Does your Write W.A.V.E. Media (WWM) content need some extra love? Do you keep checking your fans and followers on social media in hopes that more people will appear? If they haven't yet, you're probably going about things the wrong way - or you just got started and haven't given people time to find you yet. There are many different ways to get more fans and followers. The methods I find the best might surprise you.
Just be you. My number one rule in gaining fans and followers is to just be yourself. This should radiate in the comments you leave, in the content you publish, in your forum posts, and on social sites outside of WWM. There is no model form that everyone should fit into. Readers like to see the real person behind the writing.
Don't seek fans. Huh? Yes, that's right. If you want to gain the trust of your readers and writer friends, don't look at them as fans. Certainly don't seek out people, hoping they will like your Facebook page or subscribe. So, why is my fan base so large if I don't seek out fans? I consider my readers and fellow writers to be my friends. Some are closer than others of course. But, I do not go around saying "Please be my fan" or "Please subscribe to my work". Instead, I make friends and it doesn't bother me if they choose not to read my work. Not everyone is interested in the same things.
Fans and followers don't necessarily equate to high page views. Most large amounts of page views do not come from having fans and followers. They actually come via the search engines. So, why create those connections, then? Well, just for the sake of having like-minded friends and even for networking purposes. This is not to say their views don't count for anything. They absolutely do. Every view counts. But please don't look at your friends as page view insurance. Treat them as you would any other friend. There are real people behind those computer screens - not just numbers to add to your fan tally.
Don't expect people to subscribe or fan you just because you follow them. Sometimes people will fan you back or follow your work if you do the same with theirs. But don't get hurt feelings if they don't - and as mentioned above, don't ask. They simply just may not enjoy your topics or they may just be too busy to read more often. If someone has good content, I am going to read it whether they read mine or not. I never want anyone to feel pressured to read my work just because I read something of theirs. Of course, I appreciate every view I get. But, the most valuable and rewarding fans and subscribers are those that truly are interested in what you have to say.
Promote. Now, this may seem to contradict not seeking fans. In fact, it doesn't. It's alright to promote your work. Just do it where appropriate. For instance, don't spam message all your Facebook friends asking for reciprocal subscribing or liking of pages. It would be much more effective (and polite) to post a parenting article link on your profile, fan page, or even on a parenting site where that's allowed. There are ways to find a targeted audience that will be more interested and less irritated with you. Social sites are a great way to get the word out about your work. Just be sure to post other things and not just links to your work. Friends may be interested in your work. But, if that’s all you ever post, it may be considered spam.
Go about your daily routine. Just doing everything you normally do on WWM will eventually lead to fans over time. Comment on articles you enjoy. Subscribe to the topics and writers you enjoy. Find their blogs outside the WWM sites, as well. Visit the forums and participate in whatever interests you. People will naturally be curious about you and possibly check out your work, too. If they like what they see, they may even subscribe.
By following the advice above, you will soon find yourself gaining more than just fans. You'll be gaining valuable friendships - something much more important than a tally number.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
What does it take to make money in web writing? What's the formula to success? Throughout my career as a web writer and peer mentor, this is one of the most common questions people ask. One key component that I see in every web writer who stands the test of time is leadership. If you want to make yourself well known in the world of web writing, be a leader, not a follower.
But Mr. So-and-so does it this way. It's perfectly fine (and recommended) to learn from your peers. But never try to replicate exactly what they do. But why not, if it works? It's simple. Each writer has their own unique style, voice, and topical expertise. What works for one person may not work for another because there are too many variables.
Readers trust authenticity. If you want to be a true voice in the world of web writing, you need to actually keep that voice true. Leaders use their own style and voice in their work, not someone else's. When you see a fellow writer who seems to be miles ahead of you, it's natural to want that for yourself. But if you want to succeed, you need to stand out and that means you should figure out what works for you. Be yourself and people will notice that more than if you follow after everyone else.
Leaders are more visible to potential clients. If you want to be noticed, be a leader in your topics. Be unique by being yourself. Clients will more readily notice a writer who isn't like every other independent contractor out there. Give them something they can't refuse by staying on top of your expert subjects, as well as the latest style guidelines. Your leadership skills should be evident in every single piece of writing you put out there, even emails.
Mentoring your peers shows you know the field. Once I started learning the ropes, I began helping fellow writers simply because I knew what it felt like to be in their shoes. There's not a day that goes by that I am not answering questions, giving critiques, connecting people with potential clients, and so on. While I do this for the love of helping others, I discovered that it also shows current and potential clients that I know what I'm doing.
Leaders are more likely to move to the top quickly. Look at all the successful web writers you can think of -- that ones who have been at it for a long time. I can almost guarantee you that each one of them stands out for their individual talents and style. When looking for web writers, do you think the person who mimics another's style will get picked first for an important project if they both apply? Of course not. The leader with the proven track record and unique qualities is the one who will rise to the top.
*This content was originally published on Yahoo! Contributor Network by Lyn Lomasi.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Often friends and family of online writers don't understand their lifestyle or career. It's not something they do on purpose. They just really don't understand. Here are some of the top things family and friends of online writers need to remember.
Just because we are at home does not mean we are available.
Online writers work at home. Yes, this means we are at home more than some others might be. But it does not mean we can always answer the door or the phone. All of a writer's home hours are not hours that the writer is available. We have hours that we work, just like everyone else. It just so happens that our work is done at home. Just like you would not want someone calling your job to interrupt your work, we feel the same.
If the phone is off, we are most likely working and probably not dead.
The phone being turned off is not an invitation to bug a writer on messenger or facebook. It's also not an invitation to keep leaving messages or show up at our door. It simply means we are working and will get back to you when the work day is over. Writing is no different than any other job. If we don't do the work, we don't get paid. So if the phone is off, please don't take that as an invitation to interrupt our work with other means of contact.
Call before coming over.
Online writers might be working at various times of the day or night. Our schedule is flexible. However, because writing requires a specific thought process, when we are in the middle of it, interruptions can actually ruin our work. So, even though our work day is flexible, we need to be able to be the ones to choose the hours. If you'd like to visit an online writer, call first. If the phone is off, the writer is probably busy.
Facebook and other networking is not playing.
Online writers get paid by page views on many of their pieces of writing. Just because your online writer friend or family member is on facebook, it does not mean that person is playing. We need to stay social to keep connected with each other, as well as our readers. Both conversations and posting article links helps us with this aspect. Just because we are posting on facebook, it does not mean we are not working. It also does not mean we are available. Facebook, twitter, and more can be an important part of an online writer's day.
Online writing is a career, not a hobby.
When you ask your friend or family member how their 'little hobby' is going, expect them to be offended. Why? Online writing might be a hobby for some, but to many, it is actually their career. Does your friend or family member get paid for their writing? If you can answer yes, then it is not a hobby. Online writers are business owners, which makes writing their career. Just like everyone else, we have to file taxes, we have to put in the hours, and we get paid. Please do not call an online writer's career their hobby.
*I originally published on Yahoo! Contributor Network.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Authenticity is the key to returning readers. Being the true you creates trust.
You may not win over everyone by being you. But your goal is not to please everyone. If you think it is, you may need some serious rethinking time.
No matter how much it may seem that you have different thoughts than others, there will always be someone else who can relate. I am finding this out lately as I open up more on a personal level with certain friends.
Even if no one agrees with you, it is better to be authentic than to fake it just to save face. Readers like honesty and although they may not always agree with you, they'll respect you much more for being real than they will for being fake.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Are you targeting the right people with your writing? Who are you focusing on either intentionally or unintentionally? How do you know? As I am constantly telling my writing peers, knowing your audience is vital. During my career as a web writer, I've learned several ways to figure out what my potential audience wants and needs.
Consider the topic. What are people looking up your topic interested in? If you want to write parenting tips, think about common issues parents face and what you've done to solve those issues. If you want to write about writing, think about all the things you once looked up. Know what people into that topic are going to be interested in. Be very specific and gear your writing toward people who would be interested in that topic. For instance, if you are writing about dogs, don't veer off into talking about cats or mice. If someone clicks onto your dog article, they want to read about dogs.
Pay attention to reader comments in your niche areas. This will help you determine what people want to read. Readers may ask questions, express their disinterest in another topic, thank the writer for the info, and more. There is often much to learn just by reading the comments on your own articles, as well as others. What better way to learn what readers like than by looking straight to them for their thoughts? Another benefit to this gaining loyalty from regular readers. If they know that you actually care and pay attention to what they want, they'll interact more often.
Keep up with news and information changes regarding your topic. Staying on top of things helps readers trust what you say. It's also part of knowing who you're speaking to in your content. Don't write about a topic, unless you know what you are talking about because readers will call you out on it. On the other hand, if you do keep up with the latest in your niche area, readers notice that as well and will thank you instead. Periodically, I check my tutorial and how-to articles to make sure that the information is still accurate. If not, I will make edits where the venue permits it to reflect newer information. This helps give my audience what they want whether they access my article the day it publishes or months from then.
Study websites and blogs related to your topic. While it's beneficial to also study the venue where you are publishing, don't be afraid to also look outside that source. Take a look at how readers are responding to your niche topic elsewhere. Also, look at the methods each writer uses to interest the audience. See what you can learn from what other writers are doing. While you don't want to copy someone else, you can always learn from others and implement the lessons into your own style.
Pay attention to how your readers respond to what you write. Are readers responding negatively or positively to your work? How is it affecting the frequency of traffic on your articles? Do they blog about your work elsewhere? Are they asking you questions or sharing your work on social networks? If they're sharing, is it in a positive or negative light? These are all things you want to look at to see what your audience wants. When you can figure out what they respond to, you will have a better chance at reaching your intended audience.
***Note: I originally published this on Yahoo! Contributor Network
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