It’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK, which means a double posting of bloggy-goodness for you lucky Bang2writers! This time, the theme is Social Media Saturday & Sunday, so here’s some GREAT tips from Matt on how TO use blogging to your advantage as a writer. Tomorrow, I’ll be talking how NOT to use it … Enjoy!
Right around the time I started 6th grade, I had chosen my career. I started out like most kids wanting to be: a firefighter, an astronaut, and maybe even a chef in my spare time. But when I reached that middle-of-the-road in my education, everything sort of fell into place …
… I wanted to be a writer!
It hit me like a ton of bricks, and suddenly all of those other career paths melted away. Of course, we all know that being a successful writer is easier said than done, but today I’m here to show you some ways that you can use a blog to find success in your writing career.
6 Ways a Writer Can Use Their Blog to Find Success
First thing’s first: you need to know how to start and create your blog, but once you have that in place, a whole world of new opportunities open up for you. Suddenly your blog becomes a tool that can be used in a variety of ways:
- Self-Promotion – Market yourself and your writing.
- Hone Your Craft – Practice makes perfect.
- Networking – meet and connect with influential people.
- Learn Valuable Skills – pick up knowledge and know-how that earns top dollar!
- Pitch Your Ideas – throw out some concepts and see what people think.
- Gain a Following – create an army of fans!
If you’re hungry for more details, I’ve got them right here, so keep on reading!
Your Blog is a Giant Billboard with Your Face on It. Use That Potential to Market Yourself, and your Writing!
Your book, poem, and even your screenplay are all one in a sea of millions. Standing out and spreading the word would normally require you to spend a ton of money on marketing, but with a blog, you have the perfect tool to market your work.
Whether it’s posting pieces of what you’re working on, or promoting your latest book via social media, your blog is the platform where it can, and should happen. Always remember though, when working online it’s crucial that you back up your screenplay or novel, just in case. One glitch and you could lose a whole lot.
In his column on Writer’s Digest, Michael Larsen referred to a holy trinity of content as such:
Your blog empowers you to do all of those things and spread the word that you’re the new writer in town. MORE: 10 Reasons Your Blog Sucks
2) Hone Your Craft
The Only Way to Get Better at Writing is to write. Blogging is a Perfect Excuse to Practice and Sharpen Your Proverbial Pen!
Blogs live and die by what is written on them. Besides using yours as a means of promotion, you can also use it as the whetstone for your writing blade. Set up a schedule and post several times a week when you’re not working on your own stories. These posts will give you the chance to put your thoughts down on paper, and they will keep your skills sharp.
Your blog is also the perfect place to find that “writer’s voice” that everyone has. Practicing your skills via blog posts allows you to experiment with different tones and types of writing in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise have time for. Not to mention, the feedback you’ll get from comments and followers will be invaluable in finding your voice and style. MORE: 5 Ways Tweeting Will Make You A Better Writer
3) Network and Meet Influential People
The Internet Connects You to Countless People. Reach out to Other Writers and Bloggers to Build a Network of Influential People.
Blogging connects you to an entire world of people who are in the same pursuit as you. Bloggers are unique in that they work together and network to find mutual success. Whether it’s cross-promoting a post, or sharing some industry advice, we’re good people. Reaching out to other bloggers builds your network, which can lead to some very important introductions.
Let’s say you connect with a blogger, who then puts you in touch with an agent he knows. The agent comes and checks out your blog, they love your stuff and suddenly you have a publishing deal! It sounds too good to be true, but as they say, it’s all about who you know. A blog puts your writing on the map and gives you the chance to build your network like nothing else can. MORE: Connecting With Writers, Filmmakers & Agents Online
4) Pick up Valuable Skills
Before you know it, you’ll be a Master of Blogging Skills, SEO, and More! Those are Valuable Talents that are Always in Demand!
Success very rarely comes overnight. It’s a long and arduous journey down this road, and while you’re getting things up and running, you’re going to need a source of income. Well, you’ll be happy to know that this doesn’t mean working part-time at a dead end job while you pursue a writing career.
Instead, you can use the skills you gain as a blogger to your benefit. You’ll pick up knowledge as you go around things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blog design, and of course, writing. These things can score you some great freelance jobs on websites like Upwork, or on freelance job boards. These sources of income keep you sharp while you use your blog to make your dreams a reality. MORE: How Do I Become A Freelance Writer?
5) Pitch Your Ideas
Got an Idea, But You’re Not Sure it Will Stick? Pitch it to Your Followers and Check out the Feedback!
Once your blog is up and running and you have some people reading it, why not throw out your next big idea? Don’t give it all away of course, but this is a great way to test the waters and see if people would like to read that particular pitch. If not, don’t sweat it, that just means you won’t waste your time and you can really narrow down the options to something that will blow people away!
Knowing that people are interested in a pitch means that all of the time and effort you put into writing, publishing, and promoting is absolutely worth it. MORE: Can I Pitch My Unfinished Projects?
6) Gain a Following
As Your Popularity Grows, so Too Will Your Fan Base. By the Time You’re Ready to Market Something, You’ll already have an Audience Eager to Buy!
There isn’t a single, one-off method by which writers become successful. There are multiple paths to this goal, and blogging is most certainly one of them. One of the goals of any blogger is to grow their audience and bring in a following of subscribers. This goal lines up perfectly with that of a writer.
Whether you have an agent, or you’ve decided to self-publish, you need a following. The fastest and most effective way to gain that crowd of dedicated fans is by growing your blog, promoting the content, and marketing your books to them. As you write more and more, your followers will see you as an expert in what you do (and you’ll feel like one). That means when you ask them to buy your book, they do so without hesitation! MORE: 6 Ways To Build An Audience
Some Final Tips:
Blogging is something that just about every type of career can benefit from, but for writer’s it’s an absolute necessity for success. As you’re getting everything set up, don’t forget to always read other blogs, books, and advice from other successful writers. You don’t exist in a vacuum, and neither does your blog. The biggest lesson of all is to learn to see and utilize the tools you are given.
Thanks for reading and be sure to share your own methods for using a blog to find writing success in the comments below!
BIO: Hey There, I’m Matt Banner, owner and author of On Blast Blog. I’ve been blogging for over a decade now and I’ve managed to turn my passion into a successful career. Of course, it didn’t start that way, which is why I decided to create a place where anyone can come and learn my proven strategies for blogging success. Why worry about possible mistakes or how it’s done? Come visit me today and all of your questions will be answered!
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