The three pillars of ongoing personal and business development for freelance content writers are:
Business Development – Running a freelance business is fraught with daily business issues, such as cash flow, client management, and marketing strategies. Knowing how to navigate freelance business issues expertly separates the pros from the amateurs.
Writing Development – Entrepreneurs are drawn to content writing because they need to write, they want to learn about their niche continuously, and they’re drawn to the global power of the internet. All writers can benefit from the ongoing development of their craft. Plus, it’s fun to read books and take courses from others who can make us better writers at any point in our career.
Personal Development – You can be the most professional entrepreneur and a skilled writer. Still, if you haven’t centered yourself with your business and personal vision and understand how to treat people well, you cannot sustain success as a freelancer.
The combination of ongoing development in these three areas is what’s needed for a content writer to create continuous business success.
Before we explore the three pillars of development in more detail, let’s quickly review three essential questions:
- What is Content Writing?
- What Kind of Writer are You?
- Do You Have What it Takes to be a Content Writer?
What is Content Writing?
Before we look at the three pillars of ongoing personal and business development for freelance content writers, I want to be sure you understand the definition of content writing. If you need clarification, read this blog post first.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in learning more about the world of freelance content writing, they can enroll in our FREE course, Introduction to the Freelance Content Writing Business. This 7-day email course provides an overview of this business and helps the student decide if freelance content writing is a good fit for them.
If you’re curious about learning more about the benefits of launching and growing your own freelance writing business, I invite you to enroll in our FREE course today!
What Kind of Writer Are You?
Next, let’s look at you and the type of writer you are today.
Amy Collins, entrepreneur, author of The Write Way, speaker, and book marketing specialist, offers a helpful way to define four types of writers:
The Writer –The Writer writes for no professional purpose.
The Professional Writer – The Professional Writer gets paid for their writing.
The Author – The Author writes books and is often too self-conscious or nervous about promoting themselves and their books.
The Professional Author – The Professional Author writes books and participates fully in all aspects of the publishing industry to promote and sell themselves and their books.
I added a fifth type of writer to Amy’s list:
The Writerpreneur – The Writerpreneur gets paid for their writing and creates and sells information products in one or more niches.
Which kind of writer are you today? Which type of writer do you aspire to be?
This article is for you if you are a Professional Writer or a Writerpreneur because both types of writers create content explicitly for consumption via the internet.
For starters. professional content writers need the following basic personal, business, and writing skills:
- Ability to write in different styles – AP, Chicago, ad copy, informal blog style
- Strong writing skills – attention to grammar and punctuation
- Ability to write on various subjects in a variety of content structures
- Knowledge of market analysis – identify the audience, keywords, competition, and best headlines and sub-headlines
- Originality and creativity
- Knowledge of WordPress and SEO
- Social media expertise and engagement
- Research skills
- Knowledge and authority in one or more niches
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to provide excellent customer service and build client relationships
- Ability to manage a profitable business
- High-self esteem
- Marketing savvy
Additional skills are required in all three areas (personal, business, and writing) as your professional career develops.
If you’re still reading, then you probably see yourself as a future professional content writer. To help my readers, I created a simple, 30-question assessment, Do You Have What It Takes to be a Professional Content Writer?
Get your FREE 30-question assessment, Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Professional Content Writer? Print it out, complete the yes/no questions, and tally your score.
I hope you find the assessment helpful as you consider whether to launch a freelance content writing business.
If you decide to proceed, I’ll teach you how to set up and run a successful content writing business through my Be a Content Writing Pro broadcasts, course, and coaching programs.
Content Writers Need an Ongoing Self-Growth Program
Building a successful freelance content writing business requires ongoing development on three fronts – business, personal, and writing. You’ll be in a profession that requires lifelong learning, which is an exciting prospect or professional content writers.
For example, if I were to design a 12-month self-growth program for content writers, it would look like this:
Your self-growth program can consist of reading books, working with a coach, taking courses and workshops, and connecting with your peers.
What stage are you in now? Where do you need the most help – with business development, writing development, or personal development?
Also, here are three examples of relevant training for content writers, following the model of three pillars of ongoing personal and business development:
Business Development…Writing Development…Personal Development
Business Development for Content Writers
After many years of working as successful freelancers for a variety of editors, I have created a list of recommendations for any freelance writer who wants to be known as someone who delivers exceptional customer service.
Note: Your customer is not the reader or the web site visitor, and it’s not the publication. Your customer is the individual editor who gives you an assignment. Keeping who your customer is in mind makes life easier for everyone involved.
Click here to get your copy of:
How to Give Exceptional Customer Service as a Freelance Content Writer
Writing Development for Content Writers
Content writers are often called upon to write a review of a product or service. There are no classic textbooks available on how to write a stellar review. I’ve been a product review writer for decades. I wrote thousands of product reviews for PC Magazine alone. My writing career as a technology niche expert continues to this day with ongoing assignments from Digital Trends and Health Tech Insider.
Click here to get your copy of:
How to Write a Great Product Review
Personal Development for Content Writers
Let’s focus on three of the most important personal traits found in Creatives, who are professional freelance content writers.
- Self-discipline– This trait looks like making daily to-do lists and completing the tasks on your list by the end of each day.
- Grit– Regularly, you need to swim out to the marketplace, find work, and deliver what you promised or take the consequences.
- High self-esteem – If you feel positive because you believe you are worthy and that others value you, then you have high self-esteem.
The more you continue to create quality content related to something that you feel is important for your readers, the more you’ll grow your self-discipline, grit, and self-esteem.
How do you incorporate personal development in your professional success plan? The most convenient and affordable way to focus on your personal development is to read quality books in the self-growth category.
Click here to get your copy of:
12 Self-Growth Book Recommendations for Freelance Content Writers.
Imagine Your Future
What’s the point of all the effort required for ongoing business, writing, and personal development?
The point is that you can master the mental, emotional, and spiritual techniques needed to make your dreams come true through your writing business.
The secret to making your dreams come true is to charge your dreams with emotion and daily reminders of how your future life will look.
You want to make your future self and your future life so real that you can feel it through all your senses. The best book I’ve read for training yourself in this method is Mach II With Your Hair on Fire by Richard Brooke.
It’s time to let go and think about how you want your life to look in a few years.
Do you want to be working part-time and living in your dream location?
Do you want to be traveling the world while earning an income?
Do you want to be a stay-at-home parent who helps support the family?
Do you want to build an internet publishing empire?
Do you want to supplement retirement funds?
What about funding college for children or grandchildren?
All these scenarios and more are possible with a successful freelance content writing business if you learn how to do it the right way!
What’s next for you:
- No change– You wouldn’t have come this far if you were happy with your status quo.
- DIY– This approach might work for some home repairs, but it won’t work for launching a freelance business in uncharted territory. You need an experienced guide like me to avoid wasting time and money.
- I’ll teach you everything I know about becoming a professional content writer – set yourself up for business success and the future life you imagine. I invite you to enroll in my upcoming course, Beginner to Professional Content Writer: Four-Stage System for Freelance Business Success.
You will learn about the Be a Content Writing Pro Four-Stage Success System, to save you a lot of trial and error in growing your business.
I define the four stages as follows:
Stage One- Startup – A strong foundation is critical for any successful business. In Stage One, I take you to the point of contracting with your first clients so that you can start to earn a side income.
Stage Two – Build – In Stage Two, I teach you how to get repeat work from clients and grow your skills, so that you can increase your side income to a modest full-time income.
Stage Three – Achieve – Stage Three is about proving yourself as a reliable freelance content writer who delivers quality work on time, and therefore will get rehired and will get referrals. At this stage, a freelance content writing business could create a full-time income to support you and your family.
Stage Four – Thrive – The pros work and thrive in Stage Four, where they can pick and choose their writing contracts, while they create personally branded information products or income-producing assets, like my Be a Content Writing Pro Four-Stage Success System. With the global marketing reach of the internet, this stage offers unlimited income potential.
To get more details about The Be a Content Writing Pro Four-Stage Success System, see my article.