I still remembered the joy of negotiating a writing project with a stranger who happens to be my best client today.
Back in the day, I didn’t even know that writers can make a living with their skills. But I know better now.
Looking back, I think I’ve failed 5 times as an internet marketer.
Blogging was my saving grace. And becoming a freelance writer was the best thing that has happened to me.
Today, thousands of people have heard that freelance writing is a great way to make extra income.
And so, everybody wants to write for money.
Even those who can’t spell “writing” are all involved now. Sounds really funny, huh?
Make Extra Income Vs Make A Living?
Most people confuse making extra money online, with making a living.
Don’t you realize there is a great difference between the two? The truth is, if you earn extra income online, you’ll still be struggling day in and out to keep that income.
If you stop working, so does your money. As for me, I don’t just make extra income online; I actually make a living from writing (from several clients, from e-books, affiliate sales, consulting etc).
When you’re concerned about making a living online, you’re FOCUS and the way you MARKET yourself would change ultimately.
But the problem is that most content writers, freelance writers, web content writers or whatever they’re called are struggling to STAND OUT. They don’t know how to create a unique impression from the get go.
If you don’t stand out, you’re just like everyone else.
A writer who stands out would make real money from writing. No matter the seriousness of the competition they’re facing, they will still smile, knowing that all will be well.
If you want to join the league of those who make a living online, as a writer, I want to share 10 simple ways to help you stand out. Follow the tips carefully, and you’ll smile to the bank every single month.
1. Plant worthy seeds
If you want to make a living online as a writer, then you’ve to start planting seeds in your prospect’s mind. How exactly do you achieve this?
It’s simple actually – mind what you say and what you write about. Even if you’re writing a post for your blog, be sure of what you’re saying.
Little things go a long way to motivate potential clients. No one is going to hire you, if your reputation is dented already.
Second, giving generously is a great way to plant worthy seeds. When you write blog or guest posts, submerge yourself into it.
Write with so much passion, until the true identity of a writer wells up in you. Writers are like farmers – they keep planting seeds and just one day, the seeds would start to bear fruits.
Writing is a seed. Sharing is a seed. Leaving a comment on another person’s blog is a seed. Have you sown a seed today?
2. Don’t over-analyze
In the past, one thing that has kept me from making a living writing is the fact that I analyze so much. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. And we’re all victims of this plight.
Most writers are perfectionists – always trying to make it good. Always waiting for their spelling and grammar to be 100% correct, before pushing the publish button.
Of course, you’ve to proofread twice and do all those stuffs, but don’t stay there. Clients want results. They want you to apply speed.
As a freelance writer, you need speed sometimes, more than 100% accuracy. If you argue this, let me know in the comments area.
3. Engage your mind
Whatever you can do to become a better writer, do it.
Don’t procrastinate or give excuses why you’re not qualified. And the best way to engage your mind is to read. Read extensively on the topics you’re writing about and also, read books that has nothing to do with internet marketing or your niche.
Writers have the rare skills to use ideas from several sources to craft a masterpiece. It’s all about coining words and sentences from insights you’ve gained through reading. Rather than watch Television or argue about the winning UEFA team, engage your mind by reading.
As a rule of thumb, read at least 2 new books every week. Spend your money on books. If you’re tight on budget, download free e-books and read. You may not know when the idea would be needed for a special writing project. Get prepared by feeding your mind.
4. Twist your guest posts
When I host seminars in my city, I usually tell people to twist their guest posts.
Well, that sounds like a new term. You already know what guest blogging is, but the “twist” is confusing, right? No, it’s equally simple to understand.
Guest blogging is powerful, when you press the right buttons. As a content writer, you need to select the best sites to write on.
Since you’re seeking for clients to hire you, you need to get in front of business people who don’t have time to write their content. And it’s difficult to find serious entrepreneurs who can’t write at blogging, SEO, link building and so on blogs. You need to get elsewhere.
Do you know why a lot of guest bloggers are not hired by potential clients? It’s because clients can’t find them. The first time I wrote a guest post on a tech related blog, I got 2 offers that really pay well. Get off the radar. Research the best blogs where potential clients are likely to hang out.
Forget the guest blogging noise and put plans into action. If you must write a guest post, write for small businesses, franchises, conglomerates, magazines and entertainment blogs. Your target audience hangs out there. You should hang out with them, too.
5. Research outside your niche
If you want to stand out from other writers and bloggers online, then research outside your niche. 95% of bloggers I know only read blogs that are related to SEO, Social Media, Blogging and internet marketing in general.
And that’s why they struggle to make a living online. In your case, go outside your niche and research like you mean it. Read about politics, celebrities, investing, scrapbooking, hobbies and what have you.
All these would enhance your writing, both in style, voice and value. And this three features are what makes a writer exceptionally UNIQUE. When you’re unique, you’ll earn what you’re WORTH.
6. Enhance your site
How do you enhance your blog so you can stand out and make real money online?
Start with your design. Does it look professional or like everyone else’s? You’ve to customize your blog design pretty quick. I just had mine revamped, and the results have been fantastic so far.
Make your site easy to navigate. Tweak your CSS sheet and underline the links. Change the link color to make it unique. Increase your text font if it’s illegible.
After you’ve done this, start adding value to your blog by publishing quality, relevant and valuable content.
7. Write every day
Yes, it’s a common rule but if you abide by it, you’d become a prolific, thought-provoking and passionate writer.
And I’m not asking you to write 5000 words article on a daily basis. Hmm, no matter the length of the article, just make sure you don’t miss this routine.
Yes, it’s a routine but it’s changed my writing speed, zeal and invigorated my passion for writing. If you write every day, don’t be surprise when potential clients start to contact you regularly to write for them.
You may not update your blog daily, but make sure you write consistently. You could turn your unpublished works into a guest post.
8. Eliminate the dollar sign
When I started writing online, I was always thinking about the money. Having the dollar sign in your mind can destroy your creativity. The first assignment you’ve as a writer isn’t to get paid, but to get published.
Sure, money is good and making a lot of it can make your life beautiful. But when you allow thoughts of making money take root in your writing career, you’d start using hype and B.S. just to sound professional.
You can make money as a writer when you eliminate the dollar sign and replace it with value. The amount of value you bring to the market would determine how much money you can make.
9. Tweak your ‘hire me’ page
Is your “Hire me” page converting readers into clients?
I think you should look over it again. I recently tweaked my hire me page and got a client almost the same week.
Clients want to know what results you can bring into their business. It’s not about your personal success. Not even the great blog design you’ve (crucial, though), but the success you’ll initiate into their business.
Now, when you write the “hire me” page, don’t make a mistake of honing your skills. Shift your focus from your expertise to the client’s need.
Ask a lot of questions on your “hire me” page. Get the reader involved and before you know it, writing assignments would start to roll in.
10. Get a mentor and listen to them
Do you’ve a mentor?
Anybody who has achieved what you’re aspiring for has an edge over you. You might be a better writer in terms of style and command of English language, but you need to borrow from their rich deposits (brains).
If someone is ahead of you in this writing field, don’t point accusing fingers or give excuses why you didn’t succeed. Life is a race and if you respect someone, the same will get to you. And a mentor isn’t a perfect person, remember.
They’re influencers. But they’re still learners. So, inasmuch as you learn from mentors, don’t forget to engage your mind by reading extensively.
What do you say?
These 10 quick tips have been the pillar of my writing career. No matter what you’re going through as a content writer, challenge yourself to be UNIQUE.
Don’t be like every other writer out there who accepts $5/article. You’re worth more than that.
I’ve a question for you. Do you want to make money as a writer? Or are you doing it out of sheer passion? Leave a comment below…. See you at the top!