I had the pleasure of giving some advice the other day to someone thinking of starting as a specialist writer. So I thought I’d post the crux here, based on what I’ve learned from personal experience and from the lessons of many others for it may just help you too.
(Meaning, if you’ve read anything about writing at all, you should find a lot here very familiar.)
Go to WordPress, GoDaddy, or another reputable registrar and buy your dot com name: as in www(dot)yourname(dot)(com) then keep hold of it forever. If it’s been taken, and that’s a possibility, look for something else as close as you can.
Hop off to WordPress “dotCom” and find a theme, link your new URL to it and boom. You have a personal website. When it comes to building a website with a robust blogging infrastructure, there’s nothing easier than WordPress dotCom in my opinion. Linking though will involve a fee.
As for writing, start today. Never listen to people who tell you you’re not experienced or good enough. Read often and practice writing even more, that’s how you learn.
If you’re writing for a commission, listen to your editor. “Your editor is always right.”
Buy a good dictionary, thesaurus, grammar, and style manual.
If you’re beginning your journey by blogging, simply go your own way with style. Don’t sweat perfection. You can always delete articles later, or start another blog many times over.
Get a copy of your local “The Writer’s Marketplace”. It will give you a taste of news and magazine publication opportunities. It may seem depressing at first with its so-many prerequisites but doing something successfully is a tough gig and writing for a living is one of the toughest.
Avoid writing content for content’s sake. Don’t become a content mill. Content isn’t writing. And massed content is not fun for anyone.
If you’re writing for a living, never publish your work for free unless you’re doing it with a sound marketing plan in mind.
When you do find something in your writing life that works, share it with others freely: because that’s what real artists do. Learning is a collaboration; teaching is a celebration.