Do YOU Have the One Critical Factor of Success for Writers? [Casestudy]

    Success as a writer?

    If that’s what you want, read on.

    I don’t usually talk much about my success because I don’t like to boast.

    However, a short while ago I was in Montreal attending a Mastermind weekend, organized by Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing. When I told the group about my story as a writer – and added that I don’t like talking about it publicly because it’s like boasting – they jumped on me.

    “No, no – this isn’t boasting. You’ve got that totally wrong! I feel really inspired by your story!” said Laura Leigh Clarke, a bright spark from England.

    Gary Korisko (who writes for WTD) chimed in: “Yes, you must write about it. Just forget about your hangup, MJ!”

    And so it went on.

    As you can see, these guys really put pressure on me. So I’m going to share with you a snapshot of just one day in my life as a writer (because it shows what happens if you get the one, critical factor right).


     This is what happened (and it could happen to you too).


    A couple of months ago, I checked my emails in the early morning and saw an email from Anita Chaudhuri, editor of Psychologies, a British magazine. It was a contact message from my blog GoodlifeZEN:

    Hi Mary, I wonder if you could drop me an email with your contact details? I am an editor at Psychologies magazine in London. I came across your blog post on Beginners Mind and wondered would you be interested in slightly revising that material for an article in our magazine. We’re planning a whole special on Beginnings for our next issue.

    Do let me know if interested.

    Anita Chaudhuri

    I said I was interested –  but I TOTALLY misread the situation.

    Firstly, I thought this was going to be a no-fee project where the upside for me was to get more subscribers for Goodlife ZEN. As it turned out, this gig was worth over 600 US dollars!

    Secondly, I thought that Psychologies was a small, insignificant magazine. In fact, as I was traveling at the time, I left writing the article until a week before the deadline.

    Then my travels took me to England.

    When I arrived in England and casually asked in the airport bookstore whether they sell the Psychologies magazine, I got a shock!

    The Indian salesman gave me a strange look and said, “Indeed we do, Madam! It is very popular.”

    He then led me to where a huge pile of Psychologies magazines dominated the magazines section.

    The magazine he held out to me was fat, glossy, and irresistible. Definitely not an ‘insignificant magazine’!


    I rushed to my cousin’s house and started writing and revising. I didn’t want to blow this opportunity – especially since my article was going to be the lead article for the edition …

    Finally, I got the article to where I wanted it to be and sent it off. Anita emailed me:

    “Just to say we’re really happy with the article!”



    But that wasn’t all…


    The same morning I got the invitation from Psychologies, I also got an email from a new mentoring client. She applied to take part in my three-month Personal Mentor Program for bloggers. (This three-month mentoring program is worth $2,400.)

    And of course, the six-figure online business I built on the back of my blogs, A-List Blogging, puts income daily into my bank account.

    Suffice it to say, as a writer, I’ve managed to create amazing paid gigs for writing, a comfortable income, and a lifestyle others can only dream of.


    How did I do it (and how can you achieve it too)?


    That’s the key question here. And the answer is very simple.

    The success I enjoy today came about because I took one, small, seemingly insignificant step back in 2008:

    I started a blog.

    The result right now is that ..

    • I can laugh about money worries (after being deep in debt before I started blogging).
    • Opportunities for top paid gigs land at my doorstep without any struggle or effort on my part.
    • I can work from anywhere (the photo above was taken on my recent trip to India).
    • And I’ve made wonderful friends through my online work.


    But what about becoming a better writer?


    Well, let me just say that I wouldn’t have been able to produce the kind of top quality article that the magazine Psychologies demands before I started blogging.

    The reason is simple: blogging gives you a lot of practice.

    And practice makes you a better writer.


    How to create an author platform


    A lot of writers have been emailing me recently with questions about creating an author platform. I think that in today’s publishing landscape, it’s crucial to have an author platform – because that’s how agents and publishers find you (the way the Psychologies magazine found me is a perfect example).

    The easiest way to create an author platform is through building a blog that showcases what you write – whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

    In answer to many pleas from writers on how to get started with their author platform, I’ve created a course, called Kickstart your Blog, which enables everyone to start a blog easily (and without having to know geek-speak!).

    Click here to check out Kickstart your Blog

    I’m passionate about opening doors to success for writers! It’s so much easier now than it was in the past.

    You just have to know how to find success. I’m hoping that this webinar will give you some clear pointers.

    What are your experiences with having a blog? How has this helped you as a writer? (Please share in the comments).

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Hi,it’s me,Lady.

      This is a very intresting article on blogging,with my diary at,I get practice a lot,when it comes to writing,whether it’s my days to days,letters,or short stories(I’m working on a short story for my-diary right now)
      Enjoyed the article!
      LadyLagoon-the Italian Chick/Aspi/Manager/Diary Writer/Storyteller/

    • Irwin says:

      I’m glad you caved in to the pressure and wrote this post, Mary. It’s something any writer would enjoy reading. More importantly, it’s very inspiring. I’m a total nobody and all I have going is my passion for writing. Hopefully, this thing (and the travels) happens to me one day. 🙂

    • I started my blog and website (The Uncommon Veterinarian) about a year ago after reading a lot of this stuff about developing a platform, and I can honestly say that I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised with how well it has turned out so far. I’ve been accepted into a small group of “movers and shakers” within the veterinary profession, and people naturally turn to me for advice and input. I’ve been invited to speak at several national events, and I know that I would have an easy foot in the door with a number of publications if I ever start pursuing some freelance writing gigs.

      Yes, it’s often difficult to maintain the inspiration to keep writing week to week, but I’m still excited to see where this whole thing goes.

    • Ion Doaga says:

      Your story motivates, Jacky. And yes, I also feel like speaking about your success is like boasting, but really your story may motivate someone who is lost on the road which you already went through. Your story may help someone. If it helps at least one person, that is alread valuable.


    • Arbaz says:

      Congratulations on your many success Mary and I hope that it just comes on and on in the future.
      I wonder when I will be able to do such things 😉

    • I have lots of ideas for blogs, but I keep letting it go to focus on my writing. Great intentions, you know?
      So need ways to get them done quickly.

    • Congratulations on your many successes, Mary!

    • Ali Jayne says:

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you for sharing a part of your story…I personally, would like to hear the whole kit & kaboodle!
      Also, congratulations on your story featuring in Psychologies magazine!

      I am super excited about the second showing of the webinar tomorrow evening, and appreciate that you are offering this to us free of charge 🙂 I am too hoping that this will give me some clear pointers!

      My experiences so far with my blog is that I love writing for it and have copious amounts of material in draft form…I get a little bogged down in the editing of a post (usually 1-2 hours each one…my own form of OCD usually centered around appearance!).

      Blogging has definitely helped me as a writer by giving me a new focus and “instant” publishing recognition (even if only I know it’s there!).

      I have noticed that writing a blog and writing a story, or writing a blog and writing a memoir, are all different skills. A blog has a different rhythm, a different tone, to writing anything else – as well it should! So far, I’m enjoying the process, enjoying learning a new medium, and feeling so excited to be “published”.

      Some of my sticking points with the blog are the technical aspects – which addons to use, which subscribe options to use, comments forms, etc… and I also have too many ideas for other blogs I want to start – TIME is definitely a bit of a problem for me… I need to replace my day-job with my writing income, and soon(!), so I have time to start and maintain all the other writing projects I want to make happen!!!

      I’m feeling hopeful that your webinar will help with this! 🙂

      Thanks again…
      “See” you tomorrow 🙂
      Ali Jayne

    • Great story, Mary. Thanks for your generosity in sharing. It’s true that we have to sometimes “toot our own horn” if it serves as inspiration to others and helps them to overcome obstacles. BT/W/ I love the photo! 🙂

    • Your advise on this blog is invaluable. A lot of students now a days have trouble writing so these factors can really help them to get great writing skill. For more info you can go to

    • Denise Loughlin says:

      I agree with bright spark Laura Leigh Clarke,from England. and Gary Korisko – share your success! It’s inspiring! Showing how the steps you’ve followed to accomplish your goals can be used as a framework with real world proofs are priceless referents. Inspiring, authentic, practical – thank you, Mary. Looking forward to the webinar!

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