Writing usually starts out as a hobby for most writers. Actually, your passion for writing is important. You shouldn’t pursue it professionally if you are not passionate about it.
Even though writing starts out as a hobby for you, you need to start thinking of it as a business if you want to do it professionally. As you do so however, make sure you don’t lose the ‘hobby’ element of the craft. The reason is simple – the best writers are those who write because they love to. The money then becomes a natural result of their passion.
Here are some tips that will help you succeed or at the very least, help you decide if the plunge into the business of writing is meant for you or not. You can call it ‘The business of writing guide’.
1) It starts out slow. There is no overnight success story when it comes to the business of writing. Be prepared for that. You will have to spend months and even years being consistent with the craft. This is where maintaining the hobby element of writing helps. If not, you may give up.
2) Have a source of support. If you want to go into the business of writing, it may be wise to do it part-time initially. If you are going to do it full-time, then make sure you have a source of support – financially. The jobs may not come in as frequently as you expect when you first start out.
3) Decide what kind of writer you want to be early on. There are different kinds of writers and the kind of opportunities available differs for each kind. So does the path to be taken. If you just want to write books only then you may be better off working for a publishing company. If you want to be an online content writer, working in a publishing company may be a waste of your time.
4) Be prepared to work for free. We’ve said this so many times and we’ll say it again; you’ll most likely need to work for free for a while. Editors and magazine publishers prefer to commission articles to people who are known. If you are unknown, it will be difficult for you to get their attention. If you do, they will not pay you as much as they will pay a known writer. So it’s better to start out by sending articles to magazines and newspapers for free and build your portfolio of work from there.
5) Don’t start solo. It may be tempting to jump straight into freelance writing when you discover how horrible the pay is in media companies. Please don’t do it. Though the pay is usually crap, the experience you will get is priceless. Also working in such a company will open you up to a network of valuable contacts that will be useful when you do decide to go solo. Aim for the more popular companies; companies whose name has clout where you are.
6) When you go solo, have a plan. Don’t go into freelance writing without a plan. You have to build a structure even if it may not seem useful in the beginning. This brings about discipline. As a freelance writer, your work flow will be unpredictable, as well as your cash flow. You may be tempted to work on a brief by brief basis. That’s the worst thing to do. Plan the structure you will use to handle each brief and plan how much you will collect.
Thinking of writing professionally or going into the business of writing? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for some useful tips and guidance. We’re always here to help!