7 Simple Steps to Turning Your Writing into a Thriving Online Business

Great writers are in short supply.

And very few are willing to put in the time it takes to build an online business around their craft.

It takes hard work, but the rewards are great.

Build an online business and you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.

You have the freedom to do what you want. You control your time. You get to decide what your life looks like, not someone else.


Here are seven steps to help you make it happen.

1. Intersection

First, you have to find the intersection between what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what others are willing to pay for.

This could be teaching small businesses how to use content to grow their business.

It could mean helping dentists leverage newsletters to get more clients.

The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you do, avoid getting stuck in the planning phase. You will make tremendous progress when you take action and make mistakes.

2. Platform

Once you’ve found a viable niche, it’s time to build your platform.

Your platform will often be a blog or website.

This is where you attract an audience of people that are interested in what you have to offer.

If you’re the dentist newsletter person, then dentists are the people you want to attract.

When you build a platform, you don’t have to figure out what people want. Once you’ve got a few hundred people, you can just ask.

The downside is that building a platform takes time. But you don’t have to wait for it to grow to start making a living as a writer.

3. Freelance Work

You can get freelance work right away.

When I was starting out, I got freelance writing gigs. I still do freelance work because it adds variety to my day.

Again, if you help dentists, you have to go out and find them. You have to hustle to get clients and show them the benefits of having a web presence.

You could even work at a discounted rate, or free, in exchange for being able to use that first dentist as a case study.

Most small business owners know that utilizing blogs, content and newsletters is what they should do, but they don’t have time.

That’s where you come in.

And while you’re getting freelance clients, you’re building your tribe.

4. Tribe

And by tribe, I mean your email list.

Have you ever heard someone say that the money is in the list?

Well, it’s true.

Your email subscribers will often be the most interested in your content, products, and services. Make sure you start building a list from the start.

It is what makes this business model work. It will make it easier to figure out what problems your audience has, and then create products around the solutions to those problems.

5. Information Products

This naturally leads us to information products, such as ebooks and online courses.

We’re writers, so creating online courses is a breeze. And because you’ve built a list, you know what topics to cover.

Then you can sell it to your audience directly.

The key with information products is to test your ideas as quickly as possible. You don’t need a 200-page ebook.

You need to listen to your audience. Figure out what their biggest problem is, and offer a simple solution.

A short ebook is a good start. If people like it, you can expand from there.

I’ve done this with several of my products. One of them started off as a $9.95 ebook, and I’m just in the process of upgrading it into an online course.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Let’s not forget about affiliate marketing.

You can easily recommend to your audience products and services that complement what you offer.

As long as you keep it ethical, you should be fine. I only recommend products I use or have experience with.

When you look at how you can help your readers move towards their goals, everything becomes so much easier.

Then it’s no longer about your products, affiliate products, or anything else. It’s about how you can help them move forward.

7. Rinse & Repeat

Once you’ve reached this stage, it comes down to constant improvement.

Look at what you’re doing right. And ask yourself questions like:

  • Where can I improve?
  • How could I get more clients?
  • How could I add more value and raise my rates?
  • What are my income goals? (And how can I get there?)

You may even want to work with a business coach, like I do, to constantly keep you on your toes and pushing your boundaries.


One of your tasks ahead is to create an author business plan.

From there it comes down to how willing you are to face your inner demons.

It’s not easy to learn how to sell or get clients, but like any skill, you can learn it.

Most people aren’t willing to put in the work.

They aren’t willing to build a platform or get freelance clients.

You don’t have to do everything right this very moment. You can start small. You can get your first client this week.

But whatever you do, do something.

Start somewhere.

That’s how you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.


About the author:

Henri Junttila is a freelance writer and the founder of Wake Up Cloud, where he helps people turn their passion into a thriving online business. If you’re interested in learning more, grab his free special report.

Image: Couple by Bigstock

About the author

Henri Junttila

Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where you can get his free course: Find Your Passion in 5 Days or Less. And if you liked this article, you will enjoy one of his top articles: 11 Ways to Eliminate Writer's Block When Nothing Else Works.