How To Get The Most Out Of Practice
This week we’ve been talking a lot about web writing. I’ve told you what a huge industry it is, how much money you can make, and how you can get started right away …
But what’s the number one secret to success as a web writer?
Write something every day.
I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but few of us actually do it.
Maybe it feels like a waste of time if you’re not getting paid or increasing your freelance business. Even if your writing is improving, not seeing visible rewards for your effort can be very discouraging.
My solution is to practice by writing something that will increase your chances of getting a project, position you as an expert in your field, and make you a better web writer.
Here are my favorite ways to start practicing today, so you can quickly start living the writer’s life as a web writer:
1. Write a blog post.
I mentioned starting a blog earlier this week, but it’s worth bringing up again because the fastest way to submerge yourself in the world of web writing is to create your own blog and contribute to it regularly. Several times a week is a good amount.
Having your own blog will also convince people you’re an expert because you’ll be providing valuable content on your subject.
This will make it easier to find clients and make money as a web writer.
But, what do you write about?
If your goal is to be a web writer, your blog will likely be about writing for the Web. You could write about your favorite resources, what you learned about web writing from watching American Idol, what your trip to Florida taught you about web writing, you name it. It’s your blog, so have a little fun. Let your readers see your personality and get a feel for your web-writing style.
2. Write a chapter of your e-book.
Technology makes creating an e-book as simple as typing it in Word and saving it as a PDF.
Writing an e-book might seem like an overwhelming task at first, but broken into daily chunks, it’s as easy as writing a collection of articles. Spend your daily writing time working on your e-book, and in a few weeks you’ll have a complete e-book to use as a sample or to send to potential clients. For more e-book tips, check out this article: 6 Ideas for Writing a Successful E-book.
You could also give your e-book away on your website as an incentive to sign up for your newsletter list.
An e-book will also help you get more jobs because people will read your book, see you as an expert, and come to you for their web-writing needs. This means more money in your pocket just for practicing your writing every day.
3. Build your portfolio.
You might think you have to have a real client and published writing samples to add to your portfolio, but that’s not the case. Even practice blog posts, articles, and other copy are okay to show prospective clients as they showcase your style and skills.
Don’t know what to write? Here are some ideas:
- Articles for websites in your niche: You could use these in your portfolio, send them to the website owner hoping to get them published, or both.
- Web copy for imaginary clients: You could write emails, landing pages, or any other web copy for a company you make up.
- Write a website for a brick-and-mortar company who doesn’t have one or critique an existing website. You don’t have to have the permission of the business owner to create a sample for your portfolio, but who knows … if you show the company what you can do, they might pay you to do the job for real.
After just a few weeks of practicing your web writing daily by building your portfolio, you will have a very impressive, bulky portfolio to help you get clients.
4. Respond to freelance web-writing job ads.
I personally have dozens of job ads I’d like to respond to, but I can never find the time. Why not use your daily writing time to write individual responses to each job ad?
Be sure to address their specific needs and really sell yourself as the solution.
For example, if the job ad says they prefer someone who understands the financial industry, you could talk about any experience you have in that area and how you could use that experience in your writing for them.
Remember, the goal here is to practice your writing ― and pick up a job along the way, so put everything you have into each response.
When you take the time to write specific responses to each job ad, you’ll see a much better response rate than if you simply copy and paste a generic response to each ad.
5. Send an email.
Once you create a blog, you can build a list of people who visit your blog and look forward to your next post.
Email marketing systems make it easy and inexpensive to set up a basic email capture form on your website to generate leads.
For now, you can add a simple form that collects their email address so you can send them your blog updates. (There’s a lot of information on Wealthy Web Writer about setting up this system.)
Once you have a few names on your list, you can use your daily writing time to write an email to your list.
These emails don’t have to be lengthy sales emails. They can be simple ― similar to blog posts ― to remind prospective clients you’re the amazing web writer they need.
Emailing your list will add to your experience and build your credibility. The people on your list will get to know you and remember your name. This increases the chance that your name will come to mind when they need a web writer.
We’ll talk more tomorrow about how email can make you a better web writer …
But today, make a commitment to yourself to do just one of the above daily writing exercises every day.
Within a few weeks, you’ll not only be a better writer, but you’ll have work to show for your efforts and your prospective clients will see you as a better writer, too.
So what about you? Comment below to share your ideas for daily practice that will also be a worthwhile use of your time.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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