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To Earn as a Writer, You Need Not be Perfect

When you’re starting out, “Quantity” will help you achieve “Quality”

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

Sitting behind his writing desk, a few months ago, Sam was questioning his ability as a writer.
Is he good enough to approach small businesses for freelance work?
What if he is rejected?
Or worse, what if he gets the job and then finds out that he is unable to meet their expectations?

Most writers who are just starting out have a tendency of “not” expressing themselves. They are self-critical and are constantly judging their work and their writing skills.

While regularly evaluating yourself as a writer is crucial for personal development, “not publishing enough” is actually doing more harm than “publishing imperfect articles”.

I’m not asking you to churn out crap every time. All I want to say is we must know how much we can edit and when to move on. We all have thresholds. At this very moment, I’ve got a certain writing standard, certain skills that will limit the quality of work I’ll be able to produce. All good writers know when to hit the publish button and move to the next article.

I won’t be writing like Stephen King overnight. It’s the process of writing and editing, performed repeatedly over the years, that will improve us as writers.

Use Medium Effectively

Sam was scared to approach freelance clients. He doubted his ability as a writer. For Sam, Medium is the best place to start.

There is no other platform that allows you to express yourself as a writer more than Medium. As a new writer, Sam must find his voice and the niches he likes to write content on.

Medium allows you to write about anything you feel like from education to relationships, you just name it. Most users in this platform love to read and write. So, you have a ready-to-read audience. How cool is that? This is probably the easiest way to get feedback for your writings from strangers.

To top that, Medium pays. The more quality content you put out, the more is the chance of getting curated. Not bad isn’t it? Good writers are making hundreds of dollars each month from this platform.

WordPress, Blogger, or Wix Blogs

While Sam can earn via Medium, he is limited to a few options on the platform. If he intends to build a business around his writing or start a freelance career, a personal domain is important.

In 2020, it’s tough to get traction when you publish on your own blog. Only writing won’t help anymore. SEO, backlinks, and marketing are some of the other things you have to work on as well.

The benefit of Medium is you can just concentrate on your content. You will get the audience your writings deserve.

But, if you can promote your content and build domain authority, there will be no limit to your earnings. You can use ads, affiliate links, sell courses, products, or services. It’s your site after all.


Sam was terrified about freelancing, but not anymore. He found his voice, discovered the niches he likes to write on, and got feedback on his writings. Now, he feels more confident to reach out to potential businesses.

Freelancing is the most frequently opted way to earn money when you just start out as a writer. How does one build a portfolio?

You write on different platforms like Medium, Linkedin articles, and your personal blog. Maybe you also write guest posts on other websites. This allows you to showcase your versatility as a writer.

Sam followed the same steps as well. Once he was positive that he has a strong portfolio, Sam started pitching. Initially, he faced some difficulty in pinning down his first few clients. But he knew if he can show his clients that he is good at what he does, he will never be out of work.

Be good at what you do, and you’ll never be out of work.

Networking is key to freelancing.

Write for Publications

With time, you will get better at your trait, gain the right experience, and build a following.

You can then approach bigger publications and strike a deal for your articles. Some of the prominent writers are even contacted by the publications themselves. These writers have their own columns at such blogs.

If you are really accomplished at a certain subject, selling a course to your audience can be a way to make money.

The better you get at your work, the more options will open up. But you are just starting out. Don’t forget what your primary goal is.

It is to write. Right?

If you like this article, you can check out the 17-step guide to optimize your website for SEO:

How To SEO Audit a Website To Improve Google Rankings

To Earn as a Writer, You Need Not be Perfect was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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