How to Turn Your Writing Hobby Into a Career

We’ve all heard the saying — “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Unfortunately, breaking into a field that you love can be challenging, especially if you consider yourself a creative writer.

If you love writing but can’t seem to find a way to make a career out of it, don’t get discouraged. With enough perseverance, you can turn your writing hobby into a career.

Pay attention to this advice…

Set Realistic Goals

You don’t have to write a book to have a successful writing career. Writing a book, finding a publisher, and receiving a fair compensation takes a while. Some writers are moving away from the traditional publishing route by self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing, but even then, you likely won’t be making a livable wage. What you need to do is find another job that allows you to write, such as a journalist, technical writer, web content writer, ghostwriter, or grant writer. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to work on your book on the side — just make sure to pair it with another opportunity.

Look for Opportunities

Once you have a goal, start looking around for opportunities. Once you start looking, you’ll find that many companies are looking for writers with your skillset. If you’re currently in another career and can’t afford to suddenly switch your job, consider freelancing as a way to start building up a portfolio. Many writers find that freelancing on the side of their current career is a great way to gain experience writing professionally without losing financial stability. Many companies or clients will post on job boards when they’re seeking a freelance writer to help with website content.

Continue Your Education

As with any career, the best way to advance within the field is to keep learning! This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to seek out another college degree. There are online workshops that target specific writing skills. Joining a workshop will allow you to connect with other writers, share your writing, and get feedback on how to improve. Alternatively, if you’re trying to learn new skills such as how to incorporate affiliate marketing into blogs, there are online courses that you can take. If you’re considering taking a course, read online reviews (such as the ones offered on Hustle Life) to make sure the course will meet your needs.

Find Your Niche

Don’t try to do it all. Find your niche and stick with it. Many potential customers or clients are going to want to find individuals that have been writing within a specific industry for a set amount of years. If you’ve skipped across industries and haven’t taken the time to grow proficient in one particular area, you could miss out on some great opportunities. Your niche should be something you’re passionate about. For example, if you really love animals, you could be a grant writer for an animal non-profit or you could write content for pet care blogs.

Develop a Website

Websites are a great way to outline your services and showcase some of your best writing. Companies and clients are going to want to see examples of your previous writing projects. Instead of emailing them PDFs, take the time to put your writing on a professionally developed website. WordPress sites are great for individuals that don’t have any experience with coding because you can purchase ready-made layouts that are optimized for SEO. This could help set you apart from other writers within your industry. And with the right website presence, you’ll have potential clients coming to you.

Keep Writing

There are going to be days where you’ll feel like no matter how much you write or how many jobs you apply to, you’re never going to land your dream job. Don’t give up! There are going to be hard days. There are going to be rejections. But the more you write, the better you’ll get. Even on the days you don’t want to write, force yourself to write something, even if it is only a small paragraph. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, find a friend or a career coach that can help keep you accountable.

Final Thoughts

Turning your hobby into your career is no easy task. You can’t expect it to magically happen overnight. But, if you’re serious about wanting to be a writer, start setting realistic goals for yourself and survey the job market. Finding your first client or gig will be hard, but that is your first step to developing your professional portfolio.

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