You love to write and think it would be great to be paid for your writing skill. You have no idea how to start a home business writing for online clients and would love some pointers. You are in luck. As a writer for online website and blog owners since 2006 I have some experience in this area and can give some good tips on starting a home business writing for online clients.
The first thing to understand is that in the world of online writing grammar does count! It is a misconception that just because words will appear online that you can be sloppy with presentation and grammar. The truth is that many business owners are taking their businesses online and what you write for them online needs to be every bit as professional as what you would write for them in the offline world of business.
Next it is really important to realize that just because you will be writing for online clients does not mean that you can skimp on setting up your business. You will still need to do all the things that you would do to set up a home business normally, just make a few adjustments for the fact that you will be conducting business for online clients.
Start-up checklist for your online writing business
Step #1 – Check with your local city tax department to be sure that you are set up for your writing business. Setting up your business means having a business name, address, phone number etc., which are all details you will need to know when you speak with the city tax people.
After meeting with the tax people check out any retired business groups such as SCORE that are in your area (U.S.A.) because they are very helpful with assisting you with the design of a business plan and a marketing plan. It is wise to NOT start any kind of business without these plans.
Step #2 – Set up your home office. It should be some place quiet and away from all the activity of your home-life. This includes a room to work, a place for your computer or laptop to be stored if you intend to write on the go. You will need a place to store all your important papers like a file cabinet, a phone (land or cell) that has voicemail for client and business contacts to leave messages for you. You will also need to have Internet access, a good word processing software program, a printer and a good grammar book and dictionary.
Step #3 – It is vital that you always have a healthy list of leads. These leads will turn into clients for you. A writing business without clients is no business at all. The leads pipeline must be full at all times. If you let your leads dry up, you will soon be out of business or starting again from scratch. If you are in business for the purpose of earning an income than no leads is a death sentence. Advertise, advertise, advertise, network, network, and network. Tell everyone you meet that you are a writer. Do not be shy about explaining what you do and how you do it. The Internet is not the big mystery it was just a few years ago. Join online writer and work-at-home forums because they are hot beds for new leads.
Step #4 – Build and continuously update your clip/portfolio of writings. If you are new to writing and have no previous work to show prospective clients than start writing for online publishing sites like Associated Content and eHow. When your writing are published on these two sites and sites like them you will have work that can be seen by prospective clients. It is also important to get the full picture of writing online so also join some business forums or newsgroups so that you can stay abreast of current business trends and technology that may have an impact on your business.
Step #5 – Decide what writing services you will offer your clients and what your fee structure will be like including any discounts. Examples of online writing services include article writing, blog postings, preparing of newsletters, writing résumé’s, letters or press releases.
Step #6 – Constantly develop new writing skills so that you will have new and improved services to offer your clients. Do not forget that developing “people skills” is just as important as developing business or writing skills.
Step #7 – Expect that your writings will meet with approval, criticism, rewrite requests and perhaps even some rejects or denials. A writer must develop thick skin because writing is an art form and not everyone will like or agree with your writing style.
Step #8 – Be prepared to take yourself seriously so that clients and others in the business world will take you seriously.
Step #9 – Have a business goal and motivations for why you are starting and maintaining your writing business and keep these visible to you in your home office. Just like any business, there will be days when you will need to be reminded of why you are doing this. Expect good days and bad days.
Step #10 – It may help you to have a writing mentor, someone who has been in the business of writing for online clients for several years and can pass on encouragement and tips to you. A mentor should be someone that you can easily contact and someone who has successful accomplished what you intend to be able to do with your writing business.
After you have started your home business writing for online clients remember to have fun with your craft. It is not everyone who can turn the written word into an income. Be proud of what you can accomplish and really enjoy your business as it grows.