Nine Tips for the Business End of Writing
Here are some tips for keeping up with the business of writing:
- Keep records - Now that you're getting paid for your work, you must remember that this income is taxable. Keeping good records is essential come tax season.
- If you aren't good at the tax laws, hire an accountant - It's something that costs you money but is money well spent. And for the record, professional help is tax-deductible. :)
- Find a way to manage your records - Something as simple as two envelopes - one marked income and one marked expenses is all you need in the beginning. As your business grows, then you can consider a more complex accounting system. I use a file folder and an Excel sheet.
- Log your work - Log all
your work, whether free gradius, donation or paid. By that same token, log
any monies owed to you by others who pay you for services rendered.
Logging your work keeps you accountable and organized and allows you to
see your production.
- Keep receipts - Anything you pay for, i.e., extended learning or professional mentoring/teaching, conference receipts, travel, computer programs, or equipment - keep your receipt. These are deductions at the end of the year. You'll be surprised how quickly these things add up.
- Get a blog or website -
and purchase the URL - or multiple URLs that can all be pointed
to your blog or website. People can't read your work if you can't be found.
- Build a platform - Start with the groups where you are most active. Make friends on Social Media but don't allow social media to become a flag pole with a waving flag that says, BUY MY BOOK. For every one post on yourself, post five for others. This grows your reach and helps others along the way.
- If you need help, get it - If you need professional help with your writing, get it. It will cost you money, but this is an investment in your career.
- Attend conferences - the more you attend, the more you network and learn.
Writing is a joy. It's a fun career, but doing it correctly begins by establishing the business end. Take the time. It's easier to do it as you go than to backtrack.