Want to make money writing? The ever-growing Web is hungry for words, so almost anyone can do this. However, if you want to make a six-figure income, you need good skills.
Let’s look at five essential skills you need to make a great income from your writing. You won’t develop these skills overnight, but as they grow, so will the money you make.
1. Basic English Language Skills — Grammar, Punctuation, Style
Your writing career is built on basic English language skills: vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and an understanding of the various styles and forms of writing.
If you’re shaky in these basic skills, that’s easy to fix. Read a book a week, and get someone to tutor you. Reading — both for pleasure and to build your basic language skills — is essential for a writer.
2. The Ability to Research and to Analyze
The Web has spawned a copy-and-paste writing culture. Copying from others (yes, if you change the words, copying ideas is still copying) is a bad writing habit to get into.
Break yourself of it. Build your research and analytical skills. Basically, writing is thought and creativity, it’s not typing.
You can’t build a six-figure writing income on others’ ideas: realizing this is the first step in building a great income.
3. The Ability to Promote Yourself: You’re Your Own PR Agency
When you start writing for money, you’re trading your time for dollars. Take a course in marketing: as a writer, you’re your own public relations agency.
As your ability to promote your writing services and your products (articles, books, Web content development) grows, so will your income.
4. The Ability to Create a Business Plan and Carry It out
Do you have a business plan? Your writing is a business, and to grow your business you need a plan. Your plan may be short and simple: how much you intend to earn over the next 12 months, and how you intend to earn that income.
As your other writing skills develop, so will your understanding of the possibilities of building a highly profitable income from your writing, so that you can create plans and carry them out.
5. Enjoyment of Writing for Its Own Sake
Finally, you need to enjoy writing. I’ve called this a skill, because I want you to remember how important it is, and because just like any skill, this enjoyment can be developed, if you understand that it’s necessary.
If you enjoy writing, you won’t begrudge the hours you spend improving your writing skills. Your career will grow, because you’ll see fresh challenges as a source of delight, rather than “work”.
Anyone can make money writing: the better your writing skills however, the more your income will increase.