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By Rebecca Matter
I want to cover something very important this week, so I need you to do me a favor …
Spend a few minutes today visualizing what a profitable writing career means to you.
To me, and to most of the writers I know, it means having a writing business that meets your financial goals while working reasonable hours … having solid skills that clients value … and having plenty of clients who are willing to pay you very well for those skills. Or instead of writing for clients, it means selling your own written products to readers happy to pay you large sums of money.
It doesn’t matter which writing opportunity you choose, whether it’s copywriting, web writing, resume writing, travel writing, grant writing, or any of the other opportunities I shared last month when I gave you the 7 best-paying projects for writers in 2015 … whatever. They all hold tremendous value for freelance writers.
But to become a freelance writer in the first place, you have to know what you want your writing life to look like.
Once you have that down, you can move on to the second step: Choosing a path.
The goal here is to get clear on why you want the writer’s life so you can pick the perfect writing opportunity for you. So today, I’m going to share my simple but effective formula for helping you choose the best path for your writing career, based on your goals, so you can get launched as quickly as possible.
How will a Writing Career Change Your Life?
To get started, think about what attracts you most to the idea of making money as a freelance writer. After all, people come to this profession from a variety of backgrounds and for a ton of different reasons. And no single reason is better than any others.
Now, most people are attracted to the idea of being a well-paid freelance writer for the freedom of it all. Because yes, you get to be your own boss, you can work when and where you please, you set your own hours, and you pick your own projects.
But let’s take it one step farther. I want you to focus on the specifics of your individual situation. Think about what a successful writing career could do for you. Would it allow you to …
- Quit your day job?
- Supplement your current income?
- Add to your retirement income?
- Travel the world?
- Greatly impact a charity near and dear to your heart?
You also need to think about your timeline. For example, do you want to reach this goal as soon as possible, or are you flexible about it? Do you have a drop-dead deadline, maybe because you’ve already announced when you’re quitting your job? Or do you have a specific income goal to meet by a certain date?
It’s important to clarify what you want your writing career to do for you. Once you have your why figured out, it’s a lot easier to choose the path that’s most appropriate for your needs.
6 Proven Writing Paths for Writers
The next step is to consider all the different writing opportunities. Factor in your timeline and personal needs to determine which one is ideal for you.
- For example, let’s say you’re looking to quit your day job as soon as possible …
Start by calculating how much money you’ll need in order to make that happen. If your number is high – such as six-figures – then you need to choose a writing opportunity that’s known to bring about higher-than-average incomes. You’ll also want something you can get into quickly.
In this case, I’d recommend copywriting or writing for the web. Grant writing is also a great option, and so is writing copy for the business-to-business market – especially if you want to get your writing career up-and-running as soon as possible.
- Or, let’s say you just want to supplement your current salary or add to your retirement income …
A passive income stream might be the best way to go. If that’s the case, look into writing your own e-books or developing a Money Making Website.
If you’re not familiar, a Money Making Website is simply an information website that covers a topic you enjoy and is designed to attract web visitors. Once those visitors come to your site, you use a variety of methods to pull in passive revenue that doesn’t require you to sell anything and doesn’t demand regular monitoring … meaning once it’s set up, you’re free to spend your days as you please while doing very little website maintenance.
- Maybe your goal for becoming a paid writer is just to have a little extra income on the side whenever needed, but with no regular commitment …
This could also be because your schedule is unpredictable, so you’d prefer shorter, quicker projects.
That’s where I’d recommend an easy business you can launch without having to spend too much time developing your skills, like resume writing or internet research. Both options are also things you can work on when you have the time or take an indefinite break from when needed.
- Perhaps you enjoy the idea of the writer’s life, but you’re not interested in writing long-form copy …
If this sounds like you, social media marketing or video sales letters might be perfect for you. Both are writing opportunities that allow you to be creative, but you can do it with short posts and presentations – all of which pay quite well.
- Another possibility is that you’d like to travel the world but need the means to do it …
In this case, travel writing is perfect for you. It’s not necessarily a writing opportunity that’ll make you rich, but it’s a proven way to score free travel deals. Often times, those free travel perks are at high-class resorts in dream-worthy destinations.
- Or, it’s possible you just love writing and think it’d be great to make a little money on the side doing something you enjoy.
Consider getting into information-publishing. That way, you can write what you want when you want, whether its fiction, non-fiction, or informational publications, and you’ll be able to publish and market your work online.
All of these paths are proven writing opportunities that give you full freedom over your schedule and allow you to live life on your own terms.
If you’d like to explore more ways to make a living as a writer, as well as get a little more information on some of the opportunities I shared today, check out my free report “It’s True! You Can Make a Good Living as a Writer!” where I cover nine of the best opportunities in more detail.
And then before next week, give it some thought, choose your first path, and then join me next week to tackle the big question, “now what?”
I’ll give you some practical advice to help you start moving forward.