How to Start a Writing Company (& Scale Sustainably)

Writers and creators: companies desperately need help with their content.

In fact, 50% of companies outsource content writing!

This is a big deal for writers — there’s a lot of money on the table. Meaning learning how to start a writing company can truly be a path to skyrocketing your income (while stepping away more).

I’m seeing this firsthand as a mentor to passion-fueled entrepreneurs, and I’ve even experienced it myself.

I started from absolutely nothing when I began freelance writing at 19…

…I had dropped out of college and was living inside my father’s cult (true story).

I took $75 and in 10 years grew my own successful content writing company to a team of 80+.

We served 5,000+ clients and completed 40,000+ content projects.

Then in the fall of 2021, I made a successful exit from my writing company for a 13,000x ROI (by age 30).

Yep, that was a writing biz.  ☝️

And you can start and scale your own company, too (yes… even from home).

Let’s take a deep dive into how to start a writing company that lasts.

A quick warning though: Not everyone is cut out to run a business.

If you want to be a one-man-show for the rest of your career, this guide may not be for you.

Because we’ll be talking about creating a writing company and scaling your brand with a small (but mighty) core team 💪. This is how I’ve succeeded, so I’m deeply passionate about teaching it.

Ready to level up your writing career to a place that actually builds toward your dream life every single day?

It’s possible and completely within your reach — especially right now.

how to start a writing company

What Does a Content Writing Company Do?

The opportunity to start a writing company is huge right now. So, what is a writing agency?

It’s a business that provides content types that grows your business online.

Most content writing companies offer content-based digital marketing services (they make content for your website and digital campaigns, in a nutshell 🥜).

For example, Express Writers, the writing company I built and sold for $1M+, offers 40+ services (on top of SEO blog writing for small businesses — one of the most popular services content writing companies provide).

On top of blog writing and what’s pictured above, there are so many content writing business ideas out there. And with the data behind the growth in content marketing — you’ll want to make today the time you do it.

Why NOW Is The Time to Learn How to Start a Writing Company (That Grows Without Breaking)

There has never been a better time to start (or scale) your writing business. As someone who started my writing company way back in 2011, it’s simply mind-boggling to witness this growth as I study the content trends of 2022.

I’m seeing the data about how much money is pouring into content marketing and it’s staggering (and SO exciting for anyone wishing to be a Content Hacker).

Savvy copywriters like you are seeing this still insanely untapped well as an opportunity to make amazing money and create a lasting impact — and I’m in 100% agreement that the moment to get in on this is now.

By the way, I explain everything you need to know about growing (or scaling) your own writing business without breaking in my free training. It covers every single aspect, from mindset to delegating to strategy. Watch now.

1. The Need for Writers Is Skyrocketing

The content marketing industry is on fire.

This industry is worth over $400 billion. It’s projected to grow by an additional $269 billion by 2024, making content marketing’s expected worth an astonishing $600 billion.

That’s a mind-blowing amount of cash. Where’s it going?

To writers (the people who can create good content).

This means there’s never been a better time to make money from your writing online.

And if you actually want to start a business that taps into this, the possibilities are incredibly thrilling. Especially since ZipRecruiter clocks the average content writer salary at around $50K per year. Instead, you could focus on expanding into a writing company, and you’ll FLY above that figure.

This can absolutely be a clear-cut path to build wealth and create a life of your choosing. One where you can step away to focus on your family, your passions, and the trajectory of your writing company.

The path is based on a simple (but revolutionary) concept — hiring, delegating, and automating.

2. Collaboration Tools Have Never Been Better

The growth of the content marketing industry has helped create a ton of efficient and fantastic content marketing tools. There are two I personally use that I know can get you up and running seamlessly —Airtable and ClickUp.

Airtable

I use (and love) Airtable for content planning. This powerful and customizable software helps me:

  1. Maintain my content calendar
  2. Track content ideas and keywords
  3. Monitor which phase of creation posts are in
  4. Manage team member assignments, workflows, and billable hours 💥

I use this software constantly, and on more than one of my websites. Here’s an example of Airtable in action on the Content Hacker editorial calendar:

airtable example

And, pssst… best of all, you can set up your own content calendar for free.

wow

Airtable offers a robust free version that works great for many business creators and offers a bunch of great templates for managing your content. But I usually recommend that my students opt for at least the $10/month paid plan if they can — it includes more storage space and relevant features.

ClickUp

Another secret weapon I use to effectively grow and manage my team is ClickUp.

And I’m not alone… it’s growing like crazy because it works, so businesses everywhere adore this work productivity software. (Catch their Super Bowl ad or read about the $400M funding investment 🤯 in 2021.)

I get the hype. ClickUp’s truly my BFF when it comes to delegation and project management. I love that it:

  1. Offers a great free version
  2. Is super easy to use
  3. Lets me track tasks for ALL the people on my team (writers, editors, customer support, etc.)

You can (and should) use ClickUp to completely systemize your operation — letting you create a writing company that nearly runs on autopilot. ‍✈️

2. Automation Creates Simple & Repeatable Processes

To grow your brand to new heights (and protect yourself from burning out) you absolutely need to automate.

Good news! Once you’re using the software listed above, you’ll already be on your way to automating simple processes.

Automations are so powerful, I provide in-depth breakdowns of how, when, and why to use them in Phase 3, Growth, of my five-phase Content Transformation System.

content transformation system wheel

Automation is the magic that lets you build a business that “sells while you sleep.”

You’ll just need to get your systems and processes in place (through building a strategy) — then you’ll be ready to soar. 🦅

3. You CAN Build a Rock Star Team

When you’ve been writing solo on your own for years, it may feel intense to think about “having a team.” But it’s what you’ll need to do to scale, plus it’s incredibly rewarding and fun (with the right people, which I cover in my course + provide my exact job listing template that gets my rock star applicants).

Freelancing is only getting bigger. Upwork processed $2.1 billion payments for freelancers in 2019 — up a shocking 21% from the previous year.

how to start a writing company

You’ve been a writer for a while, so it’s time to truly tap into this skyrocketing growth! It’s simpler than ever before to grow your writing company like wildfire by hiring contractors who can help you with:

  1. Content writing
  2. Video production
  3. Website design & updates
  4. Accounting
  5. Graphic design

…and more.

4. A Proven System Exists to Build Your Writing Company

You can now get help from a mentor who has been there, done that. This is going to be key to avoiding burnout when learning how to start a writing company on your own.

I did it. And it worked so well, I decided to upload everything I knew and package it into a transformative system you can follow step by step. This is the coaching program I wish existed when I started.

I know first-hand that building a writing company isn’t easy. And without guidance, you can get totally overwhelmed and stuck.  But investing in the right skills, systems, and strategies to do this, you can skip right over all the torturous research and trial-and-error (+ avoid burning out and never getting this thing off the ground).

For example, one of our coaching students, Lorraine, who runs the company Crafty Writing, struggled to hire a team for years.

After enrolling in my coaching program, she quickly broke through some huge blockades — and she finally got her amazing team hired and working on her writing company.

lorraine writing company

And there’s Sharon, who started the writing company Textshop.

She used the proven methodology I teach in my coaching program to get more clients fast — her secret? We showed her exactly what to do to build more traffic to her site and services (she ranked #1 in Google search within just one week using our techniques).

sharon writing company

These students are living, breathing proof that solo writers can absolutely transform into successful content writing company owners through our program.

They show that getting help from someone who’s been in your exact shoes can turbocharge the speed of your success 🏎️.

And the roadmap to that success is inside this already-established program — you just have to be ready to dig in and do this, for real.

serious business owner map

If you want more freedom, revenue, and impact — now’s a fantastic time to start a writing company. Here’s how.

How to Start a Writing Company (Step By Step)

Ready to break out of the grind of having to write more and more to make more money?

You’ve buried that entrepreneurial fire inside of you long enough. 🔥 It’s time to finally step into a boss mindset and start a writing company you can scale for massive revenue.

Step #1: Build Your Skills

You’re a talented writer. But can you write for an online audience?

If you want to build a writing company and learn how to get clients for content writing gigs, you need to first learn how to become a content marketing writer (if you haven’t already).

If you aren’t a good content writer, you can’t lead a content-based team and company. 🤷

That means you need to build the skill by learning and practicing it. I was a freelance writer for a solid year before Express Writers even happened.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Check out this content marketing quiz and see how you do!

free training

Step #2: Create Your Writing Company’s Strategy

You’ll need complete clarity in your business if you want it to grow like crazy. Already have experience making a freelance writing business plan? Wonderful — those skills will pay off big-time now that you’re learning how to start your own business as a writer.

Next up, build the strategy that drives your own marketing. To do this, you’ll have to answer key questions, first, like:

  1. Who’s your target audience and ideal business persona?
  2. How are you going to build your brand?
  3. What’s your brand’s name?
  4. What niche will you serve?

These are all important — and niching down is crucial. I talk about this inside this video. ↓

Step #3: Grow Through Your Team + Systems

Extreme growth for your writing business is going to come from your team and  systems. This is the key to growing your writing business without breaking, my friends. You simply can’t do it alone.

Once you hire your own content writer, you can use the automation and repeatable systems you’ve built for a streamlined process that frees you up for more growth. And as you bring on more people, you’ll be amazed how easy it becomes to manage a team and scale your writing company.

But here’s some heartfelt truth:

Systems are crucial, but your people are more important. With this in mind, you want to keep your people-based systems simple.

People > systems, always and forever. 💖

I deeply believe you should put your people first in everything you do, and you can do this by:

  1. Taking things slow: Don’t hire too quickly. I’ve found team members that bring happy tears to my eyes by focusing on training/mentoring the right (amazing) people over rushing to fill a role and settling.
  2. Keep systems simple: Don’t over-automate and remember that less is more here. Your leads, customers, and team will feel it if there’s little human touch inside your processes. Plus, simple systems keep things lightweight so you can pivot and make quick changes as needed.

Need help getting your business rolling quickly? Check out my 1-hour workshop on Agency Business Setup Training for New Entrepreneurs. For a low fee, you’ll learn the beginning stages of getting up and running, including building brand core values, setting profit margins, a plan for setting pay rates, and more. Enroll here.

agency workshop

Real talk: I’ve found when creative entrepreneurs are learning how to build a writing company, they struggle with this stage the most. Writers don’t always immediately connect with terms like “entrepreneur” (and you may have never considered hiring anyone).

That doesn’t mean you can’t do this. I’m seeing it happen with my students. (And I’m proud of you for even considering this. Bootstrapping your own writing biz is SO admirable/exciting.)

If you struggle in this and think you’d thrive with direct, hands-on help from a mentor, you can access this within my business coaching system (enrolling now).

You’ll need a crystal-clear route if you want to truly grow it to exciting heights.

Access a Proven Pathway for Starting Your Writing Company

If you’ve been researching how to start a writing company, know I’m over here in my home office slow clapping for you. 👏 👏 👏

Because this is THE time to start a writing company, and you don’t have to do this alone. I’m now coaching entrepreneurs on how to start a sustainable content-based business.

There are many different business coaches out there, but this program is the first of its kind. I will give you the exact skills, strategies, and proven systems and methodology I used to build a successful content writing company that grossed $5M+ in revenue. You’ll quickly realize within this program that this reality is available to you as well. You can apply to The Content Transformation System here.

If you want to be shown how to create a content writing company from someone who went from a freelance writer to actually building, scaling, and selling a prosperous content writing company, this is the system for you. I’d love to show you the way. 😊

content transformation system

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.