During my long career, I have connected with hundreds of successful writers, and I’ve found that most who enjoy long, lucrative careers have a few things in common – traits and skills that carry them far and high.
These successful writers have learned what it takes to scale their incomes and soar to new heights.
They understand the key principles to earning six figures and beyond and how to reach and exceed their income goals.
And today, I want to share some of these traits with you.
Do you have any of these traits? Go through them and let me know in the comments how you fare with each one.
1. Effective Communication Skills
I cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate well with clients and editors.
Even though you are sitting behind your computer in your own home, your reach into the real world is vast and wide.
Every single day you will be interacting with people who possess all types of personalities. You have to learn how to explain yourself in a concise, understandable way to be effective.
Here are the communication skills that will help take you far:
- Learn how to build rapport with clients. Think more about their needs while you are engaging with them. Notice how they communicate and what they respond to. Interact with them in a way that lets them feel you can meet their needs and understand their concerns.
This may take some practice, so the only word of advice I can give you is to listen first and talk second. Listen to what they are saying and read into it. Listen to their inflections if you are talking on the phone and respond accordingly. This puts you in a position of control and allows you to create a strong professional connection with clients.
- Respond quickly and kindly when you communicate through email. This communication trait is appreciated by everyone. Be prompt and courteous. Write with a professional yet personable attitude. Many clients will hire you again and again only because you are so nice to work with. Hone your communication skills and you will be amazed at the results!
2. The Ability to Fight Fear
Fears are nothing more than “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
And fears can be highly effective; they can make you live your entire life without fulfilling your dreams. They cause you to become frustrated and resentful, because you know you’re not living to your greatest potential.
Yes, you should have fears…
You should fear staying in a dead-end job and working day after day without any promise of reaching your goals.
You should fear living in regret.
That’s what you should fear!
Of course, you will have “concerns” during your freelance writing journey, but the bottom line is: life is a risk.
No matter what you do, where you work or whatever actions you take, there are risks. Period. So why spend your life worrying about something that hasn’t happened and that may never occur?
You love writing and you want to earn money from home as a freelance writer. Take it from Nike…Just do it!
If you battle with fear and it is impeding your progress, this article may help. It outlines how you can become a successful freelance writer when you don’t believe in yourself.
I also created a free report that can help you. It is called Freelance Writing Fear Smashers. In it, I teach you what I did to overcome my own fears and build enough confidence to grow my career to six figures. Get it here.
3. A Growth Mindset
Everyone in the world can be divided into two categories: those with a growth mindset and those with a fixed mindset.
There are people living in between, but more times than not, they lean one way or the other.
Someone with a fixed mindset believes that they have all of the talent and intelligence they can have. They were born with a portion and there isn’t anything they can do about it.
Someone with a growth mindset believes that through hard work, persistence and perseverance, they can learn and change their skills to do or become anything they want.
These two mindsets are very different and your life and business will emulate which mindset you possess. So how do you develop a growth mindset?
Be careful of your “internal dialogue.” If you consistently beat yourself up and tell yourself that you will fail or that if you only had the talent, you could accomplish your goal, that’s your fixed mindset speaking to you.
Acknowledge your inner dialogue, grab hold of it and consciously change it. If you do this continually, eventually you will think with a growth mindset.
Realize that you have a choice. Hearing me talk about it and understanding that you might have a fixed mindset, changes nothing. Y
ou must “talk back” to your fixed mindset thoughts with a growth mindset voice. This will cement your new thought pattern and rewire your natural instinct toward a fixed mindset.
This doesn’t happen overnight, but don’t give up! Gradually you will notice your thought patterns changing.
Another trait you will notice successful freelance writers have is they are self-motivated. They have an abundance of motivation! They know that they are solely responsible for making enough money every month.
To them, this means not getting caught in the social media whirlwind, avoiding the TV and setting boundaries in their home with their families.
It takes time to learn how to motivate yourself so don’t get discouraged. Don’t try to work 14-hour days. Be realistic in your goals and meet them every day. Soon you will create a pattern and you will be self-motivated.
5. Good Discipline
Discipline, in my experience, even surpasses excellent writing skills. Of course you need to write well, but what does it matter if you can’t adhere to a work schedule?
Don’t forget that you are in a business. You are not only the employee but the employer as well. Sometimes you need to step into the boss role and speak to yourself about keeping up your workload and functioning within your deadlines.
Don’t beat yourself up if you should fall back now and then. Just be careful to develop a healthy, disciplined pattern throughout your workday.
6. Thick Skin
This is a big one. Who likes getting rejected? No one! But learning to handle rejection in a healthy manner is imperative to becoming a successful freelance writer.
The best way to handle this is to breathe. Before you respond to a nasty editor, breathe and take a few minutes. DON’T react. You will regret it.
Rejection is part of the freelance writing business. Learning to handle rejection well is important to becoming successful in this industry.
Will the sting ever stop from rejection? Probably not, but instead of it feeling like you were punched, it will feel like a tiny pinch.
Don’t get down on yourself. It happens to everyone. Just turn your cheek and move on and remember…YOU are not what you do. You are intrinsically valuable just because you are a human being.
Learn and Grow as a Successful Freelance Writer
Now that you know the primary traits of a successful freelance writer, what are you waiting for? You love writing. You want to work from home. You love being your own boss. Get to it!
IMPORTANT: One thing you must understand is that a lot of these traits will develop over time as you move forward in your career. Don’t let the absence of these traits stop you from taking the next steps you need to succeed. As you build your career, keep these top of mind and they will become second nature.
Now go and get em’!