Earning a living as a writer can be extremely tough depending on your business strategy. Although finding jobs can be accomplished through several already-established platforms, there is one deciding factor that must be addressed from the start: Are you a business owner or a freelancer?
Freelancing vs. Entrepreneurship
Regardless if you are a freelancer or a business owner, both options provide a certain amount of freedom. In either circumstance, you get to be your own boss. The differences in these professions lie not only in the paperwork, but in the growth of your career.
A freelancer works as a contractor for clients. They do not need a business license to operate and spend much of their time securing jobs based on their own availability.
A business owner has the option of hiring employees and growing the company. Business owners spend more time managing the company than they do writing.
A critical difference between owning a business and freelancing is the way taxes are conducted. Small business owners must handle regulations, employee issues, and funding.
Owning a business is a long-term investment that will ultimately help generate income while the owner is not working. By using automation, timing systems, and employees, owners may not be involved on a daily basis.
3 Crucial Steps to Start a Writing Business
1. Choose a Name for Your Business
This is an important step because a name will be used for marketing purposes. Before choosing something easy and memorable, make sure to run it through a quick Google search to see if someone else has already taken that name.
Competing with another business that has the same title can be difficult for a number of reasons. If the business name isn’t already used, check to see if the URL is available. Even if a URL is taken, you may still be able to pay the owner for the site.
2. Incorporate Your Business
There are multiple ways to incorporate a business, but choosing a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is often the easiest for beginning freelancers. For experienced freelancers earning more than $175,000, an S-Corp may be better. Unlike freelancing, an LLC provides legal protection for personal assets.
3. Apply for an Employer Identification Number
An EIN is similar to a Social Security Number and is used for tax purposes and other legal documentation. Applications are handled by the IRS and can be completed online for free. Once an LLC and employment number are acquired, you can officially open a business bank account.
Business Websites vs. Freelancer Websites: How To Professionalize
Freelancers frequently find work through third-party sites that allow clients to post their needs to a public forum. Freelancers may need to pass certain tests to match with high-paying clients to rely on steady gigs. Depending on the site, a freelancer’s final pay check may be drastically reduced from third-party fees.
Business owners that specialize in writing may find work on third-party sites, but they can also draw clients through their own site. With the right marketing strategies, a business site can rank high in Google search results.
A professional business site for writers should include a portfolio. This will display the different types of writing that is offered by the company. Because business owners can hire employees, the services offered can specialize outside of the owner’s expertise. A business that can provide editing services, business proposals, articles, and content writing, will likely attract a larger clientele.
When accepting payment online, business owners generally offer credit card options. Unlike freelancers that can rely on third-parties to provide payment solutions, business owners should set up their own, clear and easy-to-use, payment system.
Small businesses can add a payment form to accept online credit cards. To do this, businesses usually outsource the payment to a payment service provider. They will host the payment form as well as handle security measures and store necessary client information.
Business owners can find clients directly with a site that is expertly marketed. This means a site must be updated regularly for SEO purposes. It also means the business site can be easily found through multiple sources like social media. Newsletters and feedback options are also successful ways to engage readers.
Is Owning A Business Worth It?
Owning a business and freelancing can both generate income through writing. Freelancing provides a way to have your own website and work flexible hours. For those who are looking at long-term income with potential growth opportunities, starting a legal entity can be far more successful.
About the Author
Rebecca Lee is a business blogger for small and large companies alike. She has published her own work in several magazines and journals since 2012.