There’s no simple answer to that question.
Every writer takes a unique path to reach their writing goals, and the journey often looks different for everyone.
But, one thing is for sure… there’s an easy way to become a well-paid writer, and there’s a hard way.
At Barefoot Writer, we’re here to show you the easy way.
We want to help you find the shortcuts to success that will work for you, and make the transition to professional writing as smooth as possible.
Let’s delve into what your journey to become a well-paid writer might look like, and how to improve your chances of success.
What will people think when I call myself a professional writer?
The number of people who want to be writers is high… some would say it’s two-thirds of the world. Writer Joseph Epstein once said, “Eighty-one percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them — and should write it.” (That’s roughly 200 million people!)
Which isn’t surprising…
After all, writing is fun. It gives you a creative outlet. It’s a pretty simple endeavor — all you need is a pen and paper to get rolling. Other people tend to admire writers.
Plus, we all have stories in us. We’ve all lived experiences unlike anything anybody else has lived. We all have imaginations and ideas.
It’s one of the most beautiful parts of being human.
Visit an elementary school, and most kids’ hands shoot up when you ask, “Who’s got a story to tell?”
That enthusiasm wanes a little as we age…
Sometimes it’s because of rumors that getting published is impossible and writers can’t make any money. (By the way, neither of those is true! We have the writer success stories to prove it.)
Sometimes it’s because of a teacher, or an uncle, or some other adult who tells us either “You’re not good enough” or “Get a real job.”
Look, here’s the scoop on that way of thinking: No single person can tell you you’re not good enough. Granted, people’s taste in writing varies, but here are three facts Barefoot Writers live by:
- Good paid writing can be tested. In other words, personal opinions don’t matter that much in the paid writing world. If you write copy for a client and it brings in sales or orders or subscriptions or donors… then your copy is working. That’s what matters.
- Good writing can be learned. Nobody is born a great writer. It’s a learned skill. Plus, different types of writing require different skill sets, so what works for one style of writing may be the opposite of what’s needed for a different style.
- Good writing deserves great pay. Writing is a service. It’s a business tool. It’s a communication channel. It’s a marketable skill. That’s why professional writers deserve to be paid well. Their writing skills are multiple levels above the average nonwriter’s ability to write.
On that note… every now and then we get asked, Why would someone pay me so much to write for them, when everybody can write?
It’s true that most everybody can write. But they can’t all write well. They can’t write to deliver results that launch businesses and build royalties and develop passive income streams and save rain forests.
But Barefoot Writers can…
And that goes back to writing as a learned skill.
Think about professional painters. Anyone can pick up a paintbrush and paint a wall, right? But professionals do it faster and flawlessly. They’re well versed in the types of paint to use. They know the differences certain brushes and rollers can have on appearance. They bring up concerns you may not have known you should address.
So when someone wants a high-quality paint job… they know they’ll get a better result if they call a professional as opposed to doing it themselves.
Same with doctors. Anyone can clean up a cut and tape on a Band-Aid with some ointment. But we go to doctors to tell us what we don’t know about the cut — like when it needs stitches or is at risk of infection or warrants a follow-up.
In the writing world, yes — most everyone you know probably writes their own emails and Facebook posts. They can send letters to their pen pals and file business reports.
But that’s not the type of writing Barefoot Writers do.
Our focus is more along the lines of communications that prompt action, whether that’s for a Fortune 500 business or a charity or a small business or an independent service provider.
And there are things professional writers need to know that the average writer never considers… Everything from prospect profiles to core emotions to calls to action to open rates (don’t worry — once you’re a Barefoot Writer, we walk you through all of that!)
How have other writers made paid writing work for them?
Over the years, we’ve interviewed hundreds of writers about how they got their starts, what worked for them, and what helped them reach their goals. You can access those interviews here — and we add new ones all the time.
We also recommend you look at the case studies of professional writers published regularly by AWAI, our parent company. These are writers who have not only followed their bliss to life as paid writers, but are making a killing at it.
What challenges have other writers faced? What will be hard?
Barefoot Writing is a dream career because you get to do something you love for a living while making great money, and you do it on your own terms from wherever in the world you want to be.
But certainly you may face challenges along the way.
In most cases, it’s not the writing that’s the hard part. We’ll bring you up to speed quickly, and you’ll see once you study persuasive writing just how easy it is to build those skills, and to do it fast.
Instead, the biggest challenge for new writers usually has more to do with learning to manage your own time. Because even though it’s fantastic to no longer have a boss looking over your shoulder…
And to be able to take time off whenever you please and do what you want when you want…
It means you have to be the one who decides when you sit down and do your writing… and when you play.
To stay balanced when it comes to doing the work that earns you great money versus enjoying your freedom, a lot of our writers swear by the “unschedule.” Some are big fans of the Kaizen approach. Some prefer coworking spaces.
And several get their writing work done very early in the morning or very late at night so they have the rest of the day to do as they please.
What shortcuts can get me there faster?
Productivity hacks are a big part of the Barefoot Writing World. After all, the more writing we can do in less time, the more money we make, and the more time we have to enjoy our freedom.
Here are some of our favorite productivity hacks:
- Ignore Your Schedule to Increase Productivity
- The Screenplay Writing Tip that Helps You Write Faster
- Don’t Break the Chain
- How Standing Improves Your Health and Writing Career
- Go From Busy to Productive in 3 Easy Steps
Other shortcuts beyond productivity have to do with specific writing skills. For example, the faster you can become an expert in persuasive writing, the sooner you’ll grow your income.
And often, picking a niche is a great shortcut to take toward establishing your expertise and credibility.
In addition, having a support network of other writers can save you loads of time and trial and error, simply because you’ll have others to lean on when questions come up. You won’t be on your own, trying to figure it all out yourself!
That’s why our members-only private Facebook group serves such an important role in most Barefoot Writers’ careers. If you have any questions as you build your paid writing career, a quick post to the group will bring you answers in no time, from a variety of writers with different perspectives and helpful ideas.
(Note: You get free and immediate access to the private Facebook group when you join the Barefoot Writer Club.)
Other important voices in our paid writing world
Once you join the Barefoot Writer Club, you’ll get to know a lot of other writers well, and quickly. That includes Mindy McHorse, our executive editor, Rachael Kraft, our content coordinator, and Robert Rice, our social media manager, plus the loads of other friendly writers active in our Facebook group.
We’ll also help you get to know a few other important people in this world, like Katie Yeakle and Rebecca Matter, the two heads of AWAI.
Katie is executive director, and Rebecca is president of AWAI…
But they’re also two of the most incredible people you’ll ever meet, and they’re staunch advocates of anyone looking to launch their paid writing dream.
We lean on AWAI to help our Barefoot Writer Club members get the professional training they need to excel as writers. Thanks to its position as leader in the training industry when it comes to persuasive writing, copywriting, publishing, and running a profitable freelance writing business, there is no equivalent to the breadth and depth of instruction AWAI provides.