How I Built a Business with Less than $60.00

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Article by Wendy McCance

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.


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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

7 thoughts on “How I Built a Business with Less than $60.00

  1. There is such a wealth of resources out there for us today. Self hosting does a lot for the independent blogger. Tools like Vista print or zazzle have really made promoting and running our businesses much more wallet friendly. :-)

    • Definitely. I often think about how things would have worked out before the web. information is so easy to access and like you mentioned so much can be done cheaply. Without starting the blog, I wonder if I would have still found that writing is what I needed to be doing.

  2. I do hope that people have benefitted from my question regarding keeping LinkedIn Premium. It does turn out such as I suspected that it all depends on what one intends to do regarding their Business plans. Due to my business plans it turns out after speaking to another that it would be best for me to have LinkedIn Premium.

    Thanks for the feed back Wendy.

  3. Hi Wendy, I hope that my question was a help to someone who is planning to start their own business. I was having you come to a similar conclusion that I had already come to. Nothing in life is free especially these days. I purposely put or had some money on a prepaid debit card that way since I am so busy and because I wouldn’t pay for anything on line with a regular credit card I don’t have to worry about someone taking money off of my card with out my consent.
    Peace and be well.

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