Writing 101: Why Stop at Writing Books?

You use social media to promote your books. You maintain a blog. You engage fans, you post on forums, you comment on blogs. You could still be doing more to boost your image as a writer...because you could be writing other things. Why stop at being an indie author, when you can be a freelancer, too?

An Author By Any Other Name...

Working as a freelancer is a great way to get your name out there. Even when you're not promoting your books directly, you're still promoting yourself as a writer if you're publishing content for others to read. The articles you create don't have to be related to your books, writing or even your genre in any way, but it's much easier to cross-promote your freelance articles if they are. 

Self-published authors have a lot of information to contribute about book writing, formatting for ebooks, self-promotion, social media -- well, you know all the stuff you've learned in your journey as an indie author. Look for topics that somehow relate to your genre or your audience, and write freelance pieces about that as well. For example, a children's book author might write about educating kids, or kids activities. Mystery authors might write about true crime and current events (banner trials, for example, create highly promotable articles). 

But even if you aren't writing anything that relates to your books in any way, you're getting your name out there -- and you're getting good writing experience. Good experience can't be underestimated. I once wrote an article for author and friend of blog Annalisa Crawford on the topic of weight loss. There's nothing about weight loss in any of my books (so far), but it's a topic that personally interests me so I was excited to write it.

Freelancing gets your name out there, and any way you can do that is helpful. Readers who like your writing might look you up on Google or follow your links. Maybe they'll find you on Twitter, and discover that you're an author. They liked your voice in your articles, so maybe they'll buy your books, too. 

See how it works? So start writing more than just books, and start getting your name out there in new ways. There are lots of freelance opportunities on the Internet. Always look for guest post opportunities at blogs you like, and branch out into other corners of the web to find new markets. 

Find out how to become an Examiner, and contribute regular content on a topic in which you're knowledgeable. Apply to the Yahoo Contributor Network, and start creating original articles or use their list of topics to get yourself started. Get a job with About, and let them tell you what to write about (you'll also learn a lot of HTML). 

You'll be getting your name out there, you'll be giving yourself some cross-promotional opportunities (because you can share all those links to your articles across all your social media profiles) and you'll be revealing yourself to lots of new readers. Working as a freelance writer comes with another (pretty good) incentive: you'll make money. All the links I shared above take you to companies that will pay for writing...and in my experience, 99 percent of all writers can use a little more money. So why stop at writing books, when you can be doing a lot more?

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