Want to create your own job as a freelance writer? It's a brave new online writing world, so nothing could be easier.
However, you'll need to face the fact that you're now an entrepreneur.
Note: The rest of this article was first published in my Creative Small Biz ezine in 2003. I've revised the advice it contains a little, but the advice is timeless.
You can create your own job as a writing entrepreneur, if:
1. You believe in your products and services
You must believe in your products and services enough to be able to sell them consistently. For creatives, that means you must believe enough in yourself to KNOW that you can create products people will want to buy, and then you must market, market, market, and market some more.
Stating the blindingly obvious, right?
It should be obvious, but it's not. The saying: "Love what you do and the money will follow" should be amended to: "Love what you do and be prepared to market it and the money will follow".
I've lost count of the number of writers I know who've decided to freelance, and then after six months decided that they couldn’t take it and scooted back to the corporate world.
You must be passionate, but at the same time develop acceptance. Passionate enough to put your heart and soul into your work, and into your marketing, and at the same time, accept that it will take time to develop your niche, and that you may be making less money than you could if you were working for someone else -- in the beginning.
2. You can work harder for yourself than you would for someone else
When you create your own job, you get to do it all. You're in charge.
A lot of the work that happens in a business is invisible to you if you work for someone else. The invisible chores include a multitude of tasks, such as keeping the computer system functioning, getting material printed, placing Yellow Pages ads, and returning phone calls. All this stuff takes time and energy.
When it's all up to you, you have to decide what's important for you to be doing right now. You need a list of what must get done today, this week, and next week, and you need to keep up to date, even if it means working on Saturday and Sunday.
3. You're constantly learning
When you work for someone else, your employer trains you so that you can do your job effectively. When you've created your own job, your training is up to you.
Learning needs to be fun for you. You must see it as an investment in yourself. The Internet is a blessing, and you'll find many training packages online. You don’t even need to leave the house to learn something new.
4. You can ignore setbacks
Stuff happens. Your computer refuses to boot up. Instead of working on a client's project you need to take your computer to the repair shop. A client cancels a meeting that you've just cancelled another meeting to attend. You get the flu, and have to work anyway, even though you're so dizzy you can’t focus on the computer screen.
After you've been working as your own employer for a while, setbacks like this will amuse you rather than defeat you. You know that in a week or a month, you'll be laughing about this, so why not crack a smile now?
5. You're prepared to invest in your business
When you've created your own job, your business comes first. This means that when you get a hefty client payment, most of that money will have to go right back into the business.
You need to be clever about how you invest this money however. Do really you need a full page display ad in that magazine? Could you save money by placing a half page ad, or a quarter page? Do you need that new software package which costs a thousand dollars?
Is creating your own job as a writing entrepreneur for you? Only you know the answer to that question.
If you want to kickstart your own writing business, you need to invest in my ebook Writing For Online Cash: Turn Your Words Into Instant Gold -- this manual teaches you everything you need to know to get started.