In college, we engineering students are forced to partake of a class that essentially FORCES us to get a job, and a good one. I know, I shouldn’t be complaining. But hey, I’m just a freshmen. Getting a stable job is something I’m supposed to worry about senior year…right?
Well, whatever the case, as always in the business world, there is a serious amount of stress placed on BUILDING YOUR BRAND.
And let’s face it. As writers, if we are truly aspiring to be famous authors, we naturally become a part of the “business world”. At times, it sucks. It would be so SIMPLE if we could just say to the people of the world, “I’ll write my books, and you buy them and turn my stories into movies.”
That would be the life.
But no. As writers, we are marketers. We must promote ourselves and go through the tedious process of establishing a business-savvy identity for ourselves.
As we do this, we encounter the usual suspects.
All right, so apparently LinkedIn is the “Facebook of the business world”. I really just thought it was for old people that were trying to connect with each other, but apparently it’s a very sophisticated website. I’m not sure if it works for writers, but I thought I might as well try, right? At my school, we were all forced to make LinkedIn pages, so I have one! Find me on LinkedIn if you’re interested, and I’ll follow you back.
For writers, I’d say that Goodreads is a great place to network your stories. Note that I said your STORIES. Maybe also your prowess as a book-reviewer/critic. Nothing wrong with that. I know that I need to be more involved in Goodreads, since so many people use it.
For building a PERSONAL network, I’m happy to announce that I think WordPress is great for that. All in all, I don’t think fellow WordPress bloggers respond well to the “business” side of being a writer. Simply put, WordPress bloggers are here to encounter other PEOPLE and fellow writers, not businessmen/women. If you’re too heavy on promoting yourself, people will start to ignore you. I’ve both learned this the hard way and watched as other bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by being all about “ME ME ME”.
The first step to building a brand is identifying what it is. You have to make sure people understand who you are and what you’re trying to promote. No, don’t say, “Being a writer is your brand”. Maybe that’s part of it, and that’s great. But you have to be more specific.
The more general you are, sure, you’ll reach a wider-range of audiences. But if you can’t hone your focus in on one particular audience, you’re going to turn some people off. If you say you write about mystery and romance, but are constantly posting things about horror and fantasy, you’re going to confuse your audience.
Simply put, your brand is who you are and what you’re actually trying to promote. All of your actions should flow from your brand-identity. It’s like a mission statement. This is who I am, this is what I want to do. And then you have to stick with it.
When institutions do something uncharacteristic of who they are, or they deviate from their mission statements, things will go wrong. People will not respond well. It’s a simple, cheesy Disney idea, but it’s true: Be true to who you are.
Rock the World, Love What You Do
It might go without saying…but I’m going to say it anyway. Love your brand. Love who you are. If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to draw OTHERS to yourself if you’re a conflicted, irrational mess. You must be invested in yourself before you can convince others to do the same.
Take some time. Think about what you want, how you’ll get it, and if it’s worth it to you. Believe me, this exercise will be worth it.
And, as always, persevere. Writing is hard. Business is competitive. You’ve gotta be strong to make it in this life.
As always, I want to know, what do you think?
So I’ve been noticing that, now more than ever, there is an influx of new bloggers. What’s more, many of my most recent followers seem to be bloggers that are just starting their journey here on WordPress.
To all of you, welcome!!!
A lot of you seem to be very attracted to my more educational posts, like “The Reason Why People ‘Like’ But They Don’t Comment”. So I thought I’d write another “educational post”, particularly geared towards you new bloggers.
The First Thing You Want to Do…
Identity yourself to yourself. What does that mean? It means that, as you start writing, as you start reaching out, networking, meeting other bloggers, targeting specific audiences, you need to know first and foremost WHO YOU ARE as a blogger. You can only reach the audience you want once you decide what kind of blog you are going to run.
So identify yourself to yourself. What do you think you’ll write about? Do you review books or movies? Write about sports? Cooking? Are you trying to promote a book or a business?
You need to figure this out.
The truth is, it’s obnoxious as a reader to visit a blog about book reviews, only to find they decided to go off on a cooking tangent. Centralizing what you write about is important to maintaining and developing a community around yourself.
However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to blog about anything and everything, disregard this completely! 😀 😀 😀
Next: Identify Your Audience
I cannot stress this enough: once you discover and surround yourself with like-minded bloggers, blogging becomes so much more FUN!
The number one word that captures the essence of blogging is COMMUNITY. And to build and enter the community that you want, you have to find the right people.
So identify your target audience.
A while back, I wanted to target an audience of anime-watchers. Why? I’m writing a book that is very anime-esque (among other things). So I tried to write about anime, to reach out to other people that liked anime…but it just wasn’t working. Why? Because I don’t watch enough anime to connect with other people.
Although I thought anime fans were my target audience, it took me a while to understand that I was wrong.
So I took a different approach: I started targeting fellow writers. And let me tell you, that made a big difference!! I discovered my community in them, aspiring and self-published authors like me. And suddenly, my blogging world truly became alive.
Identifying your audience is important, especially if you’re trying to promote something. But, in the end, it’s even more important for the sake of creating a community…which, once again, is what blogging is all about!
Stick With It
We all struggle with this from time to time. We lack motivation because life gets busy, our blogging efforts seem fruitless, or other bloggers seem to be doing so much better. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been blogging for three years and I only have 420 followers. To some of you, that might seem like a lot, but it’s not.
The goal is to keep at it. Fight through the dull moments. Keep on writing.
Believe me, if you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but it couldn’t be more true. If you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing.
So you must continue to write.
I hope these tips were helpful! As always, Let me know what you think!
Like the way I write? Check out my new book Elithius on Amazon here! The Kindle version is only $0.99 for a limited time only!! Get it now!
Note: this is a throwback post! I believe that this topic, however, is always relevant! Enjoy!
There are plenty of people in the blogosphere trying to get attention. Every now and then, I might run into a person who says “I don’t care how much attention I get; I’ll still blog and write.” And that’s a great mentality to have. You shouldn’t let everyone else’s opinions stop you.
But still, at times, it feels like everyone is trying to promote SOMETHING.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Some bloggers are trying to “promote” their emotions, the outcome of their relationship, how their weekend went, etc. Similarly, other people are “promoting” advice, or a message like religion or political philosophy.
Others are simply sharing their love of something by promoting that something. For instance, some people review books, TV shows, movies, etc., just for fun.
But all of this involves promoting yourself too. You won’t be able to promote anything unless you promote yourself.
And promoting yourself can be a big deal when you’re like the majority of bloggers out there…when you’re trying to promote what you write.
Take It From Me
Take it from me: there’s a lot of competition. I’m sure most of you have realized this. Everyone wants people to be interested in what they’re selling. If you’re an author and a blogger, then you’re a marketer. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, I can’t lay down a “road map to success” for any of you. In order to do that, I would need to find that road map first! But I can pass on some advice I got.
Allow me to tell you a story:
I’m a senior in high school. I’m sure most of you remember this time in your life where you had to start making adult decisions, particularly concerning your future. For me, this involved what I was going to do in college. I already have a free ride to an amazing college (thanks to my awesome, hard-working dad), so the question was, “What will I study in college?”
I’m not going to go into too much detail, but, basically, my parents were strongly pushing me to make a decision based on my financial future. As I’m sure most of you know, I would like to pursue a degree that has to do with writing and literature. But my parents were advising me to do something that could get me a nice job; a job that I could use to support a family.
I also happen to be pretty smart when it comes to things like math, physics, etc.
So I thought, “Well, I could be a math major. Or a physics major.”
In the end, I ended up texting my older brother who had graduated from the same college with multiple degrees. He’s a physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer (I know, smart guy!).
I asked for his advice, if he could see me as a mathematician or a physicist, and he replied with a simple question: “Why not an engineer?”
I didn’t really get the point: “Why?” Why would it matter? All three majors were basically the same, right?
Math majors and physicists have all the skills to do what an engineer does, as far as I could tell. In a lot of cases, they took similar classes, but for different reasons. All that was really different was the degree you got.
That was what I thought.
But then my brother told me something that I believe applies to waaaay more than just college and choosing a degree.
He told me that no industry/employer/company needs mathematicians or physicists anymore. They need engineers. Why?
Because engineers have something to OFFER.
You see, engineers are able to USE their knowledge of math and physics to create PRODUCTS. They don’t just have the knowledge, they can USE it. And this is what people want. My brother wasn’t saying that mathematicians and physicists are good for nothing.
But people want someone that can be useful to them. That’s the way the world works.
How does this apply to writing and promoting yourself?
You have to become something that people want. Or better yet, something that people NEED. Be useful to other people.
This is the best way to promote yourself; by offering something that people want. Sometimes this means not talking about yourself. Maybe this means sharing advice, writing a review for someone, or something else entirely.
Whether we like it or not though, this is the way the world works. People will want you if they need you. So develop the skillset and gather to yourself what people need. The best way to promote yourself is by promoting what people actually want.
That’s just the way it goes.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!
What do you think?
Wanna support me as an author? Check out my fantasy novel here! For a limited time only, the eBook costs only $0.99! Don’t miss out!
It’s a frustrating truth: everyone wants to win, but no one wants to play.
What am I talking about?
Everyone is trying to sell something. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are trying to gain support and traffic for their brand, their product, their work of art. And I understand that; heck, I’m doing the same thing!
But you know what makes being a seller REALLLLLY hard?
Having nobody that wants to buy.
In today’s world, it’s so easy to be “double-sided”. It’s easy to “go through the motions”. I’ve had several people act excited about wanting to buy my book and read it…but then they never did. I even asked them about it.
Their response? “Uhh…I don’t have money to spend on your book. Sorry.”
“It’s 0.99 cents”.
See what I mean?
Look, I have no problem if you don’t want to buy my book. If you aren’t interested, I’m not going to blame you. But please…PLEASE don’t lie to me. That hurts way more.
As bloggers, we need to have a sense of community. And that community will never exist if we continue to form this false sense of security–this false sense of companionship. If everyone pats each other on the back, but without actually caring…there will be no community.
Please, let’s just all be honest with each other. I understand that, at times, it can be hard to tell someone the truth. I really do. But that doesn’t mean lying is the answer.
Everyone wants to win. Everyone is selling something. But in order to sell something, you need buyers.
And sometimes, to get buyers, you need to buy.
Be a part of a community. Take a chance with someone else’s work. Believe me, it’ll work wonders for you and your community.
Recently, a duo of blogging brothers published a new story on Amazon. What did I do? I bought it right away. Was it my kind of story? No. But did I at least give them a chance? Yes. And that’s what matters.
Be a part of a community. Participate.
That’s how you win!
What do you think?
Have you ever been able to tell that to someone? “Yeah, I’m a writer.”
It feels awesome. Naturally, we don’t like to share things about ourselves with people we don’t know. That being said, telling people about our love of writing seems like something we all look forward to. I know I do. I’m proud of what I love, and, if you’re like me, you’re dying for someone to listen to you talk about your writing experiences.
So maybe we like telling people “I’m a writer”.
But do we even realize what we’re saying?
If you really are a writer, analyze what I’m about to say with a writer’s eye. By saying “I am a writer”, what verb are you using?
“Am”. It’s a verb of being.
Do you realize what you are saying?
Some would say that you are defining something deep about yourself…something so deep, it’s akin to your very nature. What is the definition of nature, as ascertained by philosophers that are way smarter than me?
“Nature-Essence at its center of activity: a thing’s fundamental function”
To say that you ARE a writer implies that it is your nature. It is your fundamental function.
I dare you. I DARE you. Ask yourself a simple question:
“Am I really a writer?”
(“Or do I just write from time to time?”)
Does writing define who you are? Do you need writing? Is writing your fundamental function?
I’ve read a lot of stories about the experiences of successful authors. What those stories had in common was how much those authors had to dive into a lifestyle of writing, whether it was easy or not. They made writing their fundamental function. It was write or die.
My dear followers, are you willing to do the same?
Are you a writer?
If the answer is “no”, then what are you willing to give?
If you want to be successful, if you want to be true to yourself, don’t just write.
Be a writer…
…so that you can say this and know it in your heart: “I. Am. A. Writer.”
Now go for it, and apply this to any part of your life that involves (or should involve) passion.
What do you think?
The power of the mind is incredible. The power of our own emotions, our own imagination, is incredible. We take in so much information around us; ever since we were fetuses, ever since we were babies, we were able to process information. And we continue to do this constantly.
The mind is incredibly powerful…so it’s not surprising that your mind can turn against you.
Sometimes we learn things from our surroundings. We process things without needing to think about it. I can see the doorway ahead of me, therefore I head there, and not into the wall.
However, sometimes things happen in which we do sit down and ponder “What just happened? What does this mean?” And that’s when our mind really becomes powerful.
Because we can influence ourselves, depending on the circumstances or the information we have…or the information we think we have. And the more powerful our mind grows, the more we start to analyze and think about what’s wrong…what’s wrong with ourselves, what’s wrong with this situation, or this event, or that person.
And it so happens that, because our mind is so powerful, but our spirits are weak…we start to doubt.
We doubt ourselves. We doubt the people around us. We don’t even dare to hope, that’s how much we doubt.
Are you powerful enough to overcome your own mind?
Your mind is telling you to doubt. You can’t do it. You’ll never make it. You’re not good enough. The world won’t let you. God won’t let you. This is what your mind is constantly telling you, because you’re so smart, because this is how you processed the information, or how you interpreted the happenings of this or that event.
But are you willing to be stronger than your own mind…and BELIEVE?
Are you willing to have faith? Are you willing to care, even when your mind says it’s stupid?
The mind is strong. So make your spirit stronger. Have faith. It is a quality that all writers must have.
What do you think?
“Hi, my name’s Dominic, and I’m a self-centered asshole.”
….said no one ever. (Especially if your name isn’t Dominic 😉 )
Look people, I love blogging about my personal endeavors as much as the next writer. But if that’s all you have to offer to your audience, your blog will suddenly become increasingly one-sided.
I’ve seen this time and time again. Maybe certain authors/bloggers aren’t TRYING to be self-centered, or assholes (pardon the language), but it sure can come across like that. ALL they talk about is their personal endeavors. They ask for reviews. They ask you to “share” and “spread the word”. Basically, the only person they are invested in is THEMSELVES.
Don’t be that person.
Many of us blog because we are trying to promote something. I know I am. I’m a self published author and I’d like people to read my books. But that doesn’t mean I spend all my time focusing on just me. And there are plenty of other bloggers out there who are behaving the same way. We know that being self-centered is wrong, stupid, and unfulfilling.
So don’t be that person that focuses on being a consumer. Don’t be that person that asks for favors but never pays attention to anyone else. You’ll never get anywhere like that.
Be helpful. ASK for suggestions. Ask for criticism. ACCEPT criticism. Get involved in OTHER people’s projects.
As always, What do you think?
Yes, I am also promoting something. If you’re interested, you can check out my fantasy novel Elithius here.