"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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to Use Blogging to Build Your Writing Business and Your Income!


Any writer who has been in this industry for a while, knows all too well the feast or famine cycle. Here’s the script: one month your writing income finances a big flat-screen T.V. with fancy features. The next month, you’re surviving off Ramen Noodles, and praying for loose change under couch cushions. There are more fluctuations than with the stock market.

Inconsistent, sporadic pay can produce stress. And stress can lead to writer’s block. And writer’s block can block your cash flow, which leads to more stress.

There’s a better way.

If you’d like to angst less, and add another income stream to build your writing business and your bottom line, consider the benefits of blogging.

Since I added blogging-related services to the creative offerings I provide to my clients, it has increased my income considerably. And it can for you too.

WHY BLOGGING…?
Today’s savvy writer recognizes the importance of offering ancillary services to remain competitive and “stay in the black.” For this reason, you’ll often find writers who also provide photography, or edit other writers’ works, or do coaching on the side. Of the many creative options available, blogging gives you more “bang” for your buck. Here’s why it makes sense to incorporate it in your writing business.

Quicker pay. Instead of writing feature articles that pay upon publication, (which can be any where from a couple of months to a year), many times blogging gigs pay upon acceptance. In Ghost Blogging, it gets even better. Typically clients pay a deposit before work begins.
It’s less time consuming. Though it varies depending upon the type and scope of project, comparatively speaking, it’s quicker to pen posts than to write articles. Consider that the average blog post is 400-800 words, and requires little, (if any) research. This enables you to “work smarter, not harder” and successfully juggle various creative assignments without detriment.
Blogging “is the new black.” Once considered merely a medium for sharing rants and showcasing creative hobbies, blogging has evolved into a powerful marketing tool used by businesses to expand their customer base; by authors, to build a platform, and by organizations seeking to promote charitable causes. This makes it a skill that’s in high demand.
 
 
Here’s what a few other freelancers have to say about blogging and its impact on their careers.
“I have not yet incorporated it into my business, so I can’t give you a bottom line figure, but I do know more and more businesses and not-for-profits are creating blogs, and at a recent business networking meeting, the only writing anyone talked about hiring for was blog writing. So I think it is potentially useful. I do think, however, that one should probably pick a topic one loves or wants to learn about, as I doubt anyone will ever pay enough for blog entries to make it worth the time if you have to start from scratch for every topic — because the research can take a lot of time if you don’t know the subject area.”
Cynthia Clampitt, President of Midwest Writers Association

As a writer, blogging has helped sharpen my skills, tighten my writing, and connect with
writers and others who I might not have met otherwise. Guest posting on other blogs
has had its benefits as well. Both have generated exposure and work in a number of areas.”
Karen Lange, Author and online writing instructor

Now that we’ve covered “why” professional blogging works, here’s how to work it!
Start at home base.
Construct your own blog. The best way to hone your voice, build your “blogging chops” and establish your expertise, is to create a quality site that enhances your online image and demonstrates your skill to potential clients and editors. In the beginning of my blogging career, I actually set up an “experimental” site where I tested design schemes, gadgets, and functionality. I credit this trial and error experience for the success of my current blog.

Have a strategy plan in place.
How will you create a buzz about your blog? Where will you do guest posts? What type of clients will you target? What kind of services will you provide? The clearer you are, the fewer detours you’ll have on the road to success.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, create your own “luck.”
Though blogging jobs are abundant these days, there’s great competition for the ones listed at popular writers’ sites. For this reason, I have been known to periodically approach companies that I’ve researched online to “pitch” my blogging services. This strategy also works well for your existing client base, if they already have a site, but have difficulty producing quality content on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the benefits outlined here, there’s one more smart reason to add blogging to your business plan: it’s fun. Blogging is a great way to mix business with pleasure, and increase your earning potential in the future.

Questions?
How has blogging impacted your bottom line or your creative opportunities this year?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

6 comments:

  1. What a surprise it was to hop over and find my quote in the post! Thank you, Jennifer. I'm honored. :) I agree with you; blogging is a great complement to our writing careers. Looking to get more proactive in approaching businesses. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. See, I do "listen". :-) Thanks for weighing in...as always. I value you.

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  2. One thing blogging does for me it that it keeps me writing. And writing tight. That helps me when I'm writing to sell. And the feedback I get from readers is more immediate on my blog and keeps me motivated. In addition, I feel more "out in the real world" with blogging which helps negate that lonely feeling writers sometimes fall prey to. Great post, Jen!

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  3. Good feedback, Sue. I love the interaction that blogs provide and the sense of community. Great to hear from you today.

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  4. Yes, developing a good (Marketing) Strategy can be helpful. I started Blogging with a Travel Blog, with a Postcard - or Greeting Card type of writing, to keep friends and family posted.

    You can also frequenty discover a more Business type approach, when I blog about Books I am Enthousiastic about. Especially when I actually write Book Reviews, about them, (Pre) Selling such books.

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