Want to get hired to write? It goes without saying that you need a blog; who’s going to believe that you can write unless they see the evidence? Your blog’s the ultimate writing sample.
Over the past week, I’ve had several questions from writers who’re blogging, but can’t seem to get hired, so here are some quick tips.
1. It’s Not About You – It’s About Helping THEM.
Who’s “them”? the people who’ll hire you. Think about the people for whom you want to write.
Let’s say it’s business people in your area. You could call them, and tell them that you’re a writer. If you make enough calls, you’ll get hired. (See my article on “ratio thinking.”) However, that takes time, and once you’ve made a call you need to follow up. If you mention a business on your blog however, that blog post stays live forever. When the people you’ve mentioned Google themselves, they’ll find your blog post.
More to the point, you can send the businesses you’ve mentioned an email message or a tweet – “mentioned you in a blog post”; add the link.
How are you helping them when you do this? You’ve given them a link. All links are valuable. They’re the currency of the Web.
You’ve done them a favor. You haven’t asked for anything in return. They’ll remember you. And eventually, especially if you do more for them without asking for anything, they’ll hire you when they need a writer… and they won’t quibble about your writing fees.
2. Blog the Kind of Material You Want to Get Hired to Write.
What do you want to get hired to write? Let’s say you want to write magazine articles. Write magazine-quality material on your blog. Study the publications for which you want to write, and write stuff that fits with what they’re publishing. Similarly, if you want to write for websites, study what they’re publishing.
As in our first tip – let your targets know when you’ve published something… if you’ve written a short article that’s similar to what Publication X publishes, whizz them an email or send a tweet: “just blogged about X. Let me know if you’d like me to cover it for you.”
3. Be Consistent. Create an Editorial Calendar.
Blog. Consistently. There are many reasons for this. They’ll become obvious to you. Just do it. Create an editorial calendar, or simply decide you’ll blog once a week, and do it.
4. Create Quality Content: Your Entire Blog Is a Writing Sample.
Please, please, please… remember you’re a professional writer. Do your very best with grammar and punctuation. Words are your tools. If you want to break a few rules of grammar to get an effect, go ahead; you need to know what the rules are, however.
Look up words. Seriously. Always know what a word means. It becomes pretty obvious if you don’t. Never use words like enervate without looking them up. If you’re not sure what enervate means, go to Google.com and type: “define enervate” into the search query field. Google provides you with a handy dictionary.
Thanks to Google, you now know that enervate means: to cause (someone) to feel drained of energy or vitality; weaken.
5. Leverage Your Blog to Get Better Paying Clients (and What the Heck, Sell Ebooks.)
Your blog is your most valuable tool. Every week, I get questions from writers about getting better clients. You can use your blog to do that. If you want better clients, work out who those clients are, and mention them on your blog. Then let them know you’ve mentioned them.
Or, write the kind of material they’d publish. Let them know about your posts.
You can leverage your blog to do anything you choose.
In addition to being your writing sample, you can also leverage your blog’s content, once you’ve created enough of it. Let’s say a blog post gets a lot of tweets and retweets. Maybe you could write an ebook about the topic. Why not? Everything on your blog is your content, and you can use it in any way you choose.
Have fun blogging. It will do more for your writing career than anything else. I love blogging, and once you get hired to write via your blog, you will too.
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.