Ask Us: What Business Basics Do I Need to Get Started?

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Member Question:

” I finally figured out what is keeping me stuck and not being able to move forward in my Freelance Business. It’s the business side of the freelance business. Personally. I don’t know any freelancers or entrepreneurs of any kind. All my family, friends,and neighbors have always worked for someone else in traditional jobs. Needless to say, freelancing is a new and foreign concept to me.

Up until 6 months ago, I worked for an engineering, surveying company. Now I find myself without a job or any desire to continue in that industry. I like the idea of the writer’s life and have purchased more than my share of AWAI programs.

My problem is not setting goals, finding clients, marketing myself or deciding what to do. It’s the business side. Lawyers, tax advisers, accountants, contracts, proposals, tax ID’s. When I start to think of all this stuff, it stops me dead in my tracks. I can’t more forward, so none of the other things matter.

I can’t start because I don’t know what to do first. Like, do I need a Tax ID, lawyer, accountant before or after I set up a website? Or do I need any of it at all? Everyone talks about the business side but no one really explains it. The more I hear and read, the more confused I get.

I’m looking for a simple business. I don’t need or want a lot of variety {at least not in the beginning}. I don’t want to mess around with a lot of different contracts and proposals and bids {if I have to much to deal with, I won’t do anything}. I don’t need a six-figure income. I’ve never made more than $30,000 a year and I don’t need to. Money is not important, a stress free life is.

What’s the minimum {legal wise} I need to do to start a research business? I don’t have a lawyer, tax adviser or accountant. Never needed any. Do I have to go out and round up all these people before I start a freelance business? This may seem elementary and obvious to most people, but I don’t have a clue {or the money to shop around}.

One big problem I have is I over think things. Am I making this more difficult than I need to? I’m taking my first step forward today and asking for your help. Unless I tackle the business side, I’ll never more forward.

Thank you for any help you can offer me,
Debbie Klink”

Hi Debbie,

Heather Robson, here. You’re not alone in getting hung up on the business side of things. That’s a common hiccup for many, if not most, writers getting ready to launch a freelance business.

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Heather Robson

Heather Robson

Managing editor of Wealthy Web Writer, Heather has over ten years of content marketing and development experience.

7 Comments

  • I am like the rest. The business side scares me a little .I don’t need a website yet, and I never had any luck in having one. I really don’t know what field I wont to start writing in and don’t wont to write for months nor days. So,I guest you say what did I sign up for. So I need help and don’t know what to ask.

  • It’s reassuring to see others have this problem. I thought it was just me.

    I too am running scared of setting up a website, (not that I’m ready for that yet). I recently launched a WordPress blog on Chinese Medicine(I am an acupuncturist), but I’m struggling with the technical side of things, especially SEO and the whole keyword issue.
    My feeling is, how can I help others with their marketing if I can’t market myself?

    Do you have any pointers as to which way I turn?

    Best regards,

    Teresa

    • Hi Teresa,

      One of the easy traps to fall into is to think you have to be an expert at all things online to succeed as a web writer. A web writer does not have to be a web designer. It is good to understand keyword research and placement, but that’s something you can learn. We have several events on Search Engine Optimization in our webinar and tele seminar archives that I think you would find helpful.

      When it comes to marketing yourself to clients, focus on what you can offer them. Great copy for their website and blogs. Keep that at the center and you’ll do fine.

      All the best,
      Heather

  • I’m just the opposite. Have had my LLC set up a long time. Do my own taxes with TaxAct and accounting with QuickBooks Pro.

    But, what exactly is copy, and copywriting? As my pet peeve is being sold something I do not need or want I feel like we need a copywriter ethics guide and I don’t see one. I raised the issue in an online Q&A awhile back with some big names and they reacted like I was a snake. Ethics? We need ethics?

    So, until I get a mooring on writing stuff to sell people things they don’t need, I’ll need some hand holding. I can write, but it has always been reporting the truth. Is there a niche for that?

  • I found this post very helpful. I have also been wondering how to handle to business side of things…and this gave me some much-needed, valuable information! I feel like I can relax and enjoy learning the trade now instead of panicking over taxes, tax ids,, etc.!! Thanks!!

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