Three years ago, I was studying business administration and dreaming of a corporate career.
Today, I’m running a digital business and making five figures by writing about topics I’m passionate about.
But unlike most people, I never dreamed about being a writer. It just happened.
Two years ago, my boyfriend told me he watched a YouTube video about Medium and that everyone could publish stories there. And even though I never thought about starting a blog or writing in general, I immediately signed up and published my first post.
After a year, he told me he’d love to publish a book to grow our credibility as personal growth coaches.
Eight months later, we self-published our first book in German.
Today, I have millions of views on my work and my articles have been featured in major publications like Business Insider or Thrive Global.
What started as an experiment two years ago turned out to be my calling.
But my very first blog posts were horrible. They lacked structure, clarity, and proper spelling. And even though only a few people read my work back then, I kept going.
Now, I’m reaping the rewards of the solid foundation I built back then.
At the beginning of my writing journey, I consumed lots of information on how to be a better writer.
I watched videos, read hundreds of articles, and gave my best to apply all the insights. But most of the time, I was overwhelmed by the information overflow.
The problem with writing tips is that everybody is writing posts about it.
Every day, I see newbie writers publishing articles about How to make it on Medium, How to make $1,000 through your writing, How to blah blah blah.
And it annoys me because 99.9% of these people have no idea what they’re talking about.
That’s not only a problem in the world of online writing but in online business overall.
Thousands of fake business coaches are selling programs about how to build an online business without having any experience themselves. And it sucks.
Yet, in my honest opinion, everyone is responsible for the content they consume and the programs they buy.
You can quickly figure out whether someone is credible or not. And if you waste your time or money on products of someone who’s selling or talking shit, it’s your fault.
When I started my online writing career, I didn’t find any credible resources with bundled information. That’s why I spent lots of time gathering information from various resources.
But instead of wasting so much time consuming irrelevant information, I wish I had done these things:
Pick Some Heroes
If I’d start my writing career from scratch now, the first thing I’d do would be to carefully pick three to five idols and analyze their work in-depth.
As an aspiring writer, you’ll likely have some favorite writers and a style that you’d like to follow in your work.
And even though it’s important to read the work of various experts, I’d first focus on consuming lots of content of some handpicked heroes.
If your hero ist Tim Ferriss, read all his books.
If it’s Seth Godin, read a few of his blog posts every day.
If it’s me, read every new piece I publish.
Great writers already do have lots of content you can easily access. If you want to be one of them, you’ll need to learn what they do and how they do it.
If you spend 15–30 minutes a day consuming great content by great people for 30 days and pay attention to their writing style instead of just focusing on the content, you’ll learn a lot.
Connect With Like-Minded People
One of the biggest mistakes I made at the beginning of my writing career is to tackle the journey on my own.
It took me 1.5 years to understand how important it is to connect with fellow writers and get in touch with people who understand your dreams, goals, and fears.
Starting your writing career might feel like a big deal. You might be excited and think that it’s unique, but it isn’t.
Millions of people are dreaming about being a writer and making money through their words.
And that’s great because it means you have tons of opportunities to connect with like-minded people who will support you on that journey.
Most of these people will give up anyway, but if you find the right people, you’ll not only enjoy the ride but also reach your goals much quicker.
If I’d start from scratch, I’d reach out to people who have similar goals and ask if they’d like to form a mastermind group. By asking five to ten people, you’ll surely find some great minds who’d like to connect.
You can read each other’s work, give feedback, and encourage each other to keep going.
Editing other people’s work is usually much easier than your own, yet it’s a powerful way to become a better writer yourself.
If you don’t have writing buddies yet, you can also join my Facebook group full of amazing, uplifting writers.
Expand Your Vocabulary
I grew up speaking Turkish, learned German in kindergarten, and studied English and French at school.
And even though I’m good with languages, I can’t cope with a native English speaker yet.
Every day, I’m coming across words and terms I never heard before.
I write all these words down and do some research on how to use them to expand my vocabulary daily.
Additionally, I have an app on my phone that teaches me new terms every single day.
For the next 30 days, take notes of unknown words and phrases and think about how you could use them in your own writing.
Write Without Excuses
The most effective way to become a better writer is by writing a lot.
If you want to improve your writing in 30 days, you’ll need to write every day.
In the beginning, you don’t even need to write long posts. What matters is that you write something.
Instead of writing a long story about how your relationship failed, share one small aspect of it.
Instead of giving ten tips, give one.
Improving your writing skills is all about balancing quality and quantity.
You can’t become a better writer without writing a lot, but writing a lot of crap won’t make you better either.
You’ll need to find a balance between producing lots of content and still making time to improve your craft.
A friend of mine has a day job, two young kids, and still manages to publish new articles regularly.
And his magic formula isn’t as magic as you might think: He gets up at least 30 minutes earlier than his family during weekdays and writes for around 15 minutes.
15 minutes isn’t much, but if you do it for a year, you’ll end up with a bunch of finished articles.
You can build a writing career, or you can look for excuses on why you can’t write every day, but you can’t do both.
Most people who dream about being a writer think that this is a bed of roses.
Your success as a writer is tightly connected to your level of discipline.
If you can’t put your butt in the chair and write, you’ll fail.
And as a beginner, you need to write a lot, because that’s the only way to learn quickly.
Read Your Work Out Loud
Reading your writing out loud is one of the most effective ways to catch typos, grammar errors and to simplify your sentences.
After your daily writing session, take a few extra minutes to read your work out loud and see how you can further improve your text.
You can also use this strategy when giving feedback to your peers.
Build A Gold Mine of Headlines
As a blogger, your headlines play a significant role in your success.
If your headlines suck, you’ll never attract readers, regardless of the content you produce.
One of my biggest strengths as a writer is that I know my playground really well.
I spent hundreds of hours analyzing the headlines of best-performing headlines on various platforms and summarized the data in Excel sheets.
I could produce a hundred headlines that have a high potential to go viral in an hour based on the analysis I did and the resources I have.
Yes, writing itself is a creative task, but great headlines are based on strategy rather than creativity.
To become a better writer in the next 30 days, start building your own catalog of headlines. When reading the work of your heroes, take notes of their titles and ask yourself how you too, could use similar structures in your work.
Use Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor
Both tools show suggestions on how to make your writing more simple and clear.
Through various recommendations, the tools teach you how to actually become a better writer. It’s like getting feedback from an experienced writer for a minimal fee.
You can use the basic version of both tools for free, but I highly recommend upgrading to Grammarly’s premium version.
You can also use any other editor; these are just the two that I use and love.
Remember That Done Is Better Than Perfect
The only way to become a better writer is by continually learning how to further improve your craft while writing a lot.
As a beginner, you need to remind yourself that done is often better than perfect. There’s no such thing as “perfect writing” anyway.
You can always improve and become a better writer, but first, you need to get used to writing without excuses.
It’s easier than ever before to grow a readership and make a living through your words. Yet, it’ll only work if you follow the rules and write good stuff for long enough.
If you want to become a better writer in the next 30 days, follow this pattern:
Pick a few heroes and study their work.
Reach out to like-minded people and help each other.
Expand your vocabulary.
Write every single day without excuses.
Edit your work by reading it out loud.
Build your own catalog of well-performing headlines.
Get used to editing tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway.
Remember that done is better than perfect.
I wish someone had given me this kind of step-by-step plan when I first started blogging.
I didn’t have all this information. But you have it now. So get out there and put it into practice.