Anything you want to get better at … anything you want to grow … anything you want to improve requires an investment.
Think about it.
If you want to grow a garden, you have to invest time and work preparing the soil, planting the seeds, tending the plot, and pulling the weeds before you get to reap the harvest.
If you want to learn how to hang glide, you’ll probably have to pay someone for access to a hang glider and lessons in how to do it. You’ll also have to invest time and attention to learn the new skill.
If you want to raise a healthy family, it takes regular deposits of time and energy (and patience and understanding!), but the end result is closer relationships that give you joy and fulfillment.
No matter what you want, whether it’s something ordinary like a garden, something frivolous like hang-gliding skills, or something super-important like a happy, healthy family, you have to invest something of yourself to make it happen.
Your web-writing career isn’t any different.
There are essentially three ways you can invest in your web-writing career. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Each can also play a big role in your success, so consider carefully before deciding to rule any option out.
How Spending Money Now Can Make You a Better Web Writer Later
The most obvious way to invest in your web-writing career is with money.
You’re investing money in your career every time you:
- Purchase a program or book that helps you improve your expertise or learn new skills.
- Pay to attend an event or training session.
- Purchase office equipment.
- Hire coaches, mentors, or mastermind groups.
- Pay someone to do something for you like design a website or handle your billing.
Money can help you leverage your time, which increases your hourly earning power. It can help you leverage your marketing, putting your services in front of more people and increasing the chances of landing new clients. And, it can leverage your skills, making you more valuable to your clients, which means bigger fees for you.
The one big drawback to investing money in your career is that … well, it costs money. At least up front, and that isn’t always easy. However, if you make smart investments with your money, you’ll always come out a winner, with higher earning potential and more earning opportunities.
So, investing money in your web-writing career is definitely worthwhile. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 3-5% of your gross earnings to reinvest in your ongoing education. You also should earmark 5-10% of your earnings for a marketing budget.
When it comes to hiring people to perform services for you, weigh the costs versus the potential gains. For example, if you hire a virtual assistant to help with a project, you may earn a lower total fee (once you pay the assistant for her work), but you may end up earning a much higher hourly rate, which means you’ll have more time to line up more work to earn more fees at a higher rate. It’s a good cycle to get into.
Earn Big Dividends When You Invest Your Time
Investing time in your web-writing career doesn’t always have the same immediate pay-off as investing money. After all, when you spend money, you usually have something tangible and fairly immediate to show for it. But, a little time each day put in to building your career can create huge momentum and lead to big pay-offs.
There are three important ways to invest your time. If you skip any of them, you’ll never be as successful as you could be.
First, you should spend time each day (or each week, depending on how you like to structure your schedule) learning new skills, refining existing skills, and keeping up with changes and trends in your industry.
The more you practice and learn about web writing, the stronger your writing will become. The stronger your writing becomes, the more delighted your clients will be. Happy clients mean repeat business, referrals, and higher fees. All good things that actually help you to leverage your time and make even greater use of it. When you get steady repeat and referral business, you won’t have to spend as much time marketing, which means you’ll have more time to spend on paid projects if you choose. And, higher fees … well, higher fees have obvious advantages.
Second, you should invest time each day or week into building connections. I’m not talking about marketing. I’m talking about getting to know people in your industry, getting to know what they’re up to, taking an interest and building relationships.
Relationship building takes time and consideration, and you might be thinking there’s no tangible pay-off, but two really great things happen: 1) you’ll enjoy your career more because you’ll have relationships with people who get what you do and share your passion, and 2) you’ll put yourself in the path of more opportunities. Those unanticipated opportunities often turn out to be the biggest game changers in your career. (Events like AWAI’s Bootcamp and Wealthy Web Writer’s Web Intensive are excellent opportunities for building some really powerful connections in the web-writing industry.)
The third way you should invest your time regularly is into marketing activities.
Ultimately, you have to decide which marketing activities you like best — direct mail, online publishing, social media … there’s a long list of possibilities — but only by investing your time into them on a regular, consistent basis can you build the type of momentum that will keep you working steadily and put an end to feast-and-famine work cycles.
One of the Best Ways to Leverage Your Success
Time and money are the obvious investments to make toward your success.
But, you can also leverage your experience and your knowledge to expand your business, and to build greater wealth.
The very acts of being a web writer, of tackling the challenges of freelancing, and of building your own business mean that you have a lot of valuable knowledge to share. You can invest this knowledge back into your career in two major ways. (Actually, there are probably many more ways, but I’m going to focus on two here.)
First, you can use your knowledge and experience to create marketing materials that will attract and nurture leads. You can write newsletters, develop webinars, create reports, and much more based on your own experiences and knowledge. You can offer them for free to attract more leads and then to turn those leads into clients.
Second, you can create the same kinds of materials and offer them for a fee. Becoming an online publisher is an excellent way to invest your experience into growing your credibility and developing a second, passive stream of income.
Your web-writing career is worth investment. By growing your connections, improving your skills, and increasing your momentum, you can create a web-writing career that can transform your life, giving you the freedom to set your own schedule and the financial means to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.