9 Things I’ve Learned about Authoring from Selling My Used Clothes Online

Confession: I have a side hustle. I’ve been selling my used clothes online for about a year, and I’ve made a nice little bundle from my unwanted crap. Not only is it a great way to get things out of my house, recycle, and earn cash; it’s taught me a surprising number of lessons that apply to being an author. In today’s predominantly digital marketplace—where writers mostly have to do all of our own hustling—there’s a lot more crossover than you might think.

Since my selling profiles are under a fake name (I’m not trying to schlock off my second-hand goods on readers), it gave me a blank slate to start from, and a lovely sense of anonymity to play with. I did things selling my clothes that I would never have done selling my writing… but now that I’ve seen how effective they are, you can bet I will start.

Before I count out the lessons, I will give a caveat: what you’re hocking matters. While some of these things are true, doing all of them all the time for every single thing you’re trying to share will end up being obnoxious. So maybe you’ll want to pull out the big stops for a book, the medium stops for short stories, poems, and guest blogs, and just the little stops for normal blog posts. Likewise, the more you believe in the thing you’re pushing, the more you should push. Don’t waste your energy trying to talk people into reading something that didn’t turn out to be your best work. But if you feel you’ve struck gold and no one is seeing it, then you have work to do. In other words, as always, use your judgment. But when you really want to sell, sell, sell…more