This is the transcript of a lecture I delivered to members of Law Ethics and Practice (LEAP) International on WhatsApp, one of it’s social media channels and I have their permission to have it reproduced and republished here.
The purpose of this entrepreneurship lecture is to teach young lawyers entrepreneurship activities they could engage in with little or no capital while not straying from the law environment. The things I will teach are things you can start up with very minimal or even no cash, your phones, laptops, internet connections and law books and it does not interfere with your regular job.
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This Entrepreneurship course will be centered on writing, albeit commercial writing. A lawyer reads and writes all his life and thus the writing is an easier task for lawyers compared to other professionals.
There are many essay competitions on various law topics with mouth watering prizes. For instance, there is the Graham Turnbull essay contest organized annually by the Law Society of the United Kingdom. Entries are welcomed from everywhere. There are essay contests with prizes as high as $10,000.00 which you can enter for. I publish such essay contests on my blog. You can enter for essay contests both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria and win lots of money.
However winning essay competitions take time. I have been involved in about 5 competitions but the closest I came to winning was my work making it into the last 20 out of 200 entries but not making it into the last of 5. However I am still building on past experiences and my knowledge of the issues dealt in the essays is an advantage
WEB CONTENT WRITING
Another fast way of making money through writing is via web content writing. Many websites require writers to write contents for them. It could be law related websites or commercial websites. However you have to learn how to write for websites because websites are ranked according to keywords and phrases. So a commercial website must ensure its content contain such keywords to attract traffic and of course sales. If there are no sales, they can’t pay content writers.
There are many website that pay writers. However many set very high standards so I suggest you start with low paying websites (i.e. $5 per article websites) to groom your skills. You can write for bigger sites. It’s advised you take web content writing courses. I shall do a post on that in future. Another good way to master the art of content writing is having a blog. I shall discuss blogs next.
Blogs could be set up by purchasing a website or creating one within an existing website.
You can make money through blogging by selling either your products/services on your blog or for other people for a good commission. The products could be books or services like online courses and lectures (I am working on a blogging course that will run on my blog).
Referring customers to buy a product/service from another entity for a commission is called affiliate marketing. For instance I help my web hosting company sell websites through a unique referral link on my blog and make a handsome commission for every successful referral I make.
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There are other sites that you could sell their products and services in this manner. You could sell for Jumia, Konga, Amazon etc. Affiliate marketing can earn a newbie at least $50 per month and with improvement, your income could quadruple.
However to be a successful blogger, you must have a passion for writing and patience. You have to run a blog for a minimum of 6 months to make big money from it. The intellectual investment and creativity is enormous but the rewards are worth it.
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Secondly you must choose a good writing niche. For instance I have a law blog dedicated to providing solutions to young lawyers. Therefore I have a large followership of lawyers and can reach them with certain products or services. That is great advert advantage. I forgot to tell you that building a huge following will make you the toast of advertisers and that is cool cash strolling into your account.
There are other legal niches one could blog on like intellectual property protection, taxation for SMEs, tenancy, human rights and legal support for SMEs etc. Writing on these niches for a long time makes you very knowledgeable overtime and could land you consultancy jobs too. You could put down your experience after sometime into an E-book and sell on your blog and via other online platforms.
So what are you waiting for? I have already prepared a simple step by step guide on how you can buy, set up and design your website in less than 20 minutes by yourself. It’s quite easy, my friend Boulevard recently bought, set up and designed his website www.boulevardlawtutors.com himself (you can verify) using my guide. Read it here. How to Set up a Website Hosted Blog in Less than 20 Minutes
Other areas you can blog on could even be areas that are non law related. It could be ICT, cuisines, fashion, makeovers, etc. That’s the good thing about blogging. You can be just any other thing through a blog while practicing your main profession without hassles.
E-BOOK WRITING & PUBLICATION
You can write a book, self publish and sell on online bookstores like Amazon and google or even on different blogs. If you have manuscripts of novels, plays or other books and don’t have money to publish, then do E-publication and sell
I can mail you guides on E-book writing but will advise you contact an expert E-book designer with your manuscript to proof read and design your e-book to a great standard.
EDITING LAW REPORTS
The final is editing law reports. You can edit law reports for electronic law report libraries or publishers. However the fees are usually not very encouraging. Some pay as low as N250 per law report edited. When I did law report editing for the first time, I worked on a 47 page ling case for N200. Well it was too small but I did I do a while to know the intricacies of law reports publications for future business prospects. So you can do it and the more law reports you edit, the more money you make and the more knowledge you get.
Entrepreneurship is currently the language of the world and this lecture serves as a peep into the wide and unending world of entrepreneurship for lawyers. You can adopt my suggestions or adapt them. Better still you can develop yours but above all have a side hustle.