[Review] For the aspiring professional writers in the crowd

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional (as in, paid) writer, today’s review is one you’re going to love. It will also be useful to you folks who’ve wanted to get something going online and couldn’t quite figure out what.

Well, it will if you can express yourself clearly in writing in your native language.

If you have no interest in writing for dollars, skip this. Otherwise, read on, Macduff.

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I’ve created hundreds of pages of products and reports over the years, and a Dog-awful lot of articles and posts, on the subject of writing well. Other than creating and selling your own info-products, though, I haven’t talked a lot about how to make money from it.

This product is the flip side of that coin. Called “Writer Help Wanted,” it’s all about using your writing ability to make money. And no, it is not written just for the online marketing crowd.

It’s also not one of these ridiculous “courses” that suggest you grind out dozens of artless articles every day for $3.87 a piece. To give you an idea of what the creators of the thing mean when they talk about a decent living, they refer to $25 an hour (in the Translation section) as an average income.

So. no. Not a “beat yourself to death for starvation wages” sort of thing.

Before I get into the meat of the product, allow me to introduce the creators.

I’ll mention Ron Douglas first, because he once said that if I had a TV talk show, he’d watch it. Other than that uncharacteristic lapse in judgement, Ron knows what he’s talking about. He’s a NY Times best selling author, having sold over 1.4 million books.

Yes, real books. Yes, the NY Times. He’s not one of these “We gamed the Amazon system by selling 87 books in a very small niche in 2 hours and took a quick screenshot” best sellers.

Ron’s better half in this dynamic duo is Alice Seba. In addition to being a generally very cool human being, Alice creates PLR products and has over 20,000 customers. Plus, you know, other stuff. As if that weren’t enough.

Alice is also a clear thinker, which is a refreshing change from a lot of the online crowd.

So yeah. They have plenty of Clue.

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The course starts with a guide to choosing a market. Note: NOT a niche. An actual market.

The markets include the usual suspects, like article writing, SEO content, and ebooks. The section also covers areas like editing, ghostwriting, grant writing, media kits, biographies and memoir writing, private label rights (PLR) content, proofreading, scripts, speeches, and presentations, trade magazines, translation, white papers and case studies, business plan writing, and the cash daddy of the biz, copywriting.

In all, they cover 36 different markets. They give you tips on finding clients, setting pricing, and ways to use each market to develop passive or recurring income.

In some of the trickier ones, they also warn you about the “gotchas” you need to watch out for. And, as with many freelancing services, there are a lot of them.

Reading through that, I recognized a lot of things from my old days as a freelancer that made it very clear they’re writing from hard experience. (Been there, done that, got the burns.)

That module will be an eye opener for a lot of folks.

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The second module is all about getting paying clients.

When I worked for clients, they always came to me through referrals, so a lot of these are things I can’t speak about from personal experience. Still, they’re consistent with what I’ve heard from writers I know who are successful as freelancers.

This is a very thorough and concise outline of the various ways to get writing clients. It’s clear, easy to follow, and filled with useful resources to get you going fast.

If you’ve been floundering around and wondering how to get started, this is going to feel like a life preserver.

The third module covers the real business end of the game. Pricing, setting yourself apart from the run-of-the-web types, and the right ways to work with clients to keep them coming back and sending their friends your way.

Here’s a hint that the pros all know: Referrals from good clients tend to be equally good clients. Referrals from jerks tend to be jerks. So, being picky is a good way to maintain both your business and your sanity.

This is the long-term crunchy goodness.

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The fourth module is a solid look at turning your effort into products, and profiting from them over and over. It also covers a lot of useful tips for building a list and making your readers happy.

Basically, the recurring income stuff. A lot of it is information I’ve covered in the newsletter and some of my own products, but it’s put together in a way that fits well with the rest of this course.

This bit I knew. It’s solid. Not advanced stuff, but it will get you from here to there reliably and with minimal hassles.

Module five is for the big kids. This is where you get into developing your skills and authority, and networking through your content. It covers style, voice, persuasion techniques, connecting with influencers in your niche, and a ton more.

While it tends to be more for the advanced players, you’ll want to read it pretty early on. This is the sort of strategic information that can help you put a solid foundation under your business and allow you to build more quickly later.

If you wanna be a player, learn the game. This is your rulebook.

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In all, 242 pages for those 5 modules. There are a bunch of extras to make the process easier for you. Worksheets, checklists, brainstorming tools, and even a system for defining your perfect client.

I grinned when I saw that last one.

There are also a bunch of video case studies I haven’t watched yet. A few of the guests are people I know have actual Clue, so they’re likely as useful as the written material.

And there’s a jobs board that’s part of the membership. A quick browse through some of the listings reconfirmed that this isn’t one of those cheapo content mill concepts. This is for people who want to earn a decent return for their effort and skill.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ron gave me access to the product to review, and yes, I signed up as an affiliate after looking it over.

I’ve been approached about reviewing dozens of products in the past couple of months, and turned them all down. So, why this one?

Alice and Ron have both been around for a long time. They’re people I respect and who I believe will treat you well. That’s a big deal.

Everything promised in the sales letter already exists in the membership section. It’s all clear and professionally presented. And, as far as my personal experience as a writer allows me to judge, it’s all rock solid, real world advice.

This stuff works.

The sales letter is pretty much hype-free, and the testimonials are from real people with experience. Face it, when you see someone like Jim Daniels giving a testimonial for a product on making money with writing, you’ve pretty much got to pay attention.

Jim could fill a Hefty bag with Clue on this subject.

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Overall, this is the best general course I’ve seen yet on the subject of making money as a writer. Especially if you’re looking for something to get you started or to take a smallish business up a level or three in relatively short order.

And it’s not priced at some ridiculous level. This is serious bang for the buck.

A few caveats. You must be able to write intelligibly already or this will be useless to you. You don’t need to be a super-skilled wordsmith, but you have to be able to express yourself reasonably well.

You have to be able to actually read, and think about what you’re taking in. This is all pretty straight forward but, like many “how to” things, there’s some common sense that needs to be applied. Not a lot, but some.

If you already specialize in an area of writing that pays you well and which you can expand in, you may not find this all that useful. Short fiction for the Kindle would be a good example, as would selling ‘how to’ reports for a specific industry.

Most importantly, you have to want to get paid to write. If you hate writing and can’t or won’t do it, or you’re one of those people who thinks writing is an art that should always be accompanied by suffering and lack of cash, skip this.

I know. That last part sounds ridiculous. And yet, probably a third of the people who’ve read this review this far fall into that category. No sense encouraging them.

Otherwise, if you have any desire to get paid to write, I recommend this course highly.

http://talkbiz.com/needtoknow/writerhelp

Enjoy!

Paul

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