Adedoyin Jaiyesimi writes and edits books, manages blogs and creates content for websites. Through her coaching and training platform, The Sparkle Writers Hub, she is helping other writers achieve their writing dreams. So far, some of her trainees have moved on to start successful blogs while others have been able to gain access to platforms to showcase their work. Adedoyin fills SLA in on not just the excitement of writing, but what she is doing about it, for herself and other writers.
How can a writer turn her craft into a profitable business?
Turning your writing craft into a business starts with having a plan. What kind of writer do you want to be? What range of services do you want to offer? Do your research and find the niche you can excel in. There are people who stop at editing and proof-reading while others take it further by writing web copy and coaching other writers.
Once you identify the services you are able to offer, you should talk to an intellectual property lawyer to know the steps to take to protect the content you produce. You also need to think about how you will publicize yourself and your work in order to build your client base. Build the right structure and most importantly, get people to work with you. As you get more clients you will discover that you can’t do it all by yourself, especially if you want your business to grow.
What are the right principles to turn a small idea into a profitable business?
I would say the number one principle is passion. You need to be passionate about what you are doing otherwise, the business will fizzle out. Then there’s the part of creating value. For any business to be profitable there has to be some value that is being added. This is essentially the ‘why’ of your business and it goes beyond money. What need is the business meeting? How does it improve the lives of people?
One thing I have learnt over the years is the importance of building a brand and not just a business. You must be able to connect with your clients and deliver on your brand promise. This involves going the extra mile. It also involves making the choice to be excellent in your delivery of service and be innovative.
Have you faced any challenges that are unique to your trade as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Yes, I have. They are so many, to be honest. One of the challenges writers face is managing writer’s block. When I first started out, I was a lazy writer and I used to write only when I was inspired. You can’t run a profitable business as a writer if you only write when you are inspired. So I had to discipline myself and learn how to come up with creative content whether I am inspired or not. It was tough, but I’m glad I went through that process.
Another challenge I faced was putting the right price to the services that I offer. Something that I used to hear a lot when I started was, “Is it not just to edit the content on my website? Why are you charging this amount?” There is a way people tend to trivialize the writing process especially when you are able to deliver quickly. I did a lot of trial and error before I could find the price that I was comfortable with charging because there is no industry standard. Now, I have set prices for every service I offer.
I’ll add one more because like I said, they are many. Putting the right structures in my business was challenging. Creative people don’t like structure. We just go with the flow. This will hinder the growth of your business. So I had to take the time to put the right structures in place. I registered my business name, Content Craft, opened a business account, set up a proper accounting system and so on. It’s not perfect yet but we have a process for most of the operations we carry out.
Realistically, in what ways can an African woman live off writing?
There are many ways an African woman can live off writing. Like I tell the writers that I coach, you just need to be creative and be able to identify the gaps that exist. When I started out, what I knew how to do best was to write articles and edit magazines. Now my expertise has grown to creating and editing books, managing blogs, writing web/ social media copy and creating content for social media.
So the possibilities are endless. If you want to live off writing, you can become an editor, you can be a content creator, you can be a copywriter, you can write voice over scripts, you can write content for training materials and so on. As you improve your skill, you can also earn money from coaching other writers and organizing training sessions for businesses and individuals.
How do you help other writers achieve their dreams? Is it through mentorship or any other means?
I created a platform called The Sparkle Writers Hub and our main aim is to help everyone who has a desire to write to achieve their writing dreams. We work with all kinds of writers; the ones who have a nudging in their heart and those who have started writing but want to take their work to the next level. We offer a basic training program where we teach writers the basics of writing and how to attract readers. We also offer a more intensive coaching program where we work one on one with writers to achieve their goals. Since we started, some of our trainees have moved on to start successful blogs while others have been able to gain access to platforms to showcase their work.
What will be the name of your first book and what will it be about?
The million dollar question! This is a tough one for me. I have thought about my first book several times; the title, what it will be about and when I will actually write it. The truth is I’m not sure. There was a time I started writing a book with the title ‘Blue Haven’. The book was about the struggles I was going through at the time, finding myself after being ‘caged’ all my life. I didn’t get very far with the book because I lost the inspiration for it.
I do believe strongly that I will write a book about my journey of faith (which is what my blog is about). My journey in life hasn’t been a smooth one but what has kept me this far is God. He is my anchor. So I am definitely going to write about Him; His love, His wonders and my walk with Him. Hey, maybe I’ll call it ‘My Anchor’. Time will tell.
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