By: Deanna Mascle
Every writer dreams of the day when they can profit from their writing. While income opportunities abound for writers each method has drawbacks.
Newspaper and magazine reporters can make a good living but their subject matter is often closely regulated and directed. Corporate writing can be even more lucrative but even more tightly controlled. Freelance writing offers more freedom but is also more uncertain. Publishing books is even more uncertain. So what is a writer to do?
Forget all those old-school writing methods and focus on the internet. Don't write for anyone but yourself. You really can profit from writing only about what interests you. Don't worry about the market or the editors. Write for yourself. Not only will it be more fun and rewarding for your soul but for your checking account as well.
I am going to share an easy (and cheap) 10-step formula that can help you start your own writing business today, but first I want to share one important fact.
This is not a get-rich quick scheme. It will take some time to earn, perhaps as long as three months to begin turning a profit, but if you keep working at it you should see your income grow exponentially each month and you should be able to count on that income and know what you have to do to increase it. You will have total control over your income and that is very powerful.
1. Create a blog account at one of the free blogging sites available online (we used to use Blogger.com but there are many other good options). This will serve as your internet base. It really is the cheapest and easiest way to get online today. Yes, you could create a free web site at one of the many available but blogs are more attractive to the search engines. Plus they offer you the ability to personalize it but most of your energy will be spent on content which is the king of the internet and the real reason you want an internet presence.
2. Now sign up for a free ClickBank affiliate acccount which will give you immediate access to something to sell.
3. Sign up for a contextual or pay-per-click advertiser such as Google, Yahoo, Revenue Pilot, or SearchFeed and you'll start earning from visitors as well as customers.
4. Develop your blog. Make 10 your immediate goal then work your way up to 25, 50 and 100 and so on. Your entries can be your opinions, thoughts, or ramblings; poems or short stories; or articles.
5. Promote your blog through article marketing, link development and submitting your blog feed. I would suggest your primarily focus on article marketing as if offers the ability to not only develop links but also delivers traffic plus as a writer it is easy for you to create articles or use a selection of the material you've already created for your blog.
Yes, it really is that simple and while you can later grow by buying your own domain name (or names) and publishing your blog on your own site you do not need (and likely should avoid) investing money in expensive tools
Getting started on the web can be free (as you see above) or inexpensive if you concentrate on what you really need. The simple truth is that you don't need a lot of fancy, expensive tools and programs. In the long run a domain name is a good investment. A domain name will cost you between $5 and $10 a year depending on whether you go .com or .info (or one of the many other options available). You don't need to find a web host or create a site. Simply point the domain at your blog for now and continue with the development and promotion of your blog. The advantage of owning your own domain name is simply that later when you have the money, time, and knowledge to develop your web site that domain name will already exist and have filtered through the search engines. It also offers some marketing advantages that a free blog cannot.
At some point you may decide you want more flexibility and control than a free blog can offer and that is when you will want to run your own site. You can find a good web host for as little as $5 a month and shouldn't pay more than $20 a month for a reputable host that offers all the tools and utilities you might need for your current site--including blog software. Maybe down the line you'll need to upgrade but by then you'll know your income and your needs.
Really the only other regular expense that you might consider to make your internet business complete would be a mailing list tool. You can do this for just $20 a month and it will be worth every penny for sales, customer service, and promotion. But this is not necessary to start out and you may decide that it isn't important to your efforts so you can skip it entirely.
Once you have your blog set up and monetized (by offering ClickBank products, advertising, and/or selling text links) then you are in a position to begin profiting from your writing. The way to profit it to increase your traffic so you need to get serious about your article marketing efforts because each article you distribute will generate immediate traffic and create back links for search engine optimization. Also you need to continue to grow your blog by adding fresh content regularly. This will create repeat visitors as well as bring the search engines back again and again. Simply publishing new articles and new blog entries each week will increase your traffic. The more articles and entries you create -- the more traffic you will generate.
Once you have found your rhythm with your existing blog you may well decide to branch out and create a second blog on a different or related topic. Now you should be able to work even faster because you are more experienced but likely more motivated as well because you can see just how rewarding it can be to write for fun and profit.