This article was written by Carl E. Reid after conducting a training program for myself and Lisa Ontell, Saturday, April 25, 2010. Carl is a fabulous coach. He has many years of training under his belt.
I recently I had the opportunity to conduct a training session entitled Leveraging Your Writing Skills to Brand and Market Yourself. Amanda Sherman, CEO and founder of Gala Affairs by AtUrBest and Lisa Ontell, successful project manager and aspiring entrepreneur, were 2 sharp and ambitious attendees. Their engaging questions inspired me to share some of the topics below, which were covered in the session.
The tips below expand on my previous article Expert is Ultimate Earning Power.
1. Writing promotes more authority than a college degree
A person can acquire as many degrees, licenses or certifications as the job market or business arena demands. People are only perceived an expert in their field, if they are published. I went to college, but I don't have a degree.
Having articles published in magazines and blogs augmented my career and income well above most of my peers in the technology information and business arenas. This is clearly explained in the article "Become a Recognized Expert" by Steven Van Yoder.
2. Acquire Some Writing Tools.
Certainly, you will need a word processor for its spell checker and thesaurus. Consider two (2) books to add to your writing reference library. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White is a quick read, but is the best book on English usage. It is a powerful reference book for keeping your writing tight. It teaches how to say more with less. The Writer's Market [just the book] or The Writer's Market Book Deluxe Edition with Online Access is updated every year. It provides contact information of magazine or industry periodical editors. Also included are article submission requirements with author payments.
You can get writing and marketing tips with their free newsletter at www.writersmarket.com. One of the best ways to increase your vocabulary is reading the NY Times Book Review. Have a dictionary handy to look up unknown words the book reviewers use in their articles. Reading the NY Times Book Review also gives you a feel for different types of writing styles. You can incorporate these styles in your writing. In terms of vocabulary, writing kept at the 6th grade reading level is widely appealing to people.
Adjust your writing vocabulary as the reader audience dictates. As an engineer, you may use more technical jargon in your articles. The key is knowing your audience, before proceeding to write.
3. Write articles in your knowledge space that have general appeal
Think of processes or procedures you or a team improved. Have you helped a client resolve a problem, which you can share in an article?
Have you written a training manual, which can be repurposed into a book or series of articles? "How to" and "Step" articles sell the best. People are always hungry for new information. So these types of articles have the most general appeal and are widely accepted. Since 2004, "10 Powerful Networking Tips Using Business" has been published on 10,000 web sites. These distribution results for my article are due to its general appeal with business owners, entrepreneurs and career professionals. This article has paid big dividends with business opportunities and speaking engagements.
Writing "How to" and "Step" articles are best for creating residual income. Write once. Get paid many times.
4. Where to Sell Your Articles?
Again The Writer's Market lists the latest target trade periodicals and magazines where you can sell your writing. Don't discount online Internet venues, like Ezine Articles. Although you may not get paid for articles published on the Internet, your expert authority is still established for branding and marketing you and your business. Every article you publish on the Internet feeds the search engines.
When someone types you name into Google, your articles [and your name] will pop up front and center.
5. How to Get Your Article Published
Before approaching an editor, make sure you are familiar with the magazine readership. Reviewing articles of recent magazine issues will provide you with business intelligence for providing a solid value proposition to the editor. The easier the you make for Editors to respond, the faster they will respond. Although email is easier, using snail mail has a higher impact with editors. Send a query letter with an overview of your article. Pre-print postcards with your mailing address on one side.
On the other side print the magazine name [for response tracking] and give the editor 3 options to check off:_ This article is of interest to our readers. Send article_ Send article for further consideration_ This article is not of interest to our readersAdd a stamp and attach the post card to your query letter. You've made it very easy for the editor to just check a box and drop in the outbox for mail room pickup. Editors appreciate writers who understand their time is short.
6. Get more mileage and money out of each article
Once you have an article published and you get get paid, you're not done yet.
There is a potential to get paid 2 or more times with the same article, as you make yourself slightly famous. Consider flipping your article into other magazines or industry newsletters. Verify the paying magazine's author requirements. As long as you still own the copyright for your article, flipping an article is usually okay.
7. Always give your readers a way to contact you
Editors will usually print your article as is, with minor grammatical changes. This means it's up to you to include a tag line with a 2-4 sentence bio and your contact information at the end of the article. Make it easy for readers to contact you by email and business telephone. Add your web site or blog, as well.
8. If you can write an email, you can blog
A blog becomes a powerful public relations platform. It continuously feeds the search engines way better [and faster] than web site keywords. Why? Because new content is king on the Internet.
Every time you publish an article on your blog, the search engines index your name. All the words in your articles are also indexed by search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. Consider hooking a blog into your web site. Every article published attracts more visitor traffic to your web site. A blog establishes a platform for "1 button publishing".
When you publish an article on your blog, you can automatically have each article distributed to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. This minimizes time spent on all these sites, while maintaining your "expert authority". Friends and business associates think I'm on Facebook an LinkedIn all the time, when I actually spend very little time on either site. I set timers for my articles to publish at future times.
Leveraging the marketing power of Twitter, my published articles appear on the other social networking sites. This creates instant "turn key" social network presence, while being absent most of the time. This allows me to focus on business opportunities generated from the articles I've published. Visit www.CarlEReid.com for ideas or assistance with setting up a blog.
9. Engage ghosts to help you write
Maybe you don't like to write or don't have the time. Ask for help from friends or associates to write for you. Work out a deal to split the writing fees with your ghost writers. They write for you and get paid. Your name is published as the author of the article and you get paid. This creates a win-win-win situation for you, the ghost writer and the magazine.You can have up to 100 people on your blog posting articles for you. So consider that option as well. Although there is no pay, each writer becomes an expert with each article published.
Your blog and web site get promoted, through each article published by your writers.
10. Generate buzz as your best public relations person
Creating link backs to your articles increases the volume on the expert posture you have created. Get in the habit of posting comments on other articles or news stories you're probably reading anyway. Similar to an email signature include your name and the Internet link address to your article or blog at the end of the comment. Include http:// as part of the link address to insure the search engines index your comment. Offer to write articles for friends on their web sites or blogs. Just make sure their sites are aligned with the expert posture you are developing.Happy trails with your writing . . .
About the Author
With corporate travels from the mail room to the board room, Carl E. Reid knows what it takes to be successful in the business arena. He has over 40 years of business experience, including 26 years as an information technology expert, 16 years as a business career coach and 17 years as a successful entrepreneur. He is Chief Operations Officer for Empowering Today's (ETP) Professionals and CEO/founder of NetTECH Systems Reid & Associates, Inc. Carl has been a professional blogger and social media expert since 2004. In addition to being a sought after speaker, he publishes Library of Congress recognized newsletter blogs www.SavvyIntrapreneur.com and www.iTechSpeak.com . Carl has been published in "Network World" and "Computer Monthly" magazines. Email: MyCompass@Success4U2.net Web: www.CarlEReid.com Tel: 201-222-5390