"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alternatives to Social Networking For the Reluctant Writer



If you’re not big on “small talk”, or lack a lot of time to devote to “friending” on Facebook, mingling on MYSPACE, or touching base on Twitter, don’t despair. You’re not alone.

You can still get (paid) gigs, gain name recognition, and “win friends and influence people”. Though social networking certainly has its place in promoting today’s successful writer, it’s not the only way to achieve marketing and “bottom line” goals.

I should know. I only recently overcame my “Twitter Jitters” to sign up.
And I’m embarrassed to add that I almost never use the social networking sites in the average writer’s arsenal of tools.

Whenever I attempt to, I seem to get distracted by viewing all the interesting people’s profiles, visiting wonderful websites I’ve never heard of, and doing everything other than promoting my business and making important connections.
I'm like a kid in a candy store, excited to sample everything!
Not to mention, I don’t always know what to say to strangers to come across as witty and wise. Nor do I understand all the lingo, or the abbreviations. “lol”

Still, my client roster boasts of doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers and other professionals. And just this week I was booked for a speaking gig, to the tune of $200.00.

When I asked the event coordinator how she obtained my information, she said she got it through my profile appearing on a writers’ group website. Not bad, huh?
I’ve said it before, but this bears repeating: success as a writer depends as much upon strategy and time management as it does writing skills.

With this in mind, here are four creative ways to expand your reach and your bottom line, for the “wall flower” writer.

1. Pen quality articles for quality sites. Popular ezines devoted to the writing life typically have thousands of subscribers. This puts your work in front of numerous potential fans, editors, and publishers. In fact, last year, I had my quotes included in two books published through commercial publishers, as a result of articles originally appearing in Funds for Writers and Writing for Dollars.

2. Guest blog on prominent sites. Because of the interactive and popular nature of blogging today, it provides an array of opportunities for linking to your site and landing your name at the top of search engine listings. To increase your odds for acceptance, be sure to read the guest post guidelines appearing on most blogs

3. Join writers' organizations and post your profile online. Be sure that it reflects your most important achievements, any awards or commendations, and works published. Add an attractive photo for additional appeal.

4. Create and maintain a Blog with killer content and valuable resources. My blog that was launched about a year ago, has helped to earn a Page 3 Google rank, a paid blogging gig, and new friends. Yours can too.

Don't be "shy" to follow these four tips. You're sure to find a pot of gold and popularity on your path to writing success.

And don't be too shy to leave a comment...
Thoughts? Favorite strategies?

Image: Idea go

14 comments:

  1. Excellent tips. I need to implement them more thoroughly in the new year. Oh, and congrats on the speaking gig!
    Happy weekend, :)
    Karen

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  2. Thanks, Karen! It's always a pleasure to connect and read your comments. :-)

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  3. I am first here visiting in your site while I'm Glad to say your post very useful to share a great tips for us . Thanks sharing

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  4. Thanks for your tips. I have a question, what do you do when you don't have not reached any awards, commendations, etc.? For example, I've been writing since I was fifteen. I've won two awards for two different stories and I've published a short article in Redbook magazine. But that's all. I feel rather embarassed to have that as an accomplishment. Do you follow? I'm still working on my novel, which I hope to finish soon. But I'd really like to know, how can a novice writer market themselves in this cut throat industry? Thanks in advance for any words you can give me!

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  5. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 20, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    TV Series Planet,

    Welcome! I'm happy you found the info here useful. Thanks for the visit.

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 20, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    Yvonne,

    Where do I begin? :-) I appreciate your honesty regarding your feelings about your work and your progress. But truth be told, just about every writer I know feels that he or she should be "achieving more". Myself included. But don't let it stop you from "achieving more". Without knowing about your current marketing strategies and habits, it's hard for me to assess what you could be doing differently to reach your goals.

    But offhand I'd say to keep at it, stay positive, and read as much as you can by writers whom you consider to be successful. Learn what they're doing and what they're not doing. I hope this helps. :-)

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  7. Thanks, Jennifer, for your recent post. I found Linked In to be a invaluable resource for sources and getting my writing brand out to the business community--both my local community and the global community.

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  8. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Wendy,

    Thanks for sharing this reminder! I am signed up with Linkedin, but very seldom use it.
    Something to consider in the year ahead...

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  9. Jennifer,

    Thanks so much! Oh I'm sticking with it! I'm like the Little Engine that Could! :)

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  10. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 21, 2010 at 3:57 AM

    Yvonne,

    You go girl! I'll be rootin' for ya'...

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  11. Hi Jennifer .. it's being professional in your approach - I'm not an author .. but I love my blog and the 'stories' I write there .. but I'm not brilliant at proof reading and must do better in 2011!

    So thanks for these essential ideas .. have a good festive season - Hilary

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  12. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Hilary,

    I agree--professionalism is essential. Though I think that different people define it differently. Thanks for weighing in. Much appreciated.

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  13. I was once dismayed to see this newbie writer with scads more followers than I on all realms of social networking sites but realized that her writing was just not "there." The best way that I've found to get work is to WORK! The more clips I've accumulated, the more queries I've had accepted. That and a website that lists all my publication credits. While social networking has helped me to find "go to" people for questions I've had, I have not gotten work from hanging out on FB or Twitter. Thanks for the encouragement Jennifer. I really take your posts to heart.

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  14. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 22, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Carol,

    This is great to hear! What a lovely compliment. Thanks much!

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