Just Show Up

Just Show Up

It’s a rare business that blows up right out the gate.

Generally, business growth is unsexy. It’s a boring tedium of consistent, hard work and gradual improvement through analysis and iteration, as well as strategic pivots.

What many try to do is come up with the perfect idea (e.g., the next Facebook). The right idea ought to propel you to riches and stardom overnight, right?

You can pray for a unicorn, but you should never plan your life around it.

You can pray for a unicorn, but you should never plan your life around it. Click To Tweet

There’s nothing terribly sexy about an antiques store. Yet, there is always a market for seemingly worthless old trinkets and dusty home furnishings.

I don’t find the sewage business to be a fun one. Yet, some of the highest paid jobs in the world revolve around excrement.

The best businesses aren’t necessarily those that have a sugary candy coating.

The best businesses aren’t necessarily those that have a sugary candy coating. Click To Tweet

And so, we come to this topic of showing up, which is boring.

“What’s the point in writing when Artificial Intelligence can do it for you?”

As someone whose livelihood has revolved around writing for 10 years, that thought had occurred to me more than once. And as I started to hear rumors of an AI takeover, I seriously began to question whether I even had a future as a writer.

I even shared about it on the Using Your Power podcast.

But five years later, here I still am, doing better than ever as a writer and blogger.

I am present to the reality that what I’m doing now may not be secure forever. Fortunately, I have developed skills in a variety of other fields that will continue to be of value to people. And I believe enough in myself to be able to acquire new skills too.

But the greatest contribution I make is not that I am a genius, but rather that I show up daily. And by virtue of showing up, I get gigs and contracts I am not the most qualified for.

That’s the value of staying top of mind with your family, friends, followers, fans, and target audience. They see you. They come to know, like, and trust you. And before long, they’re doing business with you.

People assume they must be the most qualified or innovative in their field to become high achievers and top earners.

But at times, I have been paid good money for Googling something anyone could have done in about five minutes.

It’s important to realize that many people value their time more than their money. And that is a worthy virtue. You may not want to be their personal assistant, but for $200 and five minutes of your time, you might just find yourself saying “yes.”

People want to know whether you’re genuine. And most importantly, they want to know whether you’re going to keep showing up for them. Can they depend on you?

There are different ways of showing up for your audience. My favorite way is to write.

Showing up isn’t always easy, and I don’t want to make it sound as though it is. Some days, it will feel like a grind.

But if you want to stay top of mind with your network, attract new clients and opportunities, and create an independent income surpassing your wildest expectations, I know of no better strategy than showing up. Especially since you don’t need to do it perfectly to get the results I’m talking about.

I’m not saying you won’t one day come up with an amazing idea. But in the meantime, you could be showing up anyway.

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P.S. My new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is available.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

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How do I Stay Sane When There is an Endless Stack of Work Waiting for Me Every Morning?

How do I Stay Sane When There is an Endless Stack of Work Waiting for Me Every Morning?

My friend has been steadily developing his books and courses over the course of the last year or so.

What he’s been able to accomplish in that time is impressive.

He has yet to release his product to the world, though, and deadlines keep shifting as layers are added, technical issues are dealt with, and next steps reveal themselves.

Although not discouraged or deterred, he asked me in all sincerity, “how do I stay sane when there is an endless stack of work waiting for me every morning?”

Truth be known, he posited the question in even more graphic detail.

No Rest for the Modern Creator

Truly, there is no end to the grind. Not when you’re looking to share your message with the world.

Just when you think you’re done writing your book, you enter the editing phase. After that’s done, you need to get a cover designed, write up a compelling description and author bio, submit your content and materials to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (in the right format), wait for them to be approved, and finally your book goes live to the world.

It’s the same with most creative efforts.

A musical album is not done the moment the last note is captured by the sound engineer in the studio.

The music is then edited, mixed, mastered, oftentimes by multiple engineers. Recording credits are collated, and are submitted to the designer, who crafts a beautiful cover for the musical work. These materials are then submitted to a music distributor like CD Baby, along with additional details about the artist. The artist pays for the service, waits a few days (until their music has been submitted and accepted by distribution partners), and only then is their music ready for mass consumption.

And what my friend has been finding is much the same. His book isn’t done the moment he’s put the finishing touches on the final sentence. That’s just the start, especially since he’s looking to create a sales funnel for his offer, which requires some technical expertise.

“Do You Take Breaks?”

My friend asked whether I took breaks during the day. He understands that I am in the same crazy hustle.

For the most part, my work is enjoyable. I do not take many breaks.

I will get away from my devices during walks and meals. Sometimes, I will steal away for a meditation or a little guitar. I will disconnect from work while engaged in learning (reading books or taking courses). And, of course, I will get up multiple times during the day, walk around, stretch, or go to the bathroom.

Then again, I am not new to the game. And I know for a fact entrepreneur Eben Pagan gave a similar answer to mine in an interview when asked if he ever took breaks. He got up, stretched, made tea, went to the bathroom, etc.

Author Jim Kwik asked Will Smith how he was able to achieve so much, and apparently his answer was:

Bite off more than you can chew and start chewing.

Breaks are important. I don’t want to underplay how important it is to take breaks. But it’s important that you find what works for you.

Practices to Keep You Grounded

Okay, but so far, we have only to speak of the problem itself, and talking more about the hustle probably hasn’t done much besides agitate the pain.

I am a big believer in a few practices that keep me grounded. I do not do all of them perfectly. Some days, I skip over them completely.

Nevertheless, I have found these practices to be of immense value. Here’s what they are:

Walking

These days, I walk at least 15 minutes per day first thing in the morning. I take deep breaths, absorb the sun (even through the clouds – it’s okay), and just appreciate life.

There are different ways of starting your day, but this is a good one. You can get some blood moving through your body and collect your thoughts. You will be in a much better state to engage in work when you get back.

Meditation

These days, I meditate about 10 to 20 minutes before bedtime. This ensures that I stay consistent with the practice.

At times, I have meditated quite a bit more than that (up to 85 minutes per day), and when I did that, I often felt a greater connection to my deeper self and benefited more from the healing effects of meditation.

Meditation isn’t just for feeling calm and grounded, though – It carries with it innumerable health benefits. It can even give you a bit of an energy boost. So, it’s worth making time for.

Annual Getaways

At least once per year, I book a two-week getaway. It doesn’t matter much whether it’s 20 hours away by plane or two hours away by car.

The ideal, honestly, would be to do this twice per year. Especially considering the load us creatives and creators take on.

Most recently, I spent two weeks in Vernon in November. My timing was good, because I managed to get out there just before lockdown measures started ramping up again.

Mindset Hacks to Help You Stay Sane

Thinking differently about our work can also help us remain sane. Here are some mindset hacks that have made a difference for me:

  • Who not how. As creatives and creators, we sometimes forget to delegate work. There is work we are bad at and don’t enjoy doing. This work can be handled by people who are good at it and do enjoy it.
  • Focus on the mission. On days when I feel exhausted or worn out, it’s my mission (to inspire creatives and creators) that keeps me going.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate your wins. Creators often forget to celebrate and end up buying into arrival fallacy. Chances are, you will not know when you have arrived. When something good happens, acknowledge, and celebrate it!
  • Enjoy the journey. If the journey isn’t enjoyable, then consider that whatever you’re doing is just a means to an end. The destination won’t be of much interest either.
  • The risk entitles you to the reward. Sometimes remembering that most people aren’t willing to take the risk is a reward all its own. I’m not advocating the comparison game. But entrepreneurs do need to remember that it’s the risk that entitles them to the lion’s share.

Final Thoughts

There will be something to do today. And more to do tomorrow. And after that, there will still be more to do.

You can’t live a week, a month, or a year at a time. You’ve got to learn to live a day at a time, a moment at a time.

It might appear as though drifting snow is quickly forming an avalanche, but your job is just to put your head down and do the work you need to do today. Nothing more. You can worry about tomorrow when you get there.

Then you start to see there is no avalanche. And if there is, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Technical problems can be solved. Team members can be hired. Demand can be met.

But that’s too much right now. Right now, just putting that next word down on the page is enough.

Subscribe to my Telegram channel for more inspiration.

P.S. My new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is available.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

Click on the banner below to learn more NOW.

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Solving Frustration with More Action is a Form of Entrepreneurial Insanity

Solving Frustration with More Action is a Form of Entrepreneurial Insanity

Asking an entrepreneur whether they’ve experienced frustration is kind of like asking whether rice is white.

But as entrepreneurs, we’re used to solving problems with more action. So, when frustration takes root, our first thought is that we’re not doing enough. More action will solve the problem. Even if we’re already grinding out 12- to 16-hour days.

But what I’ve experienced in my own journey and coaching efforts is the opposite. Doing more when you’re frustrated tends to lead to more frustration. The actions you take don’t lead to better results.

Action is one of your superpowers. But trying to solve frustration with more action is a form of insanity.

Taking breaks, changing your environment, thinking, and reflecting are severely underrated. Taking these steps can loose you from the chains of frustration if you give them the attention they deserve.

At times, a short break is more than enough to help you clear your head and feel excited about your projects again. Sometimes, a longer break will be necessary.

But if you are caught in the grips of frustration, there is no easy exit. Doing more is rarely the answer. Even in small ways, your frustration can begin to affect your output, your team, and the way you communicate with prospects and customers.

I understand the hustle as well as anyone. The hustle, at times, is what sustains my output. But only at times. Not all the time.

Because I’ve realized that you can build your business around the life you want to create. When so often we end up focusing on building our life around the business we want to create.

It’s a trope to say that you should work smarter, not harder. But the question is whether you have taken the time to figure out the 20% of work you’re doing that leads to 80% of the results. Because only then can you identify what working smarter might look like.

This is a specific tool for a specific situation. It is not meant to be applied unquestioningly. But if you are in the throes of frustration, unable to move forward, then consider that you’re only becoming more entrenched in frustration by taking more action.

P.S. My new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is available.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

Click on the banner below to learn more NOW.

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How to Monetize Your Podcast

How to Monetize Your Podcast

Seth Godin says:

Podcasting is the new blogging.

While there are still great opportunities for bloggers, there’s no denying that podcasts are growing fast. Further, they give you a way to connect with an audience on a more personal level.

That said, podcasting is its own mountain. It takes more time and effort to go from idea to publishing compared to blogging, and rising through the ranks to be seen, and growing your listenership can represent significant challenges.

Then comes this issue of creating an independent income from your podcast. That could almost prove a mountain all its own, since direct revenue opportunities are few and far between, which means you’ll be relying more heavily on “indirect” means to close sales.

Still, it’s an issue worthy of exploration. So, in this guide, I share some thoughts on generating an independent income from your podcast.

The Essentials You Need to Succeed

The podcast landscape is changing fast. And that means if you don’t have the essentials in place, you’re going to struggle with monetization.

It’s challenging enough attracting and retaining an audience never mind monetizing it. So, as you seek to create an independent income from your audience, it’s critical to bear in mind the following:

  • Create quality content and look for opportunities to separate yourself from the crowd. Do fewer interviews (now a commodity) and add more solo episodes to your portfolio.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Publishing daily may boost download numbers, which might make you feel better, but you could end up sacrificing engagement. Don’t publish mediocrity.
  • Explore new show formats. Solo episodes can take the form of rants, Q&As, industry updates (news is always compelling), listicles, reviews, and more.

Tactics & Episode Formats to Create an Independent Income from Your Show

Much of what I have learned, I have learned from observing James Schramko of SuperFastBusiness. Of course, I have learned a great deal from my own long, trial and error journey. Here I share findings from both.

But I can’t think of a better case study to focus on, because Schramko has generated eight-figures on the back of his podcast. I must give credit where it’s due!

But let’s get to those tactics, shall we?

Book Introduction

Book introduction

If you have a book, then you should consider reading the entire introduction on your podcast. You might feel like you’re giving away the “secret sauce,” but it can act as the perfect teaser to whet your audience’s appetite, especially if your book’s introduction is compelling!

Whenever I have a new book (and that is more often than a human being should), I make sure to read its introduction on the podcast. You can refer to these episodes:

Yes, Schramko himself has done the same thing. He has even used his book title (Work Less, Make More) as a branded term:

Just remember… if you’ve got a big following, book revenues will add up. But if you’re at that point, you probably have higher priced offers that generate more per sale already.

Book royalties at my level are nice, and they are growing, but they basically just pay for my gas (I’m not saying that’s anything to sneeze at!).

Training Snippet or Review

Training Snippet or Review

Whether you have a course, multiple courses, or a membership with training inside, chances are you already have valuable content you can leverage and repurpose as a podcast episode to boost sales.

As with reading your book introduction on your show, you might feel like giving away snippets of your product is a bad idea, but it can build a lot of trust with your audience and lead to more sales.

Also know that we are talking about snippets here. You don’t need to share the course or training in its entirety. 20 to 30 minutes is more than enough.

Oh, and by the way, you can review your own products. There’s no better way to control the conversation about your products online!

Here’s are just some of Schramko’s reviews of his own products and events:

Midroll Recommendations

Midroll Recommendations

I have experimented with midrolls and have had some success with them.

Note that I have never seen Schramko do this, as he doesn’t believe in running ads on his show. Having said that, if other methods don’t work for you, this might be worth experimenting with.

A midroll is basically an ad injected somewhere in the middle of your podcast. Even if you don’t have a sponsor for your show, you can sponsor it yourself or promote an affiliate offer (which is typically what I’ve done).

You can refer to these episodes for examples of midrolls:

At the time, I had the potential to make a greater independent income from promoting affiliate offers than I did my own products, so for a while this served as a worthwhile tactic.

Product Reviews

Product Reviews

Product reviews and comparisons make for great content for your podcast. And they also offer the opportunity to create an independent income from your show (if you are an affiliate for those products).

You can link to products mentioned in your show notes, and you can also share short links on your show (make sure they are short, because listeners will not remember long URLs or be able to type them in as they are listening).

Schramko has had a great deal of success generating an income doing this very thing. He’ll either review the product or have a guest on the show that created the product.

Keep in mind, though, this is because product recommendations are a good fit for his audience. This isn’t to say they will be a good fit for your audience. You can always test.

Personally, I have reviewed books on my podcast. I’m not a huge advocate of that, though, because it will limit your income potential severely (you’ll only make a small percentage on a $15 to $25 purchase).

That said, in the same way I have done midrolls, I have episodes where I mention affiliate offers throughout, like this one:

Like Schramko, I have interviewed guests whose products I promote, too, as seen below:

Finally, here are some examples via Schramko:

Free Consultation

Free Consultation

Many companies offer prospects free consultations to help them find the right product fit. It might be 30 minutes. It might be 60 minutes. Or it might be an over the phone conversation. Whatever the case, getting prospects to interact with you gives you an opportunity to close the sale, because they are already predisposed towards you (i.e., they trust you).

Schramko has diversified his coaching programs in the last year or so, to where he has different solutions based on the needs and budget of the prospect.

Subsequently, he put together a podcast episode to steer people in the right direction and help them figure out which program is right for them. He’s gone on record saying this episode has led to many sales.

You can find this episode here:

I have not created an episode like this myself, but the gears in my head are turning…

Sponsor Your Own Show

Always remember – your podcast is your own.

Schramko, as noted, does not run ads on his show. Andrew Warner of Mixergy has literally called out guests and their businesses for being fake or unverified. Tim Ferriss is not afraid to run several minutes of sponsor ads before the meat of his show even starts. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire publishes daily (yes, new podcast content daily), and uses a standard interview format to keep his processes streamlined.

The point is that there are different strokes for different folks, and different ways of approaching creative income too.

But one thing we can all do, and should all consider doing, is sponsoring our own podcast.

Instead of promoting Audible at the front of your podcast, for instance – I have tried this with dismal results – promote your own offers, products, memberships, services, or otherwise.

Having a call to action towards the beginning of you show is not a bad idea, because some listeners simply won’t make it to the end.

And don’t forget to have a call to action at the end of your podcast too. Don’t go to all the trouble of recording a killer episode only to leave your listeners hanging. Always give them next steps!

Final Thoughts

While the above should not be considered a definitive guide on creating an independent income from your podcast, remember that the tactics mentioned are proven and reliable. You can easily get off in the weeds trying a million different things, but if you’re trying to solve the immediate pain of generating income from your podcast, your time is better spent polishing your content and messaging.

If you’re trying to solve the immediate pain of generating income from your podcast, your time is better spent polishing your content and messaging. Click To Tweet

Additionally, I’ve mentioned several things throughout this guide that may be worthy of further study. Exploring sponsorships, for example, might be worth a try, especially if you have a large audience and good product-market fit.

Here’s wishing you great success in your podcasting efforts.

How do you create an independent income from your show? What has worked for you?

Let me know in the comments.

P.S. I just launched my new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

Right now, this course is available for just $9. But it won’t stay that way for long. The price goes up weekly until it reaches full price!

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Embrace Minimum Viable & Make Faster Progress in Your Business

Embrace Minimum Viable & Make Faster Progress in Your Business

As creatives and creators, we often give way to perfectionism.

And perfectionism, in a word, is “fear.” Mostly the fear of looking bad.

This fear can easily prolong the process of creation and have us neglecting the important work of publishing.

The Important Work of Publishing

Publishing is where the rubber meets the road. It’s what validates our existence as creators, more so than even projects.

Publishing is where the rubber meets the road. Click To Tweet

Here’s the thing about publishing. Hitting that “publish” button for the first time can be scary. And the second time can still be quite scary. But the more we do it, the less scary it becomes.

Oftentimes, the reason a creator fears publishing is because they are not in that momentum.

Making Your Minimum Viable Product

Although this reframe is important, what I’m asking here still isn’t easy and I know that.

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a lo-fi, basement demo, homespun version of your work. It’s the 80% that matters, versus the extra 20% of polish that would make you feel better but might not make the slightest bit of difference for your audience.

The 20% is where creators end up wasting a lot of time. Making a better logo. Optimizing a landing page. Choosing the right fonts and colors. Versus putting lo-fi elements into place until there’s a need for something better (and many times you will discover there is no need for something better!).

Examples of MVPs

I have several examples of MVPs that, to my surprise, ended up doing quite well:

  • Fire Your God. Out of all my musical releases, this is the one that gets the biggest reaction, and it was the most amateurish. It started out as a project called Demos 2010, if that gives you any idea.
  • The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship. I turned a long-form free guide into a book by editing and adding a little bit of content to it. I received no backlash whatsoever, and in fact, people ended up loving the book.
  • The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship. I wrote most of the manuscript for this book in two months. Like The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship, it’s basically a handbook, but it still ended up becoming a best-seller.

Downsides to MVPs

Am I saying there are no downsides to MVPs? No.

For instance, if you create an infoproduct, and your first customers come back to you and say, “I paid too much for this,” or “I know all this already,” you might not feel all that good about the situation.

By the way, this happened to me.

But what matters is how you deal with a situation like that. My customers didn’t end up demanding a refund because I was willing to interact with them and share some of the reasons why the product had turned out the way it did. Customer support for the win!

Upsides of MVPs

The great thing about an MVP is that you can launch it to your audience, gather some feedback, and then make some improvements. In some cases, you will find that you receive little to no feedback, and therefore do not need to make any improvements!

Basically, you can begin making an independent income, and more importantly, an impact, sooner.

And if your product just isn’t compelling, isn’t the right fit, or wasn’t destined for massive success, you’d also know sooner. And that means you can go back to the drawing board sooner, too.

Final Thoughts

There will always be the temptation to approach your business like an artist. I’m not saying that’s wrong. But when it comes to the important work of making an income, you might need to set the artist hat down, even if just temporarily, so you can put your business hat on and approach product development from a different angle. After all, no money, no mission.

Try minimum viable for yourself and see how it feels. Real-world experience is important. Likely you will see that you can get things done much faster when you don’t obsess about the small details that may not even matter, and which you can improve later anyway.

What’s holding you back from embracing minimum viable?

Let me know in the comments.

P.S. I just launched my new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

Right now, this course is available for just $9. But it won’t stay that way for long.

Click on the banner below to learn more NOW.

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How to get into Ghostwriting

How to get into Ghostwriting

In the last week, I’ve had a couple of people ask me how they can get into ghostwriting.

I’ve shared a great deal about this in the past, but strategy and best practices have changed a little, so I figured it was high-time I offered a refreshed perspective on the work that has been a mainstay for me in the last seven years or so.

Here’s how to get into ghostwriting.

Publish on Medium

In the past, my advice would have been to start a blog. And while this is still sound advice, you’re bound to get more attention for your work on Medium.

You can get 30 views per day on your content on Medium almost instantaneously. If you erected a blog and published daily starting today, it could be months before you start to see 30 views per day, and it could even take over a year. The advantages of Medium, therefore, should be obvious.

Think of Medium as your portfolio. Publish your best work two to three times per week. Write on the topics you ultimately wish to be writing about.

This doesn’t mean you won’t get connected to work and topics you don’t know much about, and it doesn’t mean you won’t take on such work either. A ghostwriter has to get paid.

But your love for the craft of writing, editing, and research should be obvious in your work. Because prospects need to be able to see that you can do something they cannot, or at the very least, that you love the practice of writing great content more than they do.

Remember that writing great content is the baseline requirement to be at the table. And if you’re just getting started, sorry to say, you’re not great. Which is why you need to cut your teeth on Medium. The readers are discerning, and the stats are harsh. It will take a long time to see any traction. Can you endure this? If not, you are not made for ghostwriting.

Writing great content is the baseline requirement to be at the table. Click To Tweet

One more pro tip: Be sure to back up all your work to your hard drive. If Medium closes its doors one day, or if another more attractive platform comes along, you don’t want to lose any of your content and not be able to take it with you.

But rest assured you’re picking the right platform with Medium. Many top shelf writers agree – it’s the best opportunity available to bloggers right now.

Many top shelf writers agree – Medium is the best opportunity available to bloggers right now. Click To Tweet

Get Connected with Ghost Blog Writers

In 2012, I began working as an online marketer with a music industry startup, and a couple of my key responsibilities were blogging and social media. Make sense, since they tend to go hand in hand.

I made a lot of great connections in the music industry during that time, because I was proactive about commenting on people’s content.

Amid that, I got connected to the owner of Ghost Blog Writers, Dayne Shuda, through a mutual friend, Corey Koehler.

I didn’t think much of it at the time. But I continued to see Dayne’s daily updates on LinkedIn.

In summer 2013, the startup I was working for put the brakes on our marketing efforts, as we were having some issues with software development. So, my role was effectively put on hold.

That’s when I reached out to Dayne. And I ended up working with Ghost Blog Writers for the next six years.

Now, there are a few things you should know:

  1. Now that you know about Ghost Blog Writers, recognize that you’re probably not going to be the only one applying to work with them. Competition is a given.
  2. Ghost Blog Writers may start you off on a couple of easy assignments that don’t pay much. If you give up too early, you won’t be trusted with more lucrative work.
  3. If you don’t exercise the same determination I talked about with publishing on Medium, you will not succeed with Ghost Blog Writers or any other companies you choose to work with.

If nothing else, Dayne is a great guy and he can point you in the right direction, even if it’s just to one of the hundreds or thousands of blog posts he’s written.

Keep an Eye on the Pro Blogger Job Board

Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger was an early innovator in the world of blogging. He had – and still has – a lot of great ideas, and the Pro Blogger Job Board is one of them.

On the Job Board, you will find people looking for writers to work on their projects.

When you’re just getting started, you’re probably not going to be bum rushed with requests, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on job postings.

You may or may not find work this way, and I’m not suggesting you count on the Job Board to bring the bacon home. Because it may not.

That said, it’s still a good idea to make it a part of your daily rounds.

Offer Your Services on Upwork

Create an Upwork profile today. It can take a while to supply all the information requested and test your aptitudes, but the effort you put into this will ultimately pay off.

There is a near endless stream of work on Upwork. Not all of it is great. Not all of it pays a whole lot of money. But as a stop gap, it can come in incredibly handy.

Don’t wait around for someone to send work your way. Look at the types of jobs employers are posting and gather as much information as you can. You may be able to track down some missed or unfulfilled opportunities this way. You may be able to create your own!g

Once you’re set up, as with the Pro Blogger Job Board, you can simply make Upwork a part of your daily rounds and pick and choose which work you’d like to take on.

Reach Out to Businesses That Don’t Have a Blog

This, in effect, is how I started blogging with the music industry startup mentioned earlier. I have told this story elsewhere, and there’s a little more to it than that (I also invested a sizable amount of money into the business), but suffice it to say, the right pitch will get you hired every time.

If a business does not have a blog, it’s usually for one of three reasons:

  1. They don’t know what the benefits of blogging are. They don’t know that they can rank for keywords, drive more traffic to their website, generate more leads, and encourage more sales from the simple act of blogging.
  2. They don’t have the time or money to blog.
  3. They don’t care about blogging as other advertising and marketing channels are doing just fine for them.

All three types of businesses are potential customers. It mostly comes down to the pitch and how you frame the value of blogging to them.

If you’re dealing with customer #1, you simply elaborate on the benefits of keywords, SEO, content marketing (throw a few buzzwords around) and show them examples of companies that already have blogs and are publishing regularly.

With customer #2, you just need to show them why they can’t afford not to blog, and volunteer to take on the work for them. Do it on the cheap or pro bono (more on this in a moment).

And with customer #3, you need to show them how you can complement their existing marketing channels with blogging. Give them examples of how you can tie in content with their ads.

Now, as a complete beginner, see if you can negotiate a small fee or work pro bono for a company that doesn’t have a blog. You need to polish your skills anyway, and the added pressure of being “under the gun” can help you refine in a hurry.

Sure, some will tell you “no,” but rejection exists in every freelancing or entrepreneurial endeavor. It’s par for the course. If you don’t love writing, and don’t want to keep pursuing it, you will give up. It’s as simple as that.

Final Thoughts

Get established, work hard, keep your deadlines, read lots, and keep improving. Keep your working relationships private. If you do, making a couple grand a month at ghostwriting will prove relatively easy.

In due course, you may be able to earn five-figures per month. But it’s a rare writer who does.

As a ghostwriter, you will rarely get credit for any of your work, and that is a bit of a downside, but it’s not impossible to begin building your own following as you are serving your clients, just as I’ve done.

Are you a writer? What has your experience of ghostwriting been like?

Let me know in the comments.

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