Making money as a professional writer is difficult, no matter what kind of writing you might be interested in. It’s the reason you might receive a chuckle if you tell someone you majored in English, and why writers often tell other aspiring writers to pursue other professions. But the truth is that situations like these paint a picture that’s more negative than the writing profession really deserves. If you’re smart with your time, inventive with your projects, and organized about your business (and yes, you should think of it as a personal business), you can make a reasonable or even very good living writing.
None of these tips, mind you, are foolproof. At the end of the day you need to be good at what you do, and there’s always some luck and perseverance involved, whether you’re trying to make money on a blog or you’re trying to publish novels. But here are a few ways to get a leg up or position yourself to enjoy a successful writing career.
Start With A Loan
If you’re determined to leave whatever job you’re in now and pursue writing full-time, you should at least consider looking for a little bit of start-up cash. That might seem unlikely, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get a loan. But some lenders will actually be pretty lenient in terms of looking into your business and finances, so you might be luckier than you think. This money, if you get it, should be put to good use: building and supporting your website, helping with writing materials or computer equipment, and possibly even doing a little bit of self-promotion and advertising. The specifics will depend on the nature of your work, but this is a step toward treating it like any other personal business – many of which start with loans.
This sounds like a full profession, and in some cases it certainly can be. But in a broader sense, it’s an excellent way to gain some real experience without putting your name on anything that might not ultimately fit what you wind up doing. And you may be surprised to learn that this is a big business! People want all kinds of things ghostwritten. Sometimes they want to record memoirs; sometimes they want books written that are relevant to their own business ventures; and sometimes they just want to publish some creative fiction they don’t quite know how to put into words. There’s a lot of opportunity out there and it’s often a good way to earn a little bit of money and gain experience working with clients and marketing yourself.
Sign Up To Freelance
These days, you can find freelance work online with relative ease, though to be honest it’s difficult to sift through the jobs and find the good ones. Ideally, your professional life as a writer won’t end up relying on sites that farm out freelance work. But it’s still important to get your foot in the door with these kinds of gigs, because they can really help to prop you up when things slow down on occasion. Plus, you never know when you might find a good opportunity or even make a contact who wants to work with you in a more serious capacity.
Maintain A Website
This might be the most important thing for a modern writer, and luckily it’s easier than ever to do. There are numerous platforms that allow you to create and maintain your own website even if you have little to no web design savvy. But the idea is to advertise yourself and make a portfolio of your work available for potential clients. That can mean anything from articles you’ve contributed to websites, to eBooks you’ve written for clients, to samples of novels you’ve submitted. It’s up to you what you put up there (so long as you have the rights to do it), but the more you add, the easier it is for someone to relate to your talent and hire you to write.
The list could go on and on, but these are some good starter tips to get you thinking about writing as a business, rather than a personal hobby. Best of luck and happy writing!