Guest post from Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur
Freelance writing is an excellent way to supplement your income, and it can even blossom into a full-time career if you put in the necessary work. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, studying at university, or simply trying to figure out what to do with your career, writing could be an ideal job. And if you constantly seek to sharpen your research and writing skills, you can build a client base to be reckoned with. This quick guide will show you how to get started!
Learn About the Field
If you have never worked as a freelance writer before, you might benefit from researching the field. Look for other writers who have found success, check out their portfolios, read their blogs, and learn everything you can about the business.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to other writers to ask any questions you may have. Take time to diligently research how the industry works so that you can start getting your first jobs quickly.
Take a Self-Assessment
You don’t need a formal education to succeed as a writer (though it can help), but you need to possess a few specific skills and tools if you hope to start strong. For example, you must organize all of your tasks and projects while keeping track of client information, billing requirements, content schedules, prompts, and so forth.
You also need to know how to write an effective blog post. Perhaps the best thing you can do is spend time reading as many blog posts as possible to get a feel for the styles, formatting, and other components clients will expect.
If you are looking to write your own books or e-books, read as many books as possible with the intent of paying attention to syntax, story development, and any other prevalent elements of the prose. Of course, you don’t have to create your own content; you can make money by ghostwriting books, blog posts, landing page copy, and many other mediums.
If you are trying to get into digital marketing, you will need to learn about content marketing. Companies use content to promote their products and services. Sometimes, this can come in blog posts, landing pages, infographics, email newsletters, and many other formats.
Determine If You Need Extra Training
While you don’t need formal training or education to become a writer, it comes with benefits. By pursuing an English degree, you could learn many of the skills necessary to become a successful writer while improving your credentials. Majoring in communications, linguistics or journalism are other pathways worth considering.
You shouldn’t expect to make a full-time income immediately after deciding to become a writer. You will likely need to take on any project that comes your way—paid or unpaid. This allows you to practice your craft while helping you get your foot in the door of the writing industry. In other words, say yes to everything.
Speaking of practice, it is the best way to improve your writing. Studying can go a long way in teaching you how to put together an impactful blog post, book, or other written format, but only practice can allow you to find your rhythm and sharpen your skills with each piece.
Build a Portfolio
Finally, create an online portfolio for your writing. While you want your website to look as attractive as possible, don’t stress too much about its appearance. Focus on the content and add new writing samples and works to your portfolio as you complete them. Once you have a few assignments to showcase, you can start sprucing up your site a bit.
Whether you want to make a little extra money or forge a full-time career, the writing industry is brimming with opportunity. Keep the tips above in mind as you lay a firm foundation for your job and keep researching how you can position yourself to flourish in the months and years ahead. In no time, you could make a living out of your passion!
Self-publishing a book can be a thrilling and wonderful experience, you have worked hard on your book and after editing, polishing, and pulling together many services, your book is uploaded and available to buy on Amazon and other bookstores.
But now what?
It may well be the case that you are not yet working from your laptop while lying in a hammock upon a tropical beach, not yet anyway. It’s a dream that many have but by simply uploading your book to Amazon and keeping your fingers crossed won’t necessarily lead to massive success. If you take the example of most big-name authors, they got where they are today by a lot of hard work as well as having creative talent.
So, now that you have published your book, what do you do next?
Well, it’s quite clear that if you really want lots of individuals to read your book, you’ll need to shout about it and tell as many people as you can. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do this, and not all of them cost a fortune either.
But before you start to post anything or plan ad campaigns, you will need to get some images/designs ready to use for your book’s advertising.
And with this comes the key word, consistency. Being consistent with your ‘branding’ is important, if you want your book to be seen as professional and taken seriously by readers, the way in which you represent it will be important. Now, you don’t have to spend thousands on doing this, but using high quality images of your book’s cover, banners which look professional and quality images/designs for your ads will make a difference.
If you are unsure of what to use or how a professional design should look, go to your favorite author’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page, and see how they have their banners and ads, you’ll notice that everything is consistent and is fitting for their profile, it keeps their image as a professional author and inspires confidence from those who may want to buy their books.
So, consistent banners, posts, images, and ads should be a starting point, having materials to help you promote your book in this era of social media and having a professional online presence is important. Once you have your designs ready, you next need to look at where you’re going to promote your book.
The first choice that many authors consider will be social media, Facebook is a great place to start (although it is certainly worth noting that many younger readers are leaving Facebook and using platforms such as TikTok instead, so be wary of who your intended age group is). Next to Facebook will be Instagram and Twitter, these accounts are free to set up and worth creating separately from personal ones, and I would recommend keeping your author profile separate from your personal one. Having a separate account will enable you to project an image which is fitting for an author within your genre, it keeps things on a professional level and avoids anything embarrassing caused by a personal post which you may later regret.
From these accounts you can plan advertising campaigns as well as posting daily, they offer incredibly controllable adverts where you can fine tune who you want to see the ad down to the smallest of details, when done correctly this will put your book in front of the right people.
Next it’s worth considering your own website, there are plenty of options for self-build website services out there (we also created a post about this, and several of the services available which you can read here Websites for authors). The great thing about having your own website is that you have so much more control over what you can place upon it and how you choose to interact with your readers. You can also offer promotions, sell copies of your book directly from it, keep your readers updated with what is going on via a blog, and create an email list for marketing purposes.
A website is a great option for any author who wants to level up with their publishing journey, they cost a lot less than you may realize and don’t usually require any knowledge of coding either. Again, as with the social media element, you will need to ensure that your website’s branding and theme relate professionally to your book/s and for you as an author, if you are unsure of what an author’s site should look like, check out your favorite author and those within your own genre (a quick Google search will bring them up).
Advertising via Amazon is something that more and more authors use to self-promote, and like social media ads, it is very controllable and easy to get started with, we wrote an article specifically on Amazon advertising which you may want to check out for further information.
Another option to gain interest in you as an author is in creating a serialized book via Kindle Vella, there are some limitations (as in you can’t just take one of your existing books, break it down chapter by chapter, upload to Kindle Vella and still have it available as a whole book elsewhere). But, starting something new that you update each week, is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to a completely new audience and then bring them across to your other books. If you are interested in using Kindle Vella, check out our article on what you need to know about Vella.
Book signings and in-person events are still thin on the ground, and in this current climate it may be best to hold on until things get better. But you have the option to do things virtually, streaming book readings or going live for your fanbase where you can interact and answer questions etc. is still a great option and will encourage more people to participate. There are also countless podcasts looking for authors to interview, you can either contact those that interest you, or get in touch with one of the many services which provide guests to podcasts (yes, this is a service now).
Guest blogging on websites related to publishing and indie authors can be a great way to get your book in front of a larger audience, make sure that you choose sites which are relevant to your genre and your readers, and be polite when you contact the site’s owners, most will offer a link back to either your book or your own website.
Use Goodreads, register as an author, make sure you fill out your profile and upload a profile image. This is a great forum to be active on, you can post promotions and keep your readers informed as to what offers you have and publicize events that will be of interest to them.
There are also many places where you can promote your book online for wither free or a small fee, lots of them tend to be aimed towards eBooks or lower priced books, however, we have a list of ten sites to promote your book that you may want to consider, all to help get further awareness of your book out there.
Offering promotions to your best fans (those who interact with you the most etc.) is also a great way to increase your presence, using your own website and social media channels you can promote advance copies of you new book or sneak peeks at the first couple of chapters. You could run competitions with your readers to post images of themselves with your book upon your social media pages, the funniest winning an advance copy of your new book, there is a great deal you can do with this, so get creative.
So, in 2022 and even with the current global restrictions that we still find ourselves in, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your book a success, and you never know, maybe in 2023 you’ll be writing from a hammock on a tropical beach.
Book cover designers.
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