“I have a computer and an internet connection. I want to quit my job and do what you’re doing. Anyone can make money writing online, right?
If I got a dollar every time I heard this – or some variation of it – I’d have enough to go to the Maldives for this year’s dream vacation.
There is some truth to the statement, though. Anyone can start writing online, but there is no guarantee of success or money. There is more to online writing than “I can write” – as you already know.
Even veteran freelance writers may have experienced feeling lost and doubtful at times, especially these days. The online writing scene is so crowded. Good jobs are difficult to find. Consistent and reliable clients are not as common as before. Rates are going down.
Is it time to walk away and find something new?
I think not.
It is a matter of capitalizing on what you’ve got – talent and experience, finding the right tools and processes, and your attitude. I can’t emphasize the importance of attitude enough. It doesn’t matter much if you’ve got talent and all the technology on your side. If you don’t have grit, then you’ll either be mediocre or fail. For inspiration on this topic, I suggest listening to this podcast.
Assuming you’ve got grit, let’s take a look at the practical details of being a successful online writer. What problems will you face? How do you solve them? What tools can you use to streamline your work?
Related: A Quick Guide to Freelance Writing Success
Here is an online writing guide which tackles some of the most common issues for writers and other tips to make a living as an online writer and continue enjoying what you do.
This online writing guide is summarized in a graphic for easy reference, but here’s a quick outline of what you can expect.
- How to write faster
- Where/how to find ideas
- Habits of good (and bad) writers
- Tools and apps
- Basic SEO tips
In my opinion, the most common things online writers need to learn are the basics of SEO, some technical aspects such as using WordPress, and to choose appropriate apps that maximize efficiency. I say this because I believe you already have the writing skills. You just need to expand your horizons to learn more about the medium.
Online writing covers blogging, copywriting, content writing, among other things. There are more exercises you can do to improve your craft, some of which are specific to your niche.
Experienced online writers, how long have you been writing online? What have you learned along the way? Can you share some tips for the new writers in our community?
New writers, what challenges have you faced so far? Do you have specific questions you want answered? Why not start a discussion, and we’ll all pitch in.
Eric Brantner says
I’ve been writing online for about 10 years now, full-time. A few things I’ve learned along the way:
-Keep up with LinkedIn. It can be a great way to make connections that can lead to recurring work.
-While having a one-on-one relationships with client typically pays better, getting hooked up with a good marketing agency can lead to recurring business, so you’re not constantly looking for that next gig.
-Keep your writing simple. Short sentences, small chunks of text. People want to read quality content, but they want it to be easy to digest.
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
Thanks, Eric. I agree with your point about LinkedIn. Personally, I haven’t used it a lot to my advantage. Thanks for the reminder.
I haven’t thought about marketing agencies. I wonder if other readers have the same experience as you do.
Misty Coplen says
Thank you so much for this nugget of advice. As Stephen King said on his writing – “one word at a time.” I think the hardest part of being a writer is finding what to write about. There is always so much to learn and read that one can’t seem to get their head around the fact that they too can write with a little patience and practice.
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
You’re welcome. So much to learn, too little time…but yes, we can get there with patience and perseverance. Good luck!
Rhea Lester says
I’m an educator too. looking to move into the writing lifestyle. I’m taking courses on udemy and I am writing and reading on how to improve my skills but I lack confidence. I feel this way especially when I see ads that say experienced copywriter wanted. That statement is my out and my negative voice tells me see you are not a writer. My optismistic voice says but you write every day. I write student recommendation letters, emails and letters to parents and admin so why not?
Any suggestion for newbies?
Thanks for your encouraging post!