What Do I Do First?
Writers who are new to this world tend to go in one of two directions:
- Either you want to try every type of paid writing project available
- Or, you’re frozen into inaction because there are so many paths to choose from
This leaves you with the inevitable question pondered by virtually every member of the Barefoot Writing world at one point or another: What do I do FIRST?
The simplest answer is to pick one path and go with it. Then launch your business, set up your website, and reach out to clients.
(If you think that’s easier said than done, we’ll cover that in a minute.)
One of the major things that immobilizes new writers and keeps them from starting is the fear that you’ll pick the wrong path. In other words, you’re afraid of zeroing in on the wrong type of writing specialty, or going after the wrong niche.
Here’s the good news: You can’t go wrong.
Either you’ll wind up with something you love and you’ll stick with it …
Or you’ll add a new skill to your repertoire, plus possible samples, and then you’ll move into another area.
Either way, it’s a jumping-off point that nets you samples, clients, and even possibly testimonials and referrals. Clients won’t care that you got your start in one area as opposed to the area you end up in. In fact, it can make you appear more well-rounded as a writer.
So read about the different writing opportunities, pick the one you find most appealing right now, and move forward.
You can ALWAYS add additional skills down the road. Remember, when it comes to the world of persuasive writing, things are constantly changing — especially online. This means you need to consistently invest in yourself, your business, and your future, so you’re highly likely to pick up new skills even as you focus on just one thing.
Eventually, you’ll be ready to branch out in multiple areas. But for now, it’s important to focus on one niche since you’ll spend a lot of time reading about and researching your chosen market.
Take time to read this article for insight on how to choose the best writing opportunity for you:
Then, go through the list below to find your own jumping-off point.
The Major Specialties in Paid Writing
The possibilities for specialization are endless. To make things easier for you, we’ve narrowed the field down to these major niches within the world of paid writing.
You’ll probably notice that a lot of these fields overlap each other. But, if you focus on just one area as you begin your career, you’ll develop the skills needed to start charging for projects. Once you start pulling in a steady income, you can widen your expertise and fold in other specialties.
We want to reiterate: There’s no such thing as choosing the wrong specialty. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and expertise from any specialty you choose. Down the road, if you find something else suits you better — so be it! You can always switch. For now, pick whatever seems most appealing and go with it. Don’t waste time second-guessing yourself.
#1: Web Content
Quality web writing is different than what you see in print. You need to know how to write copy that grabs attention, drives traffic, and yields conversions. This includes being able to write web pages, plan websites, and develop a content strategy that thrills your clients.
Web content writers are experts at crafting everything from home pages with staying power to sales pages that win over customers. Projects range from re-writing existing pages to planning and writing entire multi-page websites.
Another type of website content writing is blogging. You could be a guest contributor on someone else’s blog, or write blogs professionally for your customers by writing in a voice that matches the client’s overall brand.
#2: Email Marketing and e-Commerce
Email marketing includes writing e-newsletters or lift notes. It also includes constructing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns that generate high click-through-rates. And, knowing how to write a subject line that gets prospects to open and read an email and craft an entire series of 3, 5, or 7 emails that are sent out to prospective customers will help you become an Autoresponder expert.
Projects are generally short and can pay very well, especially once you become good at any of these skills and can work quickly.
#3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEO copy is designed to boost the amount of traffic that goes to a website in order to increase the likelihood of sales. SEO web writers write search-engine-friendly content that matches the words and phrases website visitors use when searching the Internet.
Now that some search engines have introduced fees to guarantee listing in their indices, SEO also includes an element of media buying. That’s where search engine marketing (SEM) comes in, though it can be classified under the umbrella term of SEO.
#4: Business-to-Business (B2B)
B2B web writing takes care of all the online needs for the more than eight million Business-to-Business companies in North America. They all require regular marketing communications that include ads and sales letters, newsletters, white papers, and web pages — just to name a few.
The difference between B2B and other types of writing specialties lies in the subtle style of communication. B2B copy is less “hype-filled” and requires knowledge of business interests balanced against the personal interests of the people who run businesses.
#5: Social Media
Social media is really the 21st Century approach to networking, and it’s something virtually all businesses should take advantage of. As a social media expert, you’ll learn to generate multiple streams of revenue for yourself and your clients by mastering the secrets behind platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Social media expertise can involve everything from regularly researching and posting content for your clients to setting up entire goal-oriented campaigns.
Articles to Guide You
If you’d like to know more about the various specialty writing paths you can take, enjoy the following articles:
- Quickly Become a Barefoot Writer — With Reliable, Consistent Income
- The “Storytelling” Niche for Barefoot Writers
- Discover the $47.7 Billion Industry Where You’ll Find Plenty of Ongoing Work and Little Competition
- How to Become a “Rainmaker” for Your Writing Clients
But above all, know that copywriting is the foundation behind each and every one of these writing specialties. Here’s why:
Now, Make Your Goal Specific
Hopefully now you have an idea of your preferred specialty — great job! Just making that decision is one of the most important first steps you can take in paid writing.
Next, we want you to make a goal specifically related to your new specialty.
So, if your original goal for becoming a paid writer is something like: “I want to make $45,000 as a writer so I’ll have enough money to leave my full-time job,” simply add in your specialty: “I want to make $45,000 as a social media expert so I’ll have enough money to leave my full-time job.”
Write out your new specific goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day.
How to Keep Up With All the Information Available to You
With your writing direction set, we want to share one final tip. Even though you’ve zeroed in on a specific direction, you’re bound to find a huge load of information that relates to your new field. Plenty can be found right here at the Barefoot Writer Member Site, not to mention on the sites of all the experts in each particular field.
It’s easy to get tripped up by the sheer amount of information out there. After all, it seems like everything you read will help you become a better, more profitable writer, right? Well … yes, but you’ll never be a successful writer unless you spend time writing.
So, limit yourself to reading a set number of articles or e-letters every day and focus the rest of your time on practicing your craft.