Step Four in Making Forward Progress this Week

It’s all about forward progress towards living the writer’s life this week …

And if you’ve been with me all week, by now you’ve chosen your path, decided how to specialize, and should have done at least one thing to build your business.

Today, we’re going to tackle step four in my “make significant forward progress in a week” plan. But before we jump in, just a quick reminder …

The special New Member offer for the Professional Writers’ Alliance ends today, which means tomorrow it will cost twice as much to join.

If you’re serious about writing professionally – and living the writer’s life – you should definitely check it out. As a member, you’ll get immediate access to a long line of skill-building resources, live learning events, job opportunities, and business-building guidance.

Plus, you’ll become a member of a thriving and active community of writers – beginners and pros alike – all committed to each other’s success.

Learn more about PWA here. (And make sure you check out how you can put your membership fees towards AWAI programs whenever you want. It’s my favorite perk!).

Now let’s move on to step four …

Yesterday, we talked about how important it is to do something every day to build your business. Marketing yourself and your services is something you’ll never stop doing – no matter how successful your business gets.

The same holds true for learning. As a professional writer or freelancer, you’re not just going to take a program and be done with learning forever.

You’ll always be learning … acquiring new skills … becoming a stronger writer … finding new ways to persuade your readers … and ultimately becoming more valuable to your clients year after year. And more value means more money!

However, for many, continued learning can quickly become a crutch. And instead of moving you forward in your career, it can actually hold you back.

You get caught up in taking “just one more program” or reading “just one more book” before you plan to move forward in your career.

Well I can assure you, there will ALWAYS be just one more “something” out there for you to learn. The key is to plan your continued learning strategically so that it continues to move you forward, rather than slow you down or stop you altogether.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when evaluating your next learning opportunity:

  • How will this impact my business?
  • Will I be learning a new skill? Strengthening my writing? Learning to market?
  • What is the value of what I’m learning?
  • What will I be giving up to learn? (Remember to consider time AND money.)
  • How does this compare with other things I’m hoping to learn? (Other books you’re looking to read, other programs you want to take.)

You can’t do it all, so you need to prioritize. And you can’t just keep learning – you also need to spend time marketing your services and actually doing work for clients.

Be realistic with your learning plans, and just like with achieving your goals, PLAN what you’ll spend your time on.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t take advantage of good deals when a program you know you want to take goes on sale. But once you acquire the program, you still need to plan when you’re going to take it so that you don’t get caught up in taking program after program and not making any forward progress.

And that leads me to your action item for today …

What is the next thing you’re going to learn?

Take a look at your goals, think about the options you have available to you, and evaluate them to see which one makes the most sense for your business.

For example, if you’re a copywriter, maybe attending your first (or second, or third) Bootcamp is next on your list. Or if you’re specializing in B2B copy, maybe it’s time you add White Papers to your list of skills.

Just remember …

Always be learning. And always be marketing.

Which means you actually have two action items for today …

The first is to decide what you’re going to learn next. Once you’ve got it, share it with me below.

And the second is to perform yesterday’s action item again:

Come up with one thing you can do tomorrow to build your business.

Finding the balance between learning, marketing, and working on projects is a necessity.

And after this week, you will have started some great habits that will help you naturally find – and keep – that balance.

See you tomorrow for your last step!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: July 28, 2011

15 Responses to “Step Four in Making Forward Progress this Week”

  1. Hi Rebecca, After realising that travel still excites me, I am going to take the travel writing course.


  2. Hi Rebecca, I am going to dive into Web Copywriting 2.0, and the Secrets to Writing High-Performance B2B Copy Course, and try my hand at a few e-ads in the spec challenges.
    As a former innkeeper, I think being of service as an Innkeeper Copywriter would suit me fine!
    Let us know when you're holding that baby in your arms!


  3. I don't think I am at a point where I can afford to learn any more at this time as far as getting another program. I think I need to work on continuing to learn with what I have, he 6 figure course and the autoresponder course. I will be joining the PWA and am really hoping to make some money with my skills so that I can attend boot camp this year.

    Stephanie Morse

  4. I need to built my web site urgently! I´m sure of my path, more or less know my niche, I´ve been making a list of my possible clients, so now I need to publish it.


  5. Hi Rebecca. As I have bought the internet researcher and money-making website courses, I am going to concentrate on the first, get my research business up and running in the next 2 months (fingers crossed)and then, hopefully within 6 to 12 months I want to have my money making website up and running too. Do you think this is too ambitious? I am still working full-time and hope to quit my job and live the writer's life as soon as I have replaced my income.


  6. Hi, Rebecca. This series has been fantastic. And the timing is perfect. Thanks to the great mentors and programs at AWAI, I've built my copywriting business to a comfortable level, but it's time to re-evaluate and revamp. Way too many inputs to process. This series has helped me take a step back and figure out how to move ahead. In my case, we'll be tackling information marketing next. Thanks again.


  7. Hi Rebecca,

    I guess I've combined days 3 and 4 into one task for the moment, which is to complete one chapter in the Secrets of B2B Copywriting course each day. Unless you have a better idea for the moment. Again, great series and one that came at just the right time to get me back on track and re-motivated to get my new career back on track. Thanks!


  8. Thanks for these emails, Rebecca! I'm into the Internet Research program and then, once that business is going, I'll finish the 6-Figure Copywriter program. Thanks for helping me to get unstuck!

    Aaron Atkinson

  9. Hi Rebecca, Tomorrow, with your help, I'm going to begin building my website. Four days later, I expect to have it up and running. I already have a demain name, but no hosting. I'm excited about it for many reasons, not the least of which I will learn how to best utilyze it to advance my marketing efforts. Once I get it up and running I expect to dive headfirst into Copywriting, Resume writing, and Internet Researching. Thanks for your help.
    Best regards, Henry

    The Hammer

  10. Hi Rebecca, As I get my 6-figure Copywriting to a good level I plan to get my Money Making Website up and study Web copywriting 2.0.


  11. I've been rudderless. Floundering. Trying to find my niche. Small business? Travel? In your website course you emphasized: what is your passion? I honestly didn't have one that excited or really interested me, no matter how hard I tried. I kept exploring, with AWAI & PWA encouragement. I found it! Nonprofits! Conservation! I bought the course. I'm excited! I'm focused. I have a PLAN! And your series of steps just confirmed I'm on the right track & fine-tuned it for me. Thank you, Rebecca!


  12. Hi Rebecca, It's GREAT waking up early and feel'n excited about your path. I have recently purchased the six-figure course and am at the restaurant letter segment,newbie dooby-do! From there the autoresponder course is of interest to me. However, with limited web knowledge, should I be looking at something else,first? Also, to backtrack a little--my next buiness activity is to explain to my spouse ALL what I have undertaken:-)


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