This is a very lucrative business, and it's growing in demand and popularity. There are thousands of people in all parts of the world who are making hundreds of dollars each week, just reading and clipping news items in the privacy of their own homes!
The press-clipping business is very much misunderstood by most people, and therefore there are a lot of people who are very sceptical about it as a way for ordinary people to make extra money at home. If you explain to friends or neighbours that you operate a press clipping business, most of them will think you pore through the obituaries, funeral notices, and wedding announcements. Clipping these out and sending them to the people or relatives of the people being written about.
In reality, this is but a very small part of the home-based newspaper clipping service. The really successful press clipping services have contracts with companies and organizations that want to keep current on any number of matters reported in the papers.
Some companies hire clipping services in order to keep track of what their competitors are doing. Other companies, including businesses of all kinds, use clipping services as a means of locating sales leads and new customers. National magazines and newspapers are always in need of different or interesting material, and frequently employ home-based clipping services.
To set yourself up in this kind of business, you'll need only a pair of scissors and as many different newspapers and magazines as you can subscribe to. A visit to your local library should be most informative relative to newspapers and magazines available to subscribers.
You should also visit your local wholesale paper house, or make a deal with your local stationery store to buy labels at a discount price. You'll want to attach these labels to the top of each clipping you send to your clients. On these labels, you'll want to print the name of the publication the clipping came from, and the date it appeared, as well as your own name and address.
The next step is simply to start clipping articles that mention or talk about specific companies or people. File your clippings in envelopes or boxes according to industries or types of businesses, by company name, and according to the names of the people mentioned.
Once you have ten or more clippings that talk about a particular company or person, put them in an envelope and send them to that company's owner or public relations director. You should include a short note with the clippings, explaining your service and your fee.
You should try to get your clients to agree to pay you a monthly "reader's fee," for which you agree to look for anything in the newspaper about him or his company or industry. Every time you spot such an article, you of course clip it and send it to him. A minimum monthly "reader's fee" is usually about $25, but it can vary according to the number of publications you read, and the number of clipping found.
Generally, a clipping service that scans state-wide publications will charge about $50 per client, or $100 per client for those wanting clippings from national publications. These fees, of course, are monthly fees, and you can easily see how you could make some very good money with just 20 to 25 clients.
To promote and build your business, you can scan your local business services directory and send out a solicitation letter to each of those listed. A couple of days after you've posted your sales letter; you should follow up with a phone call.
A short, to-the-point ad under "Business Personals" in your daily newspaper will also bring in new clients for you. And as soon as you can afford it, go with at least a small display ad in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.
You should definitely contact the public relations firms, advertising agencies, and civic organizations in your area. Explain your services and ask them if they have any special clients or needs you can help them with. You'll find many of your local political and "cause" groups very interested in receiving clippings about their opponents.
Clipping services in one form or another have been around since the advent of the printing press, and as stated earlier, they're becoming more in demand. It's definitely the kind of business anyone who knows how to read can set up and operate with an absolute minimum investment.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.