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10 tips on how to become a professional writer

by Bradley Williams on

Have you ever dreamt of being paid to write about your favourite things for a living? It’s the ultimate dream - getting paid for crafting the written word. If you’re wondering about the process of becoming a professional writer, then keep reading. We’ve put together 10 useful tips on how to become a professional writer today, from choosing your style to promoting yourself and finding work.

10 tips on how to become a professional writer

Follow these tips on becoming a writer to start building your dream career and learn how to be a professional writer today:

1. Start researching now

There's no time like the present, so take the first step today. If you want to know how to become a professional writer, then it's time to do some groundwork and find out what's involved as it won’t happen by itself. Read around the internet and find out about the typical career path writers have taken in different parts of the industry, from journalism to fiction writing and copywriting. 

2. Decide on your style of writing

Stack of newspapers - 10-tips-on-how-to-become-a-professional-writer-Copify-1-768x512-1If you're thinking about becoming a professional writer, you could choose to work in a range of industries. The different types of writing careers available extend from novelists through to newspaper journalists, magazine features writers, in-house copywriters and freelance copywriters, plus much more.

Each role requires different skillsets beyond being able to write coherently and engagingly. Think about the kind of environment you'd like to work within, your schedule and the type of content you'd like to produce, whether factual, creative or sales-based.

3. Schedule time for writing

Regardless of whether you are a full-time writer or you’ve got another part-time job, you need to ensure you make a writing schedule and stick to it.

If you leave your writing to the end of the day, you may be too tired. Many writers looking for inspiration and to develop their mastery of words swear by Julia Cameron's technique of 'morning pages'. It's an exercise of free writing that can be useful for any kind of writer to help you process thoughts and ideas. Or you could even use an hour each morning to practise the craft of copywriting or develop a portfolio of examples.

4. Decide on a niche

Some people like to focus their writing on one or two genres, whereas others like to dabble in all types of writing. If you are trying to build up experience, it’s best to be flexible with your writing topics.

You can use copywriting platforms to gain a wide range of experience in a variety of topics which will help diversify your writing. For instance, if you want to become a professional article writer, some platforms and agencies allow you to build up experience in a range of niches such as travel writing, health or fitness copywriting.

5. Build loyal clients

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In order to transition into one of the professional writing careers out there, it’s important to grow your name and your relationships with clients and companies. All varieties of writing jobs are quite competitive, so it’s important to stay confident and keep pushing yourself.

Send your CV to writing job application boards, search for writing jobs on websites like Indeed and ask family and friends if they know anyone who could require writing work. These are all brilliant ways to build a relationship with clients who can then recommend you to future clients.

6. Get yourself a website

In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to have a professional “online” CV and writing portfolio that showcases you and your writing talents. Simply list your experience, the writing fields you specialise in and of course examples of your work.

It’s also good to offer an idea of your pricing structure and why clients should work with you. Your website is an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills so take your time and do a good job.

7. Offer a good deal

Knowing how to be a professional writer is as much about knowing how to market yourself and bring in leads. This is easily achieved via offering an initial deal or discount for your writing services.

For example, perhaps offer a “free first article” and showcase your best work so that the client wants to keep working with you. If they really like your work, then they will be happy to pay you the necessary amount to keep you writing with them. This is when you really transition from new writer to pro writer.

8. Stay motivated

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Sometimes in the world of professional writing, there can be “dry” days where you're scrabbling around for something to do. But, this doesn’t mean you should give up your dream of becoming a writer. This is valuable time to reflect on your business and take positive steps to bring in new work. 

Use this time to send out emails, find more clients and create new portfolio pieces to upload to your copywriter portfolio and to offer out as submissions to publications and websites.

9. Believe in yourself

You’re a professional writer because you write. So look at your reflection in the mirror and say out loud, “I am a writer!”. Make sure you say it with conviction. You need to believe in yourself, in order for other people to believe in you too.

Regardless of your niche, make sure you know the reasons why you're doing what you're doing. Why should others respect your schedule or help you out? Why should they buy or read your work? Why should they choose you to write their content? This is now your job, and it’s important you believe in it unconditionally.

10. Don’t give up

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Just use that time to reflect and try again. To become a professional writer, it’s a case of endurance. When it comes to writing, you need to remember that perseverance is key and just as important as talent.

It’s also good to take inspiration from other people who have succeeded around you. There are thousands of people who are professional writers and they can help motivate you to achieve that goal too.

Final point

We hope that this guide to becoming a professional writer gives you some good starting points. The main thing to take away from this article is that becoming a writer is all about perseverance.

Lots of people give up a couple of weeks or months into the journey because they believe they have failed. However, it’s those that persevere and stay motivated and determined that go on to have successful and fulfilling careers as professional writers. 

✏️Read more advice for writing great content on the Copify blog.


Main image credit: bruce mars

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