If you are a writer, or a budding writer, than you are probably aware that you’re stepping into a particularly competitive world. No matter what area of writing you are thinking of getting into, there are many other people just like you wanting to achieve exactly the same goals and dreams.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to get ahead if you know what you need to do and what you need to focus on in order to improve your abilities as a writer. As long as you are happy to focus on your writing abilities above all else, you will be able to improve your skills to the point where the competition won’t really matter. Let’s look at some of the major elements that a good writer should focus on if they want to get ahead fast.
It probably goes without saying, but it is always worth remembering that a good writer is continually trying to understand more and more about the language they are using. A common mistake for writers is to believe that they are not in need of any further training when, in fact, their writing might benefit from a closer look at the language itself.
If you feel that your grasp of your language could be a little stronger, then there are a number of things you can do to help that along. You could use an online course such as the Effortless English Club. You could take a class in your local area, or set up a group of your own and practice together. Whatever you do, getting to grips with the language is one of the most important things you can do for your ongoing development as a writer.
Writing is all about stories, above all. No matter what genre you are writing in, or who the audience is, you are telling a story, and it is helpful to remember that first and foremost. Even journalists are constructing a specific story based on certain pieces of information, and bloggers are interested in telling you a specific narrative about the topics they have chosen.
Know stories, get involved in them, pay attention to how they work, and you will discover that you too can write stories that people will want to read, no matter what it is that you are trying to get across. This is the first and last mark of a decent writer.
It is rare that you can have a story without a character or two, and it is for this reason that you should also pay close attention to people. This means the people in your life, people in other stories, and so on. Knowing people is an important skill for a writer, as it enables you to be able to develop stronger characters.
For writers who are not in need of developing characters, because they work in non-fiction for example, knowing people also helps you to relate your words to the reader more effectively. Become a student of people; pay close attention to them at all times. You might be surprised at just how much there is to learn.
This isn’t a look at how you find a job. This is a look at how you turn a job into a career and make sure that you’re always on the right path. It’s easy to get complacent and find yourself rooted to one phase of your life for too long. But it’s not acceptable. Here we’re going to look at what it really means to build a meaningful career.
The first and perhaps most important step is actually finding the direction you want to be moving in. Using sites likehttp://www.careerglider.com/blog/infographic-industry-right/ can raise some important questions that help you realize when you might not really be in the right industry, to begin with.
Aligning personally with your goals is the only way you’re going to be able to maintain the focus and motivation to really reach them. Even if you’re in the right industry, you need to think about the work environment. Knowing when to move on, even laterally, is a risk but it’s a step worth taking.
Finding the path ahead means finding the ways that you can work on yourself, as well. Careers should always aim upward, after all. This might mean using sites likehttp://online.maryville.edu/mba/ to educate yourself alongside your job. It might mean talking to your boss about training opportunities. What you can’t ignore, however, is the possibility you’re in a job that has no more upward mobility to offer. That’s when you need to start looking elsewhere.
You aren’t going to be given the keys to the kingdom, you need to build it yourself. Beyond learning new skills and gaining qualifications, you should be working on your standing within the industry. Personal branding and network building are going to not only give you credibility and visibility. They are important tools that can help you make contacts with new opportunities or offer or even to get scouted.
Beyond know the direction you want to go, you also have to know what you offer. This is important to the above point as well. Resume building might be an essential part of job finding, but you should also use it as a self-realization tactic too.
Of course, you’re not perfect. Very few people are. Besides working on your skills, you should also self-assess to work on any performance issues you might have at work.
For instance, taking the time out to work more often on scheduling if you have trouble with managing your time. Or using key performance indicators to properly measure and improve the results you see in a day’s work. Don’t be content to coast on what you’re currently achieving. Always standardize and always optimize.
No-one is going to hand you a career unless you’re amongst the luckiest of the lucky few. You have to be willing to find what it is you really want to grab and work to grab it.
So, you want to be an author? You aren’t alone. Writing scores high on most desirable jobs lists. More people than you could count send manuscripts to agents each day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to arrive at your computer each day and weave magical creations?
In truth, though, there’s a lot more to being an author. With competition fierce, you need to do more than writing. You need to turn yourself into a business. If you want to make money, there are a few things you need to get your head around.
YOU ARE A BRAND
When you dedicate your life to writing, you become a brand. While big names like J.K. Rowling and Ali Smith can get away with not doing many interviews, it’s a luxury few of us can afford. To make a success of this, you need to market yourself.
In the early days, make as many public appearances as possible. From book signings and interviews to literary festivals, you need to do it all. Sometimes you may earn a fee. But, don’t be surprised if no price is offered. You’re just starting out. If anything, shops are doing you a favor by letting you appear. However, it’s important you accept opportunities anyway. Every appearance is a chance to gain customers and sell your book.
As well as making physical appearances, it’s essential that you develop a web presence. How you do this is up to you, but most publishers refuse to work with an author who doesn’t have an online following. Even if you don’t have a book written, you can start building your audience. Twitter and Facebook accounts are a must. You could also start a blog about your writing experience.
THE ADMIN SIDE OF THINGS
You also need to get your head around admin. Organization is essential for making any business successful. Make sure to check your emails at least once a day, and set aside time to reply. It’s important you keep track of commitments as well. Either get a diary or set up a Google calendar. Turning up late, or not at all, will not be good for business.
Get ahead with your accounts, too. You’ll need to keep track of outgoings and income, just like any other business. You may want to pay for an accountant. Or, you could opt to get a hold on things yourself. Bear in mind that amateur accounting won’t cut it if things go well. Instead, you may need to do something like a UAB accounting course. This will ensure you know what you’re doing. And, with a bit of luck, you’ll need the know how.
All the above is enough to keep anybody occupied, but you also need to write. Otherwise, what’s the point? It can help to set yourself work hours, and split your tasks. You could dedicate the morning to admin, and the afternoon to writing, or vice versa. All it takes is a little hard work!
Running a business promotion isn’t easy. You could be running one to launch your business with. Or perhaps you are running one to ensure a certain product line starts selling well. Maybe your sales have dropped and you are running one to try and pull them back up. There are all different kinds of reasons for a promotion, yet it can be tough to ensure you make the most out of it and use your time wisely.
Running a promotion and running one well are two different things. You might have thought about some of these tips, but if not give them a try on your next promotion and see if they can help you out by pulling in more people.
You need to be different. Ensure your promotion is lasting in the minds of those who purchase from you. Maybe give free things away to customers on a random basis. These items should be branded to ensure they do a job for you in terms of marketing. Thin about mugs and pens, check this site for more great promo ideas.
It really will make the difference and encourage more people to get on board with your promotion as you are giving away extra stuff while also promoting a return in custom. You need to ensure that whatever it is you are promoting can’t be seen through. That means items called half price need to be genuinely half price. Don’t bump the prices a week before and then cut the prices like some businesses do, it is just foolish and people see right through it these days.
Give your old customers a chance to get to the promotion first. This could go a long way in ensuring loyalty. You’ve likely got many of their email addresses from past sales, so sling an email out to every previous buyer telling them about the promotion with a link directly to the right page.
You can broaden this attempt of course and send an email out to people who have not purchased before. There are many email lists out there to purchase. Just don’t be a pest. Send one a month at most otherwise people will simply unsubscribe.
You need to do some marketing in regards to your promotion too. Shout about it over social media. Bring people in. Make a marketing video and solicit reviews. These are all valid ways to bring people in. Remember to target.
If the product or service is mainly designed for students then run with it and aim for areas that students frequent, blogs, websites, social media groups. If you are looking for parents, go for blogs about parenting and the like. If you target your promotion then you will certainly get much better results all across the board.
If your product applies to anyone then forget about the targeting, instead just focus on your promotions general visibility. Word of mouth is your strongest asset, and before long people will start talking about it and more customers will venture to your site or store, you just need to get the chins wagging.
Self publishing is now a popular and accessible way to get your work published. There are many positives to self publishing: you can decide everything about the book from the cover artwork, to the page size, to the lettering font, to the publication date.
Compare this with a traditionally published writer, and you will have a lot more leeway in deciding what you want and what you do not want for your book. Publishing houses tend to decide the artwork (with sometimes a little bit of input from you), they decide the publication date, and they also decide on the look and feel of the book as a whole.
However, publishing houses also do put a lot of work in for you, their author. They will promote your book, get in touch with reviewers, set up giveaways on book websites, and they will also be able to get your book stocked in bookshops big or small. They will also contact literature events and festivals for you, so you can attend these spaces and read your work to an audience.
Self-publishing involves a lot of work from you, and that is something you should be prepared to do in order for your book to be accessed, seen and read by as many people as possible. Of course, you can employ freelancers to market and promote your book for you, but that can involve a lot of money and sometimes will not mean you get the results you want.
A lot of self published authors make the decision to promote themselves. This gives them complete freedom in connecting with other readers and writers, and they can develop a voice of their own on social media.
Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great and unique ways to develop an audience for your work. Facebook allows you to create a separate page from your personal profile where you can make an ‘author page’. This allows you to set up promotions for when you feel ready to, giveaways for when you reach a certain amount of page likes, and is great for blogger outreach – in the sense that you can connect with book bloggers on their personal Facebook profiles, see if they are the right blogger for you, and create a more personal relationship with them rather than just sending them a copy of your book.
Twitter is fantastic at creating instant connection between your readers – and you.Simply by using relevant hashtags, you will gain more followers, and you can also develop a loyal following of fans on there by posting photos, retweeting and voicing your opinion. The more followers you have, the more successful you will look – so get following and sharing!
Self-publishing is now a viable route which many writers are taking very seriously. You solely control your finances rather than a traditional publisher taking a percentage of sales, have the only say on what your book is going to look like, and generally have complete control over absolutely anything to do with your book.