A Career Road Map to Writing for a Living

  1. Get people to buy things you’ve written (products)
  1. Get people to buy things you’ve written — this includes your own intellectual property and content: articles you license to publications, books (including e-books, paper and hardbacks, audio books, international translations, etc.), online courses, paid subscription content, your own monetized blog, etc. You don’t get paid much, if anything, up front for these, and typically the price point is relatively low, but you can monetize and sell them over and over again to multiple people and keep making money on them in perpetuity. The down side of this model is that you have to keep selling and marketing to potential readers and buyers. There’s generally more hustle involved in this model, but you have far more creative control over what you write.

Let Your Values Lead You

Which type (or types) of writing makes up the backbone of your career, and which are simply additional revenue streams, will depend largely on your values, needs and lifestyle goals, and will likely evolve over time as your interests and priorities change.

Road Map to Your Writing Career

  1. Just start writing. Post it somewhere. Get feedback. Start building your platform and gathering pieces you can use in your portfolio.
  2. Start pitching places where you want your work to appear. Hone and perfect your pitch. Keep building your portfolio.
  3. Start planning and getting organized. Decide what kind of writer you want to be. Choose your niche(s), define your ideal reader or client, and strategize the best ways to reach them.
  4. Evolve your platform and portfolio accordingly. Narrow your pitches to markets or clients that fit your preferred niche or ideal client. Build a body of work in those areas.
  5. Set up your business. Get a website. Make your portfolio public. Market your services. Reach out to potential clients.
  6. Set specific goals and outline strategies to get there. Focus on quality of clients and assignments over quantity, always aiming for better paying work that takes up less of your time and energy.
  7. Create intellectual property (IP) assets (i.e., products) to diversify your income and grow your business. Give yourself a raise and more time by shifting the focus from services to products.

Multi-passionate freelance writer, blogger and occasional novelist. Homesteader, daydreamer and ADD survivor. http://jeanmariebauhaus.com

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