Thursday

Writing for Free – A Means to an End

I have come to the conclusion that the most time consuming aspect of writing is keeping up with all the useful information that is made available through everywhere from business sites to personal blogs. It seems everyone is offering free information. I have already spent entire days just surfing through sites and reaming ideas, strategies, tips, and so on. It really is endless.

In the writing world everyone tries to and actually needs to keep their work and names visible. Providing information is a primary means of accomplishing this. New blogs are popping up everyday with free tips and advice. The blog has become a great vehicle to bring you to the reader. It is an excellent way to show readers what you have to offer. The information you provide will hopefully not only draw readers, but keep them coming back for more. Using my own blog as an example, I found that if I don’t offer beneficial information along with the hosting blogs I do, I lose followers.

Another vehicle to bring you to the reader is the free online magazines. This is where you can write and have your articles published – you don’t get paid, but you do get published. While it does not have the credibility of paying markets, it is a great way to hone your craft and be visible.

One more source of visibility is writing guest blogs or articles for other blogs or sites. Often the writers are looking for new and fresh content for their sites or newsletters. If the offer arises take advantage of it, or ask bloggers if they would be interested in a guest blog from you.

Every marketing teleseminar and workshop I have been to encourages writers to offer information through blogs or free online magazines. According to marketing experts the name of the game is visibility. Free information draws readers. I can confirm that this is true because I make it a point to attend all the free teleseminars and teleclasses I can. The businesses that offer this free information want to draw you there so they can sell you their services. This is understandable. It is a win-win situation; they acquire some new customers and you, whether you take advantage of their services or not, receive valuable information. But, to what extend should a writer offer their services for free?

While taking this path of visibility it’s important to remember that submitting to free ezines or guest blogging is not just a lack of financial gain, it’s the time loss incurred while preparing these articles and blogs. The best strategy is to start out offering free tips and articles until you can provide your own expert information and advice. It’s important to remember that this free information will draw readers and show them that your posts and articles are a source of useful data. Once you feel comfortable enough that the information you are providing is of substantial value you can offer it in the form of ebooks, newsletters, teleseminars or other means for a fee.

You should be aware that even when you reach this point, it’s still a good idea to publish articles in the free ezines for continued visibility and as a means of drawing new readers/customers to your sites and services. And, don’t forget that while you’re providing free information you can also be submitting articles to paying markets.

3 comments:

Janet Ann Collins said...

You're sure right about the amount of time it takes!

Deb Hockenberry said...

It does take a lot of time to visit different sites, doesn't it? You have a great idea!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Hi, Janet and Deb,

Thanks for stopping by. We all need virtual assistants!

Karen