Top 10 Habits of Highly Successful Writers.
Picturesque landscape, a lady or gentleman wearing sunglasses and multicolored, casual outfit/bikini sitting on a fancy chair on the front patio or beachside, with a laptop opened in front of her and a martini by the side. The perfect picture of a successful writer, right?
Do you daydream of a day when that will be you in the picture? Working four hours a week from any part of the world, going on exotic vacations with the family at a whim? Not caring about expenses as you roll in six or more figure incomes at ease? Then you have to unveil the secret to that success. What makes you a starving writer while others are successful? Even people you know you can write as well as or even better? They won’t be that successful without some secrets. Here are some of the ten things successful freelance writers do that keep them at that level.
- Successful writers work longer than 4 hours a week, at least at the start of their career.
One myth about freelance writing is that you only work for a few hours per week. While we are not disputing the fact that some successful freelance writing guru’s work for shorter hours, this is hardly true if you are a beginner. As a successful writer wanna-be, you have to put in the work. You work hard at many things because there is a lot to learn and do in freelance writing that is not writing. Some applications make the work easier but they will not learn the ropes, research your market, market your services, or automatically write your articles for you. To be successful in freelance writing, you must be ready to learn. The big difference here is that you work for yourself and set your working hours. You may decide to work for 8 hours a day, breaking it into two hours at a time; two hours each in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So drag yourself up and put in the work to be successful
2. Successful freelance writers read every day
Successful freelance writers read. As Stephen King rightly put it, ‘if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write’. By reading every day, you acquire new knowledge, learn industry trends, study and know what your competition is up to, thereby better equipping yourself for success. Reading provides you with the raw materials with which to write, it is the brick where writing is the house. Trends evolve therefore it is important to stay abreast. In the early days of the internet, search engine rankings were based on keywords scattered all over the article, so anyone who had a keyword could create content and it would rank on search engines But current SEO trends have evolved which every writer must be conversant with. Nothing compares to updating your knowledge in a fast-paced world like the one we are in now. Successful freelance writers are readers. You must get into the habit of reading relevant materials if you must become successful as a freelance writer
3. They write every day
Just like successful athletes train every day, irrespective of if there is an upcoming competition or not, successful freelance writers write every day. Writing every day has its advantages. It helps build up your writing skills, confidence, improves your speed, spelling, grammar, enhances your creativity, and helps you maintain focus as a writer. Neglecting to write every day is like an athlete who does not practice for competitions until the eve of the competition. She arrives there all sore, unsure of herself, without focus, intimidated by the confidence of other competitors, and set to fail. Writing every day keeps you prepared for writing gigs. It reduces your turn around time and fine-tunes your writing. You could start by writing a few hundred words a day, slowly increasing it until you get to the target number of words you wish to write every day. It gets easier with practice. If you do not know what to write, you could start by copying an already written work in your niche. If you must be successful, write every day
4. They have mentors
Standing on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of you in your field enables you to see farther. Every successful freelance writer had a mentor or coach at one point in time in their career. In every field or niche you have chosen for yourself, these people have been there before you, they have navigated the terrain, become successful, and are ready and willing to share their knowledge and guide you. Mentors guide you on what to do, how to do it, where and when to do it, right. With a mentor, you avoid many pitfalls. It’s like taking a short cut to your destination. To increase your commitment, it is best to get paid mentorship. We are likely more committed to whatever we put our money in than not. Locate and get a mentor today to better your chances of being successful at freelance writing
5. Successful writers are committed to their Jobs.
In the world of freelance writing, commitment is king. Freelance writing gurus are committed to what they do. They show up even when it’s uncomfortable. They keep at it until it becomes worth it. That means they have a never-give-up attitude. To be successful at freelance writing, you must be committed. Write even when it is not convenient. Turn in assignments on time as the client is interested in results and not your process. Set realistic goals and keep at it until it becomes your reality. Although you work for yourself, set your work hours and show up when it’s time. A committed novice will surely become more successful than an uncommitted guru in the long run.
6. They are experts in a niche.
To be able to stay committed and organized, you have to niche down. To niche down is to specialize in one or more types of writing or writing service. No successful writer is a guru at everything. The most successful are masters of super niched down niches. For instance, to be successful as a finance writer, you have to focus on an aspect of financial writing like personal finance, taxation, corporate finance, Fintech, etc. and then you further niche down by the type of financial writing service you provide. Is it special reports, case studies, blog posts and articles, newsletters, ghostwriting, etc? Having a niche helps you maintain focus and increases your commitment to work. Go ahead, check out the profile of any freelance writing guru and see if he/she is not focused on a particular niche
7. They are ardent marketers
Successful freelance writers know that their writing will not reach a wide audience if they do not push it out, therefore they adopt the art of marketing or sales. They sell themselves. Writers are generally good at writing but not marketing. Some are introverts and afraid of putting themselves and their work out there, sales scare them. You cannot be a successful freelance writer when no one else but you and maybe your close associates read your work. You must market your services. You have to reach out to people who need your services and try to sell to them. Master the art of sales. It is in the sales that the money is not in the volume of written words. Find a means of selling you are not just comfortable with, but which will bring in sales, master and practice it and see yourself at the top in no time.
8. They set realistic goals
Every successful business has laid down procedures for growth. To be able to write from the shores of Hawaii, with a martini in hand, you need to set and follow through with realistic goals. Goal setting enables you to stay focused. Every successful freelance writer sets goals to see more growth. When setting goals, go for SMART goals that are measurable and actionable. Your goal could be to learn something that will help you in your freelance writing journey, how to make a certain amount of money monthly to enable you to quit your day job, it could be anything actionable. Don’t set over the bar goals which will leave you feeling unfulfilled if you do not meet them because freelance writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
9. They accept rejection as stepping stones.
As far as you are a freelance writer, your writings and pitches will be rejected. Everybody gets rejected, even the most successful of them. Successful freelance writers know that writing comes with rejection. This is simply because your writing style, tone, and or topic will not appeal to everybody. They know that rejection sometimes does not mean you are not good enough but that you and the prospect are not a good match, or your services are not needed then. In sales, every no leads to yeses. They know that every intellectual property must be critiqued. Even when your writing is not good enough, criticism and rejection should serve as prompts for you to work on your writing and produce better outputs. Expect to be criticized when you put your thoughts in public. Accept constructive criticism and don’t take rejections and criticisms personally. Some criticisms could be painful and aimed at your person but to be successful, you must not allow such to affect your productivity or decision to be a writer. Successful freelance writers have mastered criticisms and rejections and have used them positively to boost their work. You must do the same if you must succeed
10. They have “success” mindsets.
It all begins in the mind right? Successful freelance writers know failure is not an option. They chose freelance writing as a path and are determined to make it work. Despite the rejections, seasons without work, or whatever challenge they might face, they keep at it and make it work. They are inspired by the thoughts of success they have formed in their minds. They have mantras that they work with and which keeps them going despite all odds.
To be successful in freelance writing, you have to dispel some of the myths you’ve formed in your minds, put in the work, and with the right mindset, you’ll one day be listed amongst the gurus!