I was doing a little consulting a moment ago, and I feel the question is probably one of the top priorities in our mind when it comes to starting a business. If you are a freelance or professional writer, this article might be highly relevant.
Here is the unedited question and answer (the email sender’s name, of course, is fictive.)
I read your article on top 10 business ideas. I am a professional writer. Still others make money off me. How can I start something that will get a good return?
Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for contacting me.
Indeed, being a professional writer could be lucrative. But you are right – others using your service make (way much) more money than you do.
It’s probably safe that what you ask is actually “is entrepreneurship for me?”
The best way to get good return is by less work and more creative thinking. Just like what Tim Ferris said in his 4-hour workweek (I highly recommend you this book!): Being busy doesn’t mean what you do is that important. It could very well ineffective things done in ineffective ways. Writing itself is important, but writing for others doesn’t really make you feel that important, right? That’s why you come up with your question in the first place.
Writing, just like any other professional career paths, such as graphic/web design, etc. – requires you to work by the volume. The more clients you serve, the more money you make. Some tried to increase their per-hour rate, but still, you make money if you serve a client. When you stop working, no income will be coming your way.
Writing is great – many doors are presented to you. You can be a blogger and ebook writer. Why don’t you launch your own ebook or start your own blog? Ebook is well known as a vehicle to bring in great amount of income (if you know how to market it!)
Blogs are my favourite. Some say that blogs are difficult to monetize. I partially agree to that, but the thing is, as a professional writer, you can do plenty of things with your blog. For instance:
- Of course, blogging. Blogging in itself is not making you money, but it can build your credibility (personal branding.)
- You can do paid review.
- You can sell ad spots.
- You can use your blog to drive sales of your ebooks.
- You can consult others.
- You can even limit access to certain part of your blog, only allowing paid members to have full access to it.
- My personal favourite that I myself am yet to do it: You can start a writing e-course. You DON’T have to teach yourself; create a great training material, promote it and get the money rolling in – all you need to do is probably answering a question or two from your members – that’s it. I recommend you to visit Yaro Starak’s http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com – I learn a lot from him and his blog.
Of course, number 1, 2, 5 requires you to be “on-the-job” but they are way much better than being a professional writer only.
I recommend you to visit http://www.copyblogger.com and learn what a writing/freelancing blog can make a real difference – including on the bottom line.
It’s probably not much, as I’m not an expert (yet) but I hope this can give you some ideas on what you can really do with your writing skills.