It’s the New Year and you’ve made a resolution to be a ‘serious’ writer and make money from your writing. After all, God has called you to do this, right?
Before jacking in the day-time job, stop and think. It’s much better to source writing jobs while still in a 9-5 (the job that pays the bills) and build up a client base from there. This gives you the opportunity to decide if you really want go full throttle with this ‘writing thing’.
And if you decide that it is indeed what you want, here are a few things to consider.
Get a website or blog to showcase your writing
Many people fixate on social media, but the truth is, if people want an insight into your personality, they check out your social media feed.
A website makes you look professional. If potential clients want to work with you, they’ll check out your website, expecting to see a portfolio of work.
You can get a website from writethemes.com (full disclosure: owned by yours truly). All you have to do is choose a template, we build your website and you pay a monthly subscription. We handle all the tech and you can cancel anytime.
You could also get a website from WordPress.org (not to be confused with wordpress.com), and set up your website yourself.
You don’t need to register as a business just yet
In the UK and most other countries, you don’t need to register your writing business immediately. However, in most cases, you will need to declare the earnings from your writing (remember what the Bible says about giving to Caeser what belongs to Caeser).
As you’re a beginner, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have any overheads or tax considerations. But either way, I would urge you to visit your local revenue office to get yourself clued up on tax matters.
Save your money
I can’t stress this enough. When you’re first starting out, the inclination is to sign up for anything and everything. Keep your expenses locked down and simple. No, you don’t need that fancy $1K writing desk you saw on Amazon. And you definitely don’t need the cute writing pads you saw on Etsy at $50 a piece.
All you need is a good laptop, a website and a way to take payments on your website from clients. A free account from Paypal can help you do this, and it only takes a few minutes to set up.
Marketing is for Christians, too
I’ve been writing full-time for over 15 years. In that time, I’ve come to regard marketing as a fact of life. That’s because I see it as a way to help people.
When I look at my home, my business and my career, practically everything I have has been as a result of other people’s marketing.
When my skin suffered an allergic reaction, it was an ad for a line of skincare that eventually helped resolved the issue.
When I was looking for writers for my writing business, I didn’t have to advertise, because I had a steady rota of freelance writers that basically marketed their services to me. This meant that I could deliver my projects for clients and grow my business.
What I’m saying is this: marketing doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It’s simply a way of letting people know how you can help them. Besides, if you don’t tell people what you’re doing, how can they recommend your services or books to people?
I know people who’ve been talking about being called to write for years. I also know people who didn’t talk about the call to write, but instead, just quietly got on with the call. The only time you hear about them is either when their book comes out or when you see their social media update thanking God for their new writing client.
Decide who you want to be: a writer or a talker and get to it.