"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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You're Good...But Are You Strategic? 10 Tips for Today's Savvy Writer




---“If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

Some time ago, while watching post election coverage, I discovered that political candidates actually hire “strategists” to help navigate their careers and increase their odds of overall success. Imagine that.

When I thought about it, I recognized that many of us writers would also benefit from becoming “strategists” when it comes to elevating our careers, and making the most of our time, talent, and resources.
The savvy scribe realizes that to remain competitive in today’s market, and to be profitable, necessitates much more than a gift for words and a few creative ideas. To go the distance requires ingenuity, insight, and intellect.
“Go big, or go home!” :-)

With this in mind, here are ten ways you can become more strategic and achieve greater writing success to meet your goals in 2013!

1. LOOK BACK
Take inventory. What lessons did you learn from pursuits of the past? Were some editors more problematic than others? Did you spend too much time doing research and not enough writing? Did editing projects prove more profitable than writing creative copy? Examine what worked vs. what didn’t and act accordingly.

2. PLAN AHEAD
Explore Editorial Calendars online, and plan for national observance days in advance. This will enable you to devote quality time to producing quality work, and insure that you don’t miss any important deadlines.

3. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
What is your niche? What do you do better than the “average Joe”? Identify it and hone it!

4. ASSESS THE COMPETITION
With the many perks afforded to today’s creative writer, the field is becoming as fierce as competitive sports. Consider--- who’s at the top of the game in your particular genre of writing? What local businesses or freelance writer offers the same services or has a similar focus or style? How can you become more individualistic? Better? Quicker? Decide then deliver.

5. DIVERSIFY
Dabble in different creative pursuits and genres. The more you do, the greater your perceived value to clients and editors. For instance, if you’re a poet, consider writing greeting card verse. If you write non-fiction, try your hand at professional blogging. And if you are an avid reader, writing reviews can be profitable. Get the idea?

6. JOIN A WRITERS’ GROUP
The support and feedback will propel you to new heights! My participation in C.W.A. exposes me to like-minded individuals with similar goals and lifestyles. We serve as both a cheering squad and sounding board for ideas and projects, and help keep each other motivated and on track. Why not join a group in your local area, or sign up for many of the online groups for writers across the country? Ask other writer friends for recommendations.

7. GET ORGANIZED
The ability to successfully juggle multiple writing projects and thereby create multiple streams of income is best achieved by being organized in terms of your time and resources. Purge outdated files. Clean clutter from your workspace. Start today. Remember that time is money.

8. BUST A MOVE!
When opportunity doesn’t knock, learn to create your own good fortune. For example, if you think that you can fill a void at a particular publication or Website, don’t wait for a position to open. Pitch your ideas to the editor, and explain why you’re uniquely qualified to write that column or cover story. It’s how I got my first paid column writing position.

9. CAST A WIDE NET
Seek guest blogging opportunities, or submit a few pieces to article directories, along with a well-crafted Bio and a link to your site. More exposure for you and your work could bring in potential clients and future fans.

10. WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
Use your email signature line like an electronic business card. Set it up so that it is attached to each outgoing email message. Make sure that it includes your web address, along with the business services you provide and/or your title.

By following these ten tips you’ll have a New Year of new projects, new adventures, and new money!

Your turn.
Any of these tips resonate with you? Agree or disagree?


Image Freedigitalphotos.net

10 comments:

  1. Excellent advice! Timely too, with the end of the year approaching. Point #2 reminds me of some seasonal content I've been wanting to submit. Thanks for the tips and push in the right direction. :)

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  2. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Hi Karen,

    We missed U. :-) Yep, timing is everything. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I agree with all 10 tips, but reading them makes me feel overwhelmed. I think that has something to do with my lack of follow through. If I try to implement all 10 things at once, I might fizzle out. So I'm planning to implement 2 and 7 first (Plan and Organize), that way I can stay on track with all of the rest!

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  4. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Sarah,

    Your comment made me chuckle. :-) Seems like a lot, but you can do it, girl! Why not add #s 9 and 10? I know for a fact that you're already "making the rounds" with your great guest blog posts; as I have read them across the Net. :-) And adding a sig line to your outgoing emails will take all of five minutes. Keep us posted on your progress.

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  5. What great points-- each and every one of them. Yes, it is time to analyze the year (almost) past, and plan for the future. Points 2,8 and 9 are superb pointers on how to get more work. Thanks for a solid article.
    Anjali

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 28, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Welcome back, Anjali! Always a pleasure to get your feedback and connect. :-)

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  9. 'Good Point Jennifer, I do think that now at least
    I am getting a little more Strategic, and
    a little better (Re) Organised....,'


    Because - since my blog was looking a little like an 'Add Farm' with adds in the side bar, and even adds in most of the posts themselves - today I did remove lots of 'Add Clutter' from my blogposts.

    I had been thinking about doing this for a long time, only I did find it a little hard to do because some of those Adds did take me some time to create, with figuring out the right Html Codes for it. For example the ones with a dotted blue border for my 'Laptop Fan Add' and (on an other blog) an Add with a table with 3 different Laptop Stands etc. etc.

    So today I just - Strategically Replaced - them and put them in the side bare, so that at least my blogposts themselves are a little less 'Add Cluttered'.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 13, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    H.P.,

    How lovely! I think you're on the "write" track here. Sometimes less is more. :-) Wishing you much continued success.

    ReplyDelete