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Freelance Writer

Live by the pen as a freelance writer.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Freelance Writer

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

If you’ve always wanted to pen articles for magazines or newspapers,then this is the business for you. As a freelance writer, you canspecialize in a particular industry or area of interest, or you canplay the field, writing about anything that catches your fancy. Thereare thousands of magazines devoted to more specialties than you canimagine.

You can also write for corporate publications aimed atemployees or customers and for the bounty of e-zines (electronicmagazines) that proliferate on the Internet. A terrific way to start isby writing about subjects in which you’re already an expert. Theadvantages to this business are that you get to exercise your creativetalents on a continuous basis, you can immerse yourself in whateversubjects interest you, dictate your own hours, and the job titlecarries a certain amount of glamour, especially if you’re writinginvestigative material.

As an added bonus, one of your articles may bepicked up by syndicated services that will pay you a fee for everynewspaper that carries your story. First and foremost, you’ll need thecreativity to pen interesting materials, but you’ll also need thetechnical skills to put your ideas and information into the properformat, including top-notch spelling, punctuation and grammar talents.You’ll also need an eye for the kinds of stories readers (and thereforeeditors) of your target publications will be interested in. You shouldalso have a flair for marketing your products, presenting themprofessionally but with enough pizzazz to make them sparkle among thescads of other hopefuls that weary, overworked editors receive on aregular basis.

The Market

Your customers will be the editors of your target publications. The wayto garner business is to send query letters that describe your storyidea and explain your qualifications for writing the piece. If you’vegot writing credentials from your present or previous job, be sure toinclude them. If not, you might explain why you have an expertise inthe area you’re writing about.

The query letter is the first test ofyour writing abilities, the one that will attract the editor’sattention, so make sure it shines. Once you establish relationshipswith editors, you can often call them with story ideas, and they’llsometimes call you with requests. But until then, you’ll need to sendwell-developed and enticing queries to a variety of publications–andkeep sending them.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer, a laser printer, a fax machine, and the usualoffice software. In addition, you’ll want plenty of reference books,including a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus and style guides.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Media & Publishing

Proofreader

Take your crusade against bad grammar and spelling to a career as a proofreader.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Proofreader

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The written word makes the world go round. It’s what businesses,associations and organizations of every description use to educatetheir target audiences, potential clients and existing customers.

Theproblem is that most people view any sort of writing assignment withthe sort of dread reserved for high school civics term papers, and ifthey do manage to crank out written material, their grammar andspelling may be less than perfect. We’ve all been to restaurants wherethere are glaring typos in the menus, or received brochures with myriadspelling mistakes. That’s where you come in. If you’re an all-star atspelling, punctuation and grammar, starting a business as a proofreadercould be the business for you.

You can proof direct-mail pieces, annualreports, product information pamphlets, press released, grantproposals, mail order catalogs, marketing materials, menus and more.The advantages to this business are that you’re always working onsomething different, each project gets wrapped up fairly quickly andthere’s no time for tedium.

The Market

Your clients can come from all walks of life, including businesses andnonprofit organizations.

Solicit projects by networking in professionaland trade organizations’especially in fields where you already haveexperience’and by asking for work and/or references from present orformer colleagues and employers. Establish relationships with graphicdesigners, public relations agencies, and printers who can refer theirclients to you.

Needed Equipment

All that’s really necessary is a computer, a laser printer and a faxmachine. You should also have a good word-processing software, and areference library including a heavy-duty dictionary, thesaurus,encyclopedia and style guides.

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Media & Publishing

Taxi Cab Publication

If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic during a cab ride, then you can probably see the appeal of an in-taxi publication to pass the time. You’ll have plenty of advertising clients who will also want to take advantage of this audience.

Entrepreneur

Published

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Business At A Glance

Taxi Cab Publication

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Starting a taxi cab publication will takesome clever negotiations skills to accomplish, but like any newbusiness venture the effort is generally rewarded financially for thedetermined entrepreneurs that take the initiative.

A taxi cabpublication is simply a daily or weekly two-page paper that isdistributed free of charge for taxi customers to enjoy during theirride. The paper can feature information about the local community, aswell as trivia and games. Revenues are earned by sellingdisplay-advertising space in the paper to local business owners andprofessionals.

Ideally, the business could be formed as a joint venturewith an established printer who can produce the newspaper, while youconcentrate on the marketing and sales aspects of the business. Onceestablished and proven successful, the business could easily beexpanded by a franchise or licensed-to-operate basis nationally.

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Media & Publishing

Puzzle and Game Books

Combine fun and local advertising by starting a puzzle and game book publication.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Puzzle and Game Books

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Here is a great home based desktoppublishing business to activate in any community. Sudoku, trivia,crossword puzzles and word search games are hot, and starting abusiness that creates puzzles and game books combined with couponsfeaturing discounts on products and services provided by localmerchants has the potential to make you rich.

The booklets could besold locally through participating retailers that have advertisementsand discount coupons featured in the book. Additionally, as a method todrive sales and interest in the game booklets, consider establishing analliance with a local charity, wherein a portion of the revenuesgenerated by book sales goes back to support community charity programs.

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