I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged." - Erica Jong

Before I started my career as a writer, I avoided telling people it was my dream.

At the time, 'getting paid to write' seemed about as probable as 'getting paid to ride unicorns'. But now, when someone asks me how they could get paid to write, I seemed to have some pretty helpful advice. I realized that the only thing that had been standing in my way to actually getting paid to write was me!

You want to get paid gigs? Then take yourself seriously! Know what you’re worth and get paid what you’re worth. We respect someone’s need to make a living and (most of us) are willing to pay for quality services. Many writers fail to make a living because they don’t believe it’s possible. This is a disservice to not only you, but the entire writing community. Your success is my success, mi amigo!

So here are some places to start:

Get on the learning bus

Even if you have a PhD in communication, there’s always something to learn in this digital age. Nothing stays the same for long. To keep up with the latest industry trends and advice, keep up with blogs like ProBlogger, copyblogger and Boostblogtraffic. Lots of invaluable nuggets to be found if you know where to look.

Give away quality content for free

Wait a second — didn’t you just say you were going to tell me how to get paid? Yep! And this is part of it. One of the best ways to convince people you’re a good hire is by offering lots of quality, free information through your blog. Everyone wins: people who don’t want to buy get to learn, potential clients get a taste of what you’re made of, and you — the creator — get oodles of opportunity to create and market. Wins for the win!

Guest blog

This won’t necessarily be a paying gig, but it will expand your reach and get you exposure for potential paying gigs. All three blogs above have great advice on snatching up great guest blogging opportunities.

Find out what other writers are doing to get paid

There are plenty of LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook groups dedicated to sharing industry tips and tricks. Pay attention to where they find lucrative leads, how they approaching clients and how they market themselves.

Befriend local businesses

Find out who blogs for them, because it’s likely someone internal who doesn’t have time. Direct them to your blog and posts you’ve written for other people. Show them what you can do for them!

Ask for what you want!

I’m not only talking about payment, but yes, that too. Tell everyone you meet that you’re a writer. And I mean everyone. You never know who’s looking for exactly what you have to offer.

This is your year, writer friend!

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way." - Ernest Hemingway