Writing is my speciality. I wasn’t always good at it; I wrote my heart out for almost five years and I still never broke more than about 1000 monthly views.
But once I started applying the five writing tips below, everything changed. Everything. In six months, I started averaging 300,000 views/month, I had gained over 16,000+ new email subscribers, I was offered my first book deal, I was featured in some of my industry’s biggest publications, and became one of the top content creators in my field. Six months after that, I cracked my first five-figure month, and was able to build a six-figure business from then on.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s writing. As as someone who had bad writing for many years, then good writing for many years after that, here are five crucial writing tips from a six-figure writer and content creator.
1. If You’re Not Seeing the Results You Want, Study Other Successful Writers…and Do What They Do
“There will always be somebody stronger than you.” -Old proverb
I’ve met hundreds of writers on my journey. For years, I was a professional writing coach, mentoring dozens of writers on their journey to become better publishers.
I would get lots of questions about writing tips, most of them about the same topic:
How do I get better?
I’d always tell them the same thing:
Study great writing.
This is one of those simple writing tips that look me years to learn; just because you write a lot doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a great writer. You have to become a student, to accept the fact that others know better than you.
Fortunately, this training doesn’t need to cost you any money; there are countless books, articles, writing tips, and blog posts from thousands of the best writers the world has ever seen, all online right this second.
A turning point in my writing was when I chose to become a true student of my craft, and meticulously analyze my heroes’ work. I tracked everything I could think of: How often did they post? How long were their articles? How many lines between paragraph breaks? What platform? What kinds of links? What vocabulary words? What calls to action?
They had already figured it out. They knew what worked, and what didn’t. Like me, they’d probably spent years of their own trying and failing until they finally found a winning formula.
Study the greats. Take meticulous notes. Analyze your craft. Keep track of good writing tips. This is the key to creating absolutely phenomenal writing.
2. Find the Intersection Between What You Like, What the Market Wants, and What Makes You Money
Something else I learned in my decade of writing: not all writing makes money. Even excellent, high-quality writing.
Of course, you don’t have to make money; you’re free to publish whatever you want, wherever you want. But if you’re reading this, I can assume you actually want to use these writing tips to earn revenue from your work. And if you want your writing to bring in that revenue, not just any old writing will do. It has to meet at a three-part intersection:
- Writing what you like
- Writing the market actually wants
- Writing that has the potential to earn money
I have colleagues who have been writing for as long as me, but still make no revenue. This writing usually consists of content like diary entries, random creative fiction, or superficial attempts to capitalize on trends and fads. As best-selling author and multi-million dollar entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki once quipped, “It’s called a ‘best-selling author’, not ‘best-author.’”
If you want to make money — real money — writing, you have to find that intersection.
The first point is the simplest: what do you like to write about? What do you read and watch in your spare time? What interests you? What could you write all day about?
The second point is tricker: writing content the market actually wants. There are many ways to address this point, but ultimately, it comes down to one major factor: writing that helps people achieve their goals. Some people want to laugh; others want to learn, to empathize, to discover, to be challenged, to better their lives. Make sure your writing helps your readers get what they’re looking for.
The third point is more mechanical: monetizing this content can be done in countless ways. When you reach this point, you’re beginning to enter truly content creation: packaging your content in ways people will actually buy. Is it a book? An online course? A blog page? It can be done in several ways.
3. Money-Making Writing Requires Both Great Content and Great SEO
Like I said, you could write some great content, but still not make any money. Essentially, if no one reads your work, great writing won’t matter much.
When you’re first starting out (and even years after you start), SEO is going to be a key method of attracting your first waves of readers. There are plenty of other ways — you can pay others to promote your work, you can run advertisements, you can use affiliate partners, you can guest post. But no good site can last long (or even get started) without both great content and great SEO.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be an SEO expert to start. Ezoic has a ton of free content on how to do this (we even dedicated an entire week of our Content Month to SEO), as well as an ever-expanding suite of SEO tools. Resources like these explain what to do, how to do it, and allow you to create at-least serviceable SEO for your site, and grant you the information to learn high-level SEO strategies.
Even going over the basics of SEO would take several blog posts, so I won’t get into that here. What I will say is this: if you want to earn serious revenue from your work, you need great SEO. SEO is essentially the due diligence publishers need to put in so that all their hard work is noticed by search engines, which is a truly massive source of audience and thus revenue.
4. Multiple Income Streams Help Bring In Serious Money
I once heard a multi-million dollar writer and entrepreneur explain the difference between “beer money” and “real money.”
Beer money is making a few extra hundred dollars a month from your side hustle. It’s fun, but really only allows you to buy a little extra stuff each month.
On the other hand, “real” money allows you to change your life; to change your family’s life. Real money allows you to experience life on your terms, and build a legacy that truly helps people and affords you the life you want.
I could write all day about different income streams, but here’s a handy list of five non-ad-related income streams you can apply to your site. Ezoic helps maximize and optimize your advertisement revenue, but we also provide a full suite of tools to help you grow your website through countless other ways.
5. You Can’t Be Afraid to Reinvent Yourself
In the 1980’s, anyone who read a newspaper could tell you who Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were.
True rivals in basketball, these world-class competitors were almost identical: same position, same height, similar stats, similar age. The 1980’s were a decade of back and forth championships between their two teams.
For decades, sports pundits have argued who was better, but ultimately, the consensus began to shift towards Magic Johnson.
Unlike Bird, Johnson was able to reinvent himself, while Bird stayed mostly the same. Johnson was able to change his game, fit new molds, and adapt to his ever-changing environment. As a result, he won more championships than his rival Bird, as well as nearly twice as much income during his career.
As the old saying goes, “what got you here won’t get you there.” Markets change. Algorithms change. Tools, platforms, trends change. If you’re too locked in to your old strategies with your site, you’re liable to miss learning new strategies that are needed to succeed in the long run. Make sure you’re always willing and open to changing your strategy to fit the changing needs/preferences of your audience.
Despite being a successful writer/publisher for many years, I know there’s still a ton I don’t know. But I do know this: any content creator who truly takes the time to learn their craft, study their market, and apply sound business strategies and these writing tips to their content will see success.
Great writing isn’t easy. I’m still practicing every single week to improve. Readers typically see this work, and respect that their favorite writers are committed to improving their content for their readers. If you want to catch the eye of a large audience, prove to them you’re willing to do the work to help them. The money, influence, and success will follow.