During the last year, I took my writing to the next level. How? I decided to create content more consistently and publish more often. I practiced and learned as much as I could.
And this led me to exponential growth. Several articles I wrote went viral, and I earned more from my writing than from my 9–5 job. I still see myself as being in the learning process, but I’m quite happy with where I’m now.
This writing journey started with a desire to help others overcome their individual challenges, be the best version of themselves, and build meaningful relationships.
During my journey, I’ve realized that what makes you succeed as a writer — and also what lets you earn an income from your passion — is wearing more than one hat at the same time. In particular, I’m talking about the following four roles.
1. An Entrepreneur
To succeed as a writer and live from your passion, you need to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. You can’t write just for yourself. You need to understand what information readers are looking for and provide the type of content they need.
Also, you may want to find areas of opportunity, that is, topics that are not well covered yet and create content around those areas. As I mentioned previously, you should try to write something new and fresh, as often as you can.
You have to see your writing as a business. This means strategically investing time and money in it. For example, you’ll need to invest a lot of time without earning a cent at the beginning. You’ll need to invest money in courses, resources, and mentorship.
Last year I attended several online courses to improve my writing and I hired an editor to work on my writing style. And I saw a huge ROI (return on investment) a few months later.
This is what entrepreneurs do. They identify what tools they already have; then they identify what they need and invest in those things that are crucial to their success.
2. An Avid Reader
Reading a lot, especially content from established authors in your niche, is essential to succeed as a writer. As I mentioned in another article, if you observe the best people in your field, you inevitably learn.
And even if you don’t read only top writers’ work, you always learn new vocabulary and expressions, not to mention that it helps you generate new ideas.
When you’re a writer, reading is literally your fuel. Make it a habit.
3. An Excellent Writer
This might sound obvious. However, it’s probably the most important point and I couldn’t exclude it from this list. If you want to make money as a writer, it’s essential that you focus on the quality of your writing. It must be your top priority. And you must love it.
You can be the smartest entrepreneur on the earth, the most avid reader on the internet, but if you write garbage, people simply won’t read your content.
As Tim Denning wrote in one of his latest newsletters, “Bad writers don’t get paid. Well, they probably do. Just not for writing.” I think it’s always good to keep this in mind.
You can’t expect to publish a short piece of 300 words full of grammatical mistakes and make money from it — if you were expecting this, we have to talk, seriously.
As Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, mentions, to succeed in this field you have to write so well that people feel compelled to share your content.
4. An SEO Expert
Another important thing Brian Dean says is this:
Knowing SEO is great. Knowing copywriting is great. But when you can do BOTH? You’ve got a powerful one-two punch.
When you’re a great writer, but your content is not optimized for search engines — for example, you’re not using keywords, or the SEO keyword you chose doesn’t appear more than once throughout your article or in the URL — you’re going to have a blog full of great content, but probably no one is going to read it. Because no one is going to find your page through search engines.
And, as a result, no one is going to find your products or services. No one is going to click on your affiliate links, and no one is going to click on the ads.
Also, when you’re great at SEO but your writing is poor, people are going to find your content, but they’re going to leave your page after a few seconds when they struggle to enjoy what you’re writing about.
To write content that sells you must be an excellent writer, like I said before, and learn a lot about SEO. This might scare you, however, the good news is the best SEO content is available online for free. For example, I learned — and I’m still learning — SEO from the best. I binge watch Neil Patel’s videos on YouTube, and binge read Brian Dean’s articles on Backlinko.
They’re great at explaining things to anyone, even to people that are completely new to SEO.
Not every writer gets all of these.
Some writers are excellent content creators and are still learning about SEO. Others are avid readers and are still developing their writing skills and entrepreneurial mindset. Others are SEO experts and are still improving their writing skills.
However, the key to succeeding as a writer is trying to develop all these four different characters, as much as you can, and as if your life depends on it — because it does, you’re a writer.
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