9 awful reasons why most online writers fail at their first attempt

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The employment of writers in the United States is projected to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030. And, most of these writers will fall into numerous categories.

Some freelance. Others get millions of dollars in royalties as a best selling author or get paid an average salary of $20 — $50 per hour scribbling a few words for huge brands. Among them, there exists a group of online writers too.

As of now, it’s likely that every nine in ten online writers fail at their first attempt. A minority of them blame their demographics or the lack of education in this relative field.

Meanwhile, others think they’ve to be a word lover or must be writing poems as a child to succeed in online writing. However, that’s false.

To give you a little context, let me tell you, I’ve seen numerous people from third world countries and non-writing backgrounds succeed in online writing.

And, there are numerous examples of people like you, who succeed in online writing. With that being said, here are 9 awful reasons why most online writers fail at their first attempt.

Lack of self belief:

Most online writers lack self-belief. It’s harder for them to believe their words will be read. Or, better, their articles may get published in some of the largest publications, online.

Usually, this lack of self-belief comes from being a beginner. Like anything else in the world, to overcome it, you need some time. And, you must hone your craft with diligence and practice. Self-belief comes from knowing your ability. And ability comes from practice.

Fear of rejection:

Rejection is a part of the game. And, if being a successful online writer is one of your goals, you must accept it as a part of your life.

With every cold email you fly at the doorstep of each editor or the long articles you publish online, there comes rejection. Your emails may get ignored. Or, worse, hardly anyone even reads your published articles.

Successful online writers know this one thing, which keeps them ahead. Rejection is a part of being an online writer.

Most newbie online writers fail because they don’t want to be rejected. Hence, they don’t send their next cold email and hardly even publish their next article. So, failure is inevitable.

Hiding behind the screen:

It’s being said, most writers are introverted. Meaning, they love spending most of their time alone. Somewhere off the hill. Or, a rewarding place, locked inside a room with a book or an internet connection. Away from the spotlight.

Well, online writers are no exception. As much of online writing is about publishing articles, it’s more about promoting yourself on social media and other platforms. Networking. Collaborating. And, smashing your face in front of the world.

As you may know, most online writers hate it. Hence, lack of promotion, which basically means lack of reach. This ultimately leads them to a catastrophic failure.

Lack of focus and writing routine:

No, this isn’t about having a writing schedule. Or, what most writing gurus may say...”wake up at 5 AM. Write 1500–2000 words per day. Or, funny enough, read 2 books per week.”

The type of writing routine I’m talking about is building a healthy writing habit. Here’s what I mean.

One of the best things about successful online writers is they’ve an outstanding focus. No screen time. No distraction. Just their thoughts and the writing. Most newbie online writers fail at doing this. They can easily read books and write 1500–2000 words per day, as most gurus would say.

However, what they lack is focus. They cannot focus for a long time. And as you may know, it takes focus and time to write articles. The absence of it, surely, leads them to failure.

No goals, plans and strategy:

You don’t need a laid out plan to succeed online. However, you must strive for something — a target to reach, in order to become a successful online writer.

Most newbie online writers start their journey on a whim. They read one or two articles about being an online writer, and try as if luck always stays on their side. They don’t have weekly, monthly and yearly goals.

They craft words like a starving artist. No targets to hit. No plans to achieve a certain level of success in the next week or month. As a consequence of that, they circle around the same thing for years and fail at their first attempt.

Grammatical errors:

Not a grammar Nazi, here. In fact, it’s easier to find significant grammatical errors in my own writing. So, apart from keeping your punctuations in check, by grammatical errors, what I really mean is lack of knowledge about using simple things.

Like, the use of “your” and “you’re.” The use of commas and “And.” And the list goes on.

Most newbie online writers think writing on the internet doesn’t require you to have a good grasp of grammar. They write poorly as if it’s written by a seven year old. Hence, no one hires them to scribble some words for their brands, and they fail.

Inhuman writing style:

Online readers have a short attention span. This does not mean you’ve to write short articles, however, you need to write articles that get your readers’ attention asap.

And, how do you do that? Write long articles and keep your readers’ attention till the end? It’s simple. By writing articles as if you’re talking with one of your friends.

Stop using jargon. Include humor. And, write short and clean sentences using simpler words. Most newbie online writers make this huge mistake.

They write inhumanly, boring words. They craft long and dull sentences, and hardly even know how to make their articles interesting. Hence, they fail.


Impatience kills more online writers than the failure itself. With every online writer claiming their six figure income, it’s harder for most newbie writers to remain patient.

They believe online writing requires you to send a dozen cold emails and you just land clients who are willing to pay you huge bucks. But, in reality, it’s the exact opposite.

It takes more time for you to succeed as an online writer than it took you to get a high school degree. Most newbie writers don’t have the grit or the patience to do so.

Simply, they don’t want to work long hours without noticing some significant improvement in their life. They want quick results. And, when they don’t see those tiny improvements, overnight; they quit.

Denying to learn new skills:

Everyone wants to be the next Tim Denning. But, only few online writers are willing to work hard to be at that spot.

With millions of people joining this movement, competition is tough. And, to succeed, not only you’ve to work harder than anyone else, but adapt to new skills as well.

Things like SEO, meta description, and keywords are essential parts of online writing. With every change on the internet, online writers must improve their writing skills. And, if they don’t, it’s likely they will fail.

Millions of online writers lost their jobs when Google improved its algorithm. It favored long tail keywords and long-form articles over the short and pungy ones.

And, it’s more likely to happen now than it did yesterday. Mostly, newbie online writers fail because they don’t learn and improve their skill. They fail to adapt, and as a result, fail at large.




Writer, creator and thinker

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Saroj Shrestha

Saroj Shrestha

Writer, creator and thinker

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