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Freelance Writers: Learn How to Double Your Earning Potential Within the Next 30 Minutes
By William Ballard, Freelance Writer and Author
Using this simple thirty-minute exercise, freelance writers can double their earning potential. Once you’ve tried it, you will never look back.
One of the best things about being a freelance writer is that you’re in control of what you earn.
Back when I was living in Dallas, I worked as a full-time shift supervisor over night as a security officer. My working hours were Monday through Saturday.
Thursday evenings were a little slow. At the time, evening hours had yet to catch on. With only a few workers around, there was not much need for security officer to issue visitors badges and what not. I spent most of the evening doing my rounds and shooting the breeze with my colleagues.
Monday through Wednesday was the complete opposite. With a constant line of employees forgetting their badges and visitor coming in for interviews waiting, we worked like crazy. We had visitor badges to make, rounds to make, and escorts to do. By the end of the day, I was exhausted. I went home good for nothing except slouching in front of the TV.
Even though I worked myself to exhaustion on Monday through Wednesday, I earned exactly the same per hour as on Thursdays, when work was “easy”.
It didn’t seem fair, but for most people who get paid by the hour, that’s exactly how it works. Not to mention the stress of shift work.
Freelance writers have the luxury of setting their own hourly rate, within reason. The only limit is your dedication, and the speed at which you can write.
On the one hand, this can be scary. If you slack around doing nothing, you earn nothing. If you spend a full working day perfecting a paragraph, your hourly rate stalls.
On the other hand, if you apply yourself and work hard, you can significantly boost your hourly rate.
Freelance writers are typically paid per article, blog post, or word. (Tip: If you’re being paid per hour, you need to negotiate a new contract). When you’re paid this way, the faster you write, the greater your earning potential.
What if I told you that you could double your writing speed in the next thirty minutes? If you did that, you’d also double your writing potential.
It sounds impossible, but hear me out.
Chances are you can write a lot faster than your current writing speed. There are techniques you can use, that you can learn in a short space of time, which will significantly increase the speed at which you put words on the page.
I can’t promise that you’ll double your writing speed, but it’s a likely outcome. Unless you’ve already tried this technique, you’ll certainly write a lot faster than you did yesterday.
When I first came across such claims, I was skeptical. At the time, it took me a full morning to plan, write and edit a short blog post. Truth be told, my writing pace was around 100-200 words per hour.
Now I can write a simple blog post in less than 60 minutes. Find out how by reading the following blog post:
How to Write a 500 Word Blog Post in Less Than an Hour
When I tried the techniques, that I am about to share with you. I was shocked to discover that I could write a high standard blog post in under 25 minutes. I’d more than tripled my writing speed. I could hardly contain my excitement.
You may be reading this and thinking, “All that is good all, but how will that help me?”
However, as a new writer, you have a question that’s bugging you. What is the use of learning to write fast, if you’re still searching for writing clients? The answer to this is simple. The more you write, paid or unpaid, the easier it will be to find clients. Once you start publishing and promoting your writing, even if that’s only on your own blog, you’ll find that writing opportunities start to come your way.
The technique for writing fast is disarmingly simple. The good news is that because it’s so simple, it’s very easy to learn. The bad news is that because it’s so simple, you may be tempted to avoid trying it. Please don’t let that be you.
Essentially, writing fast involves three techniques:
Now we’ve laid the groundwork, here is the technique in a nutshell. This technique is designed for writing short articles of up to 500 words, but you can adapt it for longer projects.
The technique is based on working based off a timer. You can use a kitchen timer or the countdown function on your wristwatch. If you find being online distracts you from writing, you may benefit from unplugging your internet for the duration of the exercise.
Essentially, this whole technique and exercise is based off the power of the timer. The timer is the key to this exercise working for you. Whatever you do, don’t skip it! It’s the timer that keeps your mind focused, so you can ignore distractions and the inner critic.
1) Write Your Outline (5 minutes). You’ve got five minutes to prepare an outline for your article. This doesn’t need to be detailed, and it doesn’t need to be perfect. The main point of writing the outline is to break the mesmerizing influence of the blank page. Once you’ve got something down on paper, you’ll find the rest of your words come easy.
Your outline can be as simple as:
As you’re trying this as an exercise to boost your writing speed, I recommend choosing a topic you’re passionate about. Once you’ve seen how it works using a personal piece of writing, you can apply it to your freelance writing business.
When you’ve got a sentence, question, or three words written, expand your outline as best you can in the time available. What will you say in the article?
2) Write Your Article (15 minutes). Now you’ve got an outline, you’ve broken the curse of the blank page syndrome. You’ll find it much easier to get more words onto the page now.
Set your timer for 15 minutes, and just write. Write without stopping until the timer buzzes.
There’s no magic to this step. Or if there is any magic, it’s in the act of writing.
Don’t stop for anything.
Don’t stop to correct spelling mistakes or errors in your grammar. If you find the red squiggly lines of your spell checker distracting, turn it off!
Don’t stop to think about which word you want to use. For now, the word that comes to mind is the right word.
Don’t stop if you’re worried about deviating from your outline. Follow your new train of thought in your writing and see where it leads, this is where creative side of the brain begin to take on the leadership role, and it is usually where all the magic really happens. You can always return to your outline in a moment, or write up your outline another time.
If you’re worried about making a mess, stop worrying. The more mess you make the better.
Moreover, if you’re genuinely totally stumped for something to write, don’t stop! Keep writing. Even if all you write is “I don’t know what to write”, then write that, repeatedly. In the end, your brain will get bored and provide you with more inspiring material.
When the timer buzzes, stop!
3. Edit (10 minutes). Go back and read through what you’ve written. Read it through once without making any edits. If you’re anything like I was when I first tried this exercise, you’re in for a unpleasant surprise.
Even if you’ve created an ugly monster, don’t panic! You still might be able to redeem it. Moreover, if you can’t, it only took you 15 minutes. Every time you practice writing fast, you’ll get better at it.
On your second run through of reading, you can start editing. Don’t correct any spelling or grammar yet. Your first edit is structural. In this edit, you should:
On your third run through of reading, you can polish up your spelling and grammar.
That’s your article in thirty minutes! Unless you were already a super-speedy writer, you’ve probably written it twice as fast as anything you’ve previously written.
So, you’ve read this far without putting pen to paper? Or you’ve skipped to the end? Writing fast is obviously a technique you’d like to learn. Why not go back and try out the exercise now? It’s 30 minutes that could change your writing life forever.
I’d love to hear how you get on with this exercise. Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with your friends!
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, "8 Tips to Freelance Writing Success (Article Writing Series)" and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.