4 Phases to a Successful Online Author’s Life (+ how to become an author)

Last Updated on: June 24th, 2021

4 Phases to a Successful Online Author’s Life (+ how to become an author)

Becoming an author involves 4 phases, and if you’re a blogger, you’re already an author, of sorts…

When you publish a blog post, you are the “author” of that post. But being an author who sells e-books is a completely different story… but it doesn’t have to be.

You can be a blogger or a freelance writer who is also an author!

You don’t have to write fiction; you can write self-help books, motivational books, or anything else that suits your talents and knowledge.

Look at Ryan Biddulph, the guy behind Blogging from Paradise. He’s a blogger who turned most of his blog posts into e-books… and earns passive income from his book sales!

Look at Alicia Rades. She’s a freelance writer who is also a fiction author.

Look at me. I self-published a book of short stories (Risky Issues)… just to see if I could actually figure out the whole self-publishing process on my own. In fact, a blind man motivated me to make it available in print instead of just as an e-book.


After learning the steps of the self-publishing process, I then helped this blind man (Maxwell Ivey) self-publish not one but two books. Take a look at his books! One is an 11-step guide to business success. The other is an easy-to-follow guide to weight loss success.

This is the final cover for Max's ebook, Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light.

cover image for It's Not the Cookie, It's the Bag

Now, look at Dave Chesson. He’s a guy who became a best-selling author… by writing under pen names (pseudonyms), which, unfortunately, he won’t reveal to you here.

However, he will reveal the different stages he has gone through as both an online writer and an author… so that YOU can see where YOU are currently at… if you want to become an author too.

***Note that I can help you, as I offer author assistant services in addition to my writing and editing services!***

Take it away, Dave!

4 Phases to a Successful Online Author’s Life (+ how to become an author)

The Four Stages to Being an Online Writer and Author

Have you ever thought to yourself:

What’s it like to become a successful online writer?

What was it like when they started, and how did they finally “figure it out”?

Well, the truth is, the path is never a straight line, nor is it the same for everyone.  However, there are some key points in every successful writer’s life that can not only help you reach your success but help to identify where you are on your quest.

I’m Dave Chesson, and it was only 3.5 years ago that I made a decision that has truly changed my life for the better.

In this article, I’m going to show you the four most critical phases to an author’s life, and how one can move from a hobbyist to a top professional writer.

Phase 1: Denial

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was trying to figure out this whole “online thing.”  Is it real?  Can I really make money online?  Or is it just another hoax from some slick-haired salesman?

The truth is, I couldn’t wrap my head around how a military guy stationed in Korea with no formal writing education could create money or income out of thin air.

But the truth is, it really was possible.

During this phase though, I wallowed in doubt and dragged my feet.  Instead of just diving in, I’d dip my toe in the water over and over again.

But then it happened.  An article I wrote that had Google AdSense on it got clicked.  I had just turned time into profit.

Finally, the water was lukewarm and I was ready to jump in.

Signs that you are in this stage:

  1. You’re not sure if it’s possible
  2. You fear that it’s not for you
  3. You’re unsure of how to begin

How to move past this phase: Every person will have a minimum requirement of proof before they’ll believe. For me, it was that first dollar – small, I know.  However, it’s important that if you’re in this phase, you define what it will take before you believe online writing can meet your goals – both financially and personally.

Phase 2: Earnings Growth

Once I had proven to myself that online writing could lead to profit, I quickly ramped up my efforts and began to really focus on crafting my newfound art.

As a newfound writer, I started taking any job or gig I could.  I wrote a bunch of guest posts, ghost-wrote some articles, and even started making a niche website.

However, in my personal development, I was all over the place reading article after article on things like traffic generation, SEO, blog writing styles, how to create clickable titles, etc.

It felt like the more I learned, the more I realized I didn’t know anything.  The internet is a wonderful and terrible place with all of its free information and billions of authorities.

This was the most frustrating state of all.  I had tasted success with that first dollar and subsequent writing gigs, but I was quickly feeling overwhelmed with everything I thought I needed to learn.

Signs that you are in this stage:

You feel overwhelmed

You’re not sure where to forge your path

You’re making some money but not enough to call it “income”

It feels like your spinning your wheels but not getting anywhere

How to move past this phase: Trying to do everything all at once will get you nowhere.  You’re going to feel like you’re working overtime but not gaining ground.  That’s why you need to do two things:

  1. Focus on one skill, tactic or strategy at a time.
  2. Develop that one thing, master it, and then move on.

Skills, not effort, is what creates online success and you don’t develop a true skill by hitting everything at once and spending a little time here or there. Focus and move forward.

Phase 3: I’ve Got This

For me, I realized that my ONE skill was Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  With this skill, I could write articles that would not only rank very well in Google, but would also drive lots of traffic to it.

I could now build websites, gain traffic and earn money from it all.  It was time to ramp up my efforts and build-out.

Using my skills and keyword knowledge, I started building out my own niche websites, and making online efforts that had direct returns.   I stopped taking odd-and-end jobs for others and started building something for myself – my own online business.

However, I wasn’t exactly happy. Sure, niche websites were fun and great assets to create.  But, this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do for the foreseeable future.  It was time for me to really figure out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be online.

Signs that you are in this stage:

You’ve got direction

You can take your skill and multiply its results with general ease

Your income from online work is starting to really add up

How to move past this phase:  In truth, you don’t need to move past this phase.  Some people are happy at Phase 3 and just continue to build out.  But I personally wasn’t.  I had direction but I didn’t have purpose.  Therefore, if you want to move past this phase, then really look at what it is you’re passionate about, where you can add difference in the online world, and how you can use your skills to make it happen.

Phase 4: Defining Who I Am As an Author

Till this phase, I had been in general obscurity.  I was a no-named writer who was turning his work into profitability, but hadn’t yet felt as though I had a purpose online.

Plus, I really didn’t have a voice.  I could write to address pain points, or reach a particular market, but there was no “me” in the articles or work.

That’s when I started Kindlepreneur.com, my flagship and authority website.

Because I started an authority website, I now had to be a “face” of an organization and learn about branding.  More importantly, I had to develop an online voice and a position in an already existing market.

Therefore, I can tell you, that Kindlepreneur articles are very detailed oriented, with actionable advice, and full of the tools and tips needed for self-publishing and marketing of books. They are also full of nerd humour.

Why is this important?  Because, through the creation of this website, I discovered that this is what I love doing.  I have direction.  I get to be myself.  And more importantly, I have a lot of fun doing it!

Kindlepreneur has grown to about 55,000 unique visitors per month thanks to the lessons I learned in all four phases.  It’s not only helped to grow my online business, but also helped me to hone my writing skill and find the writing voice I had been searching for.

The Phases

The phases I listed above can be different for many people.  Some people can pass right by one of the phases, while others will wallow in one for years (I know I did).

But the difference between those that fail and those that succeed is that, no matter what challenge or what phase you’re in, you keep with it, and push forward.

There were many times where I felt stuck – especially in Phase 2 – but I knew I was on the right path.  Through diligence, self-discipline and effort, I finally reached all four phases, and feel as though I’m comfortable with where I am and where my writing is taking me.

So, which phase are you in?  Where are you feeling stuck?  Write in the comments below and let’s help each other out.

How to Become an Author

It’s simple, really.

Write something. Then publish it.

Let Loraine help you. Follow the steps to self-publishing listed on her Author Assistant Services page.

And drop us a comment below!

image of Dave Chesson

Dave is the lead writer at Kindlepreneur.com, a website devoted to teaching advanced book marketing tactics.  He and his team have put together a page of helpful tools to help you, including Publisher Rocket and other helpful tools you can use. You can also connect with Dave on Facebook and/or Twitter.

25 thoughts on “4 Phases to a Successful Online Author’s Life (+ how to become an author)

  1. Australia Assignment Help says

    I am working in assignment writing services provider company and now i am thinking for become book writer. Your tips for become an author are very useful for me to start my journey as Author.

  2. says

    I think the more you read the more knowledge you will get and then only one can get the power to write something own. Thanks for this wonderful share..

  3. Louis says

    SEO is definitely important for a blog, but most bloggers would love to blog for their readers instead of the Search Engine but definitely they need to know them SEO.

    • says

      Jakob, it sounds like you are a new blogger! Is this correct?

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Being in phase one means you’ve got a jump start against everyone else, actually, because now that you know the steps, you also know how you need to progress. You don’t have to make the same mistakes everyone else did along the way. You have a clear path to where you want to get to! Right?!

      And with Dave’s help, now your path is even clearer. 😉

  4. It is all about experience who took by a normal writer to become an author, thank you for introducing and sharing different phases of an authors life to become a author and successful online writer.

  5. Vikash Kumar says

    Its a Great Article Post about Successful Online Author. i am also Online Author but not Successful like you 🙂
    Keep sharing your ideas. Your valuable ideas will help newbies(like me) to grew up into professionals.This ideas will make newbies to become more efficient in the field.

    Vikash Kumar recently posted…Top 20 Amazing Google Chrome Extension For Seo

    • says

      Hi Vikash.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this.

      Wording Well caters to newbies such as yourself. I hope you take the time to check out the Resource Kit page. It has a bunch of good posts there that are sure to help you.

      As for writing and blogging, keep it up! Don’t be discouraged when you see others’ successes. Instead, learn from them. Remember, we all had to start at the beginning, too.

      P.S. See you on Facebook! 😉

  6. Hi Lorraine and Dave,

    To become an author, it takes a lot of dedication and the time. People write the blog posts but are they all good with that? I don’t think so.

    Ryan has achieved a lot from his tremendous work of writing. To get the growth in an online business, you have to have the patience and the writing skills matter a lot.

    Even I was seeking for that online thing in my previous days. It was scary but now it seems great.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Hope you both are having a nice time.
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…40 Incredible Ways To Increase Facebook Page Likes?

    • says

      Ravi, are you a published author? A successful online writer? How would you classify yourself?

      And what writing phase (as listed in this post) are you in?

  7. Hi Lorraine and Dave,

    Lorraine, thanks for the awesome shout out.

    Dave, thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I hear you on Step 2. Big time. We usually hit an author block there because most human beings have weird/limiting money blocks, which manifest as self-sabotaging through your eBook writing and promoting campaign. I only had like 43,098,856 limiting beliefs around money. So I didn’t struggle too much LOL.

    I’m kinda in reverse with writing in my voice versus pain points. I wrote from a branded, one of a kind space for years and skipped the pain points. But over the past few months I’m hitting pain points regularly and see profits increasing across all my income streams, like blog coaching, my eBook course, freelance writing and of course, thru my eBooks too.

    Love your message Dave. Thanks for taking the time to lay out the 4 phases in great detail.

    Sending mad props to you and Lorraine from Istanbul.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How Being Sandwiched Between 2 Turkish Brothels Corrects Your Biggest Blogging Mistakes

    • says

      Ryan, I also love how Dave has laid out these phases. I’ve been in each one at some point, too. And I am currently writing a book to help others overcome their suicidal thoughts. It’s one of the toughest things I have written, because of the memories that keep popping up in my head from my dark days…

      But… I’VE GOT THIS. 😉

      Thanks for your comment and the shares. 🙂

  8. Kimsea Sok says

    Hey, Lorraine!

    How are you doing today?

    I found the post on Facebook then here. It’s a nice guest post, anyway!

    When I first got online and started blogging, one thing I knew about it is blog make money. I’m almost the same to you, Dave. However, I didn’t find myself as fast as you did. I spent a long way with blogging and travel around my passion, but I didn’t where or what it was until I became a jobless.

    Love what you said here. The most you learn, the more you confuse the knowledge. It seems nothing to you learnt, but think when you on a boat and leave the land. You’ll be able to see the land when you are close to it, but it’ll disappear when you were so far from the land. Me too.

    I want to write an ebook and try many times, but I still cannot publish it. I end up with losing %50 of my whole book. I don’t what exactly the problem, but seems a big barrier between me and writing. This month I’ve set up a home studio and I will on the video training.

    Writing a book is on the way. I don’t know where it is, but at least I have to get 2 books published this year.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Kimsea Sok recently posted…How To Become A Freelance Writer Even If You Are Bad At Writing

    • says

      Kimsea, thanks for your comment. Dave will surely reply later. He’s a pretty busy guy.

      I wish you luck with your books. Make sure you hire me to edit them! 😉

      Surely you’ll improve your English by using an editor as well as free tools like Grammarly.

      It’s great that you have set up a home studio! That’s wonderful!

      Having a designated space to work is paramount to success, in my opinion. 🙂

      I have two different desks in my home. I use each one for a different purpose.

      By the way, I corrected a few of your spelling mistakes in your comment. Barriers exist for many people. You’re not alone!!!

      • Kimsea Sok says

        Lorriene. I read your comment and thanks for correcting and suggestion.

        You know? I’m always looking for a blogger friend who comment the mistakes of English as I exactly want to know it. I put specific plan for improving English, but doesn’t much improve. However, It’s better than last 4 or 5 years. though.

        I have many topic of Ebook writing in my mind and tries to write those many times, but I’m afraid to write. I looked your editing and author assistance service. You know what? I was impressed.

        I thought we’re going to work together soon.
        Kimsea Sok recently posted…KLEO – A Flexible Premium WordPress Theme for Every Business

        • says



          Here are some corrections: My name is Lorraine. Not Lorriene. 😉
          Also, you mean, “I think we are going to work together soon.” NOT “I thought…”

          I’m happy to help those who are GENUINELY interested in improving their English! And I really like that you are happy when I correct you. Most people are too sensitive to have me publicly correct them.

          Go ahead and write those e-books! Your mind is filled with great ideas and a lot of knowledge. I’ve read your blog posts. I know. 🙂

    • Dave Chesson says

      Fully understandable Kimsea. But do remember, it took me 3.5 years to get to where I am – that time doesn’t include all the writing development that I learned through other training…it was the practice and devotion on the ‘online’ writing that made that next step.

      Good luck with the next book!

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