Given that you have a product (your writing, your teaching skills, or both), and that your goal is to sell it, your must figure out how to do that. Any business, writing included, demands TIME and requires MONEY. But how do you allocate each?
There are three things that impact your TIME and MONEY : production, marketing, and administration. When you first start writing, you put all of your time into production. You keep your costs to a minimum (computer and internet provider) and, hopefully, you put some money aside. (Helpful hint: Start a savings account NOW.) When your product is ready, or near ready, the pendulum must swing away from all-production-all-the-time.
Frustrating? Oh yes! How can you be a great writer if you must steal valuable time from your craft? Last year, when I decided to learn the business of writing, there were days when frustration was spilling from my core. But the reality of business mandated that I learn so I got started and now? I am coming to terms with production, marketing, and administration.
There are varying ways of dividing these into categories. What follows are my choices…
PRODUCTION: Writing, Publishing, Editing, Courses, Webinars, Contests, Research
MARKETING: Market Research, Memberships, Website Costs, Social Media, Travel, (whatever I do with the specific aim of selling my writing and/or my teaching skills)
My TIME: I keep track of my work and try to divide my time as follows: 30% Production, 65% Sales/Marketing, 5% Administration. This is flexible and will change with my needs.
My MONEY: I have set a budget for 2013 and divided it equally—33% each on Production, Marketing, and Administration. My goal for this year is to break even. That means frugality… but that’s another reality byte, another blog post…