Have you ever thought you could become a professional writer? Maybe you have come up with a great new therapy technique. Or you have found some things that really help your clients? Or you specialize in an area that people want to know more about? Whatever your topic is, you may be able to get published if you have something people want to hear more about.

Write What You Know

Professional writing can be a great way to add extra revenue to your practice. You may not think you are a writer but you would be surprised at what you are capable of. Therapists are knowledgeable about many topics that people like to read about. Whatever you’re specialty, there is something to write about.

If you work with children, you can write parenting tips. If your specialty is depression, you can write about ways to improve self-esteem and tips for happiness. You just have to think about a topic you know the most about and start writing.

Start Blogging

Once you have written a few articles, you may want to publish them on a blog. Blogging can be a first step to becoming a professional writer. You can start a blog for free on WordPress.com or Blogger.com.

Blogging can be a great way to practice writing. Every skill gets better with practice and blogging is no different. Practicing will give you a chance to hone your skill. You can learn what works and doesn’t work for you. You can try different styles of writing and see what people respond to. You will know if your writing is getting people’s attention because you will start getting some comments. Conversing with people who leave you comments will help you learn more about what people want to read. It will also help you build connections in the blogging community which can go a long way in helping your blog grow.

Submit Your Articles to Websites

After you practice for a while on your own blog, it’s time to submit your articles to websites. You may not get paid much in the beginning and you may even want to offer your articles for free. But the idea is to get your name out there. You want people to notice you and see that you have something to write about that people want to read.

Yahoo takes article submissions through the Yahoo Contributor Network. They pay a small amount of money but you get great exposure. eHow is another great site to submit articles to. You can submit your articles to eHow through Demand Studios. Another site to submit articles to is ezine articles. This site can get you traffic to your blog or website. There are literally hundreds of websites that take article submissions. They may not all pay but they will get you traffic to your site and establish you as an expert on a particular topic.

Another way to submit articles to websites is to research sites that have content that is similar to what you write. Once you have a list of sites, start contacting them about writing for their site. Websites always need quality content and lots of them are willing to pay for it. Look for a link for submitting articles on a site you would like to write for. If there isn’t a link, try the “contact us” form. You may have to try many of these websites before you hear back but the one that replies may pay you to write content.

If you want to write articles for magazines or newspapers, research the magazine or newspaper and find out what kind of articles they generally publish. Only submit your articles to the publications who are a good fit with what you write.

You may have to do some research to find out who or where to submit your article. Try the publication’s website. They often have a link for submitting articles. Many big publications have submission guidelines. Follow the guidelines closely. You don’t want to get rejected just because you didn’t submit it properly. They may want you to submit your idea and why you are the person to write it. Let them know your credentials and why you are an expert in that area. You need also need to know what they will do with your submitted article. Check to see if they pay for submissions or if they have rights to republish any material you submit.

If you want to write books, you need to find a literary agent. Today’s publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. The Writer’s Market has a database of thousands of publishers and literary agents that you can access with a subscription. They also publish an annual book.

Send your idea to a literary agent by writing a query letter. A query letter is a formal proposal for a writing idea. You can find lots of templates online for how to write a query letter. The literary agent may have submission guidelines that you can follow too. If they have submission guidelines, make sure you follow them exactly. You don’t want to be denied based on a technicality.

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Get Noticed

I know it’s a lot of work but the more you write and get published, the more opportunities that will open up for you. I began writing on a blog. I was looking for sites to submit articles and came across an addiction treatment referral website that was looking for experts to answer questions for their users. It didn’t pay anything but you got a profile page with your contact information. I answered a few questions and was soon asked to write paid articles. You just never know what will lead to a paying writing job.