She Almost Gave Up, Then She Hit $100K with This Writing Skill
Most people don’t know this about me …
But blogging is what launched my six-figure writing career.
It’s what gave me the skills, discipline, and confidence to put myself out there.
The skills required by blogging made me a better writer overall.
And I would 100% recommend it as a starting point for anyone ready to make the leap to a paid writing career.
But first, let me explain why it worked so well …
Picture a young writer-hopeful who’d been doing this and that odd project for about two years.
She had big dreams of making it in the freelance writing world.
And even bigger income goals.
But she was writing forty-buck articles that took her three hours each and averaged a thousand words.
The topics she wrote about were all over the map, varying daily based on what her clients gave her.
Sure, she was writing … and bringing in some cash.
But a full-fledged writing career to be proud of? Enough income to justify having backed out of her safe, salaried job?
That’s not what this was.
She got pretty down about it at one point and started clicking through the online classifieds. Even went to an interview and got offered a job …
As the executive manager for a hot-headed authoritarian (or so she was warned by the outgoing manager).
Which was the opposite of what she’d been searching for as a writer.
She thought writing would bring her independence … control … satisfying, brain-enriching work …
And very importantly, a sizeable income to unlock all the lifestyle doors she had her eye on.
So she faced a decision. Endured a dark night of the soul. Sobbed on the shower floor.
She declined the hothead’s paltry offer.
She balled up her courage and approached a potential writing client. She offered to write a blog.
The client said, “Yes, please!” and proposed an attractive retainer.
The writer committed to writing the blog for a year.
And by the end of that year … her first year of blogging …
She’d made her first six-figures as a writer, blowing up her previous year’s income by 400%.
Good story, right?
Except that every word of it is true — and it’s my story …
By my second year of trying to live the writer’s life, I was writing for an affiliate marketing company.
Great people, but tough projects. The topics ranged from real estate to personal finance to Asian pop jewelry.
The articles had to be a minimum of 1,000 words, and the pay was $40 each.
I was a hamster.
It wasn’t the high-paying, freedom-filled writing career I’d imagined …
But I also wasn’t going after the projects that were known to be the gems of the industry.
I think I got comfortable in the idea that I had work and money … and I was afraid to move forward and lose what little I had.
Look, there’s no harm in starting small. Everyone has to start somewhere!
But after you’ve gotten your feet wet in this industry, you should never “settle” just because you found something.
The heart of the writer’s life is to keep pushing forward from whatever something you start with until you find everything you ever wanted from this world. Everything that tempted you in the first place.
I found it, and you can too …
Here’s how it happened for me:
After my dark night of the soul, where I almost slipped back into the tentacles of corporate control and cubicles, I made a do-or-die decision.
I told my husband, “I’m going all-in this year. It’s my make-or-break year. Either I succeed and find a writing path that’s right for me, that makes more than my previous $46K work salary …
“Or I give up forever.”
The stakes were high. I had a three-month-old by then and knew I couldn’t just peck-and-hunt anymore.
A month later, I went to AWAI’s Bootcamp.
I approached Rebecca Matter and — probably not even smoothly — pitched the idea of something I named “The Reality Blog.”
I told her I’d blog for a year about my journey as an up-and-coming copywriter. I’d go public with all my highs and lows, reveal everything about my projects and fees, and share my ongoing income.
I added, “My income goal for the year will be six-figures. $100,000. Yep.”
Rebecca asked me what I’d earned so far as a writer.
“This year, I’m on track to earn about $20,000.”
Rebecca’s got a great poker face, but I could see the tiniest glimmer of surprise.
But what she didn’t say was, “Are you crazy? There’s no way someone can go from $20K to $100K in a year. That’s ridiculous. Quit wasting my time.”
Because Rebecca already knew the money potential in the copywriting industry. She’d already seen tons of writers who came before me take similar massive leaps.
So what she actually said was, “Okay. Send me a proposal. Let’s work through the details. It’s a great idea for a blog.”
I left that meeting with Rebecca and went straight up to my hotel room where my husband sat holding our baby boy.
“I’m pretty sure I just did something that will change our lives forever,” I said.
And it did.
Now, keep in mind — this was no lottery win. I had been in the trenches for two years by that point, doing the writing. I had samples to share and client testimonials.
What I didn’t have was money or satisfaction, and that’s because I hadn’t been going after the right projects, in the right way.
Blogging changed all that for me.
- When you’re able to write about a subject you choose, it’s a game changer. It’s easier to explore and experiment with the topic. It doesn’t feel like work.
- When you write regularly, as you do in an ongoing contract, something is born in you that hones your focus and consistency, not to mention your writing speed and quality.
- And when you’re getting paid by retainer, you can relax and settle into your love for the work, instead of constantly scrambling to make sure another check is coming.
This makes it easier to adjust your writing schedule so you can take off the days and lunches and long weekends you want … because you have a clear grasp on the kind of time commitment you need to plan into your days.
Know what else? Blogging is just really fun. The posts are short. The turnaround is quick. The satisfaction of seeing your work published regularly is energizing.
Which is why I recommend this writing path to anyone who wants a satisfying and lucrative writing career.
It’s a clear launching point to get you started … it’s something you can continue to do as a “side gig” if you branch out into other projects … and it’s easy to return to if you ever take a break to explore different fields of writing — or if you’re the type of writer who takes whole summers off.
Seriously, when in doubt: Blog. You’ll always be glad you did.
If you’d like to learn more about the easy-to-learn world of blog writing, AWAI has come out with a blogging program that will help you with everything from choosing your topic, to the “technical” aspects of setting up a blog, to building your audience, to writing your posts, to monetizing your blog.
The program guide is by Web and UX Copywriting expert Heather Robson, Managing Editor of Wealthy Web Writer, who went out and got the best advice, strategies, and tips from 10 of the most successful, highest-paid bloggers working today.
Check out all the details about this exciting blogging program and find out how you can get your hands on it right away!
If you’re a new writer looking for a starting point — or an advanced writer ready to add on a skill that’s easy and fun — nothing could be more perfect than blogging.
Do you have any questions about getting started as a blog writer? Let us know in the comments.
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