You’re writing for money. For many writers, it’s money for jam. They’d write anyway, for their own amusement. They feel as if they’re getting away with something… Making money should be hard work, right?
This mindset of “I write because I love it, and I can’t believe people pay me for this” is dangerous. Before you know it, you’re snowed under with work because you don’t charge appropriately, and you start to hate what you used to love.
Remember the parable of the talents. In the parable, a talent is a measure of money. You’ve been given a talent: an ability to communicate. Most people can’t use words as well as you do. Use your talent. Invest in your talent — and it will grow.
Let’s look at four secrets which will help your talents (pun intended) to grow.
1. Writing is a job: keep regular hours
What did you write today? (See daily word count, below.) Always be writing. Writing is a 24 hour a day gig. Writers are either writing, thinking about writing, or dreaming about writing.
Whenever a writer tells me that “I can’t make money writing” I ask him what he wrote today.
The answer’s very revealing. Just like a baker or bricklayer, you need to create.
2. Keep writing: set a daily word count, and KEEP PRODUCING
Just keep counting your words — every single day. You’re growing your talents: you can’t sell what you don’t produce.
3. Market yourself, and your writing: not only does it make you a better writer, it’s the only way to make a great income
Hate marketing? Many writers do. Do it anyway.
Consider that marketing is writing too. You can market your writing services and ebooks by content marketing (writing) or via advertising (writing ads.)
It’s all writing. If you’re in the “I can’t market my writing” camp, stop thinking of marketing as marketing. Think of it as writing instead. 😉
4. Specialize: use a blog to promote your specialty
What’s your specialty? In my copywriting practice, I specialize in writing about tech, and for heavy equipment manufacturers. In fiction, I specialize in writing romance and mysteries.
Specialists in any field are always paid more.
Most writers stumble over a specialty. They write about a topic, then they write more, and before they know it, they become known for writing in a field.
You can develop a specialty cold-bloodedly. Want to take holidays in amazing locations? Become a travel writer, without leaving town. Write about where you live, or the nearest tourist destination to where you live. Before you know it, you’ll be comped to travel.
Use your talent: make it grow
The only way to grow your talents (yep, punning again) is to use them. And if there’s one single secret to writing, it’s… writing.
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