Skills I’d Spend The Most Time Learning If I Had To Start As A Writer From Scratch

Must-have skills to get your writing business up and running, 10x faster than others.

Skills I’d Spend The Most Time Learning If I Had To Start As A Writer From Scratch
Image from the author’s Instagram.

Must-have skills to get your writing business up and running, 10x faster than others.

Do you aspire to be a writer?

If you said yes, then you must love writing. You want to spend your days spilling words on blank pages (read: Google Docs).

Sadly, a writer can’t only write if you also want to monetize your writing business. When I say I’m a writer, most people assume I write the entire day.

That’s far from reality.

Writing only makes up about 20% of my daily workload.

I spend the rest of my time on administrative tasks to cement my business’s roots. I have to invest time and resources into my business to keep it thriving and aspire for 100x growth in the future.

If you dream of being a full-time writer, this article is for you.

Here are the top 3 skills I’d have learned if I were to start my writing career from scratch in 2023.

1. Writing with the goal of converting

Keeping the most underrated skill at the top: you have to be good at writing emails.

I can’t emphasize enough how good email writing practices impact your business growth.

If you can write convincing emails, you can 

  • convert high-ticket clients, 
  • bag lucrative sponsorship deals, 
  • sell courses, and 
  • establish yourself as an expert in your domain. 

There are immense perks to writing good emails, and I honed this skill with practice.

One obvious question here is: if I am a writer, how can I not know how to write good emails?

Email writing is a specific skill different from copywriting, content writing, or creative writing.

A good email shouldn’t just interest the reader till the end. It should also convert, i.e., get an action performed by the reader, be it buying your course or signing up for a workshop.

Your prospective client shouldn’t just appreciate your cold outreach but respond to it with a contract ready. That’s how good your email crafting should be.

It’s not something I can teach you in one subheading of an article, but I’ll leave some essential tips to write killer emails:

Have a subject line that generates healthy curiosity

For example, say you’re writing a newsletter on time management. Instead of talking about the topic directly, my subject line was: “To me, this is more valuable than money.” Most people click on these emails out of curiosity, boosting my CTR and conversions.

Personalize the emails 

This lets the receiver know your genuine interest in them. For a prospective client, conduct research to include a line about their business. For newsletters, use mail tools to automatically customize mails.

The WIIFM question

Every reader wants to know what’s in it for them. Make sure your email answers it and even emphasizes it.

Always have a clear CTA

If you want to work with someone, say it openly. If you’re selling a value-adding course, ask the readers to buy it and reap its benefits. Be clear in your messaging.

Keep the emails short and crisp

Write them in a conversational tone, and get straight to the point.

Let your stats drive you

Check your mail analytics to understand what’s working for your audience. Keep iterating and improving.

2. Walking up to have a conversation

Beyond a certain point, businesses depend on your network to thrive.

As a writer or solopreneur, networking isn’t easy if your work demands you to be glued to a computer screen throughout the day.

At the beginning of my writing career, networking felt overwhelming (I called it a necessary evil). Slowly, I realized I’d hit my peak if I didn’t put myself out there.

Now, I attend networking events happening in my city whenever possible. I say yes to every speaking gig that comes my way.

These tiny practices ensure I get in the same room with high-value professionals. Still, this doesn’t promise good networking.

You’ve to be shameless, walk up to the influential crowd, introduce yourself most impressively, and start a conversation.

Walking up to hold a conversation won’t come easy. I understand it the best, but here are some tips that helped me big time:

  • Your look defines only 50% of how others perceive you. The other 50% depends on the strength of your handshake. Make it your silent power move.
  • Physical appearance doesn’t matter, but belonging to high-profile environments does. Dress confidently, like you belong in every room you walk in.
  • Keep your introduction short and impressive. Highlight your key personality traits relevant to the person you’re approaching. Don’t rehearse an introduction so much that it starts seeming mechanical and scripted.
  • Carry business cards to all public gatherings for a professional touch.
  • Allow the other person a space to say no if your prospect doesn’t suit their agenda.

3. Trusting other people

This skill doesn’t apply to your social conditions, but to your professional environment. Learn to trust others and start delegating some of your work to them.

My #1 time-saving hack has been delegation and automation. These two processes have increased my output without compromising my leisure time.

Both these processes aren’t easy to set up and get accustomed to.

In the initial days of delegating tasks, I micromanaged every aspect of my interns’ work.

Result? They sensed a lack of trust and refrained from exhibiting their creativity. All I got was a mechanical agreement to my instructions.

Slowly, I trained my mind to let go and trust my team. Now, I can easily delegate tasks and trust them to deliver, saving much of my time and effort. My team has blossomed to the best of their talents when I’m not micromanaging their steps.

A few mindset shifts and practices that helped me reclaim my time are:

  • Trust your gut instinct while “hiring fast, firing faster.”
  • The first few team members will require months or even a year of active training before they’re ready to handle tasks independently.
  • Use AI tools and systems to reduce redundant workload.
  • Document your routine thoroughly to analyze which tasks can be systemized.
  • Design a proper interviewing and onboarding process to make the hiring process seamless.

Wrapping up

None of the above-mentioned skills have anything to do with actual writing. Yet, these are the three indispensable qualities that can determine the growth trajectory of your writing business.

I recommend spending some precious hours learning these skills thoroughly:

  1. Write perfect emails that not only engage, but convert.
  2. Always be presentable and ready for conversations, even in the strangest places.
  3. Trust people and build a team to share your workload.

Peggy Klaus, the author of The Hard Truth about Soft Skills says, 

“Soft skills get little respect, but they will make or break your career.”

The same applies to building your writing business. Cultivating these 3 soft skills demands blending good leadership, management, and marketing qualities.

In today’s times, being a writer is not enough to be a writer and make money. Put these skills into practice and marvel at the results of your hard work.

Love writing but don’t know where to start? Join my FREE 5-day course. It’ll teach you the successful writer’s framework that took me 5 years to master.

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