Being a full-time writer doesn’t mean you get to write all day.
When I was younger, I always romanticized the idea of myself living as a writer.
I imagined my house to be packed with books from floor to ceiling. I’d then spend the entire day reading books from my never-ending book stack and penning things in my notebook. Now that I’ve finally realized my lifelong ambition of becoming a writer, the reality, it turns out, is pretty different from my imaginatively perfect world.
I’ve learned that it’s not possible to spend all my time writing. It will only exhaust my creativity. Even if that weren’t the case, there are a number of qualities and skills that you must possess in order to be a great writer. Of course, not all of them are glamorous, and some of them might even be quite boring and tedious.
But, the skills that I mention in this article are the ones I felt were quite necessary for me in my journey. If you are a digital writer in 2022, then I am sure these four skills would help you as well. They are boring, but will no doubt define your success in the arena of online writing.
1. The S-word every creator hates
No, I’m not referring to selling your soul, even though it may feel like that at times.
Jokes apart, the skill I’m talking about here is “scheduling.”
Just to give you a perspective; this article will take around 5 minutes of reading time. And in these five minutes, more than 27,000 unique blog posts will be published all over the internet. This is in addition to 7,000 LinkedIn posts and 1.5 million-plus tweets.
These numbers should be enough to convince you that there’s a lot of noise on the internet. And, in order to stay relevant, you must be active on social media and publish on a regular basis.
But, you are only one person. It’s ridiculous to expect you to spend all of your time in front of a computer, ensuring that there’s ample time between your recent posts and your upcoming ones.
This is where scheduling comes in as a major game-changer that sets you apart from your competitors while ensuring you don’t feel burnt out.
How I tackle the S-word
After producing this content, I go to Hypefury — my most preferred scheduler, and space them out in such a manner that regardless of my reader’s time zone, they’ll always see my posts on the top of their feed.
Scheduling may sound to be exciting at first, but after a few months, any creator would agree that it’s the most monotonous part of the journey.
However, I might as well add that it’s the most vital part because if you don’t schedule, you’ll become overwhelmed with keeping track of time zones, monitoring your metrics, and constantly second-guessing yourself.
A few tips about scheduling that I have learned the hard way:
1. Investing in a good scheduler will relieve you of 80% of the work
I use Hypefury because it allows me to schedule material for social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. It also offers some amazing templates that help me gather ideas for future posts, and has auto-DM features that have proved to be vital for my business.
2. Spacing out — the other S-word
It’s important to space-out posts in a particular order and not overwhelm your audience by talking about the same thing several times a day.
It’s very natural that when you batch produce content, your brain would write two or three posts on the same topic at the same time. But when you put it on a scheduler, make sure you give enough space between two posts on the same topic.
3. Your responsibility doesn’t stop at scheduling
Scheduling does not imply that you’re free of responsibilities. You must still check into your accounts, interact with users who have left comments, and maintain track of your stats.
By this, you will know what types of posts work best.
A tool will make your daily routine easier and improve the user experience for your audience. But it cannot replace the unique creativity and personality that you bring to your profile.
2. The most time-consuming task with an incredibly skewed rate of interest
Currently, I have over 130,000 followers across all social media platforms put together.
You can imagine how many comments I must get on a daily basis, especially because I’m active on all these platforms. The urge to ignore all the notifications and only focus on my creative workflow is very strong. But it’s important to remember that your success as a creator is defined by the people who believe in you.
The community of supporters that you nurture will help you stay ahead of your competition and ace the game in the long run.
So, it’s very important to reply to all the comments that you get on social media. And it’s also important to engage with the people who constantly support you.
The reason I mentioned this as a weird rate of interest is that sometimes it might feel that you are wasting hours of your time just by posting comments that probably nobody even reads. However, you never know how much of an influence your single comment might have on your reader.
How I tackle this time-consuming task
Here’s an example from my own life:
There was this woman who used to consistently comment on my YouTube videos back in 2021. And as a habit, I used to reply to all her queries, even though she never got back to me on any of those comments. I thought that was it. Imagine my surprise when she brought in a whole lot of her acquaintances to purchase my first digital product and earn herself a decent affiliate commission too!
When I wrote her a message to express my gratitude, she told me that out of all the writers whom she had messaged, I was the only one who got back to her. That’s why, when I launched my own product, she knew that I wouldn’t sell something bad.
And it was this that made her feel confident enough to invest money in something that barely had any reviews.
This goes on to show that when you’re engaging with your community on social media, don’t simply do it for the algorithm, but engage with the intention to nurture relationships. Even if you don’t get any monetary benefits from it, you’re planting seeds that might give you a sudden boost in ways you may never expect.
3. The task that’ll never leave you, no matter how *big* you are
Responding to emails and reaching out to potential clients was a big part of my previous work routine as a civil engineer. I used to be so frustrated by this constant stream of emails that I was looking forward to the day when I could be a full-time writer and be finally free of this commitment to my inbox.
Turns out I was totally wrong.
Even today as a successful creator, it’s very important for me to respond to the emails I get, as well as send out several cold emails that might land in better prospects for my career.
Arguably, email is one of the most uninspiring jobs that you need to do, but like all the other tasks mentioned in this article, it’s also one of the foundation stones on which your career as a creator is built.
4. Knowing when to save and what to invest
You must have come across the phrase “Money comes from money.”
Saving your hard-earned money will, of course, pay off in the long run. But as a creator, it’s also important to know where you can invest your money so that you can learn new skills and grow your career even more.
Here, I’m not simply talking just about mutual funds, stocks, or cryptocurrency, even though these are amazing ways to make sure you don’t have to be broke during a lean period in your career. Rather, I’m referring to all the different ways you may invest in yourself so you can regain a part of your time while still improving your skillset.
This may involve purchasing software that streamlines your productivity and creative process. One of the best investments that I made was for purchasing Hypefury for my Twitter account. It has entirely transformed my Twitter game.
I’ve also spent hundreds of dollars on courses and cohort-based communities that have allowed me to hone my abilities and network with other creators from all around the world.
At the start of my career, I was hesitant about investing in products other creators have released. However, with time I’ve come to recognize that when a creator publishes a product, it comprises everything they’ve learned along the way. Purchasing it allows you to absorb all of their experiences without having to do the hard work yourself.
This in itself is an incredible return. If you’re stingy with your money or are afraid to invest in resources that help you grow, you might be digging your own grave.
As a final piece of advice, just remember this: no matter what you buy, if you put your heart and soul into learning from it, whatever money you invested will definitely return to you manifold.
Life as a creator isn’t as rosy as simply writing all day long. It demands the mastery of a wide range of talents in order to keep up with the newest developments in the creator economy and stay ahead of the competition.
Summarizing, here are the four skills that you need to become a successful online writer:
- Scheduling content to have a strong social media game.
- Replying to every comment you get.
- Sending cold emails to future prospects, sorting through and replying to whatever emails you get.
- Knowing when to save and what to invest in courses and products created by people ahead of you in their journey.