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Can You Make Money as a Writer?

The top two questions we hear from people who want to make money as a freelance writer are:

  • Is this opportunity legit?
  • If it is, how will I know if I’m good enough?

Thankfully, we can put your mind at ease on both counts…

Because yes, it’s legit! We literally have hundreds of success stories — real-life people who are living out their writing dreams and enjoying the freedom and income that goes along with it.

And yes, you are good enough! Successful writers come from all walks of life, and they all have countless different backgrounds and reasons why they became writers.

What’s important is finding your reason for becoming a writer, and why you want to build a professional writing career.

On this page, we’ll explore how to pinpoint your own writing goals, and how to gain the confidence you’ll need to start making money as a writer.

Barefoot Writer proves you can make money as a writer!

For ample proof of this fact, you can access our archives of interviews with Barefoot Writers who’ve turned their hopes into reality.

Or you can check out the loads of case studies profiling successful writers from our publisher, AWAI. When our Barefoot Writer members go on to make it really big in the writing world, AWAI digs in to do a full-blown case study on how they achieved their writing dreams, so others can benefit from their experience.

We encourage you to use these resources to help you stay motivated and gather ideas for setting your own writing goals. Because…

True confidence starts with making up your mind about what you want to do.

Most people agree on one thing:

If you want to get somewhere in life, you have to know where you’re going.

Makes sense, right?

That’s why, in the paid writing world, we’re huge fans of goals.

Because to get anywhere as a truly successful writer, you need to know what it is you want to accomplish… or escape… or achieve.

We explain here how to get started as a writer— by first getting good at the art of writing, and then picking a writing specialty or niche to focus on, and then building your support system and your online presence.

All of these things will boost your confidence.

But a really important piece to that puzzle is aiming your efforts in one direction. We believe in a strategy that starts with a “three-part goal-statement.” Here’s how to make one…

Set achievable goals using our “3-part goal-statement” strategy

First, ask yourself… why do you want to get paid to write in the first place?

  • Is it part of a lifelong dream?
  • Are you looking to change careers?
  • Do you want work that’s more gratifying?
  • Are you motivated by the idea of working from home or from anywhere in the world?
  • Would you like more control over your income?

Once you have your answer, write it down.

Next, set your money goals…

  • Are you looking to replace your current full-time income?
  • Do you just want some extra cash flow on the side?
  • Do you have a specific earnings goal you’re hoping to reach?
  • Are you wanting to pay off a certain amount of debt?
  • Would you like to pad your retirement account?

Pick a specific number that will help you achieve your goal. Whatever the number is, write it down.

Finally, pick a date by which you want to achieve your first and second goals.

  • It could be six months from now.
  • It could be three years from now.
  • Or it could be by New Year’s.

There are no wrong answers here!

Now, write it down, and put it all together. This gives you a concrete goal statement. It might sound something like this…

I want to leave my job to write full-time for a living, earning $90,000 a year, exactly two years from now.

 I want to pick up part-time writing work I can do on the weekends to bring in $10,000 a year so I can take more vacations, and I want to achieve this by the end of this year.

 I want to enhance my retirement by writing in my spare time and adding an extra $30,000 to my accounts in 12 months.

Once you have your goal statement, make it part of your daily routine. Tape it to the mirror in your bathroom, or to the side of your computer screen. The point is to make sure you see it, and think about it, at least once a day, every day.

Why goals lead to confidence

You likely came to this page wondering if your writing will ever be good enough… so let’s talk about why we kicked things off by setting some goals.

See, once you have your goals in place and you prepare to get paid to write, either by joining the Barefoot Writer Club or studying independently…

You’ll already know more than most people when it comes to persuasive writing.

But because of your goals, you’ll have something to keep you anchored and moving forward beyond any initial curiosity you may have had. You’ll stay motivated and you’ll keep learning.

And right there — that’s the key.

Because we have to be honest… You’ll never know everything there is to know about the paid writing world. None of us will. Trends and strategies change every day (though some fundamental principles will always stay the same, so trust us when we say learning what you can now will be worth it!).

Moving forward… continual learning… Those are the things that build your writing muscles and, in turn, your confidence.

Good writers are made, not born

Beyond that? It just comes back to the simple proverb of try, try again.

Because being a Barefoot Writer is measurable. Meaning that when you put a piece of copy out with a call to action — looking for buyers, subscribers, donors, or anything else — you can measure your results.

You can tell your client, “We had 3,000 people opt in to your mailing list over the past month once we changed your website copy!”

Or “Your sales page brought in $45,600 worth of orders over two days!”

All of which tells you your copy is working. People are responding.

But what if you had only 500 people subscribe to that mailing list in a month’s time? Does that make you a bad writer?

Nope. It just means you need to go back to the drawing board and try, try again.

The same is true if that sales page drops to only $400 worth of orders. Go back and write it again. Try to up that response rate.

The truth behind the Barefoot Writing Community

You see, our Barefoot Writing Community isn’t made up of people who were born writers. We didn’t take up our pens at age 3 and we haven’t been scribbling out novellas since our teens.

Not at all.

The truth is, Barefoot Writers come in all forms. Our community is made up of city folks, country folks, and even a few who run their own farms. Some live internationally, some travel full-time. Some think writing a 20-page sales letter is the height of excitement; some balk at the idea and would much rather get paid to write tweets.

The one thing we all have in common is that we share a love of writing, and we’ve taken the time to learn how to write persuasively for businesses, service providers, and organizations.

And we get paid to do that writing.

We’re not a bunch of writer stereotypes. We don’t mope around while chain-smoking in all-black clothing.

We don’t all love liquor and grammar and cats.

And we certainly don’t write the same things for the same purposes.

Our goals are wide and varied. Our interests are even wider. And our skills are at all different levels, though we share one communal aspiration, which is to constantly get better.

So, take some time to read those interviews about working Barefoot Writers. Then put together your goal statement.

And from there, start studying the art of writing copy. Try to learn something new — or at the very least, write a little bit — every day.

In the meantime, here are some other tips for building your writing confidence:

You CAN make a living as a writer… You just need to know what the best-paying opportunities are.

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