Personal development writing is a huge niche online, particularly on platforms like Medium.
Although it’s a topic most people have an opinion about, it’s quite hard to stand out.
Unless your name is Darius Foroux.
Living in the Netherlands, he’s one of Medium’s top writers covering topics like wealth, building habits, and decision-making. He’s also an author and instructor, selling popular online courses about writing, careers, and more via his website.
In this interview, Darius explains:
- How he managed to write 7 books in six years
- Why he focuses on one project at a time
- How he grew his blog into one of the top personal development websites online
- His process for researching, writing and publishing non-fiction articles
- What he does when readers suggest editorial changes (including trolls)
And lots more.
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Bryan: You can build a business by a freelance writing career writing about personal development. Why? Because it's one of the most popular topics online today. Hi there, my name is Bryan Collins, and welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast. And in this week's interview, I catch up with Darius Foroux, who's one of the most popular non-fiction personal development writers online. But before we get into this week's interview, here's a quick personal update from me. So lately I've been thinking a lot about outsourcing, and how it can help freelance writers take their business to the next level.
So when you start out as a freelance writer, you know it's probably just you, and you'll spend your time finding clients, or you'll spend your time working with your editor on a story idea, or perhaps you're going to pitch several different editors, work in those articles, edit them, refine them and wait as the go live and then you'll get paid.
On the other hand, if you want to make the shift from freelance writing to running your own creative business, then you really need the help of some other people, and that's where [inaudible 00:01:26] come into play. And that's what I did, and that's also something week's interviewee did. Basically, if you have a series of articles about a topic like personal development for example, you might want to create a book or an online course. Creating a book or an online course is really time consuming even leaving aside the time it takes to record the course or write chapters for your book, because you're going to have to do things like design a book cover, get the book edited, or in the case of a course, you're going to have to get your audio or video files edited, and then you're going to have to get all these uploaded to your online learning platform of choice.
So it can sometimes feel like you're spending a lot of time editing and preparing all of the different materials, time that you could spend writing. And that's something or an issue that I had when I started creating courses for the first time. When I started making the transition from freelance writing to actually selling products and services back and help people. And this is where [inaudible 00:02:19] can help.
So when you start to earn a little bit more money from your freelance writing or from the products or courses that you're creating, I'd encourage you to consider reinvesting some of that package to your business, because it is a business that you're building and you could potentially hire a virtual assistant, or you could potentially hire somebody who can take a task off your plate. So I have a number of virtual assistants that I'm looking of to work with.
So this podcast which you're listening to is edited by a podcast editor. My articles that I publish on my site and also on Medium, I send them to an article editor who will edit them for me, and I also have somebody who takes care of technical issues on my site like for example, SEO and so on.
And all of that frees me to spend more time working on creative projects, or to focus on things that I'm good at or really enjoy doing. It's also important to consider when you're outsourcing what your budget is for outsourcing because you still want to be able to pay yourself, of course. So, if you're on a tight budget, I'd encourage you to start small. And one of the best ways to start small is to pick a task you probably hate or has nothing to do with writing.
Bookkeeping is also a good example, because if you're a freelance writer, you're probably doing it on the side, or on top of other tasks that you work on. So, you could hire a bookkeeper who could help you take care of your tax and your returns and so on, then you can focus on acquiring more clients, and then making the transition from freelancer to business owner or creative entrepreneur.
Actually, becoming a creative entrepreneur is something this week's interviewee has done over the past five or six years. His name is Darius Foroux, and perhaps you've come across his work online. He writes a lot about personal development on platforms like Medium, and also on his own site.
Personal development is an interesting topic because everybody has an opinion on personal development, there are no real barriers to entry. And that's great because you can find places to share your work and there are definitely readers who are interested in the topic. But it's a disadvantage in that it can be really hard to stand out in the niche of personal development.
So if I wanted to catch up with one of the top writers in the genre to see what his approach is and how he has made his work stand out. Darius lives in the Netherlands, and he covers specific subtopics within the area of personal developments like wealth building, habits and decision making and productivity. And he's also an author and an instructor. So he's build a business around his writing, which was a key takeaway for me for this week's interview, and he spends a lot of time selling online courses related to the topics that he writes about.
Now, there's a lot more Darius does, so