While it’s true that writing often can lead to a successful web writing career, that isn’t the only way to success. In fact, your business strategy should involve more than being productive. You should also know how to make the most of your existing content. As a career freelance writer and advocate to fellow web writers, I have years of experience doing just that.
Submit non-exclusive work as often as possible.
The more rights to your content that you can keep, the better. While exclusive pieces can sometimes net you more upfront, you won’t always make the most from exclusive work in that piece’s lifetime. If done right, evergreen (ever-relevant) non-exclusive work can net you more over time.
Save all of your work in more than one place.
Always have more than one copy of everything you write. For instance, if you save it in an online word/drive program (like Google Drive), make sure you also save it to your computer and also to a flash drive. This ensures that if something happens in one of those places, you’ll still have your work stored in another place. It never hurts to over-store your writing. But it can often hurt to under-store it. Just because one thing is reliable does not mean it always will be. At the very least, have your work stored in two places. But I recommend more, if possible.
Re-use your non-exclusive submissions whenever possible.
The reason you want to submit your work as non-exclusive wherever possible is so that you can re-use that writing elsewhere. Many venues will accept work that has been previously published. This means that you can get more use out of one piece of content than if you had originally submitted it as exclusive. In fact, you can republish that content as many times as you wish if it isn’t exclusive to a particular venue or individual.
Keep your published content updated.
Generally, when you post content online, most of the time you’ll have access to keep it updated. This way, its “shelf-life” is longer. Links and information can get outdated. If you always keep your content as up-to-date as possible, readers will trust your work and you’ll be able to direct people to your content for longer periods of time. Many online venues pay per view. No one wants to look at stale content. But if your content stays updated, you can continue to promote it and keep people interested long after its original publication date.
Reference and promote your existing content often.
Don’t forget to link to existing content that is relevant to new things you publish. Also, when promoting new content, always remember to cycle promotion of your existing content as well. This keeps attention on your content for longer periods of time, which means more views and usually more money.
People often say “Work smarter, not harder”. I say “Work both smart and hard for the best results”. You still have to write often to keep people interested. But making the most of your existing work will help you earn more from each piece of web writing you produce.