Have you heard of Ning? It is the latest thing to hit the social networking field, and it has a different twist. Centered around common interests, this site fills a unique niche and is catching on quickly. CNN reported that Ning has had 4.7 million unique visitors since January. If you are interested in social networking, this is a good site to check out. There are plenty of groups centered around writing and it is easy to find one you like.
Do you use twitter? If not, it might be worth looking into. I resisted at first, but have found that in some ways it is better for networking than facebook. (Although I must admit to liking facebook more.) On twitter you can find professionals that you might not normally have access to and link up with them. Plus, you can get the word out to a large number of people about what you are up to in your writing career.
That said, be nice too. It is considered “polite” to mix self-promotion with helpful advice, quotes and other fun stuff. And if someone follows you, it is always a good idea to thank them for it. Personally, I have my privacy settings on so that I have to accept someone who wants to follow me, but do what you are comfortable with.
The learning curve on twitter is a bit more steep than facebook in my opinion, but there is a help page that really does the job. Start there for the skinny on things such as finding people, following and direct messages. You don’t have to dive in and start tweeting away, but not having this social marketing site in your toolbag means you are one step behind as a writer. It’s worth a shot.
(And look me up! I’m catherinetully on twitter. Tell me you are a FZ reader so I know who you are…)
I came across Magazine Circus today and signed up for the ride….it’s a social networking site for those in the magazine industry. It has a news & views section, discussion area and a member list….looks interesting. I haven’t had time to explore it in depth, but thought I’d share with FZ readers so you can check it out too….
In the early days of my career I cut my teeth reading Robert Bly’s books on freelance writing, and while I daresay that most of the people who read this great book will NOT make $100,000 a year, they CAN earn more than enough to keep the beer and chicken wings flowing freely thank you very much.
For my money, the real value for books like these is as much about showing you that other people can and do earn a living doing nothing but freelancing as it is giving you the advice on queries, research, taxes and all the other stuff. One day somebody will write the definitive book on how to avoid writing, blow off deadlines and ignore your creditors, and we can all learn some lessons in reverse. For now, I highly suggest books like Bly’s, but please take that dollar amount with a grain of salt until you can look back on your career from the time you first cracked this book open and laugh about whether that figure applies to you or not.
Maybe I am a bit biased against dollar amounts on the cover–if only because I keep finding used books with titles like “How to earn $25,000 a Year as a Photographer”. HAH! How dated is THAT one? Why not just call it “How To Take Pictures While Starving.”
Buy for $11.56
Me.dium is something I recently discovered. It is a browser that allows you to search with your friends–in real time. It also recommends sites to you depending on what sites you browse. It can be a little hard to explain, so hop on and check it out for yourself when you have a minute…
Bloggers use social networking sites like MySpace for self-promotion all the time. But how can a struggling freelance writer take advantage of the same type of strategies bloggers use? It’s easy. Here’s the breakdown in five easy steps:
1. Cultivate lots of “friends”. The law of averages says the more MySpace friends you have, the higher the response rate will be when you post a link to your material or send a bulletin saying “Hey, look at this!” The extra eyeballs on your work means the greater likelihood that your article will get comments and feedback. The more activity on a given article, the better you look in the eyes of an editor who has to decide whether to use you again.
2. Add “targeted” friends. Got somebody else in the biz you want to make friends with? Maybe an editor or a publication you want to get published has a MySpace site. Add them as friends and start up a casual “relationship” with them by sending the occasional message or posting a nice comment. This is standard MySpace behavior, but when it comes time to strike up a conversation with someone at that publication you won’t be such an unknown quantity at a medium-sized or smaller operation. The key here is to be a semi-regular MySpacer, posting and commenting without mentioning your own work–until you need to.
Continue reading Five Ways To Use MySpace to Advance Your Writing