Part 2: Building A Successful Online Writing Business
This is the 2nd article in a 5 Part Series that reviews the most ideal jobs for people who suffer from social anxiety disorder. There are socially anxious people everywhere who have gone on to forge fulfilling, successful careers on their own.
Those who suffer from Social Anxiety know that their condition often negatively affects their earning potential. In this article we will explore some of the important considerations when building an online writing business.
Being a full-time writer is a dream job for many people. It can take a while to build up a regular flow of assignments; however once you become established as a writer it is very possible to create a good comfortable living for yourself.
So, lets get started…
Types of Writing Jobs
There are so many different avenues you can choose as a writer. Some write e-books for a fee. Others leverage off their technical backgrounds to write technical manuals or do copywriting. There is academic writing and legal writing. Some even become ghost-writers for celebrities. For many, the ultimate dream is to become a published author.
Writing is typically a solo profession, which is why it attracts talented (but socially anxious) writers. The trouble with self-employment is that it can tend to magnify your sense of solitude. If you enjoy working alone a bit too much, then you really should make a point of challenging yourself by networking with other writers in your local area and even attending conferences. It’s a great way to exercise your social skills and build your confidence in situations that typically cause you to be anxious.
This is a non-negotiable part. When you are working for yourself you will need to be really disciplined. That means setting aside blocks of time when you will not allow distractions. This is often not easy if you are a parent working from home, and children arrive back from school! Some of my ‘writer friends’ have their favorite spots or coffee shops where they can bury themselves in their work and not be distracted.
What to Expect
On balance there are far more positives than negatives for those building their online writing business. There are 2 main negatives that just go with the territory…
1. No Steady Paycheck
Employees have the benefit of knowing that they will get paid a certain amount in a certain cycle during any given month. For many, that’s a comfort. They can budget and plan ahead in a predictable way. When you are self-employed, you are in your client’s payment cycle. That could be 30 days, 60 days and sometimes longer. Some may even deliberately drag out the payment process.
If you choose to take another assignment from a (late payer) again, a good strategy is to request a part payment upfront. If they refuse then drop them, as they will only be a constant headache to deal with. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, the more clients you have the easier it will be to drop the odd troublesome one.
Clients change priorities; sometimes at short notice. Some months you will be overloaded with work and other months you will be scratching to find some. It’s the nature of the industry, so expect to have to deal with instability.
The only way to try to smooth out the workload (as in point 1) is to try to build up the optimum number of clients to suite your ideal workload.
However, on the Positive side, you will get…
1.) Freedom to explore your creative Self.
You will have deadlines for assignments, but as long as you are disciplined then your time is your own. If a project does not grab your interest and excite you, then you are free to choose another. Your best work will always come from what you love doing, not what you feel you have to do.
2.) Variety and Challenge.
If you feel that you want to grow your skills and capabilities in new directions, then you can look for assignments that will help you to broaden your skill set. You can set the rhythm and priorities in your work.
3.) An Abundance of Opportunities.
There is a huge demand for writers who can produce good written content. Remember that your marketplace is global, not just local. Make it part of your strategy to look for clients who have a present and ongoing need for content creation; People that you can build a relationship with (even online). These will become your ‘bread and butter’ clients who provide an ongoing stream of work for you.
4.) Freedom to Work From Home.
No more commuting to work and dealing with office politics. On the other hand your discipline and ability to ignore distractions needs to move up a notch. If you can do that, then you will save time and money by operating from home.
5.) Uncapped Earning Potential.
As you develop your business, you will start to understand where you should set your fee levels and what sort of assignments pay better. Its really up to you how much work you want to take on and what you target earnings should be.
6.) Tax Advantages.
As a self-employed writer your tax status is different to those of an ‘employee’. The advantages this new tax status carries will obviously depend on the tax laws in the legal jurisdiction where you reside. It’s always a good idea to speak with a tax professional before you start operating as a business. They will be able to guide you on the (tax deductible) kind of records and expense receipts you should be collecting for filing purposes.
Where to Find A Reliable Resource.
When starting any new business, you should have at least a plan and strategy in place. It will likely be modified over time, but it serves the purpose of helping you to ‘measure your progress’. There is a lot to learn about the writing industry; particularly where to find work and how to ‘pitch’ for business and get a response.
If you are interested in having a resource for jobs to support your writing business and help you to create an income then this site comes highly recommended.
They have been around for quite a while and have helped a lot of people to get their writing careers off the ground. Check them out.
I really hope that you enjoyed this article and got some useful tips in the process.