Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 101 Tips and Tutorials to Write Like a Pro - August 17, 2017
- How to Find a Technical Writing Job – Some Ideas and Resources - August 9, 2017
- BOOK REVIEW: “Design for How People Learn” by Julie Dirksen - July 10, 2017
© 2009 Ugur Akinci
Things are still rough out there. as these lines are written in October 2009
“It Will Be Years Before Lost Jobs Return — and Many Never Will” screams the Wall Street Journal headline (October 5, 2009).
7.2 million jobs are lost since the onset of recession in December 2007. And we haven’t seen the end of it.
That concerns us writers directly since it’s getting harder and harder to find jobs that pay well.
Everyday I read yet another writing venue shutting down; another potential source of writing income going down the drain…
The plight of newspapers is well-known. Rocky Mountain News of Denver closed down this year and sent shivers through the spine of the newspaper sector. Venerable newspapers like 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer and 140-year-old Tucson Citizen are trying their best to stay afloat.
Major magazines like Time (-17.57%) Playboy (-10.04%), Reader’s Digest (-7.64%), National Enquirer (-15.25%) and Good Housekeeping (-20.71%) have lost circulation.
The Condé Nast publishing group closed down FOUR magazines in one day (October 6, 2009): the 68-year old Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride.
And if you have checked the job bidding sites lately I’m sure you have noticed hundreds and thousands of writers from all around the world competing for jobs that pay only $25 or $50. It’s like a joke, except it ain’t funny.
Why am I saying all this?
This is why — I believe 100% that this is also the time that we as writers should immediately start building our own Information Marketing businesses. And I wouldn’t have said it if I weren’t doing it myself.
The economy will continue to get worse before it gets any better. That’s why those writers who insist on waiting for things “to get better” and for “good-paying jobs” to become “available” again are setting themselves up for a lot of disappointment, heart ache, and sleepless nights, in my personal opinion. Right now is the perfect time to start up your own Information Marketing business since the “opportunity cost” of doing so has never been this low for quiet a while.
“What the heck is opportunity cost?” you may ask…
Simple. It is the cost of missing out on Y while busy doing X.
If writing jobs were plenty and you could just reach out and grab a $1,000 gig here and a $5,000 assignment there, setting up your own business (which requires some study, effort, determination, and capital) would mean missing out on easy-dollars available out there. That would be a scenario in which the “opportunity cost” of creating your own thing would be high indeed.
But now?… What’s the alternative? Checking out your e-mail every five minutes and waiting for your cell phone to ring? Or dealing with those cheapskates that pretend to hire you but never pay you anyways?
In a recession like this we writers have less to lose than before by establishing our own information marketing business. That’s what I think. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars to be made potentially in Information Marketing, although individual results can never be guaranteed and it all depends on personal effort and commitment.
There are writers like Bob Bly (a chemical engineer by training who started out as a technical writer) consistently making over $500,000 a year. It’s all part of the public record. Other information marketers like Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Seth Godin, Rich Schefren, Jay Abrams, Michael Masterson consistently pull in even more than that year after year, basically doing nothing different than what you and I are doing whole day long — writing!
So what’s their secret? The SYSTEM. They’ve got a system in place and a step-by-step plan to get you from one income level to another. And all of us can learn it by starting from modest and humble beginnings while keeping our day-time jobs (if we still have one).
I personally believe that the time is ripe to deepen and expand my information marketing efforts. By sharing timely, correct, and useful information with all those who need it, I feel I’m not only building a sound future for myself and my family but providing an indispensable public service as well.
If you also feel that way as a writer, if you feel that there has to be a way for you — even in this bad economy — to make a decent living while doing what you love to do most in life (writing!), I’d say you are on the right track. Just keep exploring the possibilities and one day you may ask yourself why you hadn’t done so years and years earlier.
As Charles Dickens wrote in the immortal opening paragraph of his Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
So is our time and so is our predicament. Our life is what we make of it and there has never been a better time (and lower “opportunity cost”) for us writers to develop our own second business — information marketing. I honestly believe that.
I wish you all good luck in your efforts to control your own destiny as writers, even when the economy is hurting.
Here is an affiliate product (that I’ve purchased with my own money) that I’ve found to be very useful in cutting down the learning curve on setting up your own Information Marketing business: