Guest post by Jawad
The world is a funny place. The more you think about it, the more you realize how nature has given each one of us an equal opportunity to succeed in life. I know this is a controversial statement. But this is what I’ve come to conclude from seeing highly under privileged and less talented individuals succeeding purely on the basis of determination and will power, while the more gifted and talented keep complaining.
Each one of us has been gifted with a unique set of abilities, talents and circumstances. It is up to us to use the resources at our disposal to achieve whatever we believe worthwhile in life. The circumstances might be unique, but the opportunity to succeed is equal.
This is, however, what many talented writers fail to understand. Talent only means you have the potential to do something naturally. But you have to bring that talent into disciplined action if you want to achieve sustainable results. If you, despite being a naturally gifted writer, are not achieving the sort of success that some of the seemingly, less talented writers are getting then you must be doing something wrong. Here are 5 most common reasons why potential writing superstars never make it big. Make sure you’re not one of them!
1. Lack of Discipline
This is an almost universal reason for failure in any field of life. But for talented writers, this manifests itself a little differently. Freelancing is all about self-discipline. There’s no boss or manager around to make you work hard and meet deadlines. There’s no one to force you into taking initiatives and bringing innovation. You’re all alone and it’s entirely up to your personal discipline and motivation to get sustainable success. For some, this is a highly empowering scenario. While for many, this is exactly what they do not need.
So if you are struggling to make much progress despite being a talented writer, ask yourself the following questions
- How much focused time do I actually spend working?
- Do I have any short term or long term targets?
- Am I following a routine?
- Am I actually working or is it all in my mind?
- Do I even have a vague plan of action?
Sincerely answering these questions would certainly help you get a much better hold of your time and the results you should be achieving.
- Make a schedule and stick to it
- Define your target niche and focus on it
- Define short & medium term goals and control them through periodic tracking.
2. Not Ready to Learn
A diamond is only a piece of stone unless it is carved out by an expert. Talent will never take you all the way if you are not willing to get it polished by learning from seasoned experts of your industry. Like any industry, freelance writing also has certain benchmarks and standards. Invest your time in learning from the best in the business and polish your natural talents by following the advice of the experts. Find mentors and take their advice on improving the standard of your writing to make it more appealing to your potential customers.
- Find the top 10 blogs in your niche and subscribe to their updates.
- Contact at least 5 top writers in your niche and establish regular contact with them (Hint: Social Media, Contact Page)
- Read the best in the business and learn from their writing practices.
- Study the job requirements for writers in your niche and tailor your profile accordingly (Hint: Problogger Jobs Board)
3. Not Making Things Happen
You’re a great writer and you know it, but unfortunately the world doesn’t. Don’t wait for customers to come to you because they won’t. Go out there and make your presence felt. Being a writer is not enough. You need to be an aggressive marketer as well.
Ever wondered why household brands such as Coca Cola and Pepsi market so aggressively? It’s not that people don’t know them. However, research shows that public memory is short and unless you’re in their face all the time, you’ll be forgotten.
The reason why many average writers get more customers than many talented ones out there is because they market more aggressively. The customer doesn’t have a choice. He doesn’t know you’re out there. He only sees this average guy with big claims.
Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.
- Start a blog NOW!
- Take out 2 hours every day to comment on leading blogs. Make sure you add value through your comments
- Google your potential customers and shoot them emails. Tell them about yourself and how you can add value. This is still a very effective way of getting customers.
- Guest Blog!
- Promote your Hire Me page aggressively.
4. Looking for Short cuts
Bad news! There are no short cuts. Freelance writing is not a get-rich-quick formula. Success is the resultant of a process. You can’t have it unless you go through the process. This obviously does not mean that the process cannot be accelerated. However, no success comes without putting the hard yards together.
As a talented writer, if you’re not ready to work hard for success, then you’ll have a pretty frustrating time. There are people who have been able to run into awesome customers at the very initial stages of their careers. But they are exceptions. And you don’t make business plans based on exceptions.
What you need is a plan of action that has the highest probability of success. Pick your niche carefully and be the best in it. Offer unique content and make it a point to be different than others. Standing out is the only option if you want to achieve sustainable success.
- Make sure all your professional profiles are up to date.
- Take an hour daily to apply on leading job boards.
- Write regularly on your blog.
- Follow points 1, 2 and 3!
5. Failure to Build Your Brand
Writers who fail to follow this point still usually manage to make decent money. However, they never make it to the top and almost always run after clients for work, not the other way around. Like any business, brands sell for higher rates. Even if they’re not as good as they appear to be.
The difference between writers who earn $10, $100 and $1000 per article is not as much in the quality of their writing as in the way their brand is perceived by their customers. They are established experts – people who know what they’re talking about. But you can’t do that overnight.
One of the biggest advantages of an online business is that you can create perceptions about yourself in the eyes of your target market without actually being the real deal. Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that you should lie to people. You need to be honest, no question about it. But you can be a little smart, can’t you.
Everyone has their weaknesses and self-doubts but you don’t need to whine about them everywhere. When you write, write confidently. Write as someone who knows what he’s talking about and believes in each and every word he’s saying. People will only believe you if you believe in yourself. Self-belief can do wonders to your image and ultimately dictate how much you charge for your services.
- Every time you write, ask yourself, “Will I read this myself?”
- Socialize with the best writers in your niche.
- Get your content endorsed by the leaders in your niche.
- Make a lot of high value comments on leading blogs.
- Focus on being the go-to man in your niche.
Jawad Khan is an e-business Project Manager, a passionate marketer and a freelance content writer who specializes in developing different strategies to generate tangible results for businesses through quality content and writes regularly on the areas of Entrepreneurship, Blogging and WordPress on his blog WritingMyDestiny