Writerpreneur: How to Work From Home as an Online Writer, Find Premium Clients, & Make Money Online
by Rory Parker
$2.99 for Amazon Kindle
A decade ago, I was making ten cents a word writing for Scrye magazine. I generally sold them a thousand word article each month, until I quit playing collectible card games and stopped submitting articles. I’ve written quite a bit since then, for my own websites, but I never again sold my writing at a significant rate.
Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to start writing again; so far I have one book published and several more on the way, but these are on fairly technical (read: not bestselling) topics, and I’ve always thought it would be nice if my writing hobby could bring in a significant amount of extra income. Although I’m mostly interested in writing technical books at the moment, I decided to check out Writerpreneur, which is about freelance writing.
One thing I liked about this book is that it immediately sets out realistic expectations; while the author mentions that his mentor makes an average of 75 cents a word, he also mentions knowing plenty of writers who work for less than a penny a word. He also emphasizes being able to put in the focus (shut off facebook) and hard work to get projects completed on time – something applicable to any contractor, not just writers. I also liked that he emphasized the need to carefully proofread your work (or hire an editor); as a reader, I get annoyed when I see dumb typos in writing, and I can’t imagine someone paying hundreds of dollars for it would be any happier!
Rory talks about writing in an area where you can legitimately bill yourself as a subject matter expert, both to make finding work easier and so that you can spend most of your time writing rather than researching. My experience with various freelancing pursuits (writing, tutoring, web design) has been that even when you have the skills, it can be quite difficult to find people willing to pay a professional rate to get a quality product, when it’s easier to hire someone who’ll do a “good enough” job for cheap. Rory explains how he found his clients, and what to do so that you find the clients you want – the ones who demand high quality, on time, and expect to pay a premium for it.
I liked the little bit Rory threw in about the difference between writing for print and online; growing up with the “3 sentence minimum” for paragraphs, I’ve always had a hard time with the more whitespace-intensive writing expected for websites these days (one person once told me that my writing was awesome for print, but sucked for reading off a website – his advice led me to start breaking it up more into smaller paragraphs, for easier online reading) and this book reinforced that. Rory also mentions additional services that you can add to your business once you have a stable of existing clients, becoming more of a one-stop shop for them.
While I don’t actually plan on becoming a full-time writer (I already have a good job as a full-time programmer) and the book wasn’t exactly aimed at what I’d prefer to do (books and magazine articles), I found it interesting and informative, and it lines up well with what I already knew. If you have writing skills but no experience in selling your writing, reading this could definitely help you avoid a few common mistakes and more quickly reach the point of making a living wage with your writing.