This year I set out on a mission. I wanted to provide applicable content for writers of most, if not all, genres. That means I am up several hours before everyone in the house writing and editing blog posts. My goal is two a day – morning and afternoon. Some days I write only one because I am busy and other days I post three. Fifteen days into the year and I’ve been successful in my mission. The results have been telling.
First off, when it comes to followers, views, likes, comments, unique visitors and all those other variables I can tell you that all of the categories except comments have skyrocketed from previous years. I can also tell you that the number of people who’ve asked me to help them write a book, edit a book, or start blog posts has been plentiful. As have the number of people who contacted me to ask questions about writing and writing from home.
So, my plan of persistently posting blogs has increased traffic to my site, brought in new work, provided information to other writers, and really annoyed friends and family on my personal Facebook page. Job done.
If views, comments, likes, and contact questions mean anything, the most telling thing I can provide is that either everyone is a procrastinator or everyone is striving to be a procrastinator. I glean this from the success of my post, Five Ways a Procrastinator can Be a Successful Writer. When I wrote that post I didn’t mean anything about it. I got the idea from a friend who told me they tried working from home as a writer, but procrastinated too much and within six months quit. That got me thinking, “Hey, I know a lot of people who procrastinate and choose to be a writer because of it.” As I mention in the post, for some it is a badge of honor.
That post received twice as many views as any other post and was so popular I thought I would re-post it last night for fun. More people viewed it than before in fewer hours. So, what does this tell me? People want to know how to make money by doing everything last minute. So, you ask, and I provide. Here are 4 types of writing that a procrastinator can do successfully. And a few that a procrastinator should never touch.
4 types of writing for a procrastinator
If, and only if, you do not overwhelm yourself, writing blog posts can be a successful venture. From other writers I speak to, and myself, you can earn anywhere from $25 to $150 per blog post. That depends on who you are writing for, how often, and how long you’ve been writing them. I have two suggestions for a procrastinator to be successful writing blog posts for others:
- Keep it simple: Try to work long-term with small businesses who need short 500-1000 word blog posts one to three times a week. That way, in case you delay multiple days, you should be able to pump these out last minute.
- Take jobs requiring little research: Some blog posts take a lot of research, others don’t at all. Less research equals less to procrastinate.
- Get ahead of the game: Even someone who procrastinates gets motivated at times. Utilize that time. If you are able to navigate the first two items above, especially the first, then instead of writing your two blog posts in a week, write eight or ten, and use those extra ones later when, “your just not feelin’ it.”
Think I’m joking? I’m not. One of the most lucrative jobs I had was writing for a company that produced quizzes. It was a lot of fun, there was a ton of work, the people were great, and the pay was surprisingly exceptional. If you can find the right quiz company, you can create a steady stream of work. For someone who procrastinates you need a few things in your job to be successful:
- Does not take long to complete
- Lots of tasks available at your pleasure
The last depends on the company. The first three hit the mark. What I suggest is looking for a company that has a list of projects that need to be completed, hires multiple writers, and allows you to pre-determine each week how much work you want to take on.
Write for your own submission
This is the traditional sense of a freelance writer. There are thousands of websites and paper publications that except short, well written (and sometimes not) pieces for their publication. Sometimes a procrastinator needs to be able to work within their own boundaries of time submission. When submitting work to these publications you control your submissions. But, there are a few things to consider. Lucky, most procrastinators don’t mind this effort.
- You will need to do the research to find the sites or publications. Don’t forget to see how much they pay, when they pay, and how they pay you. Most will pay by Paypal, though some will send checks and cater other payment methods.
- Focus on 3-5 genres you genuinely love and are knowledgeable in. This will, after a few weeks of research enable you to write without as much research to fit your content with each website or publication.
- Write content even if you don’t have a place to publish yet. This archive of content will eventually pay off when your mind is feeling drab and your heart isn’t into writing, but you still need the money.
- Don’t just go for the high dollars. If you are submitting content to websites you must understand that a site that pays $200 will likely ask for an arm and a leg. That content will be long, require extensive research, and you will need to understand how to document and cite relevant research material. Make sure you are up to it. Smaller content sites will often pay $10 to $35 per blog post which isn’t a ton of money, but can generally be written quickly.
- Expect to not be published. There are thousands of writers regularly submitting content and blog posts to websites. The popular ones pay more, but also receive a ton of submissions which dilutes your chances of being published. It may take a while to break through with a steady income by submitting your own work, but over time your resume will grow and you’ll be just fine.
Self-publishing for others
So, this may not be writing, but it does fall within the wheelhouse for most writers and can be learned quickly.
One thing I do for most of my clients is format and publish books for them through Amazon.com KDP which is a way to self-publish eBooks and paperback books. By understanding how to format and submit you can do fairly well.
The reason that this is a good project for someone who procrastinates is that the work isn’t challenging, though it does take time to format the book. That being said, the trick to formatting is to create multiple interior format templates that you can easily plug and place for clients.
When it comes to cover design I have a few illustrators who I introduce my client to and charge a fee if they want me to handle the work with the illustrator. However, I know several writers who work with illustrators on Fiverr.com. They can pitch 3-5 covers to the client for as little as $100 and then charge $500 for the cover. I’m not comfortable doing this, but many do. I’m not comfortable with it, because I don’t think the client gets exactly what they want most of the time. Though, on your end, managing 3-5 designers, and the clients needs, the money you charge may be worth it for you.
Types of writing a procrastinator should always avoid
The problem with procrastinating is that there is so much you should avoid because managing your time is a problem as is. My opinion is that by focusing on short projects with an employer or client who doesn’t really care when you submit your project is key. Unfortunately for you, those employers and clients are far between. That being said, there are a few projects I highly advise you never to take on if you love to procrastinate.
Everyone wants to write a book. If you start a career writing from home you need to understand that people will eventually ask you to write a book. The problem for you is that writing a book takes certain skill sets. You may have them, except for one important skill – you procrastinate. Book writing requires the following which most procrastinators do not have:
- Long-term project focus: Books traditionally take 4-9 months to write for the average person. That is a long time for a procrastinator to do nothing, and in the end it is difficult to catch up if you’re not on top of things.
- Serious organizational skills: Most books are 25,000 words to 60,000 words. That requires a lot of tracking, planning and organization to keep things together. Many procrastinators have good intentions, but have a “meh” attitude when it comes down to the small details.
- Requires research: Even as told to books require a degree of research. Research is a killer for procrastinators because navigating research is addictive to the behavior and while you started researching the history of Skittles you may find yourself hours later curious why Yaks have such course body hair.
- Books reel you in: Books pay very well and they begin with interviews. Both are enticing. The pay is welcoming and you think may be motivating, but for a procrastinator money is generally not as motivating as you may think. Secondly, interviews are fun and easy, but then you need to transcribe them which is boring, tedious, and frankly mind-draining.
Blogs, or anything, with tight deadlines
What I find is that most clients with extreme deadlines don’t actually need those deadlines. The deadlines have come with an irrational belief that if something is not posted at exactly the same time or a specific time, the blog post or content will fail. There are so many reasons why that is wrong and if you are in the business for any length of time you will know this and you will find clients who have extreme and sometimes irrational deadlines. I don’t work like this anymore, and procrastinators should avoid this at all costs.
Any project requiring tight deadlines should be avoided. You may have good intentions, but you likely will not hit your goal.
Projects that reduce pay if late
Yes, this is a real thing, and generally it is something that the clients in the previous tip utilize to their fullest. I avoid these as much as I can, but it is not because I expect something to be late. First off, this is a frowned upon practice in writing and publishing. The reason is because if a project is late, on most occasions, it is because the writer is putting extra work into the project because there are late changes, additions, or new requirements the client puts on the writer. Then the client will try to pay you less because the changes made a project late. I’ve heard stories like this for years. For a procrastinator it is these types of projects that will weigh heavily on you.
You may have a degree of detail in your work, but editing tends to be overwhelming for procrastinators, and it is not because you are a bad editor. Procrastination is all about putting things aside until later. Editing, even smaller pieces of work, takes time to be thorough. Often you are the last eyes on that manuscript before it hits hundreds, thousands, or millions of eyes. The editing needs to be good. For someone who procrastinates, putting things aside until later often means you will skimp on detail in an effort to hit a deadline. No buono.
Just because you procrastinate does not mean you can’t be a successful writer. It means that you need to be choosy about the types of projects you take on, but more importantly the types of projects you should probably say no to.
If you have questions about writing, or want to provide more insight into writing for people who procrastinate please comment below and share with our growing community.
Fun fact: Curious how many times I wrote “procrastinator” or a variant of in this post? 33 times. Yes, 33.