Good Question: I want to be a professional writer but I have zero experience. Help!

Dear Alexandra,

I am a junior in college. I want to start my own blog and copywriting business (with my own unique twirl) but I don’t know where to start. I have zero job experience, but I love to write. Can you give me some tips? Thank you!


Here is my advice:

1. Start writing.

2. Do it in public. (Translation: hit PUBLISH).

3. Do it consistently.

4. Tell people what you’re up to. (“Hey mom, guess what?” “Hey colleagues, check THIS out!”)

5. Listen to people when they cry, vent or complain. ‘Specially the kinds of people that you’d love to work with, someday. (Their problems are your GOLD mine.)

6. Nobody’s complaining? Start asking questions. (“What are you struggling with? What would feel like a miracle right now?”)

7. Make things that help solve people’s problems.

8. Let me repeat that: Make things that help solve people’s problems.

9. Behave as though you are already a pro.

10. Operate like the world is already listening.

Let me explain that last piece of advice — with a true story.

When Maggie started her blog, she had exactly zero readers. OK, maybe one. Her devoted husband.

“You can do it, babe,” he said.

“I know I can!” she said.

Modern Married was born.

Maggie wanted to create a space for men and women to talk about what it really takes to build a life that you love — with the love of your life.

She noticed that most “marriage” blogs focused on weddings. Not what happens after the big day.

She wanted to fix that.

She wanted to talk about the Hollywood blockbuster kiss-me-at-the-edge-of-the-world kind of love.

And the everyday, let’s-do-the-dishes-together kind of love.

She said to herself:

“I care deeply about helping people STAY in love. I could write about this topic, forever. I want to share what I know.”

So she started blogging and posting inspirational love-notes on Facebook (which, initially, were read by NO ONE).

I asked Maggie:

“How did you find the motivation to keep writing, even though no one was paying attention, yet?”

She said:

“I pretended I was a lighthouse, beaming light and love out into the world.

I pretended that thousands of people were listening.

I wrote as if thousands of people were listening.

I never missed a single post, because I’d be letting thousands of people down!

I imagined that I was changing thousands of people’s lives by sharing my BEST ideas, every day.”

“Finally,” she continued, with a giddy grin spreading across her cheeks, “a few people started seeing what I was doing. They started sharing it with their friends. Then a few more. And now, a few years later, I AM THAT LIGHTHOUSE!”

And so it is.

Modern Married has attracted a community of over 13,000 fanatical readers, and Maggie was recently named one of THE relationship experts to watch by The Gottman Institute — an award-winning company that collects scientific data about marriage and divorce.

Want to work with her? You can’t. Her coaching docket is full ’til forever-ish.

It all happened because Maggie wrote as if the world was already listening.

Moral of the story:

If you want to be “famous,” “successful,” “respected,” “sought-after,” insert-desirable-quality-here …

Operate like the world is already listening.

Perform like a musician rocking out to a packed stadium, even if (in reality) you’re playing to an audience of one. Or … none.

Don’t hold back. Don’t be stingy. Give it your all. BE the lighthouse.

And before too long?

The people who need what you’ve got will arrive.

Gathering to bask in your light.