There’s never been a better time to be a writer. You can communicate with anyone on the planet almost instantly. You can write something in the morning and sell it in the afternoon. You can create properties which pay you royalties beyond your lifetime…
These days, everyone needs words. If you can create those words, you can say, like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind:
“As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.”
Your words are your fortune. Let’s see how you can turn those words into a real business – into cash-flow.
Vital: commit to your business. As you can see from my writing journal, I plan and write.
As I said in 5 Professional Writing Tips You Need Now:
If you read my daily writing journal, you’ll notice that I spend a lot of time planning. I use a modified Getting Things Done (GTD) system. You need a way to capture everything that’s coming at you, a method of reviewing it all, and a method to plan your next actions.
I live in Evernote; it works as my Inbox and Outbox too. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you plan, prepare, and then execute. You’ll develop your own system over time.
Let’s see how that’s done.
1. Decide on the kind of writing business you want
It’s easy to create a writing business:
- Get an idea
- Create a website
- Work your business
Be creative when you choose the kind of writing business you want. My own writing business has always been based on copywriting (I love writing copy.) In addition, I ghostwrite books for others, and create ebooks.
Michelle V. Rafter’s written an excellent article on businesses for writers:
Books aren’t the only things the DIY publishing revolution has made it easier to bring to market. Online-based publishing tools have also made it easier for writers become print magazine publishers…
2. Write a business plan (short, sweet and to the point)
No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses. I know we’re WRITERS. We don’t do stuff like writing business plans. However, an instant business plan is essential.:-)
Your business plan can be on the back of an envelope if you like, or on my preferred choice, an index card. You just need to know what you’re doing:
… our business is pretty simple: “Be a writer.” And thus, the mission is also simple: “Write stuff. Get paid.” Feel free to elaborate on that if you want. Otherwise, skip ahead and start breaking down exactly what and where you want to write by setting some professional goals.
3. Write! Create and promote – follow your plan
I’ve talked about plans before, here and elsewhere. Consider this. Your plan is what counts – not whether or not your plan “will work.” Who cares? Your plan can be as daffy as you choose, because it just has to be one thing – get you MOVING. Once you get feedback, you can change your plan at will.
Plan. Then create and promote.
4. Be alert to opportunities (they can be in disguise)
You’ve got a business plan – a writer’s business plan, which doesn’t need to make sense to anyone except you.
As you work your plan, be alert to new opportunities. Contact people. See Tip 5, below.
Most opportunities will come from your contacts. Many will be in disguise. Someone will ask you for help for example, and you give that help without thinking about it too much. That someone has a friend, who hires you to write a series of books. That happened to me. Opportunities in disguise happen to every writer. You do something or other, and it leads to something else, which leads to something else again…
Work your plan, and you’ll be amazed at the quick and profitable changes in your writing life.
5. Make contacts: it’s who you know, and who knows you
Are you using social media? Interact on sites like Pinterest.
Be visible. That means, comment on blog posts, comment on Pinterest pins, and comment (and make) posts on social media sites like Google+. One of my students got a gig via a comment on a Google+ post which made him $9,875.
The more you interact, the more visible you are, the more your business will grow.
There’s never been a better time to be a writer. Commit to running a writing business, and you’ll make a six-figure income in the next 12 months. Your cash-flow is assured.