"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Are you Sabotaging Your Writing Success? Ways We Miss Out On Money...

Ever see the commercials and online ads that would have us believe that many of us may have cash unclaimed just waiting for us? This windfall from an inheritance, class action suit, or closed account unidentified.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the average person wouldn’t dream of bypassing
this hard-to-come-by cash. Yet, freelancers do it everyday, in the form of missed opportunities and operating mistakes.

I discovered this recently while doing online research for some creative projects.

Here are five common oversights that can cost you in your efforts to increase your exposure and your bottom line.

How many of these are you guilty of...?

1. Being a “recluse” when it comes to social media
Like it or not, social media is a powerful communication tool. A “Tweet” from your peeps, or a popular post that goes viral, can catapult you into overnight success and help you to “win friends and influence people.” In addition, it’s great for networking. Sites like Linkedin and FaceBook allow users access to a vast network of professionals. As they say, sometimes “it’s not what you know but who you know that counts.” Your next client or business partner could be awaiting.

2. Not having a website or Blog
I am totally amazed that we are approaching 2013, and there are still numerous writers and creative artists that don’t have their own online spot. Really?
If you are one of them, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Not only does it convey an “amateurish” status, it says that you’re probably not very profitable in your freelance business. Besides showcasing and centralizing your work, a site can allow you to sell products, and make money through advertisers and affiliate programs. Even if you don’t have all the bells and whistles, a modest one can be just as effective. Keep in mind, you can always upgrade later. Go ahead and bite the bullet. :-)

3. Not getting the most bang from your Bio!
Bios, though brief in nature, tell a lot about who you are, your expertise, and your exposure. Ideally, you should have multiple ones for different projects and purposes. For example, when I’m applying for a blogging gig, my Bio reflects top-tier sites that have featured my work. If I’m writing for an anthology project, I make sure to reference my work with Simon and Schuster’s Chocolate for the Heart series. Get my point?

4. Overlooking the compensation provided by contests
Competitions abound. Google “writing contests” and you’ll yield more than a million query results. Contests offer big “pay days” in the way of cash, prizes, books, discounts, and publicity. Here’s a site to get you started: http://writingcontests.wordpress.com/

5. Not updating Blogs on a regular basis
I recently participated (and placed as a finalist) in a popular contest for writers whereby 15% of the total scoring was assigned for blog post frequency. Folks, it’s important. Regularly updated blogs convey a sense of seriousness, and it also helps to sustain followers and fans. Updates need not be lengthy, but they must be quality.

Don’t let missed opportunities cause you to miss out on a profitable career and a promising future.
Are you guilty of any of these? Thoughts?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Hi Jennifer,

    Great reminders. I have been guilty of not trying out contests more. However, just since this month, I entered a few and am waiting on the results. You are right - they are a fun way to earn money and get publicity. I think I have fallen a bit short on my bio too, so I will try to jazz it up a bit. Thanks again for a great post!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM


      I'm so glad to hear about the contests. I certainly hope you win! Good luck with the bios as well. Thanks for your thoughts today.

  2. Thanks for this post Jennifer,

    Oversight nr. 1 Indeed might be something to look into a little more, because currently on my - Writer's Lifestyle - Blog I only have a 'Email this post Button' - while in the settings I did also activate the 'Social Media Icons' - possibly because of some html programming of my own, it now doesn't show up in the posts while on most of my other blogs I do have such 'Social Share Buttons' So thanks for bringing this up.

    I hardly noticed it since I do have those buttons on most of my other blogs and currently most of the Action from Commenters & Repliers is on several of my other Blogs. (possibly because of the fact that I don't have those buttons on that blog :))

    Also making improvements in my Bio is something to think about, I did already made some little improvements some time ago, only it might also be interesting to for example include things like Awards I won and things like that.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM


      Revisiting and revising makes for a better blog experience for bloggers and their readers. Sounds like you're on the "write" path. I appreciate your feedback.

    2. Yes, I am constantly working on improving things, and I just made some new improvements on my Bio/About page, to give you as a reader a little more info about my background.

      Now for example you can read about Creative Competitions I won, and you can also discover why I could actually frequently meet well known Music Artists

      What also might help a little to tickle the curiousity of my readers, to also have a look at my tiny little Vision eBook, that's inspired by my experience working in the Music Business.

  3. Thanks for a great post.

    Number three really got me by the throat. So far my bio was just putting together a few lines. Now I know to tailor my bio differently for the different projects.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 29, 2012 at 6:38 PM


    Consider your bio like a "mini-resume". Make sure that it emphasizes your best skills/experiences. Much luck. Thanks for your time.

  5. Great points! You've jogged my memory; I need to review my bio. It could probably use a tweak or two. Thanks a bunch!

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 31, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for stopping by and weighing in today. Somtimes small "tweaks" can have a big impact. :-)

  7. Thank you for these pointers. I need to update my bio. I have some projects looming that might need one.