How to Become a Paid Professional Writer in 30 Days or Less
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The old ways of making an impact and an income with your writing took time, patience, thick skin, and a ton of effort.
You still need those qualities to become a successful writer, but the path in 2023 and beyond has fewer twists and turns.
When I started writing, the recipe for success was much different…and much harder.
Now, there’s a path to the writing career you want that’s mostly predicated on your effort.
Let me explain.
The Old Path to Writing and Blogging
A few years back, if you wanted to build a writing career through a blog you usually took the following steps.
- Set up your own blog – You still need a blog today because you don’t want to build your platform solely on rented land, but as you’ll see shortly, it’s not going to be the main channel for your writing.
- Write (a bunch) of guest posts to get subscribers – From pitching the idea, to writing the draft of the post, and going through revisions, one solid guest post on a top-tier website can take 20 hours or more. I know from experience (check out this 10,000 word tome I wrote for a top blogging website).
- Monetize your platform…somehow
The last part is the trickiest.
If you thought getting subscribers was the hard part, wait until you need to try to turn that audience into paying customers.
It’s as hard as it looks.
This is where most people quit. They just want to write. They don’t want to have to create a premium online course, or write a book a month, or freelance, or become a coach.
The old method only worked for the most dedicated bloggers out there.
Now, there’s a better way.
You can get paid to write and build your platform. Straight up. No middleman. No excuses.
Medium: The Holy Grail of Writing Platforms
I’m a Medium evangelist.
I’ve written multiple posts about how to succeed on the platform.
I personally know many writers who’ve built not only a platform but an entire career solely by publishing on Medium.
Take Benjamin Hardy for example. He wrote detailed in-depth personal development articles on Medium for two years straight.
As a result of this, he gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers. His popularity on the platform helped him get a $220,000 book deal. I’d venture to say he’s now running a 7 figure business that wouldn’t have been possible without Medium.
Or take my friend Anthony Moore who used the “put your head down and write your ass off on Medium” strategy as well. He added 25,000 subscribers to his list, also got a book deal, and became a full-time writer through building his platform on Medium.
And me? I’m very satisfied with the results I’ve got from using the platform.
The best part about Medium isn’t the mega-success-stories.
It’s the level playing field that allows normal people like you to become professional writers.
Still with me?
Let’s talk about what success could look like for you. Yes, you.
The Most Straightforward Opportunity To Monetize Your Writing in the History of Writing
The Medium Partner Program allows you to get paid for your writing, directly, by getting engagement on your posts by Medium members.
Medium members pay $5/month to get access to premium content.
As a writer, you can “lock” your posts and make them eligible for earning money.
Before you can earn some decent coin, you have to build up a bit of a following.
After you’ve been on the platform, published good work, and have a bit of a following, you can start to make money directly.
I’ve seen stories of writers who “locked” their posts from day one and went straight for monetizing their writing and got great results.
You get paid once per month through the program, which means you can become a professional paid writer in 30 days or less.
If you write good posts and take the aforementioned steps, you’ll instantly join a select group of people online — writers that actually make money.
First, you might make nothing more than a few bucks.
But that turns a switch on in your brain. The minute you realize you can receive compensation for your writing, you can use the smallest amount of earnings as momentum.
You can move forward to making a hundred bucks a month, a few hundred bucks a month, and you can even crack $1k in a few months time if you put your head down and work.
The more you focus on writing great pieces on the platform, the more chances you get to “hit the jackpot” with one of your posts.
The $1,000 Blog Post and Medium’s Viral Potential
I was hesitant to show this and I don’t want to come off like I’m bragging, but I want to show you the viral potential the platform has.
I made $1,000 from one blog post on Medium:
I’ve had single posts that made a few hundred bucks:
I’ve hit #1 on the whole website:
I’ve also had posts that didn’t do well:
But I put the same energy and attempt to create the best quality posts each time.
Some posts don’t move the needle, but the ones that do really move it.
Medium has an algorithm that promotes posts based on readers’ interests (which is why it’s important to choose the right ‘tags’).
They also have a team of editors and curators who look for quality writing to put it in “featured” sections on the website.
The best part? They just look for great articles. It’s not just about your follower count.
I’ve seen writers with little to no following write amazing articles that get promoted and do very well on the platform.
For the first time ever, there is a platform paying writers straight up for quality work.
For some reason, it’s still not incentive enough for most to get off their butt and start working.
Do You Suffer From “Special Snowflake Syndrome”?
As humans, we all twist reality to fit into our own narrative.
Creative people are especially known for this.
The funny thing about it all?
Those courses, programs, training, seminars, blog posts, podcasts, etc, that teach you how to make a living, build a platform and create your own path in life — the advice works.
But most people don’t follow through with them because they have special snowflake syndrome.
People suffering from this ailment take perfectly good advice and say, “Sure, that worked for you, but you don’t understand, I’m an [insert excuse based on identity or circumstance].”
I hate to burst your bubble, but I’ve seen writers on Medium succeed in unique ways.
If you’re not doing well with your writing right now, it’s for one of two reasons:
- You’re just not cut out for it (rare)
- You don’t write enough (likely)
I always give aspiring writers the same benchmarks for complaining. You can complain about your lack of success if you:
- Have written 100 blog posts
- Have been writing for 24 months
- Tried to improve during that time frame
The last point is important.
Writing doesn’t necessarily equal practicing. I’ve seen writers who lament about their progress — claiming they’ve practiced — when what they’ve really done is repeatedly exercised their naval-gazing skills.
Let me explain…
The Only Rule You Need to Follow to Become a Good Writer
I can guess with 99.99% accuracy what ails an aspiring writer who gets no traction.
What’s your guess?
Here it is…
Nearly every struggling writer makes their writing all about themselves.
You can spot that type of writing when you see it. And nobody wants to read it.
I usually get push back when I say this.
“What about memoirs?”
Take a book like Eat, Pray, Love. Do you think people loved the book because they’re interested in Elizabeth Gilbert’s life? No, they loved the book because she wrote her life story in a way that allowed readers to see themselves in it.
There is a huge Grand-Canyon-like-difference in writing a relatable story that connects with readers and the ramblings of what appears to be a personal journal.
A telltale sign you’re making it all about yourself — you think people want to “follow your journey.”
Trust me. They don’t.
They want the words you put on the page to do something for them. Period.
If you catch yourself mostly thinking about yourself while you write, you’re on the wrong track. Any format or genre works, as long as you find a way to make it about the person on the other side of the screen in some way, shape, or form.
How to Write Blog Posts People Love
There are no hard and fast rules for writing successful blog posts, especially in places with diverse voices like Medium.
There are some common traits I’ve seen work:
- Be yourself – Don’t be fake vulnerable or fake guru or fake anything. Talk about the world from your perspective
- Headline – Your headlines don’t have to be “How-to” format, just communicate potential benefits with your headline
- A quick test – Genuinely ask yourself if anybody besides you would be interested in reading your post
- You/I ratio – It’s good to have an even balance of the world “you” or “I” in your writing
- Tell stories – Learn the basic story arc/hero’s journey and use it to add flavor to your writing
- Topics – You have to be a student of the zeitgeist. Talk about what’s going on in the world right now
- Don’t bite your tongue – As Nassim Taleb said “If you see fraud and don’t say fraud. You are a fraud”
- Steal – See what’s working for other writers and steal their techniques. Not their actual words — that’s plagiarism — but their post structure, style, imagery, promotion techniques, etc
- Make pretty posts — Take full advantage of Medium’s user interface and make your posts sparkle
- Write (a lot) – If you write a new blog post 3x per week for a year you’ll have a real writing career
You Can Become a Professional Writer
I started writing four years ago. I had no intention of becoming a professional writer at first. I just wanted to write.
I wrote for years without making a dime because…I loved it!
Now, my hard work has bore fruit.
It wouldn’t have worked, however, had I got started for the wrong reasons.
Look, if you want to do this writing thing. Do it.
Don’t half do it. Don’t do-it-for-a-little-while-get-a-tummy-ache-then-quit.
The only reason I have more followers, subscribers, and money than you is because I’ve been writing for a longer period of time with more consistency than you.
I started at zero — followers, subscribers, dollars, network, all of that.
It’s all there for the taking but you have to do the work.
There is a website paying people to write and for some reason, this is still not motivation enough. I am truly baffled.
If I sound a bit aggressive it’s because I care.
I hate to see wasted potential.
And I write these posts because I know one of you will turn your potential energy into kinetic and build your writing career.
- Sign up for a Medium account
- Write your ass off
- Study how the platform works
- Get paid
- Turn pro
- You’re welcome.