1 Secret Military Tip Leads You to Success as a Writer

What you need to know to backward plan your writing goal

Tom Handy
Tom Handy
Aug 8 · 5 min read
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So you want to be a writer. That’s great. But do you have a specific goal you want to achieve? This could be the one missing piece holding you back from reaching success.

I believe there are too many things in life we want to achieve. You want to buy a house or you want to buy a car. When it comes to writing, maybe you want to write a book or write a few articles a week. Now I want you to ask yourself why? What is your true goal?

Merriam Webster defines a goal as:

the end toward which effort is directed

Over the past few weeks, I see Facebook moderators in writing groups ask writers what are their goals for the week. Some of the goals that writers suggested are good but a few lacked their true goal.

Any writer can say I want to make X amount of dollars this week or get more views on their article. I wonder if they break down their goal any further.

For example, to make more money a writer needs to write more articles. Sometimes it’s hard to predict how an audience reacts to an article that was written or if the right SEO words were used. There are a lot of unknown factors that writers can’t predict 100%.


Backward Planning to Your Success

When I was in the military, we picked our endstate for an operation. We defined that as our goal. From there we backward planned to get to that goal. What little steps did we need to achieve to attain our military goal?

The same can be true for a writer. If a writer wants to make $X, then they may have to write X number of articles. Some of this may be based on the past performance of their articles and dividing the total number.

Article 1- $10

Article 2 - $.50

Article 3 - $2.00

$10 + $.50 + $2.00 = $12.50

In other cases, one of their articles may hit the jackpot and hit a new record for them. Sometimes there is no magic formula since it’s a combination of art as well as science.


My Initial Progress

When I started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote an article and checked the results. I had so many people who viewed the article and so many people read the article. I continued doing the same thing. I wrote the next article and checked the progress of the views and reads.

One article I wrote about the US Stimulus Plan in March, I received close to 1000 views. Most of these readers were non-subscriber reads since I shared the article on Facebook groups that I was apart of. I thought I was going to see more money coming in because of the views. I soon found out I was wrong. The views have to come from members of the platform.


Set My Initial Writing Goal

In my first month, I made a big nine cents. I was happy I made something after making nothing the first few months. I didn’t make anything when I started writing. Of course, I didn’t know what I was doing. I wrote my first article in March 2016 and didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t want to pay to be part of the program because my day job was keeping me busy. I had other things going on. It was three years later before I wrote my next article.

Then a couple of months went by and I was looking to leave Quora where I was a top writer. I finally figured to give this new platform a try.

After I made nine cents in March 2020, I set a goal to double that the next month. I figured I would need to write more and figured I could find the time to write three articles a week.

The next month I made $1.28 and doubled what I made from the previous month. This process continued for the next two months as I doubled what I made the prior month. In June, I knew I needed to do something to beat my May goal. So I decided to write every day in June. This new routine worked as I went from $59.20 in May to $135.52 in June.

As we are about to finish July, I should top what I made in June but will most likely miss the goal to double what I made. I made $135 in June and currently sitting at $132 on July 27 with five days before the month ends. Based on my progress this month, I averaged $5.07 a day. If this continues for July, I’ll fall short of doubling my June income.


Once You Set a Goal, be Prepared to Refine Your Current Goal

Even though you set a goal, there is nothing that says you can’t refine your goal a bit. The initial goal I set in March I am still working on. Even though I won’t double my goal in July, I need to figure out what I need to reach the next level.

I still want to double what I made in June. Based on what I have seen, writing longer articles may be the right answer. Or it could be capitalizing on articles that have done well for me monetarily and writing similar articles.

Personally, three topics I have written about have done well for me. The topics are investing, cryptocurrencies, and writing tips. So you may see more articles on these areas in August.


My Way Ahead

August could be a change for me. At this point, I’m not 100% sure since I am still planning. I have a list of possible topics to write about and will look these over again. I may need to spend time making better topics. Two other ideas could be spending more time finding the right headline or the right image for my article. All of these ideas will require a little more time for me to research and think.

As my wife continues to joke with me as I make a hundred dollars or so every month, I need to keep reading what top writers are doing. Also, I need to work on my headlines I select and images for the article. I think I do well in these areas but these could be a little better.

Do you have your goals set for August?


is a top Writing, Finance, Investment, and Bitcoin writer on Medium, and the father of two kids. He retired from the Army and sits on several non-profit boards. You can find him on Twitter.


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