You’ve heard the old adage, “Those who can’t write, teach.” You can take this to heart, even if you CAN write. Most writers experience a downtime in their income at some point or another, regardless of the economy.
So, what can you do?
Increase your writer’s income
You can work smarter, not harder. Yes, you can do more writing and send out more manuscripts, but what about using your skills as a writer to teach a class or two?
Many times when you tell people you are a writer, you often hear in response, “I’ve always wanted to write a book!” Next time you hear that, jot down that person’s name. Write down all the other wanna-be writers you know. This is the perfect place for you to start offering writing classes.
There are a lot of writer’s conferences all year around, all over the country. While there are many upsides to going to a conference, there are a couple of downsides. Conferences may not always be in your neck of the woods and they can be pricey, especially if you have to pay for a hotel stay as well. Also, people who are “thinking” about writing probably will not attend. That opens up a perfect market opportunity for you. Talk to those who you think might be interested and see if you can get some people to come.
Here are some helpful tips to bring your mini-conference to town.
1. Pick a Topic that Excites You.
This topic should also excite the people who you already know would want to attend. Then write an outline for teaching this topic to others. One of the topics I use regularly is geared toward beginning writers who want to get published. In a three-hour session I give them all the information they need to get started writing and understand some of the ins and outs of writing for the magazine market. Another one I do is all about the novel. I walk students through the method I use when writing a novel. In this class students are walked through the steps and are given time to do some actual writing. When they leave, they have a good beginning to a novel.
2. Find a venue
Look for someplace quiet without any walk through traffic. Check with your local library to see if they offer rooms to groups. If you attend church, your church will probably allow you to use a room free of charge. Try to find a rent-free space, after all the whole point is to make a little extra money. You may even be able to work with your local Community College. They can help advertise and you will get more people.
Don’t neglect the homeschool market. Since there are more and more homeschooling families, more and more homeschool organizations are popping up. They are often looking for people to speak for the day or teach a class for the school year. Teaching a class can be as little as one hour, one day a week. This type of setting usually charges per student.
3. Charge a flat fee
Depending on how long your class is going to be, $30-$50 is reasonable. My classes are each three hours long. I charge $30 for each or if I do an all-day thing, I charge $50. How cheap is that for 20 plus years of information!
4. Decide on a time for your class.
I find three hours to be just right. If you find you are running short on things to say, allow people to ask questions.
5. Set a date and start advertising
Specifically invite people you know. Put an ad in the local newspaper or hang a poster in the library, bookstore, or any other local places where writers may hang out. Put an ad on Craig’s List – it’s free!
6. Bring any books that you’ve had published.
Promote yourself a little bit during the class and maybe you will sell a few books.
Why not give this a try yourself? You may be surprised at how many people will come to
a mini-conference that won’t go to a full-fledged conference where they would feel intimidated. You may find hosting regular classes to be a good way to get paid and have a regular income.
About the author:
Ruth O’Neil has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications. Her first novel Come Eat at My Table came out earlier this year. Her second is on its way. When she’s not writing, Ruth spends her time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping and hiking with her family. Visit her blog at http://www.ruths-real-life.blogspot.com or website at http://ruthoneil.weebly.com.
More articles by Ruth O’Neil:
1. How to Make Guest Blogging Worth Your Time
2. Freelance Writing for the Christian Market
3. What Editors Really Want: 10 Tips for Freelance Writers and Book Authors
4. Write the Story of Your Life
5. Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Articles
6. Writing for the Holidays