How I Learned How to Write on a Bootstrap Budget
There are some people out there who would have you think that you need to spend a ton of money, not to mention years of your life, learning how to write and eventually make money from writing as a business. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s simply not true! Because I’ve had to do it, so I know that you can too.
Learning how to write and sell your writing services does not need to cost you four years in a university classroom and thousands of dollars. I can tell you this because I’m a mom of 3 in my 30s and have never seen the inside of a university…well, not as a student anyways. I have, actually, been in one in my life. There are tons of free resources, or low cost ones, for people who want to learn how to write but don’t have a ton of money to spend on it, and this is a great way for you to utilize knowledge of others who have already paved the way.
If you’ve been wondering how on earth you would be able to do this on a bootstrap budget like I did – keep reading!
One of the BEST things you will discover, is that there are TONS of online freebies (usually downloads, email courses or mini courses) that you can sign up for and learn from for FREE. Honestly, I pretty much call myself the freebie queen because I am the biggest sucker for free content and will literally sign up for all the email lists in order to learn something I need to know. Because I mean, come on, sign up for an email list and get free education? That’s a win. Plus you can unsubscribe ANY time.
I have learned from some pretty amazing freelance writers out there who make money doing this for a living and have created content to help teach others how to do the same. And they all have free stuff you can start with. A few of my favourites are:
Abbi Perets, Successful Freelance Mom. Abbi is one of my favourite people of, like, all time. Not even joking. She has created courses and downloads, and also offers 1:1 coaching for aspiring writers, specifically moms, who want to make money writing from home. She has an awesome free email course on starting out as a freelance writer and it was SUPER helpful to me when I was just starting out.
Jorden Roper, Creative Revolt. Jorden is a kickass freelance writer who says it like it is and teaches others to be badass writers too. I’ve learned a lot from Jorden, mostly that you should never apologize for who you are and that you SHOULD be yourself. If that means that you use the F word in your branding because that’s who you are, your ideal clients won’t be churches (most likely) but you will find the people who want to work with you anyways. She also has a great email course on starting out as a writer.
These two ladies are totally different in their branding and teaching styles, but they are both amazing at what they do and can teach you to be the same.
One of the best things you can do when you are trying to learn something is…ASK! Seriously, if you do nothing else I talk about in this article, don’t forget to do this one. You can learn a lot just from asking others questions about what you are trying to learn. When you are learning how to write and you don’t have a ton of money, the best thing you can do is find the places where the people who are already doing it are hanging out and find questions and answers, and if you don’t see your question, ask it yourself.
There are a lot of great places that you can do this:
Facebook Groups. You can find a lot of great Facebook groups where other business owners and entrepreneurs, or aspiring ones, are hanging out and talking about what they do – in this case you are looking for people who offer freelance writing services as a business. You can usually search within the group for certain keywords and find what you are looking for. And if you can’t, as I said, just ask the question yourself and see what answers you get. Ask more than once in bigger groups as often you might get lost in the busy feed of a large group.
Emails. If you signed up for any of the freebies I suggested above, or other ones that I didn’t include here, then you may already be on some of these email lists of people who are already offering writing services. You can hit reply and usually they will even ask you to in a welcome email! If you have questions, those are the EXACT people you want to talk to about this kind of thing. And the benefit of doing it in an email is that they won’t miss your question in a huge thread of other comments, like on a Facebook thread.
Webinars/Live Trainings. Another great way to get your questions answered is to attend free or low-cost webinars or video trainings on the subject. These are usually live events where you can ask your questions right in the forum and they will answer them for you in real time! You may even get answers to questions you didn’t yet know you had by listening to the presentation as well and learning even more about the subject you are interested in.
Do Your Own Research
Ultimately, this point is the most important. If you don’t do your own research and make your own decisions on the things you spend your time and money on, then you are just going along with whatever ‘they’ are telling you to do. There are always going to be differing opinions and trends of the month, week, year. But, in the end, you need to go and look things up for yourself.
Take the free courses. Buy the books. In fact, read ALL the books you can get your hands on. But also, go on Google, Pinterest, Amazon and do some of your own research. Maybe take some of what you’ve learned and test it out with some friends or colleagues that want to help you grow your craft, specifically those who believe in you!
What you discover on YOUR OWN will ultimately help you decide what your future will look like, how you will run your writing business and the style and type of writing that you will end up doing.
A couple ways you can do some research the way that I have found helpful:
Google. Of course, you know the first one on this list would have to be Google. It is basically a verb, at least in common speech, and people use it as part of everyday language nowadays. It is a great tool for finding what you want to know about pretty much any subject in almost any language on the planet. Just type in what you are looking for and it will not only bring up pages upon pages of content with those keywords, but also give you search results for related content. You can find what you are looking for and read tons of articles on the subject.
Pinterest. Interestingly, Pinterest uses Google’s SEO, search engine optimization, algorithm to source things when you type them into the search bar. The cool thing about Pinterest, though, is that you can type a word or phrase in and then it will automatically have words that relate to that word or group of words across the top, so you can keep clicking on words that relate all the way until you reach the ‘end of Pinterest’. This will give you tons of valuable content including downloads, websites, blog posts, books, products and more right from this platform. And it is visually appealing so it is even more fun to search than Google (in my opinion).
Amazon. I’m sure you’re wondering why I included Amazon in this section, right? Well, to me Amazon almost makes the MOST sense of the three (but only because I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t even have a computer in our house, and I certainly wasn’t using it even then to search for content on Google) because I am an avid reader. I love to read! After I became a parent, it became a lot harder. But now that they are starting to grow up more and need me less, I can finally find time to read again, which is just awesome! Amazon has a WEALTH of knowledge on the subject because they are obviously the biggest online retailer of books (and now so many other things)! You can find tons of books about freelance writing, and if you are going to buy more than one, might I suggest Kindle Unlimited? You only pay one flat fee a month, and the fee is less than you’d spend on one physical book – unless you are really stuck on physical books, then I suggest researching on Amazon but getting yourself a library card to actually read them.
I hope this article was helpful for you in figuring out what to do and where to look for information on writing that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (or a marriage after you secretly rack up that credit card) and will still end up giving you the education you need to pursue the writing career you’ve always dreamed about. I know that was how I felt, looking back on the days when I used to write poems, songs, novels and great English essays in my spare time (okay, okay, it was for school but I enjoyed it, so can you really call it school WORK?).
What I want you to take away is that, ultimately, you are the captain of your own ship. What you learn can help you grow, but how you implement it and utilize it for your own business is what will set you apart and keep you true to yourself. Plus, if you are spending YOUR time and money on something, it should be something you truly believe is worth that investment. Yes, ‘they’ are the experts, but you don’t have to do every last things they say! Heck, if you do that, you’ll be doing a lot of things that go against each other, so I really don’t recommend it. We all have our own journeys that led us to where we are in life and in business and they all have a part to play in what that ends up looking like, so don’t feel you need to do something exactly like someone else says they did it.
Most importantly, remember this – YOU. CAN. DO. THIS! I believe in you and I know that you can do it, because I did. Comment below and let me know what your biggest takeaway was from this article and how you are going to implement it.
Freelance Writer & Instagram Expert
I’m Bre and I’m a bit obsessed with marketing on Instagram and helping small business owners feel less overwhelmed and more confident when using it to grow their biz!
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