A talented friend asked me how I do the crazy things I do. This was going to be an email to him. However, I thought it better to share with everyone. I suppose I can give this now. Sometimes its easier to give it than to live it. Do as I say!
Here are a few ideas:
Start a Blog
I use and recommend WordPress.WP allows for easy and professional startups. The base level is absolutely free. I pay a nominal fee to keep the “wordpress.” out of my page name and a few other perks. Next I will step up to the expensive level. Start small – and cheap. Just get started. There are other free hosts out there too.
From WP you can link your posts to Facebook, Twitter, etc. This will help generate traffic and maybe build some new friends. Don’t forget LinkedIn.
They say for real on-line success one needs an email list – a go to group of dedicated followers. I spent a lot of time building mine this summer. I took it from about 20 people to almost 1,000. Sadly, I have not tested the system out. I will. I use Gmail which is okay for one to one emails. For a list there are vastly better options – MailChimp, Aweber, etc. Those cost money. Keep it simple (and free) to start.
My friend has a wealth of historical knowledge he would like to share. There’s no reason he shouldn’t get paid to do it. One sure-fire way to do that is to publish a book:
Createspace is Amazon’s professional publishing wing. Account setup is free and relatively easy. Converting, editing, and formatting everything takes a little work. However, the services are free and one can then directly upload to Amazon. These are books “available on demand”. Someone sees it, orders it and pays for it and CS prints a copy and mails it out. They also have other formats which I have not experimented with – audio, video, etc. For a fee they also have editing and design services.
You can make a book like this:
This is the way of the future – self publishing and Amazon. A few more years and traditional publishers and bookstores won’t exist. They are committing suicide.
CS is also a stepping stone to:
Once one has a manuscript ready it can be converted to Kindle for ebook publishing and sale. This is not necessarily easy. I have one book in Kindle and the format is horrible. Worse, I have never gone back and fixed it yet. Learning curve here. One can also pay to have the formatting done. Otherwise the system is free. There are books available on the subject. I suggest reading them.
Once one has a book out, odds are people are going to find it on Amazon. Remember to set up an Author Page with links to your Blog posts.
There is a super easy way to make an ebook. Just convert a Word, WordPerfect, or Docs text to PDF and link it to your blog or email it. Freebies build business although it is possible to offer these for sale.
Set up an account and use it to receive payments for the PDFs and other services offered until you can afford a real e-commerce system. Amazon and Kindle offer direct deposit for their sales of your work. PayPal also comes in handy for freelancing (see below).
Some Writing Resources
These are in no particular order and there are so many out there:
The Write Life. All kinds of advice for all sorts of things.
That will do for now. If you have an idea or a question, don’t forget the Google.
Independent contract work can be a great way to build business and make money. Many of these jobs can be found just by looking around. Then there are “content mills”. The mills are marketplaces where people look for work and companies look for talent. I list three of them below. I can’t really recommend using them because so much of what is offered is pure crap. However, the gems are out there. It’s just a matter of finding them.
As for my friend or really anyone, I would recommend searching hard within the author’s niche. I’ve stumbled into some great projects that fit my crazed topics and style. One might as well be happy when working.
This is just a board published by ProBlogger. No account to set up; just communicate directly with projects by email or their sites. I’ve had the most success with this service. And jobs are posted daily and are searchable. Most pay by PayPal.
A true content mill with required setup. They frequently handle payment but they also take a cut. That’s also how it works at:
They handle all payment issues in-house. I think it’s a slightly better system. A good deal of hassle and BS but you can search out what you’re looking for.
As I said there are many other resources. This is a gateway not only for writers, but also for speakers, artists, professionals, and anyone with something to offer. I hope it helps. Happy hunting.