Scaling The Heights Fast: A Concise Freelance Writing Guide For Beginners

Focus on the Goals, Take Actions, and Make a Living as a Beginner Freelance Writer

The Freelance economy is soaring, and millennials are keying into it. In the United States alone, there are about 53 million people doing freelance work. In the EU labour market, the gig economy (as it’s fondly called) is growing faster. Freelancers are the fastest growing group in the EU labour market as their numbers have increased by 45% from just under 6.2 million to 8.9 million in 2013.

The reality is that Freelancing has come to stay. Many have accepted it as a job, and the numbers will continue increasing.

Of course, it’s one of the biggest opportunities on the internet.

Freelance writing, an integral part of online business accounts for a large chunk of the gig economy.

Freelance writers fill this void of creating contents for their clients all over the world. They are involved in series of activities such as Web Content creation, guest posting, ghostwriting, lead generation, feature writing, B2B/B2C writing and the list is endless.

As a freelance writer, you rule your world, change the world and make a living writing.

Many people want to delve into this, but don’t know how to start. Many have started, but are afraid of taking the next big step.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK HERE

Why is this so?

Many Beginner Freelance Writers still ask these questions:

  • Can I ever get clients?
  • If I ever get clients, can I impress them to accept my works?
  • Will I be able to earn consistently from freelance writing?

Are these questions necessary?

Of course, they are. It’s a challenge faced by many (including the experts), but they are able to scale through and are now living a life of their dreams.

The Reality:

The prospect of freelance writing is high, but it takes targeted efforts, careful strategy, and skills to be successful at it.

  • Beginner freelance writers face challenges. No doubt
  • Are these challenges exclusive to freelance writers alone? No
  • Is it possible to scale through these challenges? Yes
  • What can I do to overcome these challenges? That’s the essence of this e-book

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK HERE

These are the concerns of many beginner freelance writers. They are eager to start this life changing career but are afraid of their own shadows. If you’re one of them, that’s over today. With this e-book, you focus on the how of freelance writing, take calculated and important actions, and make a living as a freelance writer in a short period.

What to expect from the E-book

The e-book is made up of eleven chapters and touches all the basic aspects of freelance writing for a beginner. These include:

  1. Sidestep your fears: Why You Should Start Writing Today?
  2. Taking Actions: The Newbie Writer’s Guide To Success
  3. So You Want To Write? 10 Ways To Get Started
  4. Revealed! The Best And Only Way To Learn Writing
  5. Eager to begin a Freelance Writing Career? 5 Things You Must Know
  6. 10 Successful Tips for Beginner Freelance Writers
  7. Top 10 Challenges of a Beginner Freelance Writer (And How to overcome them)
  8. 7 Daily Productivity Hacks for Freelance Writers
  9. 10 Social Media Productivity Hacks for Freelance Writers
  10. Dealing with Procrastination as a Freelance Writer: A Personal Experience
  11. The Defining Moments of a Beginner Freelance Writer

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK HERE

What Freelance Writing Experts say about Scaling The Heights Fast:

“If you’re a beginner writer looking to get into freelance writing, give this book a shot! Not only does AbdulGaniy Shehu share practical information to help you overcome your fears, stop being involved in “motion” and actually start taking “action,” he also shares relevant examples and analogies to help drive his points home.”Bamidele Onibalusi |Founder, Writers In Charge|

“This book by AbdulGaniy Shehu is a must read for any newbie freelance writer who wants to get started with their writing career. It’s full of golden nuggets and actionable tips that will take you to greater heights”Aisha Sulaiman |Freelance Writer| Blogger|

“This book by AbdulGaniy Shehu is, no doubt, a valuable addition to the subject of freelance writing. It teaches in lucid terms, the right way to start a successful freelance writing career and how you can put your best foot forward. You can never get tired reading this book because of the rare insights and the practical tips it’s filled with. I therefore urge you to get yourself a copy and read it”Hafiz Akinde |Freelance Blogger| Content Marketer

On A Final Note:

Scaling the Heights Fast is the e-book that will propel you as a beginner from zero to hero in your freelance writing journey.

I’m a Freelance Writer, and contributor to The Huffington Post, Engadget, Tweak Your Biz, Tech Cocktail, and a host of other online platforms. Be rest assured that I know my onions when it comes to freelance writing.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK NOW and let me take you by the hand on the step by step guide to achieve success fast in freelance writing.

10 Surefire Ways to Influence Your Online Brand Like An Expert

Your online brand is an important asset.

It helps your online business sprout.

It’s your gateway to the world, and a means to interact with people

It is important for your business. So you must impact it the right way.

Many brands have been made through the internet. Many persons have gained prominence on the internet. Many businesses have thrived by doing the right things on the internet.

You cannot be left out of all these?

So, what’s the best yet inexpensive and easy way to impact your online brand?

What’s the top secret of online marketers, social media influencers, authority bloggers and so on?

What have they done to remain on top always?

In this post, I highlight how important it is to impact your online brand with the right words, and the ways you can achieve this.

The potent tools for impacting your online brand

As an online brand you need to understand how the right words impact your business.

According to Hubspot, On average, B2B marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget to content marketing

It’s a no-brainer that many B2B’s, B2C’s etc. have utilised these tools for their brand.

With the right words, you will speak to your audience in a succinct, clear and convincing manner

With the right words, you will persuade your audience to take specific actions.

With the right words, your online brand can thrive faster with the minimum budget available.

And still achieve your set goals.

10 Actionable Ways to impact your online brand with the right words

As a business, you should impact your online brand with the right words. These ten (10) actionable techniques if implemented can make your online brand boomerang.

  1. Be straightforward:

    As an online brand, you must always think of the end goal of each content

You must always ask?

What do I want to achieve with this content?

What are my brand goals, and how can I convey it easily.

You must be specific with the goals of each content, and discuss it in details without losing track.

You must go straight to the point from the beginning.

If you can be straight-forward with your contents, you’ll impact your online brand positively

  1. Be specific:

    If you wish to impact your online brand with the right words, you need to be specific with your contents

You should only focus on saying one thing, which is the most important.

Provide your online audience with impacting and enthralling contents

As a rule, you should never say everything.

If you could do this for all of your contents, it will impact your online brand positively in no distant time.

  1. Have a logical flow:

    Do you begin your online contents from the end, and end from the beginning?

Having a content with illogical flows affects your online brand greatly

If all posts were to begin with the introduction and vice versa. How will it look?

Illogical isn’t it?

Your online contents must be easy to follow. The audience must know what it represents from start.

It must be in a logical order.

If you are promising a benefit, it must follow that order.

As a rule, explain the reasons to believe in benefits that you promise

Give your contents the logical order it deserves today, and watch as your online brand thrives.

  1. Be careful:

    It’s normal to have redundancies creep into your contents. This is understandable

How do these affect your contents?

It makes them look unnatural, and dispossess them of the powerful words to convince your audience.

What are Redundancies?

They are words you can do without in your contents. They are mostly adjectives and are detrimental to your online brand success.

You can read Smart Blogger’s in-depth post about them, and how to avoid them too..

What to do instead?

You should be careful whenever you write, because redundancies know no one.

After writing the contents, don’t be in haste to hit the publish button. Re-write and edit your contents. If you could afford it, you can pass it over to an editor.

By doing this, you will set your online brand on the right track

  1. Don’t generalise:

    To be impactful with your online brand, be specific with your contents.

Never generalise what you do? The people you work with? How you may help? The benefits in using your brand, and so on.

When you are specific, your contents will be engaging.

You will gain more followers.

You will even sell more.

Make your contents specific, and you will land more sales for your online brand

  1. Show the benefits:

    For every content out there, there must be a benefit.

If there are no benefits, the contents will be nothing but err… worthless

If I may ask?

What’s the benefit of this article?

To illustrate how to impact your online brand with the right words

Right?

So a person who stumbles upon this article through any medium, will know what is in it for him/her.

The same way, your contents must have benefits, and you must demonstrate them.

Do not keep your audience in doubt, else you will lose them fast.

Create the right words, flaunt the benefits of your online brand and witness it flourish

  1. Don’t be self-centric:

    Are your contents populated by I, Me, We, Us etc.?

If this so, then you are infusing failure into your online brand.

Your contents have to be about the reader.

You should talk about the reader, speak to the reader, and emphasise the benefits the reader will get from the content.

When you talk about the reader, you solve a problem, and drive home your points even faster.

Your online brand will profit from this greatly, and your potential customers will be better off for it.

  1. Prove your claims:

    Have you ever contacted a supposed bespoke fashion designer who doesn’t have samples?

What did you do next?

Contact him for your next big occasion?

In most cases you leave the outlet never to go back again. Ever!

This is same for your online brand, and the contents you create to impact it.

You must back up all your claims with proofs.

Never allow your audience to assume. Show proofs

If you are a Freelance Writer, you should prove this by writing.

If you are Social Media Marketer, you should show proofs of completed projects

If you want to convince your audience that your online brand is the best, then reinforce your contents with proofs.

  1. Be generous:

    We live in an internet-crazy world.

No wonder, the internet world has witnessed an over 913% growth in the last 16 years

Many online brands with the same target, try to impress the potential customers daily.

How are they doing it?

They convey their message in words, just as you do/ planning to.

This report has it that, more than 4 million blog posts are published daily

So, what happens to the potential customers?

Chances are that they are preoccupied, sceptical and confused.

They do not know the next brand to purchase their goods, or get their services from.

As an online brand wishing to impact with the right words, what do you do?

Simple, be generous!

Make your contents more detailed, more informative and more solution oriented.

If possible, put forward an incentive (In form of a free eBook). You can also offer to do something for free (a service), and do it well.

When you are generous with your contents, and the incentives you offer. You will impact your online brand rightly.

  1. Ask politely:

    There is a purpose for every content you create for your online brand.

This could be for publicity, advertisement, brand awareness and so on.

As a rule, ask your potential customers to take an action.

This you should include at the end of every content.

It is vital, and a viable tool to give your online brand the impact it deserves.

If you want your audience to share your content, state it clearly. When you do, chances are that they will do so. But if you don’t, they won’t.

Ask your audience to take actions politely, and you can only imagine them making a buzz about your online brand

On a Final Note:

Impacting your online brand with the right words is key to growing your business.

The right words ensure that you pass your message across in a convincing and clear manner.

The right words give your online brand the boom it deserves.

When you write your contents with the right words. It affects your business and grow your online brand to an enviable height.

Have your say?

As an Online brand, what are the steps you have been taking to impact your online brand?

What is the impact it has for your business so far?

Do you think the right words are potent tools for impacting an online brand?

Make your submissions in the comment box below

The Defining Moments of a Beginner Freelance Writer

Now you are a beginner freelance writer.

Days, Weeks and Months pass by and you can’t figure out what you have achieved so far. You want to go back to the drawing board, but that isn’t an option (After all to you, none exists). You examine the steps you have taken, and confident you have been doing it the right way (But still yet, you haven’t achieved your goals).

You ask yourself some questions:

  • What is freelance writing?
  • Are people earning through freelance writing?
  • If people do, what is wrong with my approach?

The defining moments:

There are defining moments for a beginner freelance writer. These moments will determine how far you will go in the industry or not. They will separate those who understand freelance writing and those who don’t. These are the moments you should watch out for in your career, because it can make or mar you.

So Today, I will examine the five major defining moments of a beginner Freelance Writer, what it means and how you should approach it.

 

  1. When to Start?

One of the major moments of every beginner freelance writer is when to start. Many times, it is difficult to figure this out as everything looks so good to be true. You wonder how it is possible for someone to write for others, and get paid for that. You imagine, how easy the steps highlighted for every beginner freelance writer will materialise. You might be confused if you should leave your full-time job to begin the career as a Freelance writer, or you should start part time. You think, imagine and also confused.

What you should do:

As a beginner freelance writer, I will advise you to take actions immediately. Though the end justifies the means; actions separate doers from dreamers. [ctt_author author=”260″ name=”AbdulGaniy Shehu” template=”1″ link=”ELfce” via=”no” ]If you are just reading about freelance writing, and eager to delve into it, Do it now because tomorrow could be too late[/ctt_author]

  1. How to start:

You have read a lot about the different ways people earn through freelance writing (Maybe I have not done that here).

The Options: Content Mills, Freelance Job Websites or the Pitching Method

How they work:

  • Content mills: As the name implies, these are website where different categories of contents are written on, and paid for. What a content mill does is to allow you to write on different aspects, upload it and sell. While it is easy to sell on content mills, you do so at ridiculously low prices. Content mills have made writers worthless, as anybody can go there, write and get paid. The result in the long run, is that you work more and earn less.
  • Freelance Job Websites: These are the bidding sites, where buyers and sellers meet. Here, as a Freelance writer, you register and find the services you can offer. In the same vein, buyers come to do the same. Writers bid for available jobs on the website, and sellers test and pick a freelance writer whom they are satisfied with his service/ price. Bidding websites pay higher than content mills (but some writers have misused it too). The competition is stiff and the interest of writers are rarely protected by the websites.

  • The pitching method: This is another way in which you can make a living as a beginner freelance writer. It involves you to be in charge of the day-to-day activities of your job. Here, it’s your duty to look for clients, pitch them on the services you offer, and charge them too on the acceptable price you want. In fact, you are the boss. This could be a bit confusing for beginners who could ask:
  • How do I find clients?
  • How/ what should I write to them?
  • How will I get the clients’ contacts and the list is endless.

What you should do:

Having examined the major ways in which freelance writing can take.

What’s the best way?

As a beginner Freelance writer, I will advise you to be wary of content mills (it could tempt though), but it’s bad for your career. Freelance bidding websites are good for you as a beginner, but it shouldn’t be your goal. You can gather the necessary experience through this. Make some cash and get clients there too, but don’t stay so long here (It could affect your career in the long run). The pitching method, which seems difficult is the best way to go. This is what I practise and some other Freelance writers such as Carol Tice, Bamidele Onibalusi and Abdullahi Muhammed all do the same too. It could seem difficult but as it is said: “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.

  1. Where to specialise:

After identifying when and how to start, the next big step is to specialise. In freelance writing and blogging, your area of specialisation is your niche, and I discussed this in my last post. So what do you consider before choosing a niche?

  • Are you passionate about it?
  • Do you have the knowledge of it?
  • Are you experienced in it?
  • Is it relevant to your potential clients?
  • Is it profitable?

Discussing the points raised above:

  • Passion: This is an unnegotiable factor in choosing a niche to specialise in as a beginner freelance writer. You must be passionate about your niche and be ready to write about it anytime, any day and anywhere. A niche which you are passionate about will be easy to research on and write about. In the long run when have more clients and more work to do, the passion will keep you going.

 

  • Knowledge: This is a very important consideration for choosing a niche. Your knowledge about that niche must be all-encompassing. You should be able to write about it with minimal or no research. This could be because you learnt about it while in college, or through self-learning and research. Your clients will expect more from you as a professional, and your in-depth knowledge of your niche will help you a great deal.

 

  • Experience: Experience will help you a lot in choosing a niche. Are you a retired Banker/ Financial analyst? You can take up the finance niche. Were you once a counsellor? You can take up the personal development niche, Have you ever taught in high school, college etc. you can take up the education niche. With the requisite experience, it’s expected that you know a lot about the niche. When clients see you are experienced, they will trust and want to work with you more.

 

  • Relevance: In choosing a niche, you should be sure that, it’s relevant to your potential clients and audience. You should know that, what is relevant in a particular market isn’t the same with the other. Take for instance, topics of interest to the US market, won’t be the same for the UK market. Therefore, you must study your market, identify the relevance of your niche there before settling for one.

 

  • Profitability: You are in freelance writing to make profits. This is because, it is the profit you make that can foot your bills, take care of your family and so on. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for profitable niches that enable you to get well paying clients always.

 

What you should do:

Before choosing a niche, you must examine all the points raised, as any mistake made here could be fatal and threatening to your career.

  1. A Blog, A Writer Website or What?

As a freelance writer who have went through the pitching method as explained. A blog or a writer website is important to you. So what’s it all about, and how will it aid your career.

  • Blog: A blog is an online platform where a writer expresses his opinion and provides solutions to issues in his niche. As a freelance writer, a blog is an avenue to show your expertise and establish authority too.

So how relevant is a blog to a freelance writer?

  1. It provides a platform for you to speak to the world
  2. It helps in sharpening your writing skills
  3. It gives you the opportunity to show and sell your products
  4. It aids in establishing yourself as a Professional. And lots more.
  • Writer Website: A writer website is your online office as a Freelance writer. It is through this website you can get in touch with clients all over the world. Display your portfolio, testimonials, the clients you have worked with and so on. You can also embed a contact/ billing form where they can get in touch with you with their various projects. Clients get to know more about you through this website.

As a beginner freelance writer which of them do you need?

A freelance writer needs both a blog and a writer website. This is because with a blog, you can showcase your expertise to the world, and people will recognise you. And with a writer website, you are making your business more professional. Taking Winsome Writer as an example, it’s both a Blog and a Writer Website. Writers In Charge of Bamidele Onibalusi is both a blog and a Writer Website, OxygenMat by Abdullahi Muhammed is both a blog and a Writer Website. Though, you can have a different blog and writer website, like Carol Tice who operates her blog at Make A Living Writing, and a Writer Website too.

What you should do:

As a Beginner Freelance Writer, you should identify how important these two platforms are to your career, make a wise choice today by keying into them. If you need more help on setting up your blog or writer website, get in touch with me.

  1. Getting your first client:

    This is the moment that defines your Freelance writing career. Experts in Freelance writing have opined that getting the first client is the most challenging and difficult task for a Freelance Writer. This is because, as a beginner, the industry is still strange to you, the clients will be skeptical about working with you. But as soon as you get the first client, then you can welcome yourself into the industry.

What the first client does for you:

  • It gives you the motivation that you are on the right track
  • It gives you a reassurance that your efforts have not been in vain
  • It gives you the opportunity to earn your first few dollars from writing
  • It provides an opportunity for you to show the clients, your writing prowess.

As a beginner Freelance Writer, what should you expect from your first client?

  • More work: You should expect your first client to offer more projects for you to work on, if he is satisfied with your writing
  • Earning: At first, the pay might not be as high as you wanted, but you shouldn’t settle for less because you are desperate for your first client
  • Testimonial: If you have done the first project for your first client, you should expect a testimonial from him/ her. With a testimonial, you can include this on your website as a proof of projects you have executed in the past.

What you should do:

As a beginner freelance writer, getting your first client is the most defining moment of your career, it can make or mar you. With your first client, it heralds you into the world of Freelance writing. So prepare well for this day and put in your best to make sure that you deliver a quality project on time.

On a Final note:

Every career has its defining moments. A beginner freelance writer, should be watchful of all these moments. If you can handle them well, and take the necessary steps, it would go a long way to determine what you would achieve. If you joke with them, and take them with levity it will not only mar you, but make you detest freelance writing forever. It is never too late to take the bold step today.

Over to you:

As a beginner freelance writer, what has been your defining moments? Are you satisfied with your actions and inactions during these moments? Do make your submissions in the comment box.

10 Successful Tips that Beginner Freelance Writers need in 2017

Freelancing has played a major role in the economy of countries and individuals this year. There have been milestones attained, and breakthroughs in the year in view. As the year finally winds down, many individuals will join the freelance industry.

Experts have predicted that 2017 is the year of freelancing.

Freelance writing will continue to soar as I revealed in this post.

As a newbie freelance writer, you might wonder what should be put in place to enable you compete favourably in the ever demanding market.

In today’s post, I share with you ten (10) tips for a successful career in freelance writing in 2017.

And guess what? I have a special gift for you at the end of the post. So read on:

  • Start small: 

    “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. Starting your career as a newbie in the freelance writing industry requires that you start small and then climb the success ladder gradually. When starting, do not compare yourself with experts in the industry, they started somewhere too.

Approach small businesses, start by writing for small online publications, and volunteer to do some work. When you start small, you can measure your progress and success too.

So, start small and achieve big.

  • Create a niche:

    What is a niche? You might ask. A niche is your area of specialization as a Freelance writer. This is the area where people know you for, and can vouch for your expertise too. Okay, to simplify it:

The first time you visited this blog, what niche do you observe? Writing and Freelance writing isn’t it? That is why I can’t publish posts on Music, Politics, and News etc. on this blog, because they are not my blog niches. In the same way, as a freelance writer, you should have a niche to succeed.

With a niche, you are good to go.

  • Remain focused:

    Let me tell you something frankly. Freelance writing is difficult. Why is it so, you might query?

It’s difficult to get clients.

After getting clients, writing is an arduous task.

After taking your time to write, clients might reject your works, and I can go on.

So imagine yourself continuing in this cycle for the next few months, what happens? You will be dejected and frustrated. In fact, you might quit. This is where focus comes in. You should motivate yourself and also be patient too.

I assure you, with focus you will go places in this industry.

  • Be professional:

    “Freelance writing is a business and not a hobby”. This is the mind-set and attitude all beginner freelance writers should have. If you wish to achieve your goals, do not take freelance writing, as a hobby. Professionalism is key, in your dealings with your clients. As a professional:

  • You should ask clients about the specifics of their jobs.
  • You should do the work diligently and on time
  • Respond to emails and queries.
  • You should offer valuable advice to clients.

Of course, professionalism pays in the long run.

  • Consider Guest Posting:

    As a newbie freelance writer, you are not known to potential clients. So what do you do? You write posts targeted at your niche (which I mentioned earlier), for blogs, online publications, magazines etc. I hope you now understand, what guest posting is all about?

Although it might not be easy to get in to top publications at first, but starting with the small publications, will get you there. Guest posting gives you social proof, and with time, you become an authority too.

Do you see yourself as an authority? Consider guest posting.

  • Start a blog:

    Blogging is an underutilised tool by most freelance writers. With a blog, you write consistently about a particular area of interest.

Now what is the purpose of a blog?

  • It gives you a platform.
  • It gives you social proof.
  • It makes you an authority.
  • Your audience are potential clients.
  • It provides a potential income stream for you.

[ctt template=”1″ link=”AIk0w” via=”no” ]I strongly recommend that you start a blog as a freelance writer (though it’s not compulsory). Start a blog and build a name in the industry[/ctt].

  • Develop your writing ability:

    So you are a freelance writer, is that all? As a freelance writer, your most important asset is your writing skill and ability. Therefore, you should develop this skill regularly. With a good writing ability, you can take on different writing projects.

When you develop your writing ability, you can diversify your income, and become irresistible to clients. You can learn e-Book writing/ formatting, white papers, content marketing etc. by visiting blogs, reading books, and following websites too.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”eWfA_” via=”no” ]Develop your writing ability on a daily basis, and you will be better off for it[/ctt]

  • Increase your online visibility:

    The world today is on the internet, and everything is done on the go. As a freelance writer, you must key into this, and develop your online visibility. The whole world should know what you offer, and how that can change their businesses.

You should be visible on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, About.me, and so on. Likewise, you should be consistent and purposeful with your contents and posts on these platforms.

[ctt template=”1″ link=”6cGbD” via=”no” ]Online visibility is the order of the day in businesses, and you should utilise it judiciously[/ctt]

  • Diversify your earnings:

    Freelance writing offers you a consistent income if done the right way. With a freelance writing career, you can make a decent income online. But to succeed in the industry, you must diversify your earnings. As a freelance writer, you can go into blogging, affiliate marketing, and other online businesses. With diversified streams of income, you can be sure of decent earnings through various means. If you want to earn more, diversify your earnings.

  • Do it afraid:

    Writers generally are afraid (This includes the experts too). Some of the fears writers have are:

  • Who will read my works?
  • My writings are awful.
  • Everybody writes better than I do.
  • Can I ever make money from writing? and so on.

While some of these fears are true, many writers have gone ahead despite the fears to get to their respective goals. As a freelance writer, these fears are also existent. Some of the fears of freelance writers include:

  • Can I ever get clients?
  • If I ever get clients, can I impress them to accept my works?
  • Will I be able to earn consistently from freelance writing?

Of course, these fears exist but should they scare you from beginning your career as a freelance writer? Hell No.

Rather, they should spur you to take actions and succeed in your chosen career.

So friend, do it afraid and rule the world

On a final note:

Actions separate doers from dreamers. Your freelance writing career in this year, might not have ended on a good note, but that is not the end of the world.

2017, offers you a unique opportunity to make the changes you want, and achieve your dreams. It is not too late to make hay, after all the sun still shines. I wish you success.

Oh! The gift I promised

Well, it’s an e-Book.

The second, I will be sharing on this blog.

N.B: It’s not authored by me, but I have the rights to share it with my audience.

Download: A Motivational Newbie’s Guide to Online Freelance Writing

I assure you, it will spur you to take the right actions for your freelance writing career.

Over to you:

What other things do you think fellow freelance writers should do to achieve success in freelance writing in 2017? Do make your comments below.

 

Dealing with Procrastination as a Writer: A Personal Experience

Today makes it 42 days I posted a new article on this blog. For the past one month, I stopped my freelance writing activities which has affected my blog updates too. I must confess it was a hell of a time, an unforgettable experience and moment of deep reflection worth sharing with you.

What happened?

Shortly before my convocation ceremony (Which came up last month), a friend invited me over to carry out a particular task that will last for some weeks. This, I agreed to reluctantly and together we carried out this task for two weeks. While this task lasted, I wrote nothing either on my blog or elsewhere. Of course, my writing career suffered a huge setback.

As if that was not enough:

Before commencing the task with my friend, my laptop’s battery got damaged so I can only use it with electricity! And immediately I finished the task, I became so reluctant to pick up my pen. I wasn’t eager anymore to type on my computer, and each day passes by and I assured myself I will write the next day.

The monster called Procrastination

Procrastination, which means postponing, or setting aside a task you ought to execute today for another day is a monster. Truly the killer of dreams and an effectual way to stop pursuing a particular cause. When you procrastinate you become so lazy, you develop a psychological apathy towards the task at hand, and most times dread ever going back to it.

Procrastination for a writer: My Personal Experience

Procrastination affects writing just like any other profession. In fact, that of a writer is more visible, more damaging and easy. During the last few weeks, procrastination made me lost my writing  voice. It made writing so difficult, and I dreaded ever putting anything down to write. My writing became so disrupted that the only consolation I put up for myself is that I will write tomorrow. In fact, I wondered if I could ever be able to write again. That is what procrastination does for a writer. It makes you lose your self-confidence, you seize to believe in yourself and abilities, and instead of been a writer you become a waiter.

Dealing with Procrastination as a Writer

Though Procrastination affected my writing career, I learnt some lessons especially on how to handle it. This is to prevent a re-occurrence and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes as mine.

Here are 5 ways to deal with procrastination as a writer:

  • Understand the phenomenon:

    The first step to dealing with procrastination is to understand the phenomenon and how it works. Always have it in mind that it creeps into your career unknowingly, and always difficult to know that you have procrastinated. It gives you a sense of confidence that nothing will happen if you fail to write today. As a writer, when you have this feeling, you should understand that it’s nothing but procrastination and then act fast.

 

  • Make it a duty to write daily:

    This is an advice that top players in the writing industry tell fellow writers to heed. When you write daily, you achieve many things which include:

  1. You remain in a right state of mind to write (This is because writing deals with your state of mind)
  2. You remain less bothered about what to post
  3. You have a large pool of ready articles to choose.

So handle procrastination and make writing daily important. With a daily writing time table, you will have defeated it by a large percentage.

  • Make writing a top priority always:

    You cannot write daily if you don’t make the act of writing an important aspect of your life. What should always come to your mind always is writing. You think, dream and feel writing. It’s only when writing becomes a top priority that you won’t think of anything else than to write. In reality, you execute other tasks as well but practically writing remains top most in your heart. With this mind-set, you won’t see yourself procrastinating a writing task for another time or day.

 

  • Make reading a habit:

    Good writers are avid readers, and avid readers never run out of writing ideas always. To deal with procrastination, make it a habit to read always.

  • Read novels as much as you can.
  • Read about writing and its different techniques.
  • Read about the challenges faced by writers and how they overcome them.
  • Read blog posts of fellow writers, top players in the writing industry, mentors, etc.

All these and many more, ensures that you are on top of your game always. You will write as much as you can, and many more.

  • Think about your audience:

    Thinking about your audience is an effective way to handle procrastination. As a writer, your audience are the most important aspect of your career. Not only do they read what you write, they wait for it, and put them into practice. Now imagine the scenario whereby an audience that have been waiting so long for your write-up get disappointed. Devastating isn’t it? You might as well lose a sizeable number of them if this persists for long. The internet is so populated, and you need fresh contents always to stay on top of the game. As a writer, when you think about the audience, you will never procrastinate and will want to satisfy them always.

On a Final Note:

Procrastination is real, and it’s a cog in the wheel of a writer’s progress. The surprising thing is that it creeps unknowingly into a writer’s career, and if not taken care of, will cause a huge damage to it. As a writer, you should always be ready for setbacks, disappointments and so on in your career. These weigh you down and makes you want to think that procrastination is the next thing for you. But with the practical steps highlighted above, you will overcome procrastination and be in charge of your writing career. Well, I have learnt my lessons and I am back for good.

Over to You

As a writer, have you ever experienced procrastination? What are the steps you have taken to overcome it successfully? Make your submissions in the comment box.

Revealed: The Best and only Way to learn Writing

Everybody wants to be a writer. I have seen no one who isn’t interested in writing. Because everyone wants to write, many are bemused about where to start. They want to know the best way to learn writing. Few days ago, I met someone who read some of the posts on my blog. He was so enthusiastic and told me: “Shehu, what are the secrets to writing.” To him, there are secrets writers hide from their audience.

Likewise, two days ago, a high school friend of mine called after a long time. At the end of our discussion he said: “Shehu, I visited your blog days ago, and I am impressed by what you do. Though I find it easy to express myself in speech, it’s always difficult for me to write.” He confessed.

This is happening  within a week. These and many more are questions I get from friends, family members, colleagues and readers of my blog.

Writing is both difficult and easy. Your perception to it matters and goes a long way in shaping you.

Today, I am revealing the best and only one way to learn writing.Before that, let me make three shocking revelations:

 

  1. You have no excuses for not writing:

    Most at times, whenever you are asked about writing and why you have not started writing. It’s easy to bring up one thousand and one excuses. These excuses may include: Lack of talent, No adequate writing resources, Lack of mentors, Writing is difficult, There’s no time to write etc. While most of these excuses are true, it’s true that even with all these, you will still make excuses.

Peter elbow, while making his submission on this in his book, Writing without Teachers, aptly puts it thus:

People without education say, “If only I had education I could write.” People with education say, “If only I had talent, I could write.” People with education and talent say, “If only I had self-discipline I could write.” People with education, talent and self-discipline – and there are plenty of them who can’t write – say, “If only …” and don’t know what to say next. Of course, you can make excuses for not writing but there are none actually.

  1. Writing is your right:

    Yes, you heard me right. It’s your right to write, and it’s only when you write that you can claim your right. Without writing, you’ll lose your right to be right, but when you write you’ll become right.

Abdullahi Muhammed in his book, Your right to write puts it this way:

A lot of people are so scared to assert their right to write. I was scared too. Very much frightened. How could I call myself a writer? I had no Degree or certificate to show for it. I feared I could be challenged. That I was only pretending. That I was a serial impostor. Maybe you are, too. But in actual fact, you need no certification to write. It’s a right you’ve always had …your birth right. If you write, you’ll be right. Go a step further and author… that’s how to become an authority. Whatever you conceive, and solemnly believe, you can achieve.

  1. No barriers to Writing:

    If there is any profession that gives everybody the freewill to do whatever they want to do, in the best way they can do it, irrespective of their backgrounds, then writing comes first. There is no barrier to becoming a writer irrespective of your discipline. What matters most is your ability to learn how to write and writing always. Many great writers today, never studied Arts or Humanities in College or University. Though studying these related courses is good, but not studying them isn’t a barrier. I love the way Seth Godin puts it: “The biggest challenge is that there are no barriers. If you want to do it, go do it. Ideas worth spreading, spread.” And I say: “If you want to write, just write. Ideas worth writing, write”

Now, you know that:

  • No barriers to writing
  • Writing is your right
  • You have no excuses for not writing.

 

Then, what’s the best and only way to learn writing.

If I may ask you:

What’s the best way to learn how to walk? Walking, isn’t it?

What’s the best way to learn how to speak? Speaking, right?

What’s the best way to learn how to cook? Cooking, am I correct?

So, the best and only way to learn writing is:

Writing

Writing, and

Writing.

There are no two ways about it.

It is only when you write that you can master the art of writing.

Hear this:

If you read the best of books on writing

Possess the best resources that can aid your writing career

Subscribe to blogs that can make you a better write

Attend writing conferences to equip you better.

Does these actions make you a writer?
Definitely not.

The truth about writing is that, if you don’t write, you are not a writer.

So, if you want to learn writing, you need to write.

Stop procrastination. Pick up your pen right now and write.

The first draft might look messy and frightening, but that’s the best way to go. When you write, you learn and master it. But if you fail to write, you can never learn writing. Proficiency isn’t what you need now. You need to start. When you start, you learn and become better.

On a Final Note

Writing is a daunting, time-consuming and lonely task I admit. But if you wish to learn it, you need to start writing. It’s only when you write, that you can be called a writer. When you write, you claim your right. When you author, you become an authority.

Over to you:

What are the fears you have about writing? How has writing made you a better writer? Make your submissions in the comment box.

So you want to write? 10 Ways to get started

Hey Shehu, I want to be a Writer. I love writing but it’s difficult for me to start, what can I do?

Whenever I write, I feel my writing is not fascinating enough, do you face that too?

I have written many articles in the past, but I am afraid to share it with the public, what’s your advice on this? And the list is endless.

These are some of the questions I get from readers of my blog, friends and colleagues. Though they are passionate about writing, but don’t know how to start.

get started writing
get started writing

Let me tell you this: “While some believe that writers are born, others believe that they are made”. Irrespective of your belief, writing is an art that can be learnt and improved upon when you follow the right guides and learn from great writers.

So Today, I will share a 10 step guide, that can ease your writing career, and make it easier for you to write despite the challenges you face.

  1. The hard part is beginning: Writing is a herculean task I admit. It’s always difficult to write and even more difficult to continue writing. But the hard part of writing is writing. You should write regardless of whatever you’re facing or the content you churn out at first. The most important thing is to write. “Good writers write regardless of the content”. As soon as you begin your writing, everything will fall in place.

  2. Follow your writing process: Every writer has a process he or she follows. This is a routine that comes naturally, and not a step-by-step guide. The processes you follow while writing include the following
  • Pre-writing (Where you find your idea, build on it, plan and structure it)
  • Writing (In this stage, you write, concentrate more and avoid distractions)
  • Revision (At this stage you add, remove, rearrange and replace). Then, the editing and the publishing processes. When you follow these processes, writing becomes much easier and your contents are of more quality. You can read more about these processes here and here.
  1. Reading: Reading is important for writers. Good writers are avid readers. When you read, you equip yourself with the right words, vocabularies etc. you need to find time to read always as a writer, and it’s not limited to particular topics. You not only read, but read wide too. When you inculcate the habit of reading as a writer, you’ll see yourself becoming better at it.
  2. Learning: While it’s necessary to read always as a writer. That does not suffice only, as you need to learn too. As a writer, you need to learn about the usage of grammar, how to write compelling sentences, punctuation, spelling, etc. When you read, and complement it with learning, you are sure to super-charge your write-ups quality always.
  3. Researching: As a writer, you should be able to make lots of research always. Researches help your writing by making it more apt, qualitative, informative and factual. As a writer, you should research always even on topics you can write about. This helps you to improve the quality of your contents, and shows how deep your understanding of the topic is. So whenever you want to write, research first.
  4. Time: If you seriously want to increase the quality of your write-up, then you should dedicate time to it. Without dedicating time to writing, it will be difficult to produce quality contents always. Writing is time-consuming, and the more time you spend on it the better. Many wannabe writers are not one today, because they find it difficult to find time to write. Find a time to write always.Motivation photo
  5. Start small: One thing you must know is that, when you write you shouldn’t be keen on doing everything at once. Do not think you can start today, and be able to churn out Thousands of words within a few hours. As a beginner, you need to start from somewhere depending on what works best for you. Start small and move up the ladder.
  6. Practice: Practice makes perfection, they say. As a writer, you should practise always to become better. Never assume you can become a better writer without practicing. Yes, you become better by writing, and you write by practicing. Practice daily with few words, and see how far it’ll go in improving you. Write 300, 500, 750 words at least daily. Resources like 750 words, Twords and Daily Page are good for this purpose.
  7. Motivation: When you motivate yourself, it helps you to write better. Lack of motivation is something that can hunt you as a writer. Because when you are not motivated, you’re not spurred to write. As a Writer, the first step to motivating yourself is by sharing your writing with your readers, for appraisal and comments. When they do this, it helps you since you are sure someone is reading what you write. Likewise, you can motivate yourself in a negative way too. Whenever you write have it in mind that, someone will learn and be motivated by what you do. But if you don’t, your ideas will perish with you. Motivate yourself always.
  8. Discipline: As a writer, you need to be disciplined to succeed. Without discipline you will find out that, you’ll not achieve your goals. With a lot of distractions on the social media these days, you must be disciplined to follow your routines and schedules. It’s discipline that makes you to write when you have an interesting movie to watch, or an online hangout with your friends. When you are disciplined, you’ll improve your writing.

On a Final Note

As I addressed in this post, writing is something you cannot do without in the world today. There is no alternative to it. Since it is a necessity, you not only need to learn how to do it, but doing it well matters most. As it is said: “What is worth doing, is worth doing well”. With these guides, be sure to see yourself writing quality content always.

Over to you

Which of these guides, do you practise the most, and how has it helped your writing career. Make your submissions in the comment box.

Sidestep your fears: Why You should start Writing Today

“If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten in the grave, either write something worth reading or do something worth Writing.”- Benjamin Franklin

It’s common to see wannabe writers, afraid of starting a writing career. While many are afraid because of the notion that writing is hard. Others think that they do not have the requisite skills to command a clout of active followers. Not only that, many others do not know why they should start writing.

Today, I want you to sidestep your fears and do nothing but writing. I am revealing in this post, reasons why you should pick up your pen, switch on your computer, and start writing.

Sidestep your fears and start writing today

But before that; let me tell you this:

“Without a good writing skill, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good.”

Reference.com puts it this way: “Writing is an important part of life, whether in the workplace or school, as a hobby or in personal communication. This skill helps the writer express feelings and thoughts to other people in a relatively permanent form”

Likewise Skillsyouneed describes writing thus: “Writing skills are an important part of communication.  Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.”

As you can see, Writing is an essential part of our daily life, there’s hardly a day whereby you’ll not meet writing.  Be it in College, University, Workplace, and Conversation via Social Media and the list is endless.

Still thinking of writing? Here are 7 reasons why you should:

  1. It expresses your personality: In writing, you express your thoughts and personal convictions. So when you write, it demonstrates who you are as a person. Writing is a personality booster and shows your audience what/how/why you think/believe in whatever you write. As a reader of this post, you should decipher that I believe you need not only acquire a writing skill but do nothing today, than to start writing.
  2. It gives you credibility: Writing makes it easy for your audience to believe in you and want to relate with you. When you are a writer, you automatically express your thoughts which makes your audience see you as someone who is credible. It makes them see you as someone who is intelligent and can be trusted. Even in colleges, universities and schools writers tend to get higher grades and seen as more intelligent than their less literary counterparts.
  3. It aids Networking: Writing travels farther than you, and makes it easy for those who won’t have heard of you, revere and want to associate with you. With a good writing skill, you will meet new people, go places, and have memorable experiences. Many popular writers in the world today, have only gotten that privilege because they write. If you want to network with the right people today, start writing.
  4. It’s an essential job skill: Employers place a high value on sharp writing skills. There is hardly any job today that doesn’t need you to write. You need to write a report, grant application or press release, exchange e-mails with your colleagues, etc. So, you need a good writing skill to enable you do that. Without one, you might not be able to get a job. It might even be difficult to get along with your colleagues (if you have one). According to Grammarly, major companies spend upwards of US$3 billion (£1.8bn) per year training their employees to bring their writing abilities up to scratch.
  5. It’s a profession: Writing is a profession. If you are a Journalist, public relations professional etc., you need to start writing because it’s your profession. For these professions, you need to write because that is what you do. Apart from these professions that traditionally need writing, other professions do too. Thus, if you dream to work as a professional in these fields, you need to write.
  6. Means of communication: Before the advent of the internet, many people communicate via the telephones. We can say then that it is easy to defy writing. But today, writing has become the major means of communication between persons, businesses and organisations. With emails, notes, tweets, texts and so on. It’s hard for you to communicate without writing. Communicating via this platform can hinder or boost your career, relationship, networking etc. Remember, good writing leads to good communication.
  7. You can make a living: Of course, you can make a living writing, and affecting others’ lives positively. Many writers, bloggers, freelancers and so on are earning a decent living just by writing. Some writers and bloggers make six figures and more monthly writing Of course it’s not a day’s job but with efforts, perseverance and persistence you’ll join them. And the most interesting part is that, making a living from your writing not only gives you freedom, you can continue earning forever.
Start writing today
Start writing today

Why not sidestep your fears?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” says Nelson Mandela. It’s always difficult to start, easy to procrastinate, and easier to dream of becoming a writer. Why not sidestep your fears today, ignite your passion and follow it up with actions. Definitely you will become a writer who will enjoy these benefits and more.

Over to you:

What other reasons do you have, for choosing to become a writer? And what are your fears of not yet becoming one? Make your submissions in the comment box.

Can’t keep up? 7 ways to write quality blogposts always

Blog
Blogging

It is 7am, your night was awesome. You have forgotten that you slept worriedly the night before. After deciding to take action, you want to serve your readers with fresh articles on a weekly basis. Still basking in the euphoria of the success of your last article, the number of shares you got in the social media was mind-blowing, you have gotten new friends on Facebook, new followers on Twitter and quite some views on LinkedIn. Yes, a writer I am, you tell anyone who cares to listen.

Today, is another day and you have to write, you want to replicate last week’s success, you want to gain new followers, but there is a problem. Yes, you have ran out of ideas, you don’t know what to write about.

The truth is, every writer faces this situation, writing is a lonely and arduous task, but how is it possible to churn out quality articles week in week out. Today, I reveal the secrets of established writers, and how they are able to write articles, that are always interesting, enlightening and factual.

  • Writers Read always: Reading is an activity that established writers do always, they are never tired of it,  hence they are full of ideas. As a writer you must read something out of everything. Good writers are avid readers, because when reading, you get a lot of ideas which shapes your writing always.
  • Make Google thy friend: Google has been around for a while, but most writers have not found it a worthy friend. If you are a writer, and you think you can generate great ideas always without Google, then you need to rethink your strategy. Many a writer are under-utilising the search engine, and have forgotten that it has the best answers to our questions. In fact Google, can give you an insight into what people are searching for, and you can write about it.
  • Learn from the best: There is no industry where there are no authorities. Writing is not an exception, as we have writers who have made names writing and have been doing it for decades. Many writers fail today, because they feel they can be independent. Kallen Diggs puts it this way:

    “There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Accepting the help of others will usually shorten the learning curve in anything you want to pursue in life. It does not make you any less independent.”

    As a writer, you need to visit the authority blogs and websites. Topics written on these blogs can give you ideas of what you’ll write next.

Write

  • Be a good listener: A good writer must also be a good listener. Listening will let you know what your readers want, how they want it, and why they want to it. Today’s post is a product of a question one of my readers asked last week. Every writer must listen to the readers always, this could be in form of reading their comments, conducting surveys, and asking them what they want etc.
  • Write down ideas: This is natural, and many writers fail to utilize it. Many a times, you could be walking on the street, be in the public bus, or on the train, and an idea on what you can write about comes to mind. Established writers do not joke with this, they jot them down and revisit when it’s time. You should always write down the ideas you have as they come. These ideas if not useful now, will count one day.
  • My niche my Interest: Have you ever asked yourself, what interests you the most? Every writer MUST have an interest, which is referred to as niche. This interest could stem from your course of study, religious/social/cultural affiliations. Your niche is unique to you, and you should develop it. Many established writers/bloggers have gone ahead to build an empire with their niches. Examples of this include: Darren Rowse, Brian Clark and Jon Morrow best known for blogging tips, Seth Godin known for self-development, Zac Johnson known for Affiliate Marketing, Carol Tice and Bamidele Onibalusi known for Freelance Writing. Jeff Goins and Abdullahi Muhammed known for coaching writers. These writers/bloggers have honed their skills in these niches over the years, and they have been writing about them ever since.

On a Final Note:

Writing gives you the voice you crave for. It gives you a right to pen down your thoughts and make an impact in the world. While it’s generally interesting, it could be frustrating at times especially for newbie writers. Knowing these secrets and putting them into practise will ensure that you don’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

Over to you:

As a writer, what are your secrets to writing quality articles always without running out of ideas?

Taking Action: The Newbie Writer’s Guide to Success

The Newbie Writer
writer’s desk

Admit it. You have always admired great writers in your field. You have read lots of blog posts, articles, and newsletters on how to get started as a writer. You have even joined some writing e-courses that take you through the nitty-gritty of writing. You’re a daily visitor to some of the popular blogging/writing websites in the world such as Copyblogger, Problogger, Smartblogger, Goinswriter, Writers in charge, Make a living writing, Grammar Girl, Seth Godin, TheWritelife and the list is endless.

You understand writing is the calling for you, you respect writers and always wish to be called one anytime, you believe that great writers produce great ideas, and ideas rule the world always.

Just as Paul Graham puts it:

Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them, if you’re bad at writing and don’t like to do it, you will miss out on most of the ideas writing would have generated.

But, you’re held up. Not only do you procrastinate beginning your writing career, you are afraid of failure. The ideas are perfectly in your head, but you don’t know how to get started. You read that established writers make a lot of money writing, but you think you can’t withstand their expertise.

The Reality: Being in motion Vs. Taking Action

In his post, The Mistake smart people make, James Clear aptly describes it thus:

Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but the task will never produce an outcome by itself. Action on the other hand is the behaviour that will get the result.

Let’s cite some examples:

  • If I outline 30 ideas I want to write on, that’s the motion, if I actually write and publish just an article, that’s an action.
  • If I read a blog post on How to make money as a freelance writer, that’s motion, if I actually put it into practice and start making money, that’s an action
  • If I study for a test, that’s motion. If I actually take the test, that’s action

Motion is good but action is better

I love the way Leonardo da Vinci puts it:

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

Motion is good because it allows you to prepare and strategise and learn as a writer, but it will never produce a final result. Yes, motion will show you the way but action will definitely take you there.

Taking action
Taking action

Are you ready to take action?

As a newbie writer, you should understand that actions matter a lot, if indeed you want to succeed. It’s the actions that the established writers are taking that stand them out from the crowd. If you wish to be successful in your writing career, I advise you to do the following:

  1. Start small: Don’t be in a hurry. Take calculated and important steps always. Simply put: begin with one task and get it completed before going to the next
  2. Reconnect with the present moment: Don’t be a hurry to make a name
  3. Focus on how instead of ifs: What if’s can really make you lose focus. So instead of letting your mind get lost in what if’s focus on the how.
  4. Put distractions away: These days, our devices are with us everywhere and it takes just a second to get distracted. So you need to be wary of that and do the needful always
  5. Utilise your time judiciously: Your time is an asset that you must guard jealously. While you shouldn’t harbour stress and tension about time, allow it to work towards your goals
  6. Get motivated: Make sure that you have some incentives to get self-motivated. The more motivated you are, the more actions you take
  7. Don’t be a perfectionist: Don’t wait to be a perfect writer before you start. Expertise is not attained one day, it’s learned on the job
  8. Don’t follow the majority: As a newbie writer, you need to figure out what makes you happy, what you can write on consistently over time, and follow it to the latter. Don’t be a copy-cat
  9. Be enthusiastic: Enthusiasm is a great emotional state to be in to take action. Be proud and happy to be called a writer, tell whoever cares to listen that you’re one.
  10. The time is now: If indeed you want to take action, there is no other time better to do that than now. Do not wait for the perfect moment, make this moment a perfect one.

On a Final Note:

John Wooden puts it this way: “Never mistake activity for achievement”. If indeed you want to be successful in your writing career, then you must begin to take actions. And I say: “Don’t wait to be an expert before you take bold steps. Start something today, learn on the job, be determined and remain consistent. Indeed, Expertise is earned over time and not a day’s job.”

What has been hindering you from kick-starting your writing career? Do comment in the box below.