If you need to learn the skills in a new writing niche, should you spend money on a course?
How do you know if that makes sense or if you’re just chasing a shiny object (especially if the course is expensive)?
What is your ROI for the new writing niche?
There are 2 things that help you determine your return on investment (ROI):
Urgency (High or Low)
The urgency is high to buy when there’s a course launch or a discount, or the doors are closing on whatever this opportunity is–how important is it that you get in the door before it’s too late?
Also, look at your workload and at where your writing career is. Are you getting leads or seeing opportunities in this new format, but haven’t gone for them because you don’t have the skills yet?
Do you have a client(s) who frequently asks you if you can do this and you’re like, “well, I’ve never done XYZ. Maybe I need to get some training on it.”
When you have a really promising lead, it may make sense to get this special skills training so that you know how to present yourself and are in the best position to help the client.
Potential Payoff and Likelihood of that Payoff
Here’s when it makes sense to spend the money:
- if this is something you absolutely want to do.
- if this is something that’s going to help you immediately.
If not urgent or if the payoff isn’t that big, try testing your interest and skill level with a book on the writing niche, if available. You can even go the free route and see if your local library has the book. Or, you can search for tutorials or free training on the internet. Google can be your friend.
This is particularly useful when it’s a skill that you’re deliberately moving into as opposed to seeing an opportunity and considering it.
For example, back in the day, I really thought I wanted to write in the case studies niche. I could have bought a course, but I really wasn’t positive. So I bought the book by the lady who was doing the big course. I thought that if I read the book it would give me a lot of insight about how to actually do this job, and then maybe I wouldn’t need the course.
I’m glad I only bought the book! The case studies niche was not one that worked with my life at that time, so at least I was only out the price of the book.
Check out my post on “How To Find Your Best Writing Niche” to read more about finding yours.
If the timeframe is short but the potential payoff is big, it might be a good idea to buy a quality course.
For example, if you have a great lead for a new project and your general writing skills are solid, but you need more authority behind you in order to charge correctly for the project and know the right lingo, it might be a good investment.
I had an awesome lead to ghostwrite a book, but I’d never done a book before. While I knew I could figure it out, I just wanted someone to tell me, because I needed a quick turnaround. I needed to be able to send an email to the lead by the next day, with next steps. And then I needed to be able to conduct an inquiry call, and sound like I knew what I was talking about, and be able to write a proposal.
So there was some real urgency there. I also knew it was pretty likely that I was going to get the job. I knew that if I had some kind of professional training to help me make a good impression, I was that much more likely to get the job, be able to quote a higher rate, and just be better off. (Yes, I got the job.)
While only you can decide what the ROI is for you, know that you have options.
If you’re not ready to commit to a niche yet or just want to get a feel for which niche you like best, my course Copy Confidential shows you how to write in all different kinds of formats.
Then, while taking the course, if you decide that you want to go all in on say, white papers, you can get a super deep dive white paper course or book. But if you just want to know how to do basic white papers, I can teach you that. Copy Confidential is that times 13.
Plus, it teaches you how to go from content writing into copywriting and how to think like a copywriter, even if sales copy feels intimidating.
Just go to copyconfidential.com.