Hello, Adair Heitmann, the Wednesday Writing Critique Group leader, writing to you today. As Fall officially begins, gardeners turn their sights to next Spring. Like gardeners, good writers, men and women of the intellectual soil, must dig deep. We plant and reap seeds not only for inspiration and message, but for our creative endeavors to blossom in the future.
In September 2008, I was pitching my manuscript to agents. One nibbled, and after telling me she was interested in my proposal, in the same breath asked, “Do you have a website?” I knew, as a writer, I should. But back then, I didn’t. In that moment, I learned an important lesson in getting your work published — you need an online presence.
Being a self-starter, by the time our “Winter Words” conference rolled around last December, I had a website. It was inexpensivly done, and I did it myself. I then set a 2009 writing goal: To increase my online presence. I’ve learned a lot this past year, I’ll share some of my hints and tips with you today.
1. Join and use a professional networking site. Many writers use LinkedIn. Fill in your Profile and join Groups. I found an upcoming anthology to submit my work to, from the Group, Metro Writers Community. After awhile on LinkedIn, when you Google yourself, your name will come up first in the search engines, that’s what publishing agents want! FREE. http://www.linkedin.com
2. Join Facebook for additional online career building. For writers, Facebook isn’t a place to talk about your shoe size or to complain. It is a place to market to, and connect with, readers. Recommend a book, or another author, talk up your current writing project in a casual and user-friendly way, it’s all about building community. Again your name will start to rise in computer search engines. FREE. http://www.facebook.com
3. Take a class to further your technology skills. A good one to take will be coming up on October 14, 2009, 7:00PM, here at the Fairfield Public Library. It is called, “LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter Can Further Your Career” FREE. Go to Events Registration on the Library’s website, look under Jobs 2009.
4. Comment on someone else’s blog. Online rule of thumb: Don’t be rude, crude or impolite. Note that everything you say online stays online, be sure you say what you want. FREE.
5. Volunteer to teach a class or give a speech at your local church, temple, alma mater or library. Your name will get linked online with those institution’s websites. FREE.
6. Write a blog. Remember, it is not necessarily an infomercial for yourself. Choose a topic that you are an expert on and share your message. I use Wordpress http://www.wordpress.com for my own creativity and wellness blog, and it’s what we use for our blog here at the Library. Author Mary Carroll Moore has a Blog for Writers, http://howtoplanwriteanddevelopabook.blogspot.com/ in which she inspires weekly writing exercises. FREE.
7. Create a website. I use InMotion, http://www.inmotionhosting.com/ many writers use GoDaddy and others. Research authors that you like, check out their websites. Go to the bottom of their Home Page and see who hosts their site. Do your research and find the one that works best for you. If you want to check out my website, simply Google me, my website will come up.
So, on this sunny Fall morning, enough about managing your career online. Get yourself back to the art of writing, and plan for your online presence to grow. Harvest your seeds and be sure to let us know here, at the Fairfield Writer’s Blog, what you do, and how it works for you. Until next time, keep on writing!
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