Guarantee – These ideas are proven and tested to grow your writing career. Take the time to learn, internalize and implement the tips and you’ll surely see the growth you’re looking for.
So what’s a paradigm shift, anyway? Let’s talk about the word “paradigm” first. If you’ll Google it, you’ll probably see weird sounding words that you haven’t came across before. But, if I were to tell you what it is in layman’s terms, I’d say that your paradigm is how your mind is conditioned. It is how you usually think of things or it is a pattern of how you think.
And of course, the term “paradigm shift” means a change/shift from one paradigm to another.
Why are paradigm shifts powerful?
A good example of why paradigm shifts are powerful is in the case of sales representatives selling a pricey product. If they start talking to their prospect customers thinking at the back of their mind that there’s no way they can sell this product because it’s too pricey, chances are good that they’ll never be able to sell it.
But if they have the kind of mindset that strongly believes that they can sell the product since they’ve sold products that are way more expensive before, then they have a very good chance of being able to sell the product.
Notice how there was a shift in paradigm a.) a mindset that’s conditioned to think that they’ll never be able to sell the product, b.) one that’s 101% confident that they can sell the product.
If you’ll experience the shift from mindset a to mindset b, then you’ll be able to conquer new heights in whatever career you’re in.
At this point, I hope it’s now clear how powerful a paradigm shift can be for you as a writer.
Here are the 8 paradigm shifts that can take your writing career to the next level.
1.) Conforming to norms vs. staying true to oneself
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that conforming to norms is entirely a bad thing. There are surely benefits to it, like leveraging from proven and tested strategies/methods that are known to work.
However, if you’re conforming to norms for the wrong reasons – which is the case for some writers – then you need to snap out of it!
One of the common things that causes many writers to conform (sometimes subconsciously) is their lack of self confidence. Some worry that their style of writing isn’t good enough, so they end up sticking to what’s already on there.
A writer’s lack of self confidence can be quite crippling. Others end up writing in a style that’s so different from their own, making their work sound generic and boring. While in the worst cases, other writers stop writing altogether. If you have the the same issues, then I strongly suggest that you do something about it NOW.
The good news is, this paradigm shift can help cure just that. The more you stay true to your writing style, the more you’ll help build your self confidence. Why, you might ask? Simple. You’ll get a lot of feedback from readers about your actual writing style. Whether they give you a negative or a positive feedback, it will surely help build your self confidence nonetheless.
I mean think about it, if you receive TONS of negative feedback from readers, chances are good that after X amount of these negative and hurtful feedback, you’ll end up becoming numb to it and even become more determined to improve your writing skill. If, however, you’ll receive positive feedback from your readers, then those are definitely morale boosters!
In the final analysis, provided that you just don’t stop writing despite what your readers say about your work, you’ll surely become more confident. And when your confidence is off the roof, you’ll be able to write more.
Note – Remember that no one needs another Joe in the web. Just be yourself and enjoy what you’re doing. The uniqueness of your work will surely be a breath of fresh air to the readers.
2.) Focusing on people liking your post vs. writing for passionA lot of writers tend to get so caught up on the idea that no one will like their content. They shudder at the thought of receiving negative feedback from their readers.
I hope that isn’t you, though. Because if you feel the same way, I’ll tell you right now that that’s your lack of self confidence whispering again.
Don’t let it get to you!
Instead of thinking about how others will react to your post, why don’t you shift your focus from thinking about how others will accept your work, to how passionate you are at writing.
If you’re really passionate about your craft, then just focus on it, regardless of whether others will read it or not. If you’ll keep on writing with passion, I can assure you that your passion will resonate among your readers. They’ll feel your sincerity and they’ll appreciate it.
When you choose your passion over your reader’s approval, you tend to feel satisfied – let alone ecstatic – for simply having been able to share your thoughts to others.
Don’t worry about the haters and trolls, even the best writers have people hating them. If that’s happening to them, and they are multi million dollar writers, what makes you think you’ll be spared?
At this point, you should realize that there will always be people hating and having them dictate your actions is a terrible decision.
Note – While focusing on your passion for writing is definitely critical, you also need think about what your readers love to write. You need to balance these two things. Because at the end of the day, if your readers do not find value in your content, then there’s no reason for them to read your posts.
3.) Having a passive mindset about how to make your blog successful vs. constantly and proactively thinking about it
When you take a walk in the park, do you get inspiration from whatever you see on how to grow your writing career?
When you see a kid in the park giving ice cream to his younger brother, do you find yourself thinking about what kind of “Ice cream” you can give to your readers so they’ll keep on coming back to your blog?
When you see enormous trees around you, do you end up getting reminded of how important evergreen content are?
When you have this kind of mindset, you won’t run out of ideas. You tend to come up with TONS of strategies you can use to increase your blog’s traffic and ultimately take your blog to the next level.
4.) Focusing on your choice of words vs. Focusing on helping others
Write to express, not impress.
It’s sounds simple, but many writers have realized this is easier said than done. You may lose sight of your objective – which is to inform – if you’re too focused on impressing your readers through your word choices.
When writing for online readers, always remember five things:
- Have a compelling title
- Make your articles easy to scan
- Get to know your audience
- Use words that are easy to understand
- Write with substance
A compelling title gives readers an idea of what they can expect from your work. Never write a headline that only aims to attract someone to your website and then provide a different information than what’s expected.
A straightforward title is a great headline. To make your article stand out on search results, you may create titles that use wordplays or references on pop culture that don’t deviate too much on your topic.
Online readers are different from offline readers. This type of audience wants to get information as easily or as fast as they can. Respect your readers’ time by making it convenient for them to find the information they need.
When writing long posts, divide your content or write a blog series. Furthermore, always use subheadings and lists when possible. These formats help readers scan your article and decide if they want to read the entire thing or move on to the next post.
Another effective way to have a winning blog is to understand your audience. When you have a general idea of the people reading your blog, it’ll be easier to create content that appeals to them.
The type of audience you have will also dictate the tone of your article. If you’re writing for business managers, you may want to consider a more formal tone. When writing for teenagers or young adults, it’s best to avoid pompous words, otherwise, your readers won’t be able to relate with you.
When it comes to online writing, substance is essential. Many people can write grammatically correct posts, but only a few can write with substance. Always keep your reader’s need in mind when writing articles. Why should they read your work? What are they going to get from it?
At the end of the day, you’re writing articles for your audience – not for you. Sure, you know many complicated words that may help you look authoritative, but if your readers don’t understand you, it’s as good as writing gibberish.
5.) Focusing on word count vs. expressing your ideas clearly
Especially if you started your freelance writing career on freelancing sites like Odesk or Elance, you’ll tend to relate the word “article” with the word count “500”.
You need to be conscious about this because you might end up compromising the quality of how you convey your ideas just to make sure that you’re staying within the usual word count.
Focus on expressing your ideas completely and clearly. That way, you can provide as much value to your readers helping you establish your reputation as a great writer.
6.) Number of posts vs. quality of posts
Most bloggers (especially the new ones) are so conscious about increasing their number of posts. They then end up publishing daily (I know of someone who publishes twice a day) even if their posts are poor quality or mediocre at best.
There are GAZILLIONS of people doing that. That’s exactly the reason there are millions (probably billions) of posts published monthly. If you are GENUINE about wanting to help your audience, you should never waste their time by publishing these low quality posts. Don’t worry about the word count. Focus on quality.
7.) “The quality of my blogs will market itself” mindset vs. “I need to actively market my blogs to make sure others find it.” mindset
The chances of your post/blog being able to market itself through its sheer quality is highly unlikely. You need to realize that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of high quality content on the web that’s being ignored simply because the readers aren’t aware that they even existed.
While there are several occurrences where a content has managed to gone viral simply because of it’s quality, if you compare it to the number of times that it hasn’t really happened – you’ll find that there is quite a gap.
So my question is, don’t you want to be in control of your blog and do whatever you can to make it succeed and not leave it up to chance?
If you answered “yes” to that, then there’s no two ways about it. You have to actively market your content.
A couple of marketing strategies that you can implement are comment marketing, Linkedin Marketing, guest posting, email marketing, posting on forums, etc…
Note – I have written a definitive guide about guest posting and Linkedin marketing that can refer to if you need help with it.
8.) Scarcity mindset (low pay) vs. what you’re really worth
Many writers, especially those who are just starting with their careers, often settle with low pay even if they know they deserve better. Never be afraid to ask for a higher rate.
Negotiating rates may seem a daunting task, but the more you do it, the more it will become easier. The first step to creating a paradigm shift when it comes to negotiating rates is to determine your minimum acceptable rate (MAR). Second, you need to decide whether you want to charge a client by the hour or per project.
Also called the hurdle rate, the minimum acceptable rate is the amount you’re willing to accept for a project. When determining your MAR, always consider the risks and opportunity costs. Remember, you’ll be spending time and effort for a project. You wouldn’t want to feel as if you’d been underpaid in the end, would you?
You don’t need complicated computations to calculate your MAR. You may use this simple equation: (annual personal and/or business costs working hours) + tax.
If you’re a freelance writer, personal costs are your living expenses, such as food, utility bills, and home mortgage. If you have a startup company, business overheads may include office space rental, office utility bills, and so on. Divide your expenses by the number of hours you plan to work on a client’s project, and then add tax.
Knowing your MAR will let you know when you’re undercharging a client. You won’t have to worry about investing too much of your time and skills without getting good returns.
The next thing you have to decide on is whether to charge your client by the hour or by project. Many freelance writers tend to steer clear from working on an hourly basis. Why? It limits your earning potential.
To earn more from a project, some freelancers try to extend their working hours, however, keep in mind that you only have a limited number of hours per day. When you work on a per project basis, the client is paying for your quality of work rather than your time. If you can produce a great output in a short time, then you can take on as many projects as you want in a day.
Your career outlook determines your success. Experiencing the paradigm shifts we’ve discussed above will surely help you grow your writing career to the next level. If you have other tips that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you soon.