How To Lose Your Fear and Get Paid To Write
To many people, the idea of getting paid to write is quite appealing apart from one key issue. They’re afraid of what people will think of their writing. There’s plenty of us out there thinking – “yeah I’m a good writer, but am I like those people you see on America’s Got Talent where they think they’re really good but in reality they suck?”
The thought of your article being read by thousands of people and torn to shreds by a group of aggressive keyboard warriors is nothing short of terrifying. We’re here to tell you that there’s nothing to be terrified of though and if you think your writing is good enough to earn you money then it is.
The thing is, every would-be writer has the same fears as you. We all think our writing is quite good but we just don’t know if everyone else will think the same thing. The simple answer is, not everyone is going to think you’re a good writer, there are some that will think your writing sucks.
Even the most famous writers in the world have their critics, world-famous writer, Rudyard Kipling was once told “… you just don’t know how to use the English language” in response to a pitch he made to a newspaper. One editor even told H.G. Wells that The War of the Worlds “was an endless nightmare. I think the verdict was ‘oh don’t read that horrid book.”
If some of the most famous writers of all time get this kind of feedback then surely we cannot be too worried about what Joe Public thinks of our writing. There are going to be some people that don’t like it, but there are going to be plenty of people that really enjoy it.
Whether or not we have legitimate reasons to worry if our work will be well received, there are plenty of things we can do to make the process easier. If you’re going to get paid to write then you want your writing to be as well-received as possible, so we’ve put together 7 steps that will help you get over your fear of having your writing read.
How to Get Paid to Write
- Just Write
- Make Your Writing Digestible
- Become An Expert
- Post Frequently In Low-Pressure Forums
- Seek Feedback From The Right People
- Become a Critical Reader
- Rely On Your Research
1. Just Write
Writing is one of those things where once you’ve started you can get completely lost in the process, so just start writing. You’ll find that once you get started and things start flowing you’ll be too busy to worry about what people will think of your writing.
It’s the case with so many things, but it seems especially true of writing – starting is the hardest part. Before you start writing your brain has so many questions: how long will this take me, can I write 2,000 words on this subject, will people like this subject, will people agree with my ideas, do I know enough about this subject?
However, when you actually start writing, those questions disappear. You’re just in the flow and things seem to come naturally. You may worry about what people think about your writing before you start, and you may think about it again when you’re finished, but for that period where you’re writing, you can be worry free!
If you’re going to get paid to write then the place to start is by actually writing! Just sit down in a quiet place and get the process started. You’ll find that the more you get into it, the less you’ll worry about whether people like your writing and the more you’ll enjoy the process.
Need some topic ideas? Why not check out our Guide To Freelance Writing Topics?
2. Make Your Writing Digestible
Most of the people you’ll write for aren’t looking to read War and Peace. Depending on what kind of medium you’re writing for, you’re going to want to make your writing as easy to consume as possible.
The internet has had a big change on the way we consume information, and writers have had to adapt to keep up with this. One of the big things you have to take into account is the formatting. When you view a webpage, the last thing you want to see is a massive block of text, and your readers are the same.
You really have to be aware of the fact that information is so easily available in today’s world. If people don’t like the way your article is formatted then they will simply go and get the information they need from somewhere else. That means understanding what the modern consumer wants.
What the modern consumer wants is convenience. First of all, they want to know that your article is going to cover the topic they are interested in, and they want to feel like they’re going to be entertained. How do you take care of these two issues? Well, you’ve got to get your title just right. It needs to be snappy, to the point, and entice the reader into reading on.
Human attention spans really aren’t all that long, so once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, you’ve got to focus on keeping them with you. Don’t get carried away with fancy words when simple ones will do, and make sure your text is broken down into manageable chunks.
It’s nice to show off the complexities of your writing some times, but in many cases, the most successful writing is very simple. It might seem like a simple point, but you’ve got to tailor your writing to your consumer.
3. Become An Expert
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of selecting some writing niches. Everything becomes so much easier when you have a few key subjects to focus your writing on. Not only does it make marketing yourself much easier, but it also makes writing itself much easier.
The best way to feel confident in your writing is to know that you completely understand everything you’re writing about. If you have a few niche subjects that you focus on, it’s possible to become an expert in those subjects and then you can build your confidence writing in those subjects.
As Miranda Brookins says in her article, The Advantages of a Niche Business, “Being recognized as an expert lends credibility to your brand and motivates customers to do business with you.” The more you can establish yourself as an expert, the more confidence you will have in yourself, but more importantly, the more confidence your clients will have in you.
It’s a horrible feeling if you’re constantly worried that what you’re writing is not factually correct. The best way to get over this lack of confidence is to gradually build your knowledge in certain subjects. For us, we started out in the niche of tennis, and it allowed us to build our confidence because we knew we had a huge amount of knowledge in that subject.
You might not have a niche that jumps out at you at the moment, but if you put a little thought into it you’re bound to find a subject that you’re passionate about and can become an expert in. When you do this, you’ll find you become much more confident in your writing, and it will be much easier to create content.
4. Post Frequently In Low-Pressure Forums
A lot of the pressure that we put on ourselves when we’re writing is based on what we think other people will think of our writing. So why don’t we take other people out of the equation and build our confidence in a less pressurized forum?
This is one of the reasons we recommend new freelance writers start their own website. It’s a great way to do something productive that will benefit you in the future, whilst pratcicing your writing in a less pressurized environment. When you start out with your website, you can write your blog, safe in the knowledge that, at least in the beginning, not many people are going to be reading it.
Having your own website means you control how your writing is presented and allows you to just write for yourself. There’s no need to worry about what people are going to say about your content, and you can just relax and do your thing. The other nice thing about this is that you can edit what you’ve written at any time. You can go back in a year and change the whole article if you wish.
Medium is another great forum where you can post without too much pressure, and it’s a great way to just practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll feel comfortable writing, and before you know it, you won’t worry about what people say.
Once you get over your fear of writing, you’ve taken a big step towards getting paid to write. If you worry about what people might think of your writing then practice by posting to low-pressure forums where your work isn’t going to be widely read.
5. Seek Feedback From The Right People
Another big change that has come about in the modern age is that everyone has a platform to voice their opinions. This means that no matter how good your content is, there’s a chance you’re going to get some criticism for it.
If you look at some great products on Facebook, there’s always someone who has to find some ridiculous criticism of it, and the same thing can happen with your writing. The trick to dealing with criticism is taking feedback from the people that count. Rather than focusing on negative feedback from a single source, Impraise recommends getting “Feedback from different sources gives you more perspective and helps you form a more holistic view”
Having said that, the best people you can get feedback from are your clients and potential clients. At the end of the day, you want to get paid to write, so you need to cater to the people that are going to be paying you. Whenever you’re dealing with a client always try and get as much feedback as you can.
It can be difficult to ignore criticism of your writing that comes from the wrong sources, believe me, I know. But if you take every single criticism to heart then you’re just going to lose confidence in your writing ability.
The best way to get over this problem is to seek feedback from the people that really matter. If you’re working with the right clients then they will give you constructive feedback that you can use to improve your freelance writing.
6. Become a Critical Reader
I find one of the best ways to improve my own writing is to read lots of content and constantly evaluate what I read. If you can learn to analyze everything you read, dissecting the things you like and dislike, then you’ll find you can improve your own writing without having to do much work.
The more you read, and realize that your writing is as good as much of the writing out there on the internet, the more confidence you will have in your writing. It’s not something that happens overnight, your writing is a never-ending quest, but you will soon find your confidence growing.
If you want to get paid to write then you’ve got to see writing as a part of your life. Just like you have to make your niche a part of your life, you need to see writing in general as a big part of your life. This means being a critical reader and analyzing everything you read.
Find some quality content in your niche and read it regularly. Discover what the trends are, the styles of writing, the tone, and incorporate what you like into your own writing. This is another easy way to prove to yourself that you’re ready to get over the fear and get paid to write.
7. Rely on Your Research
One of the easiest ways to boost your confidence in your writing is to double the effort you put into your research. If you know that your research is absolutely top-draw then you’re not going to worry that people are going to find holes in your work.
I always remember a saying my Dad used to say to me when I was playing tennis, “perfect planning prevents piss poor performance,” and it rings true for freelance writing. If you go into your writing knowing that you’ve done everything you can with your research, then you’re going to be a lot more confident about the result. It’s easy to skip the research step, but if you do, you’re going to know, and your readers are going to know.
If you’re going to grow your confidence and get paid to write then you have to take your research seriously. You might not have perfect grammar or perfect spelling, but those are easy fixes in today’s world. If you don’t do your research though, there’s no technology that’s going to bail you out.
Building confidence in your writing is something that’s completely in your hands. There are many steps you can take to build your confidence and give you the belief that you can get paid to write.
The only thing that is holding you back in this situation is you, you just have to make your mind up that you’re going to get over your fear of writing and actually start the process. If you follow our 7 steps, you can gradually build your confidence and increase your chances of getting paid to write.
- Just write
- Make your writing digestible
- Become an expert
- Post frequently in low-pressure forums
- Seek feedback from the right people
- Become a critical reader
- Rely on your research
If you can use these techniques to build your confidence and improve your writing, then you will soon find that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get paid to write. A fear of writing is nothing unusual, but you have to take steps to overcome it if you’re going to be successful as a freelance writer.