When I started out as a content writer, I was thrilled at the prospect of a groovy new way to earn money at home. I was one of those chipper bright-eyed believers who thought I just found a new career. Stupid or naïve, I honestly thought I would become a successful writer, just by feigning a gleaming personality (because I am not a flashy person), while writing visionary content about what I knew best – gardening.
As many freelance content writers learn over the years, you can only write so many perky articles you hope your audience sees as red carpet-worthy, about the same or similar subjects, before you hit the brick road where everything starts to sound the same.
What may have started as your belief that you could nurture your audience or customers with your revolutionary take on something, hoping to forge a new relationship between yourself and your readers.
Boredom and Burnout
If you are too scared to venture out of your comfort zone, you’ll never build a customer base, regardless of whether you want to work toward creating a pool of regular private clients, or get clients through content marketing agencies. Boredom and burnout are two of a freelance writers’ worst enemies. They stifle creativity, preventing you from writing red carpet-worthy gleaming content, words that have that effervescent sparkle every writer hopes to see in their writing. Think of your role as a content writer as one where you get to become a powerful evangelist and your pulpit is the entire Internet!
Find Out Where Industries Overlap
The easiest way to start broadening your horizons as a writer and become versatile and confident is by looking for places or ways industries overlap. I figured I should stick to gardening because that’s what I knew, and that’s what I loved. I do love gardening, and I do love plants, but honestly, writing about that one subject and nothing else began to get boring.
I finally realized if I could write about outdoor living and landscaping, there was no reason I couldn’t write about indoor living. Home living encompasses a lot of different things — home maintenance, home decorating, cleaning, home renovations and so on. They don’t say that “variety is the spice of life” for nothing. Writing about home-related topics was kind of fun, and the research wasn’t so difficult that I couldn’t manage it, when and if I needed to do research for assignments.
I began to see the possibilities of broadening the scope of my writing to different industries. Using what you know from one industry and applying it to other industries is a super simple way to start building a writing portfolio so you can show clients your “stuff.” Once you use that niche experience to let your writing grow and evolve, you rid yourself of that “stuck in the mud” mentality that keeps you from exploring the writing world and the cool learning experiences that lie ahead.
By willingly embracing new things, however scary they seem, you open the door to countless other writing opportunities. What once seemed scary enough to drive you into the depths of a dark cellar won’t scare you a bit. You can’t grow as a writer unless you’re willing to challenge yourself. Those challenges are the driving force behind the excitement, the versatility, the quest for knowledge, and the never-ending need to quiet a noisy head.
Susan B is a full-time freelance writer and researcher extraordinaire. When she’s not working or having more oral surgery, she’s taking care of tropical plants, looking for new ones to lure hummingbirds, or obsessing about ways to bring more hummingbirds to the small garden outside her apartment.