Are you in the writing business by choice?
If you answered Yes to that, then you must have consulted with those you consider experts, right? If you were to follow every great piece of advice that you have received till today, how would your life be?
Like me, you may be an avid reader; passionate about acquiring knowledge in writing. So you go about fishing all sort of information and end up with piles of awesome stuff, right?
How much of that information do you finally put into good use? Is there a book you have been reading, yet, you have not applied anything you got from it? Well, that should tell you something about yourself; you, like me are an awful time waster! (No apologies).
Your writing business will suffer because you have allowed these big bad habits. Get rid of them now!
No blog. No foundation. No Writing Business
Do you know of a freelance writer who does not own a blog? I do. (Hold that scream.)
You might think this is insane. Since I started training people how to do online jobs, I have come across the most stupid things on earth. People who believe that they can justify their writing careers without writing, exist! Let me make this clear right here; your blog is your shop, your writing business. That is where you send your clients to see your ‘merchandise’, and if they like it, they buy it.
If you are reading this and you still don’t have a free blog accessible online, I pray you are already own a custom blog. Google, WordPress, Winx among others, have a free shop for you.Well, I started in Google, now I’m here.
Indecision for direction while reading
What do you do with the information or ideas that you get while reading for leisure or researching?
Do you draft it for later use or let it hang around in the air a little longer?
Unless you are one of the millions of writers that never write, you should never let an idea hang in the air unused. Your writing business depends the habits that you form as you gather new information.
You should not bounce information in the air; note it down so that you can use it in your next article. Write the thoughts that surround the information and even where to apply it. Vow to yourself to rest it where it ought to go. Realize it came to you so that you can use it. So, decide and use it. The air is already too heavy with unused stuff anyway!
Fear to start writing
Getting into writing business may not have come to you with ease; that much I understand. (I’m not a saint at this either)
As long as you are a writer, putting together words to make a meaningful story is what you live for.
If that works today but fails tomorrow, will you stop writing? You see, stopping today, then tomorrow, then for another four days is what kills the writing vibe.
How do you overcome this fear?
What you need is to make a change that will lie to your brain that you are doing something else. Instead of typing in your computer, you could write. You could also move out of your locale; from a room to a local park. Scribble anything that comes to mind upon making the change.
Lazy researching a.k.a scan reading
Do you suffer from the Back button syndrome?
Recently, I found out that I scan through websites and messages alike. This means that I DO NOT READ with the aim of understanding, but swipe through the text without any definite aim. (Talk of disaster).
Hitting the Back button on your browser out of habit makes you think you have read, but did not find anything useful. Your brain is a Super Liar!
Train yourself to at least pick one important think about every website you visit. Remember, unlike other readers, you are in the business of writing. You must research; it is your divine calling. Look out for the ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’ of every site you select from Google’s handiwork. Besides, Google would never force you to go into a page; you click on it on your own accord. This is what you use to build your next article.
You are not the Flash version of writing business, slow down! Meaningful articles also take time to curate. You may not like the sound of this, but if you write an article and post it within the same hour, you have served it raw.
Your writing business will thrive if you follow these steps;
- Note down the initial thoughts or idea (use a paper and pen)
- Research on the subject surrounding the thoughts
- Arrange the expounded subject into key points, headings, subheadings and diagrams.
- Highlight the most important words so that they form the theme of the article.
- Craft the first draft of your article.
- Walk away from the draft to breathe new air for at least ten minutes.
- Return and read through the draft. Consider the flow, spelling, grammar and keywords.
- Before you ask anyone else to read it, ask yourself, “Does this article make sense?”
Anything short of this is absolute crap and you are only trying to trick people into reading it!
‘Finish it later’ attitude
Your articles may be long and tedious to compile, this does not mean you lay them into the ‘Incomplete folder’. Your writing business depends on complete and sensible articles. That is what your audience crave and pay for.
If you have any incomplete articles in your folders, you are your own saboteur. You have created a missile of a habit that will blow your writing business into tiny pieces of nothing.
The cure is simple; put your behind down and write the damn thing. Write with the audience in mind, see them reading and nodding or with bright lit eyes. Your work is to keep them well advised, so for their sake, complete that document.
Burying the published writing
There is a huge difference between a grave and a website. While you may not enjoy visiting a grave, revisiting a published article is awesome!
If you are writing for a client, make a habit of searching for the article later to see how it looks like online. Though you may not have the ability to change its outlook, you will see what worked about it and what didn’t.
Well shared by Neil Patel, updating your articles in your blog makes Google rank them higher. You now know that Google does not live in the graveyard so make your blog worth Google’s visit.
Pathetic pricing for your writing
Do you feel like your writing is inferior? It could be, but what will you do about it?
You have three choices:
- Charge peanuts.
Charging peanuts is not going to make you feel better. It is an act of desperation that will kill your writing business in no time.
- Stop writing.
Ending your writing career is only advisable if you can live without writing. You may not have be a writer anyway; Fare thee well fallen ‘hero’.
You need this ‘No BS attitude’ attitude to keep your writing business running.
Learning means you make a solemn vow to write a better article every freaking day. You can borrow my system of learning right here:
- Look for the top five writers you would like to emulate.
Mine are Walter Akolo, Bamidele Onibalusi, Jon Morrow, Danny Margulies and Jorden Roper. (This is my current list).
- Identify what you like about their writing and how you intend to apply it.
- Marry the different ideas and recommendations they give with your own ideas.
- Apply that mix in your articles to come up with your own style.
- WORK FREAKING HARD.
You can borrow my list of top writers as long as you understand that you have to keep replacing them with others.
As you learn, you will realize that your articles are worth more. Find the courage to look for better paying writing jobs. You will soon find that not all Upwork jobs suit you; some are beneath your level.
When you approach clients offline, refer them to your blog so that they see your style and progress. That way, your quote will not shock them but confirm to them that you are the worthy dude who wrote your blog!
Relaxing in the comfort zone
How often do you write?
You could be writing three articles in a week for your blog and another five for your clients. Did you know that the best paid writers increase the number of words they write daily? It is up to you to ensure that you join that league.
Who else knows that you are in the writing business? Do they read your work?
Even though it may not seem cool to you, take time to tell your friends that you run a writing business. Let them know that you are the chief author in your team. (Team of one, that is). The more they know, the more you are likely to get referred to their friends.
Elaborate that you are up for hire so that they don’t assume that writing is hobby to you. Don’t forget to share your work through social media; it is a sure way to get read more.
Dwelling on baby steps
How long will you claim that you are still familiarizing with the writing business?
If you hold onto the baby steps mentality, you will never take the risk to ask for better pay. In fact, you might never write beyond Upwork, iWriter, and Guru which are safe zones. These are good for learning and can earn you good money, but there is more outside these sites. You will miss out on great opportunities such as those offered by Freedom with Writing!
Then, challenge yourself to grow beyond your niche; your business needs the variety. Be honest with yourself about how hard you are working to grow that writing business. If you are only putting a little effort, you have failed. Drive it full throttle; the only failure you can ever experience has already happened.
Your writing business depends on your daily habits. No matter how much you read and research, change will only happen when you put the information into use. Don’t try to make it happen, HAPPEN IT!