There are numerous opportunities for aspiring writers online and off. Businesses need people to write content, to blog, to write sales copy and advertisements. They also need writers to write books, articles and technical manuals. In short, there’s a high demand for writers. Here’s how to start your own writing for pay business.
Step #1 - Decide what you want to write and if there’s a demand for it. For example, do you want to write articles and blog posts? Would you prefer to write books and eBooks? What about sales copy? Additionally, do you have a preference for the topics you’d write on? You can specialize in an industry as well as a content format.
For example, you could position yourself as a brilliant blogger or a fitness expert. You could be an eBook ghostwriter or a writer that specializes in animals and pet care. Choose a speciality that you enjoy. If you don’t like writing about a certain topic, chances are you’re going to procrastinate and not give your client your best effort.
Step #2 - Create your business. This will include choosing a business name and a website address, and creating a website. You’ll also want to consider creating a standard work for hire agreement. This will outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties. (If you're in the US, also consider registering your business as an LLC. It offers a few more protections than a sole proprietorship does. Ask your accountant or lawyer for advice.)
Finally, you’ll want to create an invoicing system. Many writers require a fifty percent deposit to begin a project with the remainder due when they deliver the content. This helps ensure a writer gets paid for their work. Sometimes, not often, you’ll run into a client that isn’t professional. You’ll need to decide in advance how you want to handle this. Sending someone to collections isn’t fun.
Step #3 - Market your business. You’re a writer, so one of your best marketing tools is the written word. Article marketing, blogging and a well-written sales or landing page are great ways to begin to drive traffic and clients to your website.
Get out and network too. Online and offline, networking offers a valuable way to connect with potential clients and partners. Join your local small business association or chamber of commerce. Comment on blogs in your specialty areas. For example, if you’re a pet writer then visit and comment on blogs about pets. Link to your website to drive traffic and customers to your front door.
Also participate on industry forums and chat rooms. Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can also be good traffic-generating and awareness-building tools.