Setting up your own profitable writing business is great fun. You can do what you love, and get paid for it.
In our first article in this new series, “Your Writing Business Mindset”, we discussed that in a very real sense, you will become a split personality.
You wear two hats: you’re both creative, and a professional.
When you decide what you’ll write, you need to keep this in mind. Your creative side demands that you write what’s enjoyable for you, while your professional business side keeps watch on the dollars and cents.
Here’s a big tip: you can’t have a successful business if you focus too much on creativity and enjoyment… nor can you succeed if you’re solely interested in money.
You need both: enjoyment (creativity), and money.
Yes, this is commonsense. BUT you’ll find that, as you turn your writing into a business, you’ll focus on one side or the other.
Let’s say you love writing novels. You’ve written a couple of unpublished novels, and you want to become a full-time novelist. That’s fine — you can do that. However, you can’t sit back and just write, while waiting for someone to come along and drop publishing contracts into your lap. You have to hustle.
On the other hand, let’s say you’re solely focused on income. You decide to write ebooks, and take on four ebook-writing gigs. You can make big money writing ebooks for others (and for yourself).
Unfortunately, since you hate the topics you’re writing about, forcing yourself to sit down at your computer each day is torture. You work less and less, and fall so far behind that your hourly rate is a joke.
In a nutshell: you need to write what you love, if you can make money at it.
Not sure what you’ll write? You’ll find clues in what you’ve written in the past.
What Have You Written?
When deciding what you’ll write, look at what you’ve been writing, both at work, and for fun.
If you’ve written marketing materials in your day job, that’s a huge clue to what you can profitably write in your business. Or, if you’ve been writing articles for the content mills, you can use that as your base, and start writing articles for others.
Perhaps you’re completely new to the idea of creating your own writing business, and haven’t written a word for others. What do you write for fun? What do you think you’d enjoy writing?
Research: Explore One of the Outsourcing Sites
It’s time to do a little research. Explore one of the outsourcing sites, and see what buyers are buying.
I just checked out Elance.com, and currently there are 288 article writing jobs, 179 Web content jobs, ten newsletter writing jobs…
Browse through the jobs on one of the outsourcing sites, and see what people need — you can only sell what buyers are buying.
Make a list of what people are buying. Spend half an hour or so doing this.
Big-Money Writing: What Form of Writing Is Most Lucrative?
An aspiring writer once asked a New York Times bestselling writer what form of writing was most profitable. He replied: “Ransom notes.”
Jokes aside, there’s such a huge demand for writers these days that you can make an outstanding income writing almost anything. All the professional writers I know are ferociously busy, and are booked solid for months.
Copywriting pays well. If you write Web sales letters, and have a good track record, you can charge $20,000 per sales letter without blushing. This is because there’s a huge demand for writers who can sell, and because once you get to the stage where you’re charging these kinds of prices, you’re very picky about the jobs you take on.
Blogging and newsletter writing also pays well.
What form of writing you choose depends on what you ENJOY — or feel you’d enjoy. (Remember, you can’t make money writing something you hate.)
Quiz: Questions to Ask Yourself (Write Down the Answers)
1. What is fun for you to write?
2. What can you see yourself writing?
3. Finances: how much money do you need to make each month to live well?
Resources to Help You to Build Your Writing Business
* Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) — build a successful Web writing business step by step;
* Top 70 Writing Tips — write more, sell more, and have much more fun with your writing;
* You’re a Celebrity: Advertising and Branding Tricks for Writers — promote your writing, and have fun doing it;
* Instant Income For Writers: Ace the Outsourcing Sites — get experience, get security, and get paid to learn.
Next week, you’ll take the first steps in building your writing business: you’ll decide what you’ll write.
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