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How to Get Started as a Writer

Are you thinking of becoming a writer, but don’t know where to start?

You’ve come to the right place!

At Barefoot Writer, we’re committed to showing you how to get started as a writer and how to create your version of the writer’s life.

On this page, we’re going to break down why writing is such a great way to earn a living, the best opportunities available today, and four simple steps to get started on the path to a well-paid writing career.

Let’s dive in…

Why writing can bring you the lifestyle you’ve always wanted 

Sounds like you’re a lot like us… 

And that at some point in your life, you’ve felt that unmistakable urge, that burning desire inside of you, to become a writer.

But just like a lot of us here at Barefoot Writer, maybe you’ve had obstacles blocking your path… haven’t known how to do it… or have fallen prey to common writer stereotypes that suggest they live on only rice and beans, or that the only way to succeed as a writer is to write the next great American novel. 

We’ve proved that those stereotypes just aren’t true!

Well, maybe there are starving writers out there… but that’s only because they’re not part of our Barefoot Writer Club

You see, here at Barefoot Writer, we believe 

If you want to earn some spare cash for an extra vacation or two, writing can get you that. 

If you want to pay off all your debts, writing can help. 

If you want to quit your day job and write as a full-time career, that’s possible too. 

If you’re after the nomadic lifestyle and want to travel the world and earn as you go, you absolutely can

And if your income goals are clear up in the six-figure territory, and you’ve resolved to send your kids to college without debt, and you want to double your retirement account savings — it’s all doable. 

In fact, we’ve seen it done. We have countless success stories here at Barefoot Writer from people just like you who started with a simple dream to write for a living… 

And then they made that dream a reality. You can read their success stories here. (Just think… You could be our next success story!)

If you dream of having enough money in your bank account to feel secure… a schedule that you dictate, where you decide when to wake up, when to write, and when to take time off…

If you crave the freedom to work where you please, whether it’s at your kitchen table or in the coffee shop down the street or from a villa in Bali… 

It starts with knowing where the paid writing opportunities are. 

Most people think the only way to get paid to write is to draft the next great novel or work for pennies on newspaper or magazine articles… 

And sure, you might make some money that way… but it probably won’t be a lot. The odds are against most people who aim for a book publishing deal with one of the major publishers.

Self-publishing is an option, but the average payout isn’t huge.

And most newspapers and magazines really do pay pennies per word.

Which is definitely not a way to earn a great living! 

Here at Barefoot Writer, we believe in going where the money is — and where the demand for good writing is strong.

The key to it all? Persuasive writing.

Persuasive writing is the engine behind the $2.3 trillion direct-response industry. 

And thanks to the internet, that industry is only getting bigger, since virtually all businesses are moving their communication materials online.

Think about it… All businesses share the universal need to communicate. It’s how they attract and retain customers. It’s how they keep themselves in the green. 

The ability to communicate is what fuels every industry on the planet.

And who’s behind every written line of communication? You guessed it. Writers.

Most people think it’s the marketing departments or ad execs who attract and keep customers coming to a business. But it’s not. Behind those advertising and marketing campaigns is usually a writer who has mastered the art of persuasive writing.

These writers are crucial to every kind of business out there. Because all businesses share one goal, and that’s to get their prospects to take action. Whether that means they want you to sign up for something, make a purchase, pledge a donation, or simply submit your information, they all need copy that gets their prospects to take that next step.

When we talk about professional writing and writing for businesses, we’re not talking about dry, terse business writing.

Creativity and good storytelling — the stuff writers were born to do — are as essential in the commercial world as they are in books and movies. 

The good news is, there’s never been a better time to get started as a professional writer, and persuasive writing in particular. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this industry to grow steadily through the next three years.

And what happens once you’ve mastered the secrets behind persuasive writing? That’s where you link up with people who are willing to pay big bucks for your writing.

The sky’s the limit in terms of what you do. In fact, we know of dozens of paid writing opportunities our Barefoot Writers have pursued, where they earn a great income and get paid to write about things they enjoy. 

What are the best paid writing opportunities?

The most profitable writing opportunity by far is direct-response writing, both for print and online publications.

But this type of writing is one of the best-kept secrets of the writing world… and that’s because it’s usually housed within marketing departments.

If you’ve never looked up close at the marketing world, you’re not likely to know that there are two main types of marketing: traditional and direct response.

Traditional advertising is how we’d describe most commercials on television…

Some commercials try to evoke a feeling or a reaction, like humor or outrage. Or they attempt to do something memorable or out-of-the-box so you’ll associate specific thoughts with their product. Think of this as general advertising.

But in other commercials — or on billboards, in emails, through letters in the mail, and on websites — you might come across a requested action — like “Call now!” or “Enter your email address.” Those direct requests are what make that type of writing direct response. It’s where marketers are specifically targeting one person at a time.

More importantly, they can count exactly how many people respond to their call to action…

Which means the strength of the campaign is measurable.

Now, here’s where writers come in… 

These types of campaigns require a writer with the ability to persuade the prospective customer to take that action, typically by tapping into that person’s emotions and desires. That’s what a good writer does. 

And to be up front, all of the other paid writing opportunities worth your time will somehow relate to direct-response writing. That’s why at Barefoot Writer, we firmly believe this one writing skill can take you anywhere, and allows you to indulge your every passion while making great money. 

Of course, it’s not just commercials that benefit from writing. The internet is full of pages written by direct-response writers. Everything from websites to lead generation to sales pages to editorial copy. All of these elements can be part of a company’s online marketing plan, and they all require well-written copy.

But that only scratches the surface… 

You can also get paid to write video scripts — for the type of videos you see on YouTube — or scripts for long-form video sales letters.

Or write posts for social media, and — you guessed it — get paid for it. 

If you’re wondering what kinds of things you’d write about, or who you’d write for, the sky’s the limit.

Now, one of our goals with the Barefoot Writer Club is to help our members narrow down the options — simply because there are so many options.

Because really, you could write for any type of business under the sun.

That includes getting paid to write for the B2B — or business-to-business — industry. And that opens up a whole other world of writing projects, including white papers, case studies, and specific B2B-style communication and sales materials.

Of course, while we’re talking about online opportunities, we can’t forget the option of putting together your own passive income stream. You’d do this by writing what we call a Money Making Website, or your own blog, or your own ebooks, or even an e-newsletter.

What do we mean by passive income? Think of it as making money in your sleep. Once you write all the content that goes into setting up one of these income streams — which is something we teach members of our Barefoot Writer Club how to do — you put it on autopilot.

Your system — and all the writing you put into it — then sits online, earning you money whether you’re sleeping or playing golf or working on other freelance writing projects.

The bottom line? There’s a massive world of paid writing opportunities. But there’s only one way to get started as a writer.

Step 1: Learn the simple secrets behind writing great copy 

Hands down, the most important skill you can learn first — and the one that will help you master the world of professional writing and home in on any of the paid writing opportunities we just mentioned — is the one we’ve been talking about: persuasive writing.

Persuasive writing is really the cornerstone of every other high-paying writing opportunity out there. 

Instead of trying to be cute, clever, or even blatantly obvious with vivid graphics and sales pitches, the job of a good writer is to craft a message that really connects

Unlike news or editorial writing, persuasive writing is all about getting the reader to take action. And that action can be anything, whether it’s to click a link in an email, fill out a form, sign up for a magazine, buy a lawn mower, or donate to a local charity. Any action at all.

Chances are, you’re probably already pretty good at persuasion…

Think about it. Have you ever talked a friend into going to see the movie you wanted to see? Or persuaded your partner to try a new restaurant you’ve had your eye on?

Persuasion starts with connection, and you probably already know how to connect with — and persuade — the people in your personal circle. 

The next step is becoming skilled at doing that through your writing. 

That’s where members of our Barefoot Writer Club really shine. We show them how to write clear, concise, persuasive copy… and how to take that skill and turn it into a long-term, paid writing career. 

Step 2: Get to where you’re in demand and paid well to write 

Once you’ve honed your skills as a persuasive writer, you’ll want to do two things. To start, it’s best to pick a single focus (or niche, as we call it). Or, you could focus on a writing specialty.

This is where a lot of new writers go awry…

They offer themselves up as generalists and attempt to find paid writing work from one of the 180 million companies in the world at large.

Does it work? Sort of. You’ll find paid writing work… but it’s harder to come by, and you won’t get paid as much as we believe you should. 

There’s a simple reason for this: authority.

Think about the world of doctors. Who gets paid more: a generalist or a cardiologist? According to salary.com, a generalist physician averages around $198,805. Pretty good.

But a cardiologist? Average pay there is $404,688. More than twice as much! 

The same principle holds true in the paid writing world. Sure, someone might hire you if you offer every writing service under the sun and write for every client that comes your way. 

But if it’s a landscaping company that specializes in boutique gardening services, and you’ve focused your writing projects around the gardening industry and have testimonials from other garden-related businesses… 

Then you’ll be the clear choice to hire, hands down. And you can increase your rates, thanks to your specialized knowledge.

That’s because your writing is niche focused. We applaud that. 

The other way to go is to be specialty focused. This is where you might write for clients in a wide variety of industries, but you become an expert in a specific type of project. There’s a staggering number of writing specialties to choose from, and our wide membership of writers covers just about all of them.

A few examples are case studies, landing pages, websites, email series, white papers, ebooks… The list goes on! 

So picking your writing focus is an essential step in building a profitable writing career. Here are some ways we help you do that…

Step 3: Ramp up your professional “appearance” 

After you’ve learned how to write persuasively and you know what type of copy you want to write, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there in front of the right audience

In most cases, this means getting yourself set up on LinkedIn, putting together your professional website, and possibly building a social media platform. 

But don’t worry!

If none of those things sound appealing, know that you can absolutely land high-paid writing work without any of that. We know writers who’ve done it. We know writers who still do it, after years of working in the writing world.

And if you’re ready to go forward with those steps but aren’t sure what to put on your profile or website pages, we’ll help you out. We have loads of free resources to walk you through setting up your web presence as a professional writer.

Our goal — as with all things in this writing world we love — is to make the whole process easy and enjoyable for you.

Step 4: Build your support system 

The final step? It’s the best one by far… 

We highly recommend that you become part of the writing world. Make friends with other writers. Build a support system. 

Obviously, we think the world of paid writing is the best. What other career lets you live and work when and where you want, put your energy only into projects that interest you, and earn as much money as you choose?

But it’s exactly this freedom that can sometimes… well… put you in a different league from most of the other people you know.

Chances are, after you become a well-paid Barefoot Writer with the freedom to structure each day as you choose, you’ll still have friends — even family members — who are tied to their jobs. Maybe their earnings are capped, or they don’t enjoy their work. 

That’s where it’s nice to have friends who understand you, who can relate to the ups and downs of being a writer.

There will be a lot of ups, as we’ve already said. But there will also be days when you get stuck on a project or don’t get an email on time or need clarification about how best to write about something. 

Those are the days when it’s invaluable to reach out to other Barefoot Writers. And that’s why we launched our Barefoot Writer Club way back in the day. 

We wanted to create a safe, inviting place for writers to connect, grow professionally, support each other, ask questions, and have fun. (You should see some of the ridiculous wordplay jokes our members post on our private Facebook page.) 

Bottom line? It’s a dream lifestyle if you enjoy writing and want more freedom and control in your life…

Or if you want to earn a great living doing something you love…

Or if writing calls out to you, and you think you’d be good at it and enjoy it. 

Regardless of why or how you got here… 

You can join us right now.

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

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