This is how Suhaib Mohammed became a millionaire as a freelance writer

This is the year of being intentional about our writing; so how about this insight we found on Bella Naija to get you totally inspired. Not only is the interview inspiring, it provides useful tips for those who are ready to do the work.

Are you ready?

How he started

I remember the day I earned NGN182, 600.00 (or $550) in a single writing project on Upwork.

For many online writers from this country, that’s an unimaginable jackpot. It’s like a young student from a public school vowing to get straight As in their WAEC. You hear it, and you automatically think, “Nonsense.”

If you could make 182, 000 naira in a single writing job, you could build a career from your skills. You could quit your day job today, and eat three protein-rich square meals every day. In fact, you could even start traveling within Nigeria for sightseeing in places like Obudu, Tinapa, and Yankari National Park.

Nobody can earn that much. Nobody. Or can they?

When I called my friend and colleague, Jamila, earlier in January, and told her, “I want to earn 1 million naira this year,” she laughed out loud. An average freelance Nigerian writer like my friend would tell me, “Well, you can make it,” even though deep inside their heart they have some doubt. I myself didn’t believe I could achieve that feat.

But I insisted.

 

 

 

 

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Your guide to finding clients that pay

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We know you are getting tired of writing for free. You keep hearing that there are people who are making money from their skill and you are wondering how and when it will be your turn to bill clients.

If most of the people who know you write do not see it as a serious profession or are not willing to pay for your services, today we are revealing our secrets and showing you where and how to find the clients that pay.

Thank us later!

Turn to your colleagues (including former colleagues) 

If our guess is right, you still have your day job, which is okay. Mention that you are writer to your colleagues so that they can inform you of any freelance opportunities. Talk to your previous colleagues. These people know you and trust you. Once there is an opportunity they will most likely remember you.

Connect with fellow freelancers

Don’t live in a world of your own and complain that writing doesn’t pay! It does. Talk to other writers. You never can tell, once they know you are available for work, they’d send you referrals from them.

Blog about your industry

Write useful articles you know your audience would love and submit to relevant websites. If you are targeting students look for where they visit often. 

Potential clients can see these articles and find a way to reach you. You never can tell.

Get referrals from existing clients

Email your existing clients to see if they can refer you to other businesses. If you have a great working relationship with them, they’ll be glad to send others your way.

Head to a co-working space

Co-working spaces give you tons of opportunities to meet other freelancers and business owners thankfully, there are a number of them around. Find them and use them. 

The world doesn’t need another Shakespeare or J.K Rowling, it needs you!

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Shakespeare, J.K Rowling, Stephen King, Jeff Goins, Ernest Hemingway – we admire their work, we marvel at their creativity and definitely want to read more from them. What we don’t want is to read another person who is failing at trying to sound or write like they do! Nope we are not interested. 

Writing is simple; it is about looking at the world and saying what you see. If you are trying to say what someone else sees you will struggle for the most part of it. 

One sure way to ruin all your chances of becoming a good writer is by trying to be someone you’re not. The reason that you’re intimidated by other writers is probably because you think you need to become like them to be a good writer. Absolutely not. 

 The world is waiting for the manifestation of your talent! 

#WordOfTheDay – Today’s word will blow your mind

Hello Sparkle writers, we are back with more vocabulary and today’s word is just amazing. Can you guess what it is? 

Today’s word is ‘Woebegone.’ Yes, it is a word!  It is an adjective that means affected by grief or woe. It also means sad or miserable in appearance.

Let’s use this word in a few sentences.;

She looked woebegone, but nobody knew what was wrong.

I was surprised that bereaved didn’t look woebegone.

Would you form your own sentences with this word and share with us in the comments section? Please do. 

It’s not too late to succeed as a writer

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You know how it feels when you look at other writers and how they have intentionally taken steps to improve their skill and you want to beat yourself up for being so lazy. There are times you may even feel like there are too many people who have gone ahead and it is too late for you to make headway in this career. 

This is NOT true. It is never too late for anyone to succeed. Just take it that the day you decide to take your writing serious is your own morning. 

If you’re still breathing, you haven’t missed your window for success as a writer. Those chances will remain open as long as you keep trying. Saying ‘it’s-too-late’  is just another attempt to find a reason to quit. Don’t give that thought any importance. 

Look at what we found out;

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her mid-60s when she published Little House in the Big Woods (Little House On The Prairie came soon afterwards.)
  • Harriet Doer published Stones for Ibarra, at the age of 73.
  • Millard Kaufman published his first novel at the age of 90.

So remind us, how old are you again and why do you think its too late for you to succeed as a writer?

 

#WriterSpotlight – Eniola Adenijiloves that writing gives her the power to weave beautiful stories

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It’s #WriterSpotlight time! Who is excited because we are. Our guest is the multi-talented Eniola Adeniji. According to her, hardcore dedication, tenacity, persistent and a drive towards success have helped her get to this point. You need to read her story. 

Hello Eniola, please introduce yourself to us.

My name is Eniola Ennmae Adeniji. I am a writer, a content developer, a Marketing Strategy Consultant, a Chef, Fashion Designer, a social entrepreneur and a farmer (Let’s just say I am an Industrialist).

When did you start writing and how has your writing evolved over the years?

I started writing when I was 16, that was 14 years ago. I believe with age comes a different outlook to life, people and things. And of course our experiences along the way and how we’ve been able to navigate through life and it’s numerous circumstances and indeed success, all this have shaped the way I write over the years.

Like you mentioned earlier, you are a writer, coach, marketing strategy consultant, industrialist, agropreneur. How in the world do you manage all these effectively?

I manage them basically by having little to no social life (Chuckles). It’s been a journey of hardcore dedication, tenacity, persistent and a drive towards success

Why did you choose Instagram as your primary platform?

Actually Facebook is my primary platform, I only share some of the things I share on Facebook to Instagram. So you’d find more of my writings on Facebook.

Do you think you were born to be a born writer?

I don’t know if I can say I was born to be a writer, I just know someone took the time to mentor me at the age of 13 by giving me two books a month to read and write my perception of it, and this went on till I was 21. That was the birth of my ability to write really.

What’s your take on the belief that ‘talk is cheap’?

Indeed talk is cheap. I’ve seen quite a number of people who aren’t anything close to what they write. But again, as much as most of what I write were drawn from my daily life experiences, as writers we are also sometimes inspired to write things that does not necessarily mirror who we are, but who we aspire to be. The goal is to keep working towards closing the gap between what you say, what you do and who you are. The goal is to go beyond saying to being.

Tell us two things social media doesn’t know about Eniola?

I am pretty shy outside social media and often avoid the camera. I love Cartoons 

Do you have an author crush?  If yes please tell us who?

Oh yes, quite a lot of them though (Chuckles). But I’d stick with John Grisham

Tell us three ways social media has helped your writing career?

Social media has helped my writing career by helping me to first built a platform, then an audience and on the long run referrals.

What do you love most about being a writer?

I love the ability to weave my own stories, which other people can connect with daily.

What is your advice to other writers who want to merge their talent and faith together but don’t know how to start?

Read. Every great writer is first an ardent reader. Find your voice and never do the smoke on screen with it (Own it) if you don’t, chances are you’d find it pretty hard to convince others to. Begin where you are, write your stories and faith, the more you write the better you will become.

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

Publish my books and raise a generation of kids who love reading and writing from early ages through my Mae’s Book Club.

 

#GrammarSeries – How you should never use a comma

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If you’ve learnt a thing or two from our #GrammarSeries raise your hands! Today is another day and we will make sure you learn something again today. 

The comma is very important in English language but today we are here to tell you how you should never use a comma. 

Never use a comma to separate two independent sentences. Many people tend to do this without even knowing that it is wrong.

For example: There was no jam, he used butter. 

This is wrong.

Two independent sentences cannot be separated by a comma.

Now, you may ask how you separate such sentences? Our answer is this. Use conjunctions, a period/full stop or a semicolon.

Look at this example: There was no jam; he used butter.

There was no jam so he used butter.

There was no jam. He used butter.

In this case, periods should be used only when you don’t want to connect the two sentences or when there isn’t a strong connection between the two sentences.

We hope you have learnt something. 

Stop confusing failure with weakness

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Failure is really not a good thing. But we’ve all felt like failures at one point in our lives. And the pain that it brings can be enough for us to slam the brakes on ever trying to be a writer again.

However, when you start writing you do not necessarily need to get everything right immediately. Have you seen a baby learning to walk? He falls, stands up and falls again but hardly does he refuse to walk again because of that. A good writer masters the skill by writing, rewriting and writing again.

We know failure has a way of getting to you. You’d probably just believe that this is the kind of person you are – a failure and there’s little or nothing you can do to get better. It is not true.

Not getting it right the first, third or tenth time doesn’t mean you are weak or not good enough. Failure is a critical step in learning what works and what does not. Take note of that.

See failure as the adult version of falling down through lack of experience, practice, or knowledge – all of which you are on your way to acquiring. If you could have walked from birth, you would have defied the laws of human development. Same as being a writer, if you could write the wittiest and most intriguing stories at first trial, you would have no need to grow and most likely you would not appreciate the skill you have.

If you still need some dose of inspiration contact us and we will hook you up!

 

#WordOfTheDay – You will not believe what this word means

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Hello Sparkle Writers, it’s another opportunity to learn a new word. and you just will not believe what today’s word means.

Today’s word is Peregrinate. Sounds tough? It actually means something very simple.

Peregrinate means to travel especially on foot. In other words, it means to walk.

It can also mean to wander from place to place.

Who would have thought? 

Now let’s use this word in a sentence.

There’s no way I can peregrinate in style and comfort if the sun is this intense. 

Success discovered several charming shops and eateries during her peregrination downtown.

It’s quite easy to use this word. We want Let’s see how many sentences you can form in our comment box! 

 

Your blog is a brand; treat it as such

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We know there are many reasons why you could have started your blog.  For a lot of people, they started their blog because they needed something, somewhere to document their thoughts and words but as time goes on you will realize that there is more to your blog than just documenting your thoughts. 

Your blog is a brand. Your brand (Yes you read that right). It is a brand and you should begin to treat it as that. 

If you haven’t realized that yet, it’s probably because you have not taken deliberate steps to make it one. 

Here are a few things you can do to change that;

Give your blog a tagline.

A tagline adds insight into your blog’s personality and content that is integral to your brand. Consider your blog’s focus and keywords. For example, the Sparkle Writers uses simple facts to truths to encourage writers not to give up . Ours is this ” We believe every writer has a sparkle. We can help you discover yours.”

Choose a memorable address.

While options such as WordPress.com and Blogger are freely available, it’s advisable that you start using your own URL for your blog. This gives your blog its individual identity. Don’t use just any name, use something memorable, a name your readers will easily remember. 

Be distinctive and original

Your blog must be original to be an authentic brand. Don’t go copying other people’s  blog posts and ideas just to keep your blog alive Remember our post on copying blog posts?  It’s not just right. A brand should not be built on copying and piracy or plagiarism. It should carry your essence and only you can make that happen.