Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.
Last week, we took a huge step in moving you forward as a well-paid writer …
I asked you to visualize what the writer’s life means to you — in very specific terms. And then I asked you to evaluate the potential paths that match your needs, and make a decision on which path to pursue. (If you missed it, you can access that post here.)
Today, we’re going to start moving forward by eliminating the most common roadblocks that may be standing in your way …
Roadblock #1: Time is an issue.
If it’s hard for you to find the time to pursue your writing dreams, take inventory on what can be changed in your schedule. For example, you may not want to sacrifice time spent with family or friends. But you could replace time spent watching television with time spent learning new writing techniques in your chosen field. Or, you could start bringing your lunch to work so you can study during your break.
Many of the most successful writers I know started their careers by getting up one hour earlier each morning to fit in their writing projects.
Roadblock #2: You’re worried about marketing yourself.
Start with baby steps, like creating a profile on LinkedIn that communicates your abilities as a writer. Then share that news with contacts in your circle, and make sure you let others know what kinds of projects you’re most interested in. You’ll be surprised at how effective your own network can be when it comes to getting the word out about your writing skills.
And if you’d like some more practical techniques for finding clients and landing assignments, check out this article I recently wrote over on the AWAI website. In it, I show you how to research the best-paying clients — and what to do once you find them!
Roadblock #3: You lack samples to show potential clients.
Don’t sweat it. Prospective clients simply want you to demonstrate your ability so they can see firsthand what you can do with your words.
“Samples” can be any examples of your writing. They don’t need to be actual assignments from a past client, or anything that was mailed, published, or broadcast.
You can make your own samples by writing about products or services you already like or use. Just be sure to tell others those projects were written “on spec,” so you don’t give a false impression of having been hired for that work.
You can also use assignments done for programs like The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. In fact, I actually know a handful of copywriters who launched their businesses simply by showing potential clients their final assignment!
Roadblock #4: You can’t decide on a path.
The key is to not put a ton of pressure on choosing the “right” path. Just because you make a decision today doesn’t mean you have to stick with it for life.
You can always change direction down the line, or add another path into the mix. And it’ll be a lot easier to do, since you’ll have experience under your belt.
Now, if you ask me for my recommendation, I’m going to tell you to start with copywriting.
Because with huge and growing opportunities like the Business-to-Business market (B2B), the Web, and social media, you have the potential to make as much money as you want and truly live the lifestyle you desire.
And to be honest, even if you end up going down another path like social media writing, resume writing, or grant writing, having a foundation in persuasive writing (i.e., direct-response copywriting) will make you a more effective writer in all those other areas.
You’ll also find it easier to land clients in whatever field you choose, because you’ll understand how to write persuasively and how to sell your value to prospects.
Keep in mind … I’m not saying you can’t choose more than one path. I’m actually a big advocate of creating multiple revenue streams.
But copywriting is definitely the most adaptable path you can choose, and usually makes the most sense as a first step.
“Carpe diem” for Your Writing Career
All right — it’s action time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re brand-new to this scene or if you’ve been steadily aiming toward being a writer for years. Now is the time to knock down those roadblocks and start moving forward …
Today, I encourage you to reach out to AWAI members for support and advice. You can join us on the AWAI Facebook page, or on some of our groups …
As you’ll soon see, there are loads of AWAI members who have already blazed the trail for you … and who are more than willing to “pay it forward” to help you succeed too.
To your success,