidays. With easy access from all corners of the world, no wonder the country has become such a hotspot for travel lovers from all over.
The high-tech, wealthy cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the main attraction for many visitors. It is impossible not to splurge at centres like Dubai Mall, Festival City Mall, and Yas Mall. But going beyond these top-end shopping avenues, there is also a lot of heritage to explore in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Hikers will find plenty of trekking opportunities in the arid Hajar mountains. Book your flights to the UAE now
Luxembourg is a country unfamiliar to many, but those who know, know how worthy it is of being on every traveller’s bucket list. A tiny country squeezed in between France and Germany, it houses a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage monuments and museums.
The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City, locally known as simply “d’Stad” is one of the most photogenic spots in the country and you won’t be able to resist the urge to snap the pretty Adolphe Bridge and the Bock cliff. The ancient artifacts in the National Museum of History and Art will give you the feeling of stepping into the bygone centuries if all the fortresses and castles don’t already. The country is quite easy to get around by car, but trust the trains to gift you the most picturesque views of its dainty towns. Book your flights to Luxembourg now
This highly coveted country of Southeast Asia is a fascinating medley of bustling, modern cities, peaceful, traditional villages, and laid-back, pristine beaches. As you travel south from Chiang Mai to Krabi, everything from landscape to food changes drastically, as if giving the experience of two different countries in one.
The northern part of the country is more about temples and shrines scattered in the lush green mountains with might waterfalls and hidden caves. The Malay Peninsula in the south, on the other hand, is decked with tropical islands and beach towns, like Phi Phi, Phang Nga, and Phuket. The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Mu Ko Chang National Park in Trat, and Ayuthaya Historical Park are some of the many must-visit attractions. Book your flights to Thailand now
One of the most sought-after travel destinations in the Balkans, Croatia promises rich heritage, exciting water sports, and plenty of nature trails, and it unarguably delivers. Often featuring in movies and shows- most notably, Game of Thrones, this dreamy country is sure to make you want to plan a second trip here as soon as possible.
The postcard-perfect seaside city of Dubrovnik lures millions of tourists every year with its vermillion-roofed buildings and docking bays lined with little white boats. The Stiniva Beach, voted the best beach in Europe in 2016, is the best place to have some off-shore fun, diving deep into the crystal clear waters of the sea. You also can’t omit the UNESCO-protected Plitvice Lakes National Park, dotted with stunning turquoise lakes, wooden footbridge, and bubbling waterfalls with an abundance of native wildlife. Book your flights to Croatia now
The incredibly diverse topography of the country coupled with its endowment of natural wealth makes any visitor fall in love with it. Portugal has played a significant role in Europe’s history and it reflects especially in Lisbon, through Castelo de São Jorge, Alfama, the Jerónimos Monastery, and other attractions.
The Quinta de Regaleira, in the city of Sintra, is the most extraordinary place in the city, where the hidden corridors and stairways, and underground caves and grottoes will transport you to a whole new world. The pretty little city of Óbidos, with its narrow, cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses, will delight romantics and photographers alike. The subtropical Madeira archipelago is a real treat for all oenophiles. Book your flights to Portugal now
When it comes to wildlife tourism, Kenya is hard to beat. Animal lovers are bound to have the time of their lives here witnessing the presence of the majestic creatures, including lions, elephants, wildebeest, and rhinos, roaming around freely in their natural habitat.
The safaris at Masai Mara amidst are one of the best experiences you can have. The savannah grasslands extend as far as the eye can see and are bordered by lofty, looming mountains. but actually interacting with these animals as well. Apart from the national parks, the Gede ruins, Fort Jesus Museum, and Koobi Fora Prehistoric Site also demand a visit. Book your flights to Kenya now
Turkey’s charm comes from its diverse landscapes, turquoise waters, jaw-dropping architecture. Situated in the stark centre of three continents, it is a stunning melange of European, African and Asian cultures.
Hagia Sophia, the eighth Wonder of the World, and the adjacent Topkapi Palace are the most unmissable attractions on any Turkish itinerary. Rome around the ancient ruins at Ephesus and Hierapolis, and then unwind at the Pamukkale hot springs. Go for a hot air balloon ride for the exquisite aerial views of the lunarscape at Cappadocia. Book your flights to Turkey now
The land of the midnight sun is studded with ice-capped mountains and frozen tundra. The ‘best country to live in’ is also undeniably one of the best countries to travel to.
The Geirangerfjord nestled between the sloping mountains is one of the most photographed fjords in the country. Head to the Svalbard islands to spot wildlife like polar bears, reindeer, seals, and walruses. The Atlantic Road snaking through the Norwegian Sea is one of the best drives you can think of. If you’re up for a true Norwegian village experience, spend a few days at the Lofoten islands, famous for their lush pastures, fishermen’s cabins, and sheltered inlets. Book your flights to Norway now
8. Samoa Islands
It may be only a dot on the world map, but this archipelago in Oceania packs natural beauty to its brim. Throw in the heartfelt hospitality of the Samoans and you have got yourself the perfect destination to relax and unwind.
The resorts here offer spa facilities with native treatments and a few also arrange traditional Samoan ceremonies for you to get a glimpse of the local culture. If you want some outdoor fun, hike up the O Le Pupu-Pui National Park or check out the Saleaaula Lava Fields near Savaii. Book your flights to Samoa Islands now
If there’s one word that captures the beauty of Morocco, it is exotic. A beautiful potpourri of the African and Arab cultures, it is straight out of a fairytale with posh palaces, adobe forts, and vividly coloured houses.
The grandour of Bahia, El Badi and Dar Menebhi palaces is sure to bedazzle you, while the serenity at Hassan II and Tin Mal mosques will leave you with a tranquil mind. The bustling market of Djemma el-fna Square is the best place to buy souvenirs and mementos of your trip. Book your flights to Morocco now
A scenic archipelago, archeological sites, and scrumptious food are the reason behind Greece’s popularity. Every passenger travelling to Eastern Europe should make it a point to visit this
Athens is a haven for history-enthusiasts, boasting attractions like Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, and Delphi. The islands Corfu, Santorini, and Mykonos shout extravagance with all their boutique hotels, infinity pools, and whitewashed buildings. Don’t miss out on the monasteries at Meteora, for they most definitely will give you some peace of mind. Book your flights to Greece now
The Amazon rainforests and Machu Picchu have made Peru a prime destination for travellers to South America. There’s a lot of hype about the country, but it surely lives up to its name.
Peru is trekking to Incan ruins and watching the sunset over the Andes. Exploring the Amazon rainforest and meeting the indigenous islanders of Lake Titicaca are memories you’ll carry forever. Adventure enthusiasts should tour the Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. And if you have ever wondered about the mystic Nazca lines, now’s your chance to see them in person. Book your flights to Peru now
This land-locked country in Europe is a treasure-trove of tourist attractions. Being a small country with an extensive public transport system, it is easy to get around the Czech Republic, especially in the capital, Prague.
The Prague Castle, the largest worldwide in terms of area, is the focal point of tourism in the historic city. The Charles Bridge, Čechův Bridge, and Palacký Bridge are some of the oldest and most Instagrammable spots in the city. The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are worth exploring by foot. Book your flights to Czechia now
The natural beauty and eco-tourism in Rwanda have recently put it on the bucket list of travellers who seek offbeat destinations. Volcanoes, waterfalls, and rainforests teeming with native wildlife are sure to give you a travel story you’ll never forget.
National parks like Akagera, Nyungwe, Volcanoes, and Gishwati Mukura, each having something unique to offer, are a must-visit. After your trekking expeditions, relax and rejuvenate at the resort town of Rubavu on the shore of Lake Kivu. Learn about the horrifying massacre in 1994 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial through photographs, portraits, and artifacts. Book your flights to Rwanda now
The snowy wonderland of Greenland is famous for its fjords, icebergs, and glaciers. The ethereal landscape of the country, especially in the regions of Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay, makes it the dream destination of any photographer.
Even if you aren’t a shutterbug, Greenland has got lots to offer. Whale watching is the most unmissable thing to do here, and tours usually start at towns like Qeqertarsuaq, Nuuk, and Aasiaat. If you are ready to be patient enough, you can also go for an Aurora Lights tour. And if you have ever been curious about the Vikings, do not miss the National Museum, where you’ll get a peek at their hunting equipment, kayaks, carvings, and artifacts. Book your flights to Greenland now
1. New Zealand
Widely praised for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this picturesque island nation tops the list with a clear margin. Having everything from well-developed cities to well-preserved wildlife sanctuaries and well-maintained beaches, New Zealand deserves a place high up on any bucket list.
Nature and animal lovers should hike in Mount Cook and Kahurangi national parks. Experience a bit of luxury at the Bay Islands sailing on the private yachts amidst the rich marine life. For those who like to take the paths less travelled, spots like Oparara Arches, Mt. Stokes, and Stewart Island are ideal.