"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5 Secrets to Greater Writing Success in 2017!

Writers are busy people. Between juggling personal requests, honoring obligations, pursuing professional aspirations, and spending quality family time, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. True?

Still, the need to create and express ourselves is undeniable and unrelenting.
It’s how “real writers” are wired.

But, as many scribes will discover, a mere “passion” for the written word is not enough to cut it. And certainly not in today’s competitive writing climate.

My point here?

In order to truly go the distance and make your writing a profitable business venture, you must adopt a strategic approach and a prosperity mindset. Particularly when it comes to how you spend your time.

I learned the hard way.
Don’t get me wrong; for the most part, I’m an excellent time manager.
But, in former days, my output greatly exceeded my income!
And yours will too, unless you learn to work smarter, not harder this year.

If you’re on board, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time and effort, and earn more pay for your say in 2017

1. Stop subscribing to the philosophy that “some money is better than no money at all.”

Not always. With more experience under my belt, I’m now being more selective in the projects that I take on. Some time ago, in fact, I turned down a blog gig that I felt would not compensate me fairly for my skill level.

I also “pink-slipped” a publication that I had written for, for over a decade, because there were simply no growth opportunities.
Time is money. And how you spend it will ultimately determine your “quality of life”.

Allow me to elaborate…
In “unenlightened times,” I would take on practically any assignment that came my way, which would allow me to meet my short-term financial goals.
Say, for instance, if I wanted to make 100 bucks, I might take on 10 blogging jobs that paid 10 bucks a piece, or pen pieces for content mills accordingly.

Boy was I frazzled and fragmented. I was overwhelmed and undervalued! This is not to say that I regret it. Perish the thought.
Experience is a valuable teacher.

Those jobs helped me to become a better blogger, a better time manager, and ultimately helped to hone my voice.

2. Recognize that the type of writing you devote your time to makes an important difference.

Take it from me. All writing jobs are not created equally. I offer as proof, my experiences in the fields of “ghostwriting” and copywriting, versus blog posts and articles.

Some years ago, through a referral, I was hired to ghost write a book for an organization.
At first, I was a bit hesitant with a few issues on ghost-ing. But, then I was quickly converted and convinced.

Why? The down payment for this project was the equivalent of about three months of my mortgage payment. (Yay! To God be the glory.) I haven’t looked back since.
I highly recommend it. No more waiting for checks in the mail 30-60 days after publication. Or having to be divided between 10 different projects to make ends meet. Or begging and pleading to be paid.
Need I say more?

3. Make sure to devote more time to paying projects than freebies.

Though there is a popular school of thought that contends that writers should never write for free, I’m not necessarily a follower. Even at my level, I pen pieces “pro bono”. Whether it’s guest posts for friends, or an article for a start-up publication that has requested it. Word to the wise: don’t allow the percentage of these projects exceed those where pay is involved.

4. Use templates to increase efficiency.

How many times a day or week do you do routine things online?
This could be query letters, or pitches to do guest posts, or collection letters for payments due…get my drift? Save yourself time and keystrokes by creating common templates and saving them to your computer for future use. Never re-invent the wheel; it‘s counterproductive.
Here are a few to get you started:

5. Provide strategic guest posts for greater exposure with less work.

Let’s face it: our blogs are our “virtual homes”. Which stands to reason that we would spend more time at our base, and provide more upkeep and care.
But, you’ll do yourself a great disservice, if you don’t visit other "quality" sites and connect with writers, potential fans and like-minded people, through guest posts.

This article shares great pointers on writing for free and related reasons:

Here’s a bonus: if the site has a bigger following, or is considered more “influential” in the blogosphere, not only will you have your “15 minutes of fame,” you’ll get the opportunity to promote your projects, products, and increase your “cool factor.”
Which is certainly not a bad return on your investment.

To sum things up here, a strategic approach will help you increase your efficiency and your bottom line this year. Follow these five tips to accomplish more with less effort. 

Here's to your success!

Thoughts? Questions?

Image credits: https://pixabay.com



  1. Jennifer, how timely! I've been totally bogged down with house and grand kids the last month, but am ready to get back in the writing saddle - almost. I'll be taking these to heart. Thanks for this awesome post. PS: Love #2

  2. Your tips are so helpful. When I began freelancing, I set a goal my first year: publish 10 things, five for free/exposure, and five for payment. Those free sites led to other jobs. I also agree, once you have established yourself, you can and should be selective. No wonder you and your blog made the top blogs list! Your encouragement is inspiring.

  3. Sue,
    Thanks so much. Great hearing from you again. :-)

  4. Lin,
    You truly inspire me as well. Thanks so kindly. You are a blessing to this blogger. :-)

  5. Devoting more time to paying projects than to freebies does sound like a good idea. It also would be a good aim to set 'promo freebies' up as something that suggests a possible type of exchange.

    Like for example on my digital camera-ideas blog I recently posted a blog post with Ideas for Creating Personalized Photo Collages as Gifts. It makes it possible to create very special personalized fun gifts without it specifically having to cost much money.

    It goes without saying that in exchange for the money you save with this brilliant money saving idea, I expect you to (also) buy products from our webstore, and follow us on Twitter etc. etc. :)

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