Monday, September 28, 2009

Overview of developing writing into a business.

Freelance writing is one of those great professions that can be developed slowly into a business while you earn money at a day job. That might not be your first choice, but it is the best choice until you determine whether you can earn enough to cover your expenses and those of your family.

One way to develop your freelance writing into a business is to diversify. Maybe you want to write the next best selling novel, but while you are doing so, you can earn money in a variety of ways. And, an added advantage is that the more you write, the better you’ll write.

Here are some writing avenues to explore:

1. Fiction writing. It’s probably not a good idea to quit your day job while you write your first novel. It will take some time to find an agent, find a publisher, receive that acceptance letter, and to go through the editing and publishing process before you see your first paycheck. Therefore, continue to earn money from your day job and from other forms of writing while you go through the steps listed above.

2. Writing magazine or ezine articles. There are many types of articles that sell pretty well. You can write how-to articles, self help articles and fillers. Many magazines are looking for short items to fill out their content. You can also develop a particular specialty, such as writing a local arts column or restaurant reviews, which will give you steady work. In many cases, you can minimize the writing time for articles. Many magazine editors will buy articles on spec if you send them a query letter; therefore, you'll only have to write the article if it sells.
3. Journalism. If you provide good content and develop areas of expertise, you, most likely, can find writing work on a part-time basis with on-line news agencies and blogs. These used to be more open to freelance writers, but it’s still worth a try.

4. Blog writing. Many people have blogs to promote their businesses or their websites, but they aren’t writers. Consequently, there is a need for people who can quickly and efficiently put out blog posts that are interesting, informative, and entertaining.

5. Textbooks. If you have knowledge on a specific topic, you could send in a book outline within a proposal to write a textbook on that topic. It’s important to have the credentials to back up your interest in writing the textbook. Most publishers are very particular about this.

6. Non-fiction (book-length). Writing book-length non-fiction lends itself to self-publishing. If you can identify a market for the topic of your book, you may be able to make a go of selling it yourself. Just be careful to have a good plan. When wanting to find a publisher for a non-fiction book, you can often sell it without writing the whole book. Many publishers will consider your idea if you send in a good book proposal and sample chapters.

7. Editing and ghostwriting. Many writers develop editing skills and do freelance editing for others to make ends meet while developing a writing business. Be cautious with this as it takes time to develop good editing skills and the time for this takes time away from writing. Ghostwriting parallels editing, but is more involved in that you will write a book to the specifications of the person who hires you.

While developing your business, write as much as you can in any area that comes along. With each piece you write, you will improve your skills. That will help your writing and your business.