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Hi James, when I was your age I used to frequent the surf with my friends in the seventies in our spare time so I understand your attraction to it.

However, I would urge you to do some sort of part-time study if you don’t want to return to school. You need to learn more about journalism, business principles, marketing and more. There are many sources to study from with short courses. Some of them can be done online.

Then you need confidence with the right amount of facts and examples to approach the business advertisers you require. They need to see what they would get for their investments. You have to show ‘what’s in it for them’.

You need to be prepared and have a media kit to give potential advertisers – included with an order form/contract and payment details. Having a PayPal account for accepting credit card payments is also a good idea. Details of whether the ads are to be provided already prepared as print ready and/or if you offer to make them up, etc. etc

There will obviously be a lot of sales and chasing up involved too and to make print deadlines.

You will need some sort of collateral and investment monies. Also, register for an ABN and other business requirements and get a good accountant.

Thinking it all through and being thoroughly prepared will help you no end.
Leela from Business Writers Anonymous recommends we always have a prepared script in selling to get results. Practise, practise.

See more at the business section of ATO
http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/default.asp?menu=43539

A start for some various courses or self training is suggested below.
It’s about preparing for the future so you can enjoy today.

eg Sydney Writers Centre http://www.sydneywriterscentre.com.au/
UTS has a course on photo journalism
http://www.acij.uts.edu.au/shortcourses/photojournalism.html

This site is also worth reading through http://www.businesswritersanonymous.com.au

And I have info for designers/students and those wishing to go freelance at http://www.unicorngraphics.com.au/Unicorn-Students/index.html

Best wishes, Karen