As a writer, the burning question in your mind might well be “How can I become a successful author?”

Well, the truth is that it can be a struggle to get your work recognized and a make a career out of writing. Whether you are looking to become a creative writer or to report non-fiction through journalism, the most important step in starting your career is to promote your writing. You need to show audiences, prospective publishers and future employers why your literature is worth reading. In effect, you need to show that your voice is unique, and there are a few easy steps you can take to get you started.

Create an online platform

Creating an online presence is the easiest way to get your work out there. The center of your platform should be a website dedicated to your writing. If you have a pseudonym that you write under, then that should be the name attached to your website, as you want people to make a connection between your chosen name, and your work, from the beginning. If possible, you should also include a blog, as a website will more likely rank higher in search engines if you have a blog, compared to if you don’t. Post writing samples and extracts from larger works regularly to your blog, and this will aid you in building up your audience.

Provide free content

By following the first step and setting up a blog, you should already be providing small samples of free content for audiences to read online. However, if you want to make money as a writer, you will often have to make the compromise of providing completed works absolutely free. One way to do this is to self-publish work to free e-book providers. This is an effective method of reaching a wider audience, and improving your career prospects. Readers who like your content are likely to search for your online platform, and, in turn, this will build you a larger online following. You should use some of your best work when creating free content, as these will be the collected works which draw readers in. Don’t think of it as giving away your hard work for free, but rather consider it as gaining free publicity.

Enter writing competitions

There are many writing competitions which exist solely to help undiscovered authors, like you, further their careers. Most contests will either offer a cash prize, a chance to issue submitted work in some form of publication, or both. Some may charge a small fee for you to enter your work, but numerous organizations run free writing competitions, providing the perfect opportunity for you to gain recognition.

Network by supporting other writers

Several writers will be facing the same struggle as you. By now, some may be slightly more successful than you, while others will be having an even harder time getting their voices heard. You might think of these people as your competitors, but in truth, they are your greatest allies. Each author will have garnered their own organic following, which is invaluable no matter how small it might be. If you support your fellow writers by promoting their work, it is likely they will return the same courtesy, allowing both you and them to reach out to a wider audience.

Create visual advertisements

There are several ways to self-promote, but sometimes more traditional methods are the most effective, such as handing out brochures. You can access a free brochure maker online, to create aesthetically pleasing booklets, which include information people are likely to want to know about you. For example, it would be wise to include details such as why you became a writer, and how people can access your writing. This is a valuable way of getting people to connect with you on a more personal level, which will result in them taking a keener interest in your success as an author. Remember, a publisher is more likely to invest in authors who have the reader’s support.

A lot of people are anxious about self-promotion, as they believe it might be misconstrued as arrogance. However, that is not the case, and investing in self-promotion is the best way to gain recognition and support as a writer. If you want to build a following and improve your chances of success, it is necessary to widely advertise your writing capabilities.

** Another great resource is Canva. You can create banners for your website, newsletters, facebook and more. You can also great review graphics or character cards or anything else (I use it for almost everything I do graphic wise). What I love about Canva is that it is so easy to use.

If you like the idea of making a brochure to hand out at writing events or book signings etc – click this link. Canva’s online brochure creator lets you make brochures in seconds, thanks to their library of templates and Canva’s intuitive drag-and-drop design platform that’s online and free to use.

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