Some people go through life and never find what they’re truly passionate about. Others are lucky enough to be able to turn their passion into a career, and I am happy to count myself as one of the lucky ones.
My parents used to own a bookstore back when there was no Amazon.com, so it did well, which meant I spent quite a lot of time there surrounded by thousands of books. It was heaven.
My fate was pretty much set at that point: I was going to become a writer.
When it came time for me to go to college, despite my parents objecting, I chose to become an English literature major. Somehow the bittersweet prospect of becoming a struggling author appealed to me, despite the obvious material downsides.
My talent for writing came in extremely handy, as I was writing essays for other people. First for my friends, then for paid customers. It was then when I began to think about more practical ways that would allow me to make a living as a writer instead of pursuing it as hobby, which is how I got the idea to create Topaussiewriters, a professional writing service dedicated to helping both students and other authors.
Instead of going on about it, I’ve decided to share a step-by-step instruction of how I actually turned my writing hobby into career, just in case anyone wants to go down a similar path. Here it goes:
1. How to Get Your Website Online
Although I took a stab at designing my own website, and it looked good aesthetically, it was clunky and slow. Being a jack of trades wasn’t going to work this time, so I chose to stick with my guns, and let someone else use theirs to whip my site into shape.
If you are thinking it set me back quite a bit, it did, but you may be able to spend less.
Lots of web designers run their own websites for the purposes of content marketing, which means they need content, and if you’re a writer, you can probably create it for them, and in turn, they will help you in getting your website online.
Another thing a programmer helped me with was registering a domain and choosing an appropriate platform for it. Currently, my writing service website runs on WordPress, and I would strongly suggest the same for you, as about 20% of the Web uses it.
2. How to Make a Living until Your Business Gets off the Ground
The initial process of setting everything up took months, and if you are fond of eating and having a roof over your head like I am, you will need to find the means of supporting yourself throughout the entire ordeal. You can tend bar, for example, or, you can do what you are passionate about: write.
First, create an online portfolio containing your best-published work, both in printed and online publications. This will help you score better clients and higher-paying gigs right off the bat.
While content mills such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Elance should usually be avoided, with the right portfolio, you can find some regular work there from reputable clients, which is great, because you’re going to need a relatively steady income in order to pay the bills and put food on the table.
Remember that this is just a stepping stone on your way to setting up your website, so money shouldn’t be your primary objective.
Of course, if you really hit it out of the park in terms of clients and cash, then by all means stick with it, but this is about being your own boss and growing your business at the same time.
3. How to Promote Your Service
You may be the next Hemingway, or you may run a writing service like my own and convert your hobby into a successful career. But in order to let people know, you need to spread the word. There are many ways you can go about doing this: social media platforms, forums, paid ads, blogs, or newsletters. I suggest all of those since there are no strict rules for success when it comes to internet marketing.
Additionally, your freelance experience can help your site grow by offering your clients not just writing, but editing services for their websites. Trust me, good editors are really hard to find, which means clients will be lining up to work with you.
As you can see, turning your writing hobby into a career is not easy, but it is entirely possible, and you don’t even have to spend too much time getting sidetracked on learning new skills you’re only going to need at a certain point of developing your business.
The only obstacle you have in your way is fear, but now that you know some of the ins and outs of carving out a niche for yourself, it seems a lot less scary, doesn’t it?