Saturday, July 08, 2006

Career As A Poet?

First of all the fact that you have been able to get customers for what you love to do (which was designing special occassion greeting cards) just shows that making a living at it is possible!

You have received many great replies and you should take them to heart!  Get your website up!  The one good thing about having a website is that you will be reaching a LOT more potential customers.  Yes you will have to build your website up and the way to do that is to identify your target market - which is who would be most likely to buy your products and then you go where they "hang out" and let them know that you are in business.  Do you know the old saying about looking for a job will be your job until you get a/the job?  The same thing will apply to you as well.  It's not enough to put up a website and expect people to come.  You have to work on your website to get people to come to it.  You have to remember that people will find sites when they go to search engines.  You want to be in the list of links that the search engines provide - its call SEO for search engine optimization - which simply means that you target your website to get the highest search engine ranking as possible.  This is something that also requires work but the more you do it the more better you get at it!

A while back someone posted (on another message board) about how dis-heartened they were because they wanted to start an on-line astrology business but they were becoming frustrated because either they got people that wanted free readings or they didn't get any inquiries at all.  When they posted their frustration to the board almost every reply was for her to "give it up".  Now I knew better than that but just to be sure I emailed a couple of on-line astrologers who were making a living doing the same thing that this person wanted to do and one of the replies that I got back was from an on-line astrologer who said the reason why she was making money on-line was because she had to "make it work" and that is exactly the same thing that you have to decide as well!

If this is something that you love to do/have a passion for then it will show in your work and people (as well as potential customers will see that) and besides getting more customers more options will become available to you.  There are syndicated poetry columns out there and you could be one of them.  You might even be asked to write a book or you could publish your own book!  You may get advertisers if you start some type of poetry site/newsletter kind of thing - income-making avenues will start to open up for you that you probably had never thought of.

Since you have experience with children you should also try to turn that into some type of tutor/counseling kind of thing - something which you could also do online.  There are many others who are doing this exact same thing online now and it would behoove you to check some of them out if for no other reason than to see that others are doing what it is you want to do and they are doing it successfully (and profitably) as well.

There are so many resources that you have available to you and I'm thinking mostly of your computer.  Now you said that you have created using your computer using clip-art and the like and I'm glad to see that you are using what your computer has to offer because a lot of people that want to start their own business don't.  But along with your computer you have Internet access which opens up the world to you!  Have you considered all the poetry competitions out there?  I'm not talking about the ones where you have to pay a fee but there are those where you don't have to pay a fee.  There are grants for poetry, competitions for poetry and there is even a handbook for writers which you should purchase because it has a list of what publications are seeking poetry and what their submission requirements are.  I'm sure that that is one resource that you didn't think of.  Have you considered songwriting?  That's poetry too!  I'm currently reading Patti Davis's biography and one of the things that she mentions in her book is the fact that since she wrote a song that appears on one of the Eagles albums she is still receiving royalty checks on that one song she wrote! What about giving speeches, seminars, poetry writing classes - things that you can also do online?

This brings up another aspect and that is copyrights!  You have to learn more about them!  Do you know how strong the need is for good songwriters is?  People pay good money for good songwriters and I'm sure that you have heard songs that kind of relate to the kind of poetry you write.

One last thing - the business aspect of running a/your business.  No matter how much you don't like or know about this aspect - you had better learn!  Even if you hire someone to do this aspect of your business you will want to know enough not to get taken!  How many celebrities or even other people have you read or heard about who have gotten taken by the very people they hired to take care of their business.  You're also may not be aware of the fact that there are a lot of deductions that business owners can take on their taxes - like supplies, equipement (including computers, etc.,)

I will end this very long post by saying that you have gotten a lot of great replies and you should take them to heart!

If you don't think you can't make a lot of money being a poet just look at Maya Angelou(sp?) or even Bob Dylan!

Remember no matter what it is that you want to make a career out of someone is already doing it or doing something similar to it and has become very successful at it.

Make your business fun!

The saying is true.  You are only as limited as you think you are!

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