Making a living wage as a writer or a blogger can be as simple as treating the writing as a business. Implementation of that idea can be the tricky part – particularly if you have a regular job or other work that keeps your plate full. It may take some creative design, but you can discover your unique way to make your writing a business. Beginning that process will bring you one step closer to cultivating a living wage from your writing.
My blogging and writing journey started back in 2002 – for income. I also home schooled two boys at the time and maintained the home (my husband worked full-time as a teacher in Huntsville). My home office was located in the middle of the house next to the washer and dryer and facing the kitchen.
I developed some relationships, and those opened doors that allowed me to craft content for a wide range of websites and blogs. I also had the opportunity to learn a little about HTML and WordPress – sometimes just enough to get me in trouble. Writing the content for others gave me insight into SEO as well. I wrote key word articles that lifted the blogs and websites to the top of the search engines. Despite the chaos around me, I found ways to meet my deadlines and craft words that allowed me to build a solid income.
One day, I had an idea. “If I can make their sites profitable to the point they can pay me to write for them then I can write for myself and make my own sites profitable enough to pay me – because they will be mine and I can write about the things that excite me.” Sometimes, I should not talk to myself. Most of the time, I should not listen to myself without consulting others. This was one of those times that both would have been effective.
My idea was so grand that I jumped right into the deep water – without looking, without thinking, and without a life preserver. I soon found myself tangled in a mess hidden under the water and being pulled down so that it became difficult to breathe.
You can make a living wage from your blog or from your writing. You can build a successful business based around your writing. You do need to be prepared deal with the mess on the bottom, and to tread water until the breakthrough arrives. Treating writing like a business is a simple idea, but I never said it would be easy.
Step 1: Make a plan
Every business needs a plan that includes a vision, mission, budget, goals, objectives, and marketing ideas. I expected my writing to make me a living wage, but I had no idea how, why, or where. I needed focus and direction to make it work – and to make me work.
For me, working was one of my greatest obstacles.
Step 2: Be professional.
I never missed a deadline when I was working for others – except during the tornadoes of 2011, and even then I managed to only be a day late. I produced regular, quality content for my clients to the point that if they had to cut back they would send me to another company to work (the folks in the industries talk so you need to be making a good impression).
The MOMENT I stepped out on my own, I began making excuses. I had to work with school or clean the house. I had to make the meals or take the kids to activities. I was now home schooling three kids, but the change in circumstances were not what made the difference. It was my change in dedication. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted someone to just drop it in my lap. The problem was me.
I began to invest in my focus. I remembered that my success is determined by my personal commitment and follow through. I am the only one that can hinder my success, but I am the only one that can make my success a reality. I have to be as professional with my personal writing as I would be any other client.
I took some time to review my actions over the last few months (and years). I looked back at the time when I was writing 100’s of articles for clients each month – and still managing the rest of life. I created a new pattern for my writing that allowed me to pour out words like never before. That month I crafted 90,000 new words and still juggled school and home.
I patted myself on the back and then put my feet up. I had written the words, so people would come pouring in. My products would fly off the shelf. Advertisers would beat down my door to throw money at me.
It turns out that if you are going to build something solid and lasting, then it can take more than one month of productivity to make it happen. Building a writing business takes determined persistence.
Step 3: Keep on.
One of my favorite sayings is about persistence and how nothing can replace persistence. I heard someone say that persistence gives him the drive to get up early, to train harder, and to stay later than the other guy. Persistence will beat out talent only every time.
I have belief – I believe in the words that I create. I have to believe in my success with those words just as much, so much so that nothing – not the excuses, the distractions, or the daily chaos – will deter me from boldly pursuing that belief.
It comes back to me and the choices that I make each day. I have to see the writing as a business, treat the writing as a business, and believe in the writing business if I want to build a successful career as a writer and a blogger.
What tips have you discovered in your pursuit to build success in writing?
What questions do you have about your journey today?
Share your thoughts and ideas with us so that we can learn together, grow together, and pursue this writing path together.
About the Author:
Kathryn Lang offers a phrase of hope through her columns, articles, books and workshops to shine the Light on the moment. Her personal hope is that every person who encounters her words will feel as if those words were written (or spoken) just for her. She speaks at women’s conferences, professional organizations and schools on finding purpose, being encouraged, pursuing writing, and growing relationships.
Connect with Kathryn: Website| Facebook | Twitter | Google + | LinkedIn
Check back next week for the second segment of this great series!