Revised and updated on May 7, 2014
Are you writing to sell? At least once a week I get a message from a writer who wants to sell more of whatever it is that he’s writing.
There is only one answer to this – you must write more. If you are writing five magazine queries a week, boost the number to 30. I guarantee you that all things being equal if you write a 30 queries a week you will get at least three commissions.
Do more of whatever you’re doing
Think about what you’re selling:
- If you’re selling your writing services, you need to find more clients, faster — and then you need to complete projects faster, as you become busier. Adjust your workflow. Batch write.
- If you’re selling ebooks, the solution’s a little different — you write MORE ebooks, so that you appear on Amazon’s Just Released and Also Bought lists, AND you build a mailing list of readers.
There’s nothing miraculous about this. Whatever you’re selling, the answer is in the numbers — ratio thinking. Every salesperson knows this. The more calls you make, the more sales you will make. It’s purely a numbers game.
I can date my own writing success from the time that I first understood that it’s just the NUMBERS. To sell more, DO MORE.
After a while, you’ll find that this process takes on a life of its own. You’ll get known, and this is both good and bad. It’s good, because you don’t have to hustle as much, and it’s bad because you keep getting enquiries, so it’s hard to quit something you’re known for.
An example: early in my writing career I had a couple of specialties. I didn’t much care for these areas — I won’t tell you what they were, I don’t want to damage client relationships. When I decided to quit those specialties it took years. (I’m not kidding.) Years later, I received client queries about those pesky specialties.
To sell more, sit down! (and write)
If you want to write more, sit down at your desk, and write. Write more. In order to do this, you need to enjoy the practice of writing. If you hate to write, you’ll make much less money than someone who loves writing.
If you hate writing – here’s a cure
Nine times out of ten if a writer hates writing, it’s because he’s having performance anxiety. There are various ways to cure this, but the only 100% surefire cure that I know of is just to write more. Just do it.
It’s a matter of training yourself. If you’re a bus driver you drive buses, if you’re a carpenter you build houses, and if you’re a writer you write.
Here’s an easy technique that really works. It sounds very simple but this simplicity is its beauty.
Every time you turn on your computer (or sit down at your computer if you leave your computer on) write 50 words. That’s the entire technique. I guarantee you that if you persist with this technique for three months, any fear you have of writing will vanish. Writing will just become something you do.
There you have it – fix the NUMBERS in your mind, enjoy writing, and you will make more money freelance writing than you believe possible.
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