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Freelance Writer

Live by the pen as a freelance writer.

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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.

Media & Publishing

Restaurant Placemats

Put designing capabilities to use on restaurant placemats.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Restaurant Placemats

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

Like restaurant menus, many restaurantowners are more than happy to have community businesses featured ontheir table placemats in exchange for receiving the placemats for free.Here is how the business works.

Assume that a busy 50-seat restaurantwould use 200 paper placemats each day or approximately 6,000 permonth, and the cost to print 6,000 black and white placemats on colorpaper would be around 10 cents each, or a total of $600.

Furthermore,the placemats would feature 16 business card-sized displayadvertisements around the outside of the placemat, while the inside ofthe placemat would feature trivia questions. Charging local merchants amere 1.5 cents per advertisement, per placemat would generate totalsales of $1,440 per restaurant each month, or a gross profit of $840.Now times that by ten restaurants, and you would have a great littleadvertising business generating sales in excess of $100,000 per year.

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Media & Publishing

Press Release Service

With up to 700,000 businesses being started each year, a press release service is in high demand.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Press Release Service

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

More than 700,000 new businesses are startedeach year in the United States. This fact creates and incredibleopportunity for the innovative entrepreneur to capitalize by starting apress release service. A press release is simply a document thatincludes information about a new business enterprise or newsworthyinformation about an existing business, including expansion plans, newsales contracts, etc.

A press release basically serves two purposes.The first is to inform the general public is new or established. Thesecond purpose of a press key to success in this type of writingservice is to establish and maintain an excellent contact base withinthe media. Beyond your press writing abilities, business owners willpay top dollar to get their business information into the hands of aservice that can get a press release printed, seen, talked about, andheard.

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Media & Publishing

Self Publishing Consultant

Know the secrets to self publishing? Help those who want to succeed too.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Self Publishing Consultant

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Here is your opportunity to help people fulfill their dreams ofbecoming published writers by starting a self-publishing consultingbusiness. Offer your clients numerous services in both print andelectronic formats for nonfiction and fiction books, journals, andshort stories, including proofreading, editing, printing, marketing,and distributing their projects.

Potential clients are not limited topeople who want to write the next Great American Novel, but alsoinclude trainers wanting to write and publish books to use as trainingaids; activists (political, environmental, or any other kind) wantingto write a book to help raise awareness of their causes; corporationswanting to produce a book for customers telling the history of theirbusiness, products, services, and employees; and people wanting towrite books about their family histories or life experiences to give tofriends and family members as gifts. Advertise your services in onlinewriting portals and magazines, join writing associations and groups tonetwork for business, and build alliances with copywriters, bookprinters, editors, and illustrators to capitalize on word-of-mouthreferrals.

The Market

Would-be novelists, people who host training seminars, corporations,and individuals who want to chronicle events in their lives.

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