For the past year, I’ve been trying to “get fit.” And, while I set some specific goals to measure my personal idea of being fit, I wasn’t quite sure how to approach them.
There are so many different options — Pilates, yoga, running, kickboxing, racquetball — the list goes on and on. And, depending on who you talk to, what works “the best” varies almost every time.
So, I set out to discover what worked best for me. This was going to be a lifestyle change, so I needed a plan that would keep me engaged and on target to reach my goals — both the short-term ones and those long into the future.
I tried a variety of sports and activities, and after identifying my “best” choices, I have since reached my goals (and already set new ones!).
But, here’s the funny part — what I discovered this past year was that I had the plan to succeed all along. I found that the basic formula for achieving success doesn’t change, regardless of the goal. In order to succeed, you need:
- A clear direction of where you want to go.
- A detailed strategy for getting there.
- And the commitment to do the tasks required by your strategy.
Here’s something else I discovered … when you dig even deeper, the truths behind getting fit are actually the SAME for becoming a successful web writer.
In fact, there are six core truths …
1. You can be up and running quickly.
The minute I decided to be a runner, laced up my sneakers, and hit the pavement, I started calling myself a runner. I didn’t have to wait for a race to start.
And, it’s the same to become a web writer. You just need to sit down and start typing words. Write your own freelance website, write a blog, write a money-making website, write comments on someone else’s blog …
The minute you start writing copy that goes on the Web, you’re a web writer. That’s how you hit the ground running. There’s no point along the path to success that you have to reach before you can officially begin.
Just turn on that computer and get going.
2. You’ll see results fast.
Last month, I gave myself a fit test, which included timing myself when I ran a mile. (Let’s just say I was not happy with that time.) But, I ran a mile a few times during the next four weeks, and then timed myself again. And, I’m happy to report I shaved nearly two full minutes off my time!
Web writing is much easier than running a fast mile! Once you start writing, it won’t be long before you begin to see improvement.
When I first started writing, it would take me a full day to write an 800-1,200 word article. After a few months, I realized that I had the most trouble coming up with a solid lead. So, for the next few months, I wrote two new leads every week — whether I planned to use them or not — just to get my brain and fingers used to doing it.
Today I can bang out an article lead in about 10 minutes. I often even write three versions and pick the best one after I finish the article.
With writing, as with running, you’ll pick up speed as you do it. In fact …
3. The more time you invest, the faster you improve.
Did you ever notice that some of the same people are at the gym no matter when you go? They seem to spend hours there (especially if they’re weightlifters!), and they certainly look great for all their effort.
Just like with getting fit, what you put in to your web writing study determines what you get out … and how fast you get it.
If I had practiced writing a new lead every day, I could have experienced that same improvement in weeks instead of months.
You can become a web writer by writing five hours a week. But, you can become an even better web writer by writing 10 hours a week. 20 hours? Yep, much better, and much faster.
The amount that you need to invest all depends on you and your personal goals. How good do you want to be? What does “being good” mean in terms that can be quantified (fees, number of clients, etc.)? How fast do you want to be that good?
You’re the only one who will truly know how much time you need, and are willing, to invest in becoming successful. You’re in total control!
4. You don’t need to specialize to be really good.
Taking Pilates makes you better at yoga because you have a stronger core. Yoga makes you better with weight training because you learn how to breathe and control your body. Weight training makes you better at Pilates and yoga because you’re stronger all around. And, by learning all three, you’re more fit overall because of the variety.
Sometimes it’s the variety that actually paralyzes people trying to start a career in web writing. It’s a common misunderstanding about writing for the Web: that you have to learn it all before you start working with clients.
Not even close.
You just need to learn one skill and you can start working with clients.
My choice? Personally, I’d recommend learning to write website copy first, or possibly autoresponder emails. They’re two skills that you can use with almost any client who has an online presence. But, with so many valuable options, you really can choose your own path. (More on this topic in a future article!)
So, learn to write website copy, and then start working with clients while you learn how to write autoresponders. As you have each one down, add it to your list of services, and start learning another skill like SEO, video, or PPC.
They all go hand-in-hand, supporting each other like Pilates and weight training. Each new skill makes you better at the others, and all of them together make you a more valuable, and stronger, web writer.
5. Personal training can help you excel faster.
Haven’t we all seen Hollywood celebrities lose the baby fat in six weeks and thank their personal trainer for helping to make it possible?
We can all use a boost every now and then to get us to the next level faster. And taking professional training, attending an event, or hiring a coach can get us there faster.
Just remember, the responsibility to make the investment to get a big return lies with you.
I’ve worked with trainers before where I wasn’t committed to the workouts. I knew I wanted to be in better shape, but I wasn’t willing to put in the sweat and effort. So, I ended up frustrated and felt like I wasted my money.
But the responsibility was on me — not the trainer.
Other times, I’ve done bootcamps and training programs where I came out feeling victorious, far more healthy and stronger than I had been before I started. I went into it knowing what I wanted to get out of it. And, put in the effort needed to make it happen.
Having someone who can help you take your performance to the next level always makes a difference. Being a web writer is no exception, which is why I am happy we have so many experts willing to share their time and experience with us at Wealthy Web Writer.
6. No matter how good you are, you can ALWAYS get better.
Just look at the Olympic athletes. They’re the best at what they do. But, they’re still constantly practicing and trying new things to get just a “little” bit better. Even if better means a tenth of a second. (They’d laugh at my time on the mile, but, everyone starts somewhere!)
This goes back to the “always keep learning” concept. It’s the same for a web writer. There will always be new technologies, new challenges, and new goals for you to hit. So, you’ll always be learning and striving to be better.
Looking back, I knew what I needed to do to become fit all along. It’s the same things you need to do to become a successful web writer:
- Take action and start writing web copy.
- Practice as often as you can, and take notice of improved results.
- Invest the amount of time needed to meet your goals.
- Pick a skill and learn it. Start working with clients while you start learning another skill. Repeat.
- Get personal training when you want to get to the next level quickly, or hit a roadblock that you can’t get past alone.
- Never stop learning and investing in yourself.
The key is to get started now. The starting line is the same regardless of the path you take. (In future issues, I’ll build on these core truths to show you more specific paths you can take based on your actual goals.)