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Alternatives to Social Networking for the Reluctant Writer
by Jennifer Brown Banks

If you’re not big on “small talk”, or lack a lot of time to devote to “friending” on Facebook, mingling on MYSPACE, or touching base on Twitter, don’t despair.  You’re not alone.

You can still get (paid) gigs, gain name recognition, and “win friends and influence people.” Though social networking certainly has its place in promoting today’s successful writer, it’s not the only way to achieve marketing and “bottom line” goals.

I should know. I only recently overcame my “Twitter Jitters” to sign up. And I’m embarrassed to add that I almost never use the social networking sites in the average writer’s arsenal of tools.

Whenever I attempt to, I seem to get distracted by viewing all the interesting people’s profiles, visiting wonderful websites I’ve never heard of, and doing everything other than promoting my business and making important connections. I'm like a kid in a candy store, excited to sample everything!

Not to mention, I don’t always know what to say to strangers to come across as witty and wise. Nor do I understand all the lingo, or the abbreviations. “lol” J
 
Still, my client roster boasts of doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers and other professionals.  And just this week I was booked for a speaking gig in August, to the tune of $200.00.

When I asked the event coordinator how she obtained my information, she said she got it through my profile appearing on a writers’ group website. Not bad, huh?
 
I’ve said it before, but this bears repeating: success as a writer depends as much upon strategy and time management as it does writing skills.

With this in mind, here are four creative ways to expand your reach and your bottom line, for the “wall flower” writer.

  1. Pen quality articles for quality sites. Popular ezines devoted to the writing life typically have thousands of subscribers. This puts your work in front of numerous potential fans, editors, and publishers.  In fact, last year, I had my quotes included in two books published through commercial publishers, as a result of articles originally appearing in Funds for Writers and Writing for DOLLARS!

  2. Guest blog on prominent sites. Because of the interactive and popular nature of blogging today, it  provides an array of opportunities for linking to your site and landing your name at the top of search engine listings. To increase your odds for acceptance, be sure to read the guest post guidelines appearing on most blogs.

  3. Join writers' organizations and post your profile online. Be sure that it reflects your most important achievements, any awards or commendations, and works published. Add an attractive photo for additional appeal.

  4. Create and maintain a Blog with killer content and valuable resources. My blog that was launched about a year ago, has helped to earn a Page 3 Google rank, a paid blogging gig, and new friends. Yours can too.

Don't be shy to follow these four tips. You're sure to find a pot of gold and popularity on your path to writing success.

© Copyright 2010, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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