|How can you take your writing career to the next level?|
Earlier this week, I also ran across an article about tweeps on Twitter with large followings charging hundreds and even thousands of dollars for sponsored tweets to their followers. If done tastefully, this makes all the sense in the world for tweeps who have six-digit (or more) followers. Another great money-making idea!
One week and two new potential money-making ideas for writers (to add to already established money-making ideas for writers). But then, these ideas aren't entirely new, because they're both related to advertising. The new spin is that writers can apply these concepts to their platforms (in the case of Twitter) or use new platforms to find clients (in the case of YouTube).
This got me thinking about how writers can get creative with their careers and oppotunities. The solution is simple: Writers should treat their careers like their writing.
Here are five ways for writers to grow their careers:
- Observe. Just as a writer observes people and situations for stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, a writer should also observe other businesses and freelancers (writers and non-writers). What do they do to get clients and make money? What techniques do they apply? What do you think is smart? What do you find annoying? Writers are (or should be) expert observers, and they should apply this skill to building their freelance businesses.
- Imitate. Just as fledgling artists imitate other artists and fledgling writers imitate other writers (in the writing process), it also makes sense to imitate successful business practices of other writers. Imitate their negotation strategies, website designs, blogging techniques, etc. If you think a writer is doing something the right way, then imitate it. Try it out for yourself.
- Refine. While imitation is how a lot of artists and writers start their careers, they eventually get to a point where it's time to find their own voice. For instance, my poetry blog Poetic Asides started off imitating other poetry blogs while I was getting the hang of blogging, but eventually I figured out what I was trying to accomplish there--and I feel like I've made it my own unique space in the poetry blogosphere.
- Experiment. As part of that refining process, I made several experiments and false starts. You have to be willing to fail to eventually succeed. Advanced writers do this. They take risks--sometimes calculated, sometimes not so much--and attempt to push their writing into brave new places. Writers would be wise to try this with their careers as well. There's nothing wrong with taking a risk every so often.
- Innovate. This experimentation can lead to innovation. You can be the first ghostwriter to score big with advertisements on YouTube or the first travel writer to sell $500 sponsored tweets to Hotwire or Expedia (or whatever company) on Twitter. You can have articles and blog posts written about you, because you took your career to the next level; you treated your career like your writing--as if it's art.
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