So you want to be a writer? The easiest way to get started in the writing and blogging industry is often to go into business for yourself. But how? Starting a business requires all sorts of forms and paperwork and confusing jargon.
Fear not—here are some tips and tools to help you realize your entrepreneurial dreams of enjoying a career as a successful freelance writer:
Find Your Niche
Before you can start a business, you have to decide what your business will offer. What kind of writing do you enjoy most? What are you best at? Will you offer editing services as well as writing? What makes you stand out in a sea of other eager writers looking to get started in this competitive industry?
Spend time thinking deeply about these questions, as they will make up the foundation of the business you do in the future. And remember—you’re not alone. There’s a vast network of seasoned freelance writers and bloggers who can offer tips and advice and help you get your questions answered.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
The nitty-gritty of how to start a business may not be the part of being a freelance writer that you’re most looking forward to. That’s okay. The great thing is that you’ll most likely only need to do it once, and there are excellent resources available to help you get your business started in an organized and stress-free way.
Starting a small business involves several major steps, according to The Hartford’s Small Biz Ahead. In order to get things rolling, you’ll need to choose a business structure, register a business name, gather the licenses and permits you need, register with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and register for state and local taxes.
Once those ducks are neatly lined up, you can pat yourself on the back. Although paperwork and IRS forms can be confusing and frustrating, they’re necessary to ensure that you don’t get caught up in a legal battle because you didn’t dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
You’ve started your business, and you have a great product or service to offer. Now what? There’s no use having a great product or skill to share if no one knows about it. That’s where marketing comes into play. Marketing can be your best friend when it’s done right.
A great starting point for freelancers is to create a business website. It doesn’t have to be dense or complex, but it should absolutely have a few website staples, including “about,” “contact,” “products/services,” and “disclaimer” pages. Having a professional-looking website that’s easy to navigate makes it easier for potential clients to learn about your business and see examples of your work.
Additionally, having a social media presence and utilizing email marketing are great ways to reach a large number of people, especially when you’re first starting out.
As your business grows, you might want to take advantage of the many small business management tools that exist to help you track data, manage projects, and organize passwords. Why not let a tool that someone else created do the work for you?
Embrace Failure as Learning
Rejection is part of being a writer, no matter how good you are. Freelancers know this very well—it’s just part of the job. If you can look at every rejection letter or failed attempt at publication as a learning opportunity, you’re sure to find success one way or another.
Follow these startup tips and you’ll be well on your way to having a long and illustrious career as a freelancer. Who knows—maybe one day you’ll be the expert that new freelancers are reaching out to and trying to emulate!
About the Author:
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Find her on Twitter; comment or tweet her at @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.
Image: © Depositphotos.com/AlexBrylov