Anything worthwhile requires effort. This is not going to be simple or easy.

I earn a full time income online. It took me 3 years and I had to put in a lot of time and effort. You will need to do the same.

investing time

Time investment Scapple plan


Every day you have 24 hours to invest. How much of your 24 hours do you invest in your future?

Most people “pass the time” or waste it playing games, watching TV or mindlessly browsing social media rather than investing it in their future.

Nobody can use every minute of their 24 hours constructively. Sleep and rest are important but you can use almost certainly use more of your time than you do now.

Investing Yor Time

I think of Time as a currency. I cannot put it in the bank though, so I have to spend it. Every day I choose how I spend every minute of my day. I do have down-time, but I take it at the end of my day when my brain can no longer function usefully.

Know Your Body

Everyone has some times of the day when they are most efficient. It is vital to put those times to good use.

The 80/20 rule has amazing implications. You achieve 80% of your day’s work in 20% of the time you are working. You know when your most efficient 2 hours are in your day, when are at your best. You owe it to yourself to spend that time reading and absorbing new ideas rather than answering emails or on Twitter.

Know Yourself

To thine own self be true.

You will achieve results faster if you understand your purpose in life.

As an employee your main purpose may be to get through your day and bring in the cash at the end of the week or month.

Working for yourself allows you to have a purpose in life. It can give your life meaning. Your purpose might be to get rich, but you need more than that. Money is important only because of what you can do with it. What will you do with what you earn?

If you have your immediate money needs taken care of, what else drives you to work hard?

Some people are driven by the need to help others, some by the need to acquire more knowledge. Some people live to teach others and to pass on their knowledge.

Every successful person has an altruistic drive alongside their selfish one. The sooner you work out your own altruistic raison d’être the more efficient your efforts will be.

Choosing Your Time Investments

You MUST invest 24 hours of time every day.

You will invest time in yourself as exercise, rest and sleep.

You will invest some time in acquiring knowledge that you will be able to use. If you are totally new to the concept of working online then you need to read a lot of basic materials. Meshing new ideas into the knowledge you already have takes time and there is no way you can rush your brain.

Keep your altruistic purpose at the front of your mind and focus on the knowledge you need to achieve that purpose.

My own altruistic purpose is to pass on my knowledge to as many people as possible. In order to do this I have worked to become a better write; I learned HTML, learned how to set up a WordPress website and about web hosting. I understand how social media works and the power of contacts. I spent weeks learning how to set up a membership site and months writing ebooks.

A good grounding in all of these fields is essential to enable me to pass on my knowledge in other areas.

Reading, listening and discussing are the main ways you should be investing your time.

Read widely in areas outside your immediate area of expertise because it is the interlinking of different areas of knowledge that will make your own knowledge unique. I think of reading as listening to the writer, but listen to people around you to learn what they need and how you can improve their lives. Discussion takes place on blog posts, newspaper articles and social media sites, but make sure you have enough knowledge to make a meaningful contribution before you join in.

Making a Start

All the low-level knowledge you need is available for free. Lock your wallet away. Avoid signing up for email courses and just absorb what you need from websites you find in search engines.

Make a chart or use a spreadsheet to break down your target. I use both and have 10 daily areas I need to work on in a spreadsheet that I fill in every day.

Over to You

What is your altruistic purpose? Could you invest your time better? Please share your thoughts using the comments box below.


Being a Web-first freelance writer is a great way for many to supplement their incomes. After all, all you need is a laptop, an Internet connection and time to get the job done. And you could be just as productive at Starbucks or the airport or on the couch in your pajamas.

Hirers Are Spoilt for Choice

Having hired many writers over the years, I’ve learned what characteristics the best writers tend to have. If you are interested in trying your luck as a freelance writer, the first thing you’ve got to keep in mind is that there are many, many, many other people who believe that they are just as talented and capable of doing the same.

In fact, in my experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that almost everybody who has a computer thinks that they are a writer. But it’s the same kind of thing as everyone who owns a guitar thinking that they’re a virtuoso musician—it’s simply not the case.

Making It Work

In order to be a successful freelance writer and ensure you are on the receiving end of a steady stream of assignments, you’ve got to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Here are five ways to do that:

  1. Specialize in a unique niche. Not every writer can write masterfully on any topic, so the more advanced your knowledge and skill, the more likely you’ll be able to land high-paying writing jobs.

Focus on becoming an expert in more technical topics like construction, manufacturing and medicine. That way, you’re putting yourself in a position to pick up more work simply due to the fact that the demand for those who can write with authority on such topics outpaces the supply.

  1. Learn how to write for the Web. Even the most seasoned print journalist can’t expect that his or her craft will easily translate to the digital world. After all, the way people interact with text on the Internet is considerably different than how they’d read a book or a newspaper.

In the age of the smartphone and tablet, readers have shorter attention spans than ever before. As such, they prefer to skim, scan and scroll through content, attempting to glean as much meaning as they can from an article in as short a period of time in order to determine whether the piece is worth reading in totality.

On top of that, you’ll have to learn how to do keyword research and write with SEO in mind. The ability to write killer headlines won’t hurt, either. Just think: The closer your stories are to being complete when you submit them, the less work the editor will have to do before posting it.

  1. Become an influencer. Chances are there are writers you follow earnestly, or at least blogs that you regularly visit. So as you pursue your niche and develop your craft, strive for excellence with every word you write. The end goal, here, is to get people hooked on your work so that they start following you or subscribing to your RSS feed, for example.

As you begin posting content regularly and build up a following of those who are truly interested in what you have to say, editors will begin to take notice. Who knows? Maybe you will even be able to auction off your services to the highest bidder.

  1. Promote your stories. At the end of the day, editors and website owners will care about one thing: Traffic. You could be the best writer in the world, but if no one is reading your pieces, it might force an editor to second guess whether you’re the right person for the job.

So take advantage of your social networks and your friends and family. When something goes live, great! While your job description as a freelance writer doesn’t include you having to promote the stories on your own, think about it like this: The more promotion you do, the better your stories will perform. And all editors are always interested in strong metrics.

By going above and beyond in promoting the content you create, you’re laying the groundwork that will pay off in the future when more assignments come your way.

  1. Be available. From time to time, most people miss deadlines. Maybe they make excuses for why they can’t submit a piece on time. Maybe they’re telling the truth.

Either way, when editors need content, excuses are hard to swallow. These folk want nothing more than writers who are good at their craft and can consistently deliver: Writers who they can depend on to provide a steady stream of engaging content.

The quicker you prove that you’re the one they can depend on, the faster you’ll find yourself getting more assignments and better pay.

This post contributed by my friend Alicia Lawrence – 

Ali Lawrence is a content specialist for an Internet marketing agency and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land about online PR, copywriting and content marketing. Her articles have been published by Muck Rack, SEMrush, and Spin Sucks.

Read more of Ali’s articles on her blog, and on Contently:

Connect with Ali on Twitter @Ali_MarCom and Google+

Over to You

How are you finding it as an online writer? What are you doing to compete with the hordes of barely qualified people who attempt to write? Please share your experiences using the comment box below.


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