A friend wrote to me asking about the premium version of Linkedin. She wanted to know if I used it and was it something she should invest in. It got me thinking about how I put my writing business together and the power of the internet.
I am in no position to spend a lot of money putting together my writing business. In our family, every cent really does matter and so I have to be conservative about where I choose to spend my money.
I have often had conversations with my husband about what people had to do to build a business before the internet. Honestly, if you were able to build a successful business back then, you must have had some extremely sharp marketing skills as well as extraordinary business sense.
One of the best parts of having a writing career is how little it takes to get the business off the ground and keep it going strong. If the internet wasn’t around, I think I would have been at a loss. The internet has been incredibly valuable for research, answering any question I might have and most importantly, marketing.
I built my business on less than $60.00. After I had a WordPress blog for over a year, I switched over to a dot-com. I spent roughly $49.00 to get self-hosted on iPage and my domain name. I decided a dot-com was worth it because I could then monetize my site.
I knew I would need business cards, so I used Vistaprints. I heard about this website from a woman at one of the networking events I attended. She mentioned that except for shipping which is around $4.00, you can get 250 business cards for free. The only caveat is that there is a small ad on the back of the card.
I ordered my cards and was pleased with the results. The paper used is still a good quality, you can choose your design and put whatever you want listed onto the card. For now, it is a good choice.
Now with a dot-com and business cards, I had to prospect for business. This is where the internet comes in. There are a million good social networking sites. Linkedin, Quora, Twitter etc… have been incredibly valuable for getting new clients.
The only other place that I will be putting my money is in networking groups around town. Most writing groups have been free. There is one group that I like that costs $10.00 to attend, but it is worth it.
So, yeah, I spent under $60.00 to get my business up and running. The costs to maintain my business are all in the yearly fee to keep the dot-com site running, paying a membership for a writing association and any fee that might be attached when going to a networking event.
I should mention that I did already have a limited liability company, so I already have a tax id. If you are starting your own business, you will want to set up a company for tax purposes. You can go to your government website and they should have step by step instructions on how to register your business. I forget just how much it had cost, but I believe it’s around $150.00 to set up.
I hope this information inspires you. If you are thinking of starting your own writing career, it really isn’t that expensive unlike most businesses. You can always use a platform like WordPress if you can’t afford the dot com. The only downside is that you can’t sell anything on your site. Even so, it’s still a great deal. You are essentially starting your business for free.
One last thing, I don’t use the premium version of Linkedin. I have done fine without it. I’m sure there is value in the premium version, but I’m not sure what that might be. I haven’t really looked into it because it never interested me personally.
note: if you are interested in checking out the Vistaprint business cards, just hit on the picture below.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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