What’s blogging doing for you? If your answer is “not much,” you’re wasting a huge opportunity to build your writing career. Consider this fact: your blog is YOU. Anyone can look at your blog, and decide how they feel about hiring you, or reading your books, or getting to know you in any way.
Over time, you’ll get more out of blogging than you ever put into it, but blogging is like gardening: you can’t harvest what you never sow. In this article, we’ll look at some blogging tips to build your career. Take them to heart. As I’ve said many times: blogging is instant publishing. You have a potential audience in the millions, as soon as you hit the Publish button. Let your readers know the real you.
I got the inspiration for this article from Heidi Cohen’s The Death Of The Boring Blog, in which she says:
When it comes to blogging, go big or go home. If you can’t allocate the resources a great blog deserves then focus your marketing efforts elsewhere because who needs another boring blog?
1. Put Your BEST Writing on Your Blog.
In yesterday’s Web writing article we talked about the big blogs which publish hundreds of articles a day. You can’t match the majors for volume. You can however be the best version of YOU.
As you know, I coach writers, so I talk with writers every day. Initially, some resist when I suggest they put their best stuff on their blog. You can’t publish what others have paid for, of course. If someone hires you to write, that’s a “work done for hire” and you lose all rights in it.
But what about the writing you do for yourself? While chatting with a writer about a short report he was writing, according to the strategy in “Write Short,” I suggested he posted half of it to his blog. He spluttered: “But I’m SELLING that!”
Yes, he is, and what better way to show potential clients what they’re getting? He’s customizing his reports anyway, so he’s losing nothing. At the very least, the material works brilliantly as a writing sample.
Similarly, one of my students is publishing a series of short stories on Amazon. I suggested he post snippets of his stories while they’re in draft form. His blog, in combination with his mailing list, will get loyal readers who buy his new ebooks as they’re released. The more readers, the more he’ll sell in future, because the quick purchases will promote his ebooks higher in Amazon’s sales rankings, getting even more readers. Success really does breed success.
2. If You’re Just Starting Out, PUBLISH Anyway.
You’re a new writer. You’re hesitant to blog. Blog anyway. Your blog will make you a better writer, because it forces you to publish something for readers. Yes, I know that hitting the Publish button the first dozen times is hard… Do it anyway. To date, this blog has 2,302 posts. Counting this one, 2,303. That’s a lot of posts, but I started this blog in 2006.
You’ll become blasé about publishing over time, and that’s a good thing. You (and I, and every other writer) need to control our internal censor. As Anne Lamott says:
Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here — and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.
Publish – and feel free to make a mess. You’ll get better with every word you write, and publish.
3. Blog to Get Noticed… by Anyone You Choose.
In Make Money Blogging in 2014: 20 HOT Tips, I suggested:
Want attention from an agent or a publication? Mention them in a blog post. Companies and individuals create alerts for their names. However, in case they miss your blog post which mentions them, make contact via email, or social media.
When I started writing for magazines in the 1980s, I could never have imagined anything like blogs. I thought my Apple IIe was AMAZING… and it was, for its time. A whole 64 KB of memory… but I digress.
Today, if I wanted to write for a publication, I’d not only court them by sending them my best ideas in queries, but I’d also blog about them. I’d blog about them at least once a month, while sending queries. I once courted a computer magazine for NINE months, before getting a phone call from the editor. If blogs had existed then, I’m sure he would have contacted me much faster.
I wrote for that magazine for 15 years after my initial contributions, so whatever time I invested in sending queries for nine months was well worth the effort.
Here’s a secret. If you really LOVE a publication, or a website, you can write for them. Just show your enthusiasm in your blogs, and in all your communications with them. Flattery – as long as it’s sincere – works.
In summary, your blog is your most powerful writing tool. Give it the attention it deserves. Write, and publish, and before you know it, you’ll build a writing career beyond your dreams.
The More Things Change, the More Money You Can Make
Today, a Web writer’s job is challenging, because the competition for attention is huge. This can be frightening, or it can be liberating – choose to be liberated.
You’ll make more money from your writing when you become a master content creator on the new Web.
Learn more… and increase your writing income today.
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.