Here are four easy ways to benefit from your tech knowledge.
If you're a software developer, system administrator, IT professional or in any other role where you work with tech all day, you've built up a lot of knowledge over your career.
I bet you take that knowledge for granted. Because we know the ins and outs of deploying a virtual machine, installing and configuring software, or writing some code, technology experts seem to think it's basic knowledge that a lot of people have.
It's not true.
We are subject matter experts (SMEs), and the knowledge in our heads is valuable. Lots of people out there who would love to know what you know, and where there is demand, there can be a financial reward. But where do you start?
If you've been toiling away in your job your entire life and have never considered creating training content before, the task may seem overwhelming. Where do you start? Whom do you contact?
1. Write articles.
One of the easiest ways to monetize your knowledge is writing articles like this one. Writing isn't difficult if you know how to explain yourself well. Start blogging to get used to writing. Ask for feedback on your writing from others, and pay attention to how other authors write.
Once you've built up a portfolio of written content, you can use this as your resume to potential clients.
Look for sites that publish tech content that you're interested in and contact them. Some will pay you and some will not.
2. Compose an e-book.
It's easier than ever to publish your own book. Although e-books entail a lot more writing than a 500- to 1,000-word article, they can be more financially lucrative because you're selling copies.
3. Record videos.
You don't have to be an expert writer to produce great content; screencast videos work well too. If you can speak intelligently about a subject, have an excellent microphone, and can walk someone through a software app or piece of tech entertainingly and engagingly, a video may be your ticket to success.
There are many ways to monetize video content. You could produce and publish short videos on YouTube using its ad monetization platform; build online training courses with companies like Pluralsight, Udemy, Packt and CBT Nuggets; join my startup TechSnips; or create and market courses yourself on platforms like Thinkific.
You could even publish videos on your blog instead of written articles. Screencast videos are a great way to learn subject matter, and if you've got the know-how on a particular subject, fire up a screencast recorder, take out your mic and start training.
4. Work with vendors.
Once you've produced content for a while and established an audience, vendors in your space will approach you to create content for them or sponsor your existing content. Vendors know your audience may be looking for their products and want to get in front of those people.
Creating content for vendors run the gamut from articles, blog sponsorships, and whitepapers to e-books, videos, or entire courses. Since your work is directly tied to a potential sale, you'll find that many vendors will pay handsomely for your training content or a review of their software.
Even if you haven't established a presence yet in your industry, great content is great content. Vendors love to work with people who can explain complicated tech concepts with ease around their specific product areas.
For a tech professional, the hardest part isn't figuring out how to make money; it's overcoming the mental challenge of thinking you're not good enough and gaining more confidence. I struggled with putting myself out there when I first started, and I know every person I've ever helped faced the same struggles. Know that everyone out there has something to teach, whether it's basic, 101-style content or advanced material.
Everyone has something of value to share with the world locked inside their head. Get out of your comfort zone and start monetizing.