What Can New Writers Do with a $4K Scholarship? 8 Professionals Give Advice
That’s how much time is left till the winner of the New Writer Scholarship 2015 is announced.
(As of this post date.)
Have you applied? You might be the winner and not even know it yet. Time is ticking so get your application turned in pronto.
New Writers Hoping to Win Should Listen to These Folks
This scholarship is an investment in your future. Right?
Four thousand dollars is nothing to sneeze at. If you win, you want to use it wisely, I hope.
Please don’t blow it on Farmville. 🙂
When I make any investment, I think it’s smart to ask for some guidance from a few experienced folks who know what they’re talking about. You know, pick their brain and see what they would do.
That’s why I asked some professional writers what they would advise you to do with a $4K scholarship.
These are people making a living as writers, and they were once “new writers” like you.
Some of them did not get to start their career with a scholarship. A few of them did. Yet they all have persevered and found success.
So it’s quite interesting to ask them “What would you do with a new writer scholarship?” and then listen to what they say as they reflect on the road they’ve traveled and what $4K could have done for them early on.
These 8 writers provide some ideas on using the money in ways you may not have considered.
Let’s see what they have to say.
Keep a pen and paper handy as you read. Jot down some notes.
Then let me know what you think in the comments below. Or feel free to ask me any questions you might have after looking over these ideas.
Experienced Writers Offering New Writers Some Scholarship Advice
“What would I do with $4,000 if I were just starting out as a brand new fiction writer?
Honestly, I would save it!!! As a new writer, income coming in may be very slow. You’ll be glad to have some money in the bank to pay for upcoming expenses or perhaps to apply to writing contests (which often come with a cost) once you have finished books.
As your success builds, you can then create a website or perhaps invest in other marketing strategies. But if you’re truly brand new, I believe social media is adequate for advertising and you’ll want to keep your expenses to the bare minimum.”
Writer & Time Management Coach
“You are an aspiring writer, right?
Duh, of course you are.
And for that I salute you!
You are about to embark on a long and challenging journey.
You aim for the stars and you dream of writing content that in the future only will be referred to as the stuff of legends.
So now you have won $4000 in New Writer Scholarship from the awesome guy Matthew Kaboomis.
Great for you!
Double high five *SLAP* *SLAP*
How to spend your $4000 in the best way possible in order to aid your writing career?
My tip would be the same regardless if you are an aspiring journalist, blogger, copywriter, poet, novelist, etc.)
I would spend the money on the following:
Investing step 1: Get a blogging coach
Blogging is the cheapest and most effective way to build your name and brand FAST, if you do it the right way.
That being said, as with most goals worth accomplishing, it takes time.
As a beginning blogger I wrote a blog post, 80 Productivity Tips From Incredibly Busy Experts, which resulted in:
– 5707 visitors in 6 days (that is a 19,41 times increase of traffic per day!)
– 20 231 page views in 6 days
– 76 comments
– Over 1400 shares on social media
Investing step 2: Take a writing course
I don`t care how good you think you are when it comes to writing.
You can always become better.
The difference between successful people and those who aren´t, is that successful people are continuously working on improving their skills.
You wanted to live from your writing, right?
Great, then it`s settled.
Investing step 3: Hire a time management coach
You only have 24 hours in your day.
This means that in order to get results FAST, you need to be able to manage your time and become more productive.
However, the most important thing is not that you are able to free up more time in your schedule…
but WHAT you are spending your time on.
If I helped you to save 7 hours per week, and you only spent the time watching mediocre sitcoms on Netflix, how would that help your writing career?
It would be a TOTAL waste of time.
On the other hand, if you were spending your time on building your blog or/and taking a writing course, that would be time well spent.
You get my point.
I know what you are thinking…
How does managing your time help you to build your name and brand FAST?
Well, I turned myself into a guinea pig and tested it out.
In less than 9 months, I managed to do the following:
– Won the “most epic blog post” award on Jon Morrow`s blog Boost Blog Traffic
– Interviewed 9 times on big blogs
– Published 19 guest posts in big websites, including Addicted 2 Success, Lifehack and Pick The Brain
– Featured as an expert on 30 big blogs, included Ahrefs, SEMRush and Post Planner.
As you probably have guessed by now, I help people to SAVE TIME and INCREASE RESULTS.
If you have any questions, don`t hesitate to shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Tor’s website.
Journalist & Screenplay Writer
“For an aspiring writer, a $4,000 scholarship would be able to provide two valuable things: tools and time.
A writer without a laptop and the right software for his or her chosen medium lacks the true freedom to pursue the craft.
The writer who spends precious hours at a pays-the-bills day job isn’t getting much writing done.
A scholarship will allow a new writer to step away from the paycheck-generating, time-sucking work, even for a short time, and dive into the joy of research or generating pages.”
Web Writer & Poet
“That’s a great question.
I guess it depends upon your situation. Do you need the money to survive?
If you don’t, then everything goes to education. Investing it in books, online courses, hiring a coach.”
Author & Poet
“You can’t buy your way into this club. If you want to write, you will – if you have pots of money but no hunger – you won’t.
I have an M.A. in Creative Writing but I didn’t learn a thing about writing until I threw myself into my first book like a cliff diver leaping into a volcano.”
Direct Response Copywriter
“If I had $4,000 to get started as a direct response copywriter, here’s how I would spend it.
FIRST: I’d spend $750 on books and courses. Some of my favorite books that teach direct response copywriting are Great Leads by Michael Masterson, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins, Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. I also personally learned a bunch from AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I recommend it, especially if you’re just getting started.
SECOND: I’d write a sales letter promoting my services and publish it online. You can use tools like ClickFunnels to publish faster and easier and avoid the additional cost of domain registration and hosting. ClickFunnels is something like $97 or $197 a month. (For this piece, I’ll budget $200.)
THIRD: I’d set aside $800 for PPC advertising on Google AdWords and/or Bing (Microsoft Ads). Set up your ad campaigns, set your daily budget, then start testing. Drive traffic to your landing page and measure the results.
FOURTH: I’d set aside $2,250 for event tickets and travel expenses. I’d personally try to get to AWAI’s Copywriting Bootcamp (which happens in the fall) or Traffic and Conversion (which happens in January). Why these events? Because it’s a good place to network with people who hire copywriters. Event tickets vary in price, but are usually $500 to $1,500 a ticket. Cost of travel varies too, but expect to spend an additional $750 for plane ticket, hotel, and food for each trip. You can always save on the hotel if you can find somebody to room with. I’ve done this many times. And don’t forget business cards! Order a small box of 250 or 500 to hand out at events.
So to sum up, I’d spend my money on EDUCATION, SOFTWARE, ADVERTISING, and EVENTS – in that order.
Keep in mind, the figures I’ve shared here are rough approximations. The actual amounts might differ slightly based on which courses you buy, which events you attend, and so forth. Nevertheless, I hope this provides you with some clear direction should you embark on a career as a freelance direct response copywriter.”
Browse Ryan’s blog.
Author & Blogger
That’s a great question, and one not easily answered, as there is quite a lot which can be accomplished with such an investment.
I would actually start by saving most of the money at first.
As a new writer, by definition, you need time to explore your talents and interests, discover your passions, and find your voice. You could invest in great branding, a custom WP theme, and other implementations, but you risk starting off in a direction that isn’t quite right for you.
Instead, focus on your writing. Use this time to find and follow potential peers and colleagues, influencers and mentors online, and read, read, read. And keep writing. There are plenty of free and inexpensive tools and platforms available to facilitate this part.
Only after you’ve targeted your niche and gotten closer to finding your voice should you invest in things like a custom design or branding assistance.
But this is the point where having funds set aside can really help, because now that you know who you’re writing for and have been following influencers in your field, you can afford to invest in attending an industry conference. Between the conference fees, accommodations, travel and other expenses, you’ll likely need a significant portion of those funds. But the ‘ROI’ is tremendous!
You see, the training sessions will no doubt be great, but you almost have to have some experience under your belt in order to really appreciate and apply what you’re going to learn.
And you need to have taken the time to develop some online relationships in order to cement those relationships face-to-face.
Others here will no doubt have some great ideas for you, but my recommendation is to save as much as you can so that you can attend a great conference for networking and advanced education.
See Mike’s website.
Writer & Video Blogger
If I won a $4,000 New Writer Scholarship, I would use the money for writing workshops and classes to improve my skills as a writer and with any money leftover, develop a media kit and business cards.
Visit his website.
New Writers Have Nothing to Lose and A LOT to GAIN Here
I wish more people could win this scholarship.
Only one new writer will ultimately be announced the winner on December 23rd.
Yet in the meantime, everyone following along will learn some great tips on starting a writing career.
More helpful posts on getting started as a writer are coming, so be sure to apply for the new writer scholarship if you have not yet.
You will get notified by email whenever a helpful new post is out.
So no matter which of you wins, we all can learn and grow together up to the big announcement on Dec. 23rd.
I can’t wait!
Photo Credit: The Proletariat Poetry Factory by chinnian CC BY-SA 2.0