Get Paid to Write Online
The Internet has opened a world of opportunities for would-be writers. Now anyone with a computer and Internet access can get their knowledge, thoughts and passion out to the masses with little to no barrier to entry. Learn how you can take advantage of all the opportunities to get paid to write online.
$19.75 Print | $4.99 eBook
What You’ll Find in Digital Writer Success
With step-by-step instructions, worksheets, examples and tons of resources, Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing, and Publishing Online provides everything you need to get started making money writing in the digital marketplace.
How to Choose the best writing topics for maximum income potential.
How to quickly, easily, and affordably set up a blog that makes money through a variety of income-stream options.
How to market blogs, freelance writing services, and books.
How to get hired to write content for businesses and online media sources.
Ebook publishing from start to finish including how to pitch digital publishers or self-publish through major e-tailers, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks and more.
Systems and tools to save time and effort when managing and marketing a writing career.
What Readers are Saying About Digital Writer Success
Digital Writer Success nails it as a practical tool to get started writing for income! Way more than fluff, it hands you page after page of hands-on, how-to information that empowers the writer hoping to earn a living. So much grounded common sense in this book, the kind you don’t see in most writing guides. I’ll be suggesting this book when I speak to groups. Well done.
~C. Hope Clark, editor FundsforWriters.com and mystery author, www.chopeclark.com
Blogs. Social Media. Demystified. Leslie Truex takes on blogging and using social media to create or further your writing career. She discusses digital tools, explains why each is important and has a place in your writing strategy, and tells you how to embrace the technology to achieve your goals. This guide is for writers who want to improve their e-presence in the digital world whether or not they want to earn money from blogging, Don’t procrastinate any longer. Take notes. Then put your pen away and apply her suggestions. Highly recommended for writers at all levels of their careers.
~ Betsy Ashton, President of Virginia Writers Club
In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the information highway. Especially for writers, our world has evolved from the sharpened pencil meets yellow notepad to the strokes on a keyboard being transmitted into the vast land of the Internet. Leslie Truex has deftly mapped out this new frontier with her latest book, Digital Writer Success. This is an absolute must-have for everyone who is not only trying to keep up with our ever-changing technology, but also wants to succeed in areas such as blogging, freelancing, and epublishing.
~ Kimberly Dalferes, author, Magic Fishing Panties, humor columnist – Dock Tale Hour, & blogger at The Middle-Aged Cheap Seats
What can I say but, “Where was this book when I was starting my digital writing business?” Digital Writer Success is packed full of practical step-by-step information to set up a successful digital writing business, whether you want to blog, freelance, author books—or all three! What I most appreciate about this book is its no-nonsense view. Leslie doesn’t try to blow smoke by telling us it will be easy or by making false promises; what she does offer is the information we need to know if we want to set up our digital writing business correctly, right from the start! Chocked full of tools, resources and action checklists, you will want this book sitting on your desk as a reference every day. Not sure where to start? Unsure about which tool is best for the job? Have writer’s draught or analysis paralysis? Just reach for Digital Writer’s Success. It will guide you so that you can move from thinking about writing to living the lifestyle you want…as a writer!
Excerpt from Digital Writer Success
Chapter One: Establishing Your Digital Writing Career
On a typical day, I write three or four articles, work on a book or two, participate in social media, and answer email. At least once a week, I do a podcast and pitch an article idea to an online magazine. Every few months or so, I submit a book proposal or synopsis to a publisher and/or self-publish a book. In essence, I write a lot for many different markets. Sometimes it feels like plate spinning, trying to keep all my blogs, clients, submissions, and projects straight. But I didn’t start out like that. Like eating the proverbial elephant, you need to start one bite at a time.
If you’re just beginning your online writing career, it’s best to begin with one idea and take it step by step—or plate by plate. The first item on your writing career agenda, before you start blogging, pitching articles, or writing a book, is to put your writing career foundation in place. In this chapter, you’ll learn what it takes to be successful and the tasks you need to do to keep your writing career legal.
What It Takes to Be a Successful Digital Writer
Earning a living writing requires more than the ability to string words together. You need to be organized, diligent, patient, fast, confident, and willing to go the distance. Your success depends on your ability to:
- Do what it takes: There’s a lot about writing that isn’t fun. In fact, some of it is hard while other parts are tedious. But if you’re going to succeed, you need to do the activities that will make your writing pay.
- Take ‘no’ for an answer: Rejection is a part of writing. Every writer, big and small, including Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, was told ‘no.’ Rejections are the ultimate test of your dedication and willingness to do what it takes.
- Take criticism: Editors will send back work they want you to change. Readers will leave unkind reviews. The first reaction is anger and wanting to defend your work. But if you can step back and view your work and the criticism objectively, you might discover feedback that will improve your writing.
- Exercise self-discipline: Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” I agree 100 percent. (I feel that way about exercise as well!) Writing is harder than it seems. Sometimes the words don’t flow, or when they do they’re awful. But if you don’t write, you don’t make money, so you need to develop the self-discipline to get your behind in the chair and your fingers tapping on the keyboard.
- Be accountable: People who comment on your blog will expect a response. Clients want the article delivered at the day and time agreed to in the contract. Even though writing is a solitary job, there are others who rely on you to engage, meet deadlines, and fulfill obligations.
Setting Up Your Writing Business
Don’t let the word business scare you. You can make a living writing as a contract worker or freelancer. Or you can set up an official business without much hassle or expense. Your decision on how you set up shop should be based on knowing the pros and cons of each option. Below are all the steps you need to take to insure your writing career is legal.
Zoning and Other Work-At-Home Restrictions
Zoning in residential areas nearly always has restrictions on operating a business, even a solitary one such as writing from home. As a writer, it might seem silly to worry about business zoning, but I urge you to check and sign a waiver or whatever is required that allows you to run your writing business from home. Why? Because if you’re found out, you could be fined and possibly forced to stop or move.
Your city or county zoning office will have information about whether or not and how you can work from home. In most cases, if you aren’t going to have clients, post a sign, or work with dangerous materials, you can get a waiver.
Also check your homeowner’s association’s covenants and restrictions and your lease or rental agreement for any policies regarding working from home.
Decide your legal structure
If you’re planning to freelance only, you can get away with not creating a business; however, if you’re going to blog or self-publish, you should establish a business. A sole proprietorship is the fastest and easiest way to set up a business. All it requires is a business name and license from your local city or county’s business office. If you use your given name, such as Sally Smith or Sally Smith Wordsmith, you won’t need to do anything further. If you create a business that doesn’t use your given name, such as Write Right, check first with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov) to make sure the name isn’t trademarked, and if it’s not, you’ll need to file a fictitious name statement (sometimes called doing-business-as or assumed-name statement) with your county clerk’s office.
As a sole proprietor, you and your business are viewed as one entity. That means your personal and business assets are fair game if you’re sued. To protect your personal assets, such as your home, you can set up a single-person limited liability company (LLC). Most states now make it easy for a single-member business to set up an LLC. I did it online in Virginia in ten minutes. With that said, it’s not something you just file and forget. There are laws and rules that govern how LLCs are run. NOLO offers informative books on starting and running an LLC. Or, for a few hundred dollars, you can hire a legal service.
Just like in a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to come up with a name for your LLC. It can include your given name, which allows you to avoid filing the fictitious name statement. Or, you can come up with a business name. Most states require that Limited Liability Company or LLC be included in the business name. Check your state’s agency that regulates corporations to make sure your business name isn’t already in use along with searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
As a single-person business, you can file your taxes using your Social Security number, even in the case of an LLC, as long as you operate as a disregarded entity. While the LLC establishes a separate entity from you as a person, the IRS continues to view you and the LLC as one. If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-to-Apply-for-an-EIN). Your bank may want you to have an EIN for an LLC, as well. They are free and can be obtained at the IRS online.
Open a separate bank account
Regardless of how you decide to manage your career, you’ll want to create a separate bank account for your writing income and expenses. Even as a contract worker, you can be eligible for tax benefits, but the IRS prefers to see financial proof of your income and expenses separate from your personal account. If you’re a contract worker, you can open a regular account. If you’ve set up a business, you’ll need to open a business account. In both cases, you’ll need to bring your Social Security card and any other business paperwork (i.e. LLC documents) to the bank when you open the account.
Checklist to Setting Up Your Writing Business
- Check on home business zoning in your area.
- Decide on a business structure.
- Decide on a business name.
- Check the USPTO that it’s not trademarked.
- File paperwork for LLC if you’ve decided to create a company.
- Request an EIN (optional for LLC unless you plan to hire employees).
- Obtain a business license.
- File a fictitious name statement if your business name is not your given name.