Can a love for reading and writing become a business?
Reading and writing is something I do really well. I have tried writing articles for content mills, but in the end lost out on payment because the site shut down. I am looking for a mentor to guide me towards establishing my business. Can I make a career out of this?
I will definitely say YES to an occupation site related to reading and writing...Plus ghost writing and helping others to find unique relevant quality content. I agree on the Masters and Phd as a general academics major to full professorship with tenure.
W You can consider one of the following options
Content development and content writing
They are good and lucrative careers
Anything can become a business if you can figure out an angle on it that people would be wiling to pay you to do for them. From the other comments you get an idea of just some of the many ways you can make money writing. It can even be in a corporate setting where you give up some autonomy in return for a steady a paycheck: the fact is that a significant proportion of modern employees writes for a living in one way or another: tech writers, proposal writers, press release writers, research analysts, and on and on. If you are determined to be "a writer", as opposed to someone whose job requires writing, you'll find that Writer's Digest has a lot of material about the multiple channels through which a writer can get established. As far as the content mills, the only wisdom I have on that sort of thing is that any time somebody is reaching out to millions of people they know nothing about and promising them great wealth, it is almost always a scam.
Karin, Certainly many many people make their careers out of writing and speaking about their writing. Understandably it is easier to speak about a non fiction book that offers solutions to a problem than perhaps a fiction one.
Having written two books, which I self published, I can attest to the power of print in helping you build a tribe and it certainly is possible to create a business out of this.
You truly must have a marketable product and realize you will most likely spend a great deal of your time markeing your product ( but that is true about any product you sell).
I recommend looking at Jeff Goins products and the next time he offers a Tribe Writers Course, invest in taking it. It's a really good jumping off point for people who want to write for a career, and begin blogging and connecting with others who write for a living.
I'd be happy to help you create your launch products once you know what you will be writing about. Good luck. While making a career as an author can seem daunting, if it is your passion, you will most likely enjoy all aspects of it.
You can make a business out of this but you need to be very clear about who your target audience is and what your specialty is. Then target companies/people in this sector and have examples of your work and ask them what they want, then show them how you can help them. Connect with this sector via individuals in it via LinkedIn and starting writing and posting on LinkedIn. That's for starters. In short why should someone/a company pay you (as opposed to someone else) to write for them?
I suggest taking a look at http://www.writeraccess.com
We have used their services many times and it seems to be very well done. These guys aren't shutting down any time soon. In particular I have used a girl in Hawaii who has written over 3500 pieces! So, you know she's doing it fulltime and making a living at it. If you can bang out the articles fast writeraccess can give you a steady stream of work.
If you like reading and writing, I agree with Warren get a PHD to teach.
I would suggest that you possible look at Adweek to see if anyone (advertising ageancies, etc.) is looking for a proofreader or even a copy writer
To add to the list of ideas:
•You could approach small newspapers or daily updated websites and ask if you can do a daily/weekly column. This may not lead to direct money but might help landing bigger jobs and increases your online presence.
•Start a website with book reviews of your favourite topic. If you can manage to get enough views you can make money in various ways e.g. donations, ads, merchandise.
•Become a freelance editor
Yes. Publishing is an expanding area. Software is writing too. Best of luck!
Have you thought about getting a PhD in a subject in which you're intensely interested? That way, you get paid to read and write (and teach), and the job security is pretty decent. In some disciplines in business, starting pay for newly minted PhDs is well into six figures.
There are a number of sites that you might try such as HARO (email@example.com) but note that if you are not already an expert in a field you will have slow, even tough going. Of course I am of the opinion that if a person has enough determination they can accomplish almost anything. You can read my story in my book: "The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn".
You can absolutely make a living as a writer — I'm one of many, many people who do — but content mills are not the way to go about it! As the term implies, they do not value writing, just production, which is why the pay is abysmal or, in your case, why you didn't get paid at all.
I'd suggest the following steps:
1) If you have any samples of your work, create an online portfolio so prospective clients can see it. This article describes 5 sites where you can create a simple, free digital portfolio: http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2014/12/5-online-portfolio-platforms-freelance-writers
2) Launch your own blog that focuses on what you do for businesses, and addresses their needs. For instance, if you want to write about marketing trends, post pieces that discuss how marketing is changing in South Africa, and why.
3) Search for writing jobs on reputable sites such as Craig's List, http://www.journalismjobs.com/ and WriterFind.com. There are probably sites in your area that I'm unfamiliar with that will also be good resources.
4) Network! Join a local writers' group, business network, and your local Chamber of Commerce (or the S. Africa equivalent) and share what you do. Exchange business cards and follow up with offers to meet for coffee to discuss your respective businesses. If you don't yet have business cards, search mosaicHUB for someone who can design them for you at a good price :-)
5) Finally, be willing to cold-call, and keep your prices really reasonable while you're getting established. Target companies you'd like to work with, get the name of the person who handles marketing / communication/ content development, or whatever that company calls the person who'd hire someone like you, and send a short inquiry email. Follow up a week or so later with a call. Keep it brief and very professional, and if they show no immediate interest, ask if you can circle back in a month or so.
Hope these tips are a helpful start! All the best to you ~
It depends on the type of reading/writing. In the past, I've used technical writers on sites like elance. Be prepared for some strong competition though, as there are plenty of people offering general writing services. The more specific your focus/specialization can be, the better chance you'll have of breaking in.
A quick look at elance turns up the following results:
"writer" - 152,303 results
"technical writer" - 32,477 results
"technical writer medical" - 3,575 results
That's a lot of competition, even in a fairly narrow band of the market (technical writers with a focus on medial writing), but it's better than trying to take on all 152k general purpose writers head on.
I would search for a specialty you like (or could learn to like with time), test the waters, and see if you get any interest.