Five Ways to Boost your Holiday Income By Debbie Swanson

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As a writer, consider yourself lucky come the holiday season. With a little creative thinking, you can offer some unique twists on your usual writing services to pad your pocket just in time for the upcoming shopping frenzy.

Here are five ways to have fun with your writing and bring in a little holiday cash:

Ghostwrite Family Holiday Letters: A line in a sitcom left me with a great idea. A busy Mom shut down her computer and wearily stated, “The first tradition of the holiday season – postponing the writing of the annual holiday letter.” Many families enjoy sending a traditional letter of holiday greetings, sharing news and anecdotes of the family’s past year. But at the same time, many families dislike actually sitting down and writing the letter. That’s where you step in. Offer to write the letter (after a meeting to gather the relevant facts), or, provide ‘ghostwriting’ services, where you edit and polish their draft.

Boost Local Business: A fun, festive flyer or holiday newsletter is a great way for small-town stores or businesses to stay in touch with their clientele. Approach some local establishments with ideas. Stores can feature their upcoming specials, unique products, or customer appreciation nights. Businesses can provide seasonal advice. For example, garden shops can share tips on winter yard care or a hairstylist might offer specials to liven up winter doldrums. Offer to provide a paper flyer and/or content for their website.

Santa Letters: What child doesn’t love the magic of getting a personal letter from the big guy? Help Santa offload some work by offering to pen personalized Santa letters. If you have young children, word of mouth may get you started. Otherwise, advertise in your local paper. Pull out all the stops by using festive stationary, use the child’s name and a few personal facts (i.e. “Great job learning to read this year, Sarah!”), and throw in some stickers or a sprinkle of glitter. Another approach: team up with a local charity or youth organization, and let them promote your services and work out a split of the profits.

Query Your Local Paper: Budget cuts have left many small newspapers hungry for content. Approach them with some holiday-themed articles: interview local families at your town’s tree trimming ceremony, feature a scout troop’s charitable efforts, or pen a human interest piece on holiday trends. If you’re consumer-minded, propose articles of holiday shopping advice: popular books, must-have gifts for teens, or items for foodies. If you can provide high-quality photographs, even better.

Offer to Guest-Blog: The holiday season leaves everyone with too much to do and authors of regular blogs are no exception. Approach some of your favorite bloggers and offer to write a guest post during the busy season. Propose some topics, assure them you’ll follow their usual voice and standards, and tempt them with a much-needed break!

Once you start thinking about writing and how to apply it to the holidays, you’ll probably come up with other ways to make some extra holiday cash. Back up your great ideas with a good sales pitch and reasonable rates, and you just may add a new annual service to your offerings!

Debbie Swanson has been published in many national magazines, and writes about topics such as animals, writing, and real estate. Her work has appeared in Highlights, Dog Fancy, The Writer, and more. Visit her web site at http://www.swansonwriting.com.