Writing can become an extremely successful home business for you, if you take the “business” aspect seriously. Writers who do take it seriously earn six-figure incomes, because they know how valuable their writing skills are to the business community.
Considering your writing as a home BUSINESS is a mindset. Let’s look at how you can develop that mindset, and develop your writing into a thriving business.
I’ve chosen the following five tips because they’re essential, and they’re the things I see many of my writing students overlook.
1. Create a business plan
The first and best tip I can give you is to develop a business plan for your writing. You must know how much capital you have to invest in your business, how much money you will make in the first year, and how you will make that money. HULT PRIVATE
If you’ve yet to make your first sale as a writer, make some sales first, so you get an idea of the marketplace. The writing profession is filled with hobbyist writers, who have no idea how to position themselves, price their services, and promote their services, so this tends to skew prices at the lower end of the market.
2. Treat your business as a business – work as hard for yourself as you would for a boss
Since you’re writing from home, your daily commute is the short trip to your home office, so you save commuting time, which will be at least an hour a day, even if you have a short commute.
You can spend that “free” hour or more in any way you choose, but it’s vital that you spend a solid eight hours writing and working in your business. So treat your writing as seriously as you would a job.
(This isn’t a problem for most home business writers, who tend to over-work, but that’s another story.)
3. Invest in your business – but don’t go into debt for your business
When your writing is your business, invest in it. Buy the computers, software, and the communications equipment you need. Invest in training, too. No training you do will ever be wasted, and it’s essential so you become a business person as well as a writer.
However, don’t go into debt. Fund your purchases from your writing sales.
4. Ask for a retainer from your writing clients – at least 50 per cent in advance
You must ask for a retainer – a payment up front – from your clients. Since magazines and newspapers fight this, writing for them should only be a minor part of your writing income, because you’re making them unsecured loans.
Businesses and Web sites expect to pay some portion of your fee in advance, so they’re your preferred clients. The up-front retainer is 50 per cent. On long projects, you can accept payment at specific milestones – a third up front, a third on delivery of half the project, and so on.
5. Keep your deadlines and over-deliver
The writing profession is an amazingly small world. Word gets around. So always keep your deadlines. The only possible excuse for missing a deadline is is that you’re in hospital.
So there you have five tips for turning your writing into a home business. As a professional writer, you have the potential to make an unlimited income: enjoy your writing, but treat it as the business it is too.