Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Can You Use Grassroots Methods to Kickstart Your Writing Career?

by Dana Gore

Image courtesy of GoodBooks.Online
I hate to break it to you, but if you're an author, writer, or blogger, you're in the company of millions of people who want the same things you do. You want people to read and benefit from what you have to say. You want others to share your work. You want to be fairly compensated for your efforts.  Last but not least, you want to  leave a positive impact in the world by helping people.

In this all too wired world, this is no simple task.  Unless you are a celebrity, it isn't easy to gain a following. That's the bad news.  The good news is that things are changing.  There is a movement across the country where people are realizing they can't rely on the big companies to support their efforts.  Major publishing houses decide if your work is worth marketing. If they don't, they won't take you on as a client.  I'm sure they base their decisions on market trends and sales. I understand that. Big companies own everything.  They own the online publishing sites.  They own the bit search engines.  What they don't own is you.

That being said, if you have something unique to express and if you want to share your ideas with the world, you are going to have to walk the road less traveled.  What I mean by that is that you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and use a little guerilla marketing.  Maybe you don't have a following yet. That's ok. You've gotta start somewhere.

But if you want people to take a chance on you, then it's up to you to put your work out there and make sure people can see you.  You're going to have to make your own noise.  So given all of this, it's become clear to me that we'll have to band together and create a "people supporting people" movement.  Grassroots movements have always been one of the best ways to buck the system.  What I propose is that you use the same techniques that were used to save the whales to help kickstart your writing career.

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so to do grassroots movements.  So to get you started, I will give you
3 tools every author, writer, and blogger should know, use and like.

Whether you've written a book, do freelance writing or run a blog (or perhaps all three), there are tools that will help to make your life easier while building a network of comrades and followers.
This isn't about becoming a high-powered public figure or guru. It's simply about making connections that will help you grow an audience.

People need to support one another. It would serve us well to lift one another up from a place of co-operation. Instead of hoping and praying that life rewards our efforts with some sort of "big break", you need to start creating your own luck.  That being said, I want to mention a few organizations I've met recently that i are making a difference in how we connect with one another. Regardless of your literary ambitions, these individuals are not only wonderful to network with, but they also teach, coach, and inspire writers and authors to do theirr best work.

Free Promotion

GoodBooks.Online
If you're an author - or are thinking about writing writing a book, you'll want to check these guys out.
Carl Weiss & Hector Cisneros, themselves published authors, have created an online portal for authors.  Having been down the self-publishing path themselves, they were inspired to build a platform that help authors promote their books and network with one another.

If you've written a book, or are in the process of doing so, Carl and Hector can provide you with the tools, guidance and support you'll need to get the ball rolling.  While their company does offer paid publishing and marketing services, what's even better is that they also offer a number of FREE services.

At no cost, they build you a splash page on their website that features your book.  This webpage includes a few sample chapters, a blurb and bio, as well as your Amazon link.  They will also provide you with an opportunity to guest blog on their Good Books Blog.  Last but not least, they will interview you on their online radio show and YouTube channel. If you're looking for a little exposure that doesn't bust the bank, it doesn't get any better than this.  It's such a cool way to reach people.

Everything they offer adds to your portfolio and creates new material to share with people.
I had shared one of the videos about my exercise safety book in my post about how your workout can hurt you. However, they were also filming a discussion about why blogs are an author's best friend.
Carl did a great job during the 15-minute interview. He was easy to talk to, enthusiastic about the topic(s) and a fantastic listener.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uJUcVyYGY (My GBO interview.)

Carl's company also provides a killer blogging production and distribution system that can help you break out of the herd in a hurry, as well as putting more money in your pocket if you are already a professional blogger.  Check out the website dedicated to this program at http://blog-blast.com/ .

Seriously folks, if you're serious about becoming an author, or if you have a book already out there, check them out.

Freelance Writer Websites

If you're a freelance writer, you're probably always looking to step up your game and learn new things.  Especially if you're a beginner.

As with anything, it's always useful to have a guide to follow. Learning from others who've been in your shoes helps. It's also comforting to read their stories and see how they were able to create something for themselves that led to success.  There are a couple of resources that come to mind that I'd love to introduce you to if you're new to freelance writing, or just looking to step up your game.

BrentJonesOnline.com
Brent's website offers a wealth of information for freelancers in general.  He helps writerslaunch their own service-based business from home. Writing is one of the many topics he covers. Brent conducts interviews with some of the most successful freelancers out there today. Whether they're talking about a specific company they use to find clients or they have a method or tool to talk about, you're likely to find something that will help you with your business.

A few months ago, he recruited a large number of us to share our tips about what has worked for us regarding our own freelancing success. If you're even thinking about becoming a freelance writer, you need to visit his website and peruse the content.

Brent didn't start out knowing he was going to be a freelancer. He had a successful career and did quite well. However, what he didn't have was the freedom to live his life completely on his terms. Being independent meant something to him, so he took the risk and went out on his own.
Having had NO previous experience regarding working for himself, he created his freelancing business based on something I can only describe as courage.

Now he uses his resources, knowledge, and connections to help writers find their unique place in the freelancing arena. On his website you will find a number of video interviews. They're all about 7-8 minutes in length. Just long enough to deliver a ton of valuable information, along with inspiring stories.  He also offerss plenty of articles and guest posts to help enlighten you about what it takes to become a kick ass freelancer. I had the pleasure of contributing one article a couple of weeks ago titled "Without These Three Things, You Will Fail as a Freelancer."

Lastly, Brent created a report to help new freelancers gain insight on how to find new business and how to charge for their work. To date he has  close to 70 people that have shared their stories about what has worked for them.

If you're thinking of becoming a freelancer, you owe it to yourself to check out Brent's website.

ElnaCain.com
Elna Cain has created a successful business for herself as a freelance writer.  As a Mom of twin
toddlers, she decided she wanted to stay home to be around as often as possible. She started a freelance writing business and eventually did so well that she started coaching people on how to do the same.

Elna communicates in such a friendly and non-intimidating manner simply because she knows what it's like to start something new. If you're even thinking about becoming a writer, you'll want to find out more about her.  When you visit her blog, you'll not only have access to her insights about how to become a freelance writer, but she'll also provide you with resources to find writing opportunities. You'll also have someone that will help you discover your unique writing voice.

While Elna site represents a wealth of information when it comes to freelance writing, I find her inspiring. She's gone on to develop twinsmommy.com to help stay at home moms become "mompreneurs." I don't have kids of my own, but if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd want to find a way to earn a living from home.

Check out Elna's websites. She really is the go-to gal for learning how to become a successful freelance writer.

Blogging Coaches/ Designers

I'm going to be completely honest here.  Building a blog isn't easy. Sure, there are plenty of available platforms that'll help you build a blog from scratch. If you're in a hurry to get your site up as quickly as possible, you can certainly do this because luckily, you no longer have to be a techie to create a website.  But if you want to create something that truly represents you and your brand, it helps to hire a pro.

Not everyone has it in their budget to hire someone to build and design a blog, and this is why I'm excited to tell you about a couple of my friends. I built my blog from scratch, but it was a huge endeavor. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I yelled profanity out loud (my husband will attest to this) because the process was frustrating.  Then I met  Cori Ramos and Brenda Pace through the blogging community and I'm not exaggerating when I say these two women have been Godsends.
They have mad skills when it comes to blogging and design.

It turns out these two amazing women have been at this for years.  Corina Ramos from notnowmomsbusy.com  Cori, who started her work from home blog titled "Not Now Mom's Busy" has become a well-respected (and loved) force in the blogosphere.  She left her job in the corporate world five years ago after working crazy hours and never getting to spend time with her family. She'd decided it was time to create something she could do from home.  I'm sure many of you can relate and probably want the same thing.

Her blog, filled with home business ideas, job listings and everything else related to working from home took off and gained a large following. Along the way, she dedicated her time to learning the ins and outs of blogging in general, tech stuff while studying the habits of successful bloggers. She learned how to become what I would call a badass blogger.

If you're thinking of starting a blog, you'll want someone to help walk you through the process. There's more to blogging than design.  Building authentic relationships, formatting posts, understanding how search engine optimization works (SEO), and even commenting all play important roles when it comes to blogging. Cori understands what it's like to start a new business venture from scratch, so she's made it her business to create a way to help bloggers succeed through her affordable coaching program.

Working with a coach has numerous benefits, regardless of what you're looking to achieve. And since Cori is just so likable, I have no doubt you'll love her as much as I do (and I really do!)
She just published her book titled "How to Become an Expert Blogger and Blog Like a Boss In No Time". In it, you'll discover a variety of topics that'll help you become a successful blogger in a friendly, easy to read format.

She helps people to set up their blog and has a wide variety of blogging how-to tips on her website.
Pay her a visit, reach out and say hi. I know she'd love to hear from you.

BrendaPace.net
Now while you may not need someone build your blog in order to get it up and running, it sure helps
when you're working with a pro who has an amazing eye for design and detail.  That's where my friend Bren comes in.  Brenda Pace from brendapace.net is one of the most talented, quirky and friendliest people I've met.  But besides all of that, she's a fantastic designer!

You can get a blog up and running with both free and premium themes and do this yourself. But I'll tell you from first-hand experience, there's a lot more to it than that.  In order to customize certain things on your blog, it helps to know code. You'll need to know how to get into your theme's style sheet and make alterations. If you know what you're doing, great. If not, though, you're screwed - and you may end up creating permanent changes in your blog's theme that you won't know how to undo.
But to be honest, even some of the easier customizations can make you want to pull your hair out sometimes. Plus, it's just nice to have someone who has natural talent and skills on your side to help give you an experienced and objective perspective.

Brenda has helped me on numerous occasions when it came to making changes on my own blog. Had it not been for her, I don't know what I would have done in certain situations because I don't know how to do anything outside of the default theme options.  Brenda, however, is a pro. It's as effortless for her as wax on wax off was for Mr. Miyagi.  Once you've decided on what type of blog you're looking to build, consider having Brenda design it for you.

Her testimonials speak for themselves. So does her portfolio.  Her rates are reasonable as well. She also makes it a point to teach you how to work with your blog once it's up and running so you can start doing things on your own. I've met plenty of website owners who were at the mercy of their designers to make small changes. Sometimes it would cost a lot of money to do this. Other times they'd have to wait a while until it was done.

In addition to blogs, Brenda also designs headers and images. These are some of the important personal touches that help your blog become your unique expression of YOU.  Brenda may be a professional blog designer and virtual assistant, but she's also just a girl with a beautiful sense of humor.  In addition to her business blog, she also created a community for women to network with one another and just talk about life, being a girl and some of the (not so) fun things about aging.
She started galspushin50.com as a hobby blog just to vent about the frustrations of normal day to day life. We all need a place to let it all out, so I encourage you to visit. I'm sure you'll relate to plenty of the topics discussed over there.

How This Info Will Benefit You

If you're an aspiring author, writer or blogger, it helps to have tools and to know terrific people who can help you turn your dream into a reality. The ones I've included in this post are just like you and me. These folks started from the ground up and made it a point to create their businesses on their terms, even when there was no physical evidence that their efforts would pay off.  Now they're here to help you to do the same.  And of course, I can help you too.

I'm a freelance writer and wellness coach. I've created everything from scratch. Healthy living goes hand in hand with success. To live authentically, you have to make well-being a priority. Everyone I've included here are also freelance writers. Whether you need someone to help steer you in the right direction regarding your own work, or if you need to hire someone to produce quality content for you, I, along with these fabulous people can help.

Don't let doubt prevent you fromsucceeding.  It may not be an easy ride, but it'll be well worth it in the end - as long as you don't give up. Especially if you use the grassroots methods I showed you to build alliances and an audience.  Now I'd love to hear from you. Do you write? Have you thought about becoming an author or starting a blog? If so, what's stopped you?

About Dana Gore

Creator of iammyimagination.com and author of the book "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety - (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)", Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.  Dana aims to bring guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner. She believes the body follows the guidance and instruction of the mind and spirit and inspires her readers to seek inner-peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

5 comments:

  1. Cool to see this post published over here!

    Brent

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  2. Dana's blog is a great way to start raising the bar on your writing career. It's all about sho you know, not what you know.

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    1. Thanks Carl. You're an asset to writers as well. I love what you're doing. Grassroots is the way to go. It's about building those relationships.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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