Creative Writers: 5 Ways To Create An Online Presence

by Alicia Sparks on January 17, 2012

What if creative writers wrote only with colored pencils?

Under the Day 2: Creating An Online Presence lesson of my Free Tools For Freelance Writers mini course, reader Dave asked if the same kinds of tools I listed for creating an online presence for freelance writers apply to creative writers as well.

If you don’t remember, for freelance writers I suggested using tools like blogs, websites, and article distribution sites (think Ezine Articles and Hub Pages) for developing an online presence.

However, for creative writers working on materials like short stories, poems, and novels, I’d suggest a different list of tools and methods for creating an online presence…

…actually, for creative writers, I think creating an online presence and getting one’s name out there go hand-in-hand. Similar to freelance writers, creative writers must recognize the power of networking, and some of these ideas help with that.

1. Blogs and Websites

In this day and age, you need a blog or website – no matter what kind of writer you are. For freelance writers, having this home base allows prospective clients and customers to view their work, rates, and contact information; for creative writers, it gives fans, editors, and publishers a way to view their stories, get a taste of their writing style, and overall learn more about the author whose stories they’re reading.

Check out Creating An Online Presence to learn more about creating a free blog (or an inexpensive website).

2. Social Media

With social media like Facebook and Twitter, not only can you build a following or fan base, but you can network with other creative writers and find out how they’re getting their names out there.

3. Creative Writing Groups

Creative writing groups do more than just get the creative juices flowing and allow you a place to brag, rant, and bounce ideas off other writers. These groups are also packed with writers who know things you don’t, and who are looking for information you have.

You can find creative writers groups in a variety of forms:

  • E-mail groups, such as Yahoo! Groups.
  • Facebook groups.
  • Groups affiliated with writing- or reading-related websites, like the numerous creative writing groups over at goodreads.com
  • Message boards and forums.
  • Offline groups, such as those at your local library or college.

Can’t find a group that resonates with you? Start your own! “Founder of Super Cool Creative Writing Group” sounds pretty snazzy on a resume. πŸ™‚

4. Writing Contests

Winning, placing in, or receiving honorable mentions for writing contests definitely helps create an online presence (if the contest holder posts winners online), get your name out in the writing community, and – depending on the contest’s host – it could even dangle your name in front of editors and publishers.

Not sure where to start? Check out 10 Website For Finding Writing Contests.

5. Post Your Work

Numerous websites exist for the sole purpose of hosting authors’ short stories, essays, poems, and other types of creative writing. You can post to these sites, have others read (and sometimes critique) your work, and direct potential editors and publishers to your entries.

To get started, check out:

How about you, readers? Do you have experience with any of those suggestions? Any success or horror stories to share? How about additional ideas?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tania Dakka January 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

Great ideas! Thanks for listing Writing Contests site…that’s going to come in handy. πŸ™‚

You mentioned how social media helps you network, but I would like to take that one step further. When you do network, hook up with three or four other writers and establish a method of letting them know when you have posts on your blog. Some of us used #blogtaxi for a while and it worked well to get comments on the posts. You send out the hashtag on Twitter, along with a mention for the users you want to stop by and the link for the post. They stop by, read, comment, tweet and Fb it. This helps to get your info out there via their connections, too. One thing I want to mention, the point is to get your name out there AND build your tribe (the people that need your info and love to shout it for you), so when you network, try to make sure you are networking with people that can use what you have to offer.

Ok, sorry for the long post! Love, love your blog and your very helpful info! Thanks!

Alicia Sparks January 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

Shoot, don’t worry about the long response – that’s EXCELLENT advice, Tania!

Now, I wonder how people can get up with already-established hashtag communities, like the former #blogtaxi one you mentioned? I know from experience that getting them started can be tough. Do you have any experience with/suggestions for it?

Tania Dakka January 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

First, the blogtaxi is still running, I just haven’t participated in a couple of weeks. And I didn’t know about it until someone sent it to me. There’s no reason that they couldn’t just jump in to the convo. They choose some on their list that they are already in cohoots with and ship the taxi over to them with their mention and that person is likely to pick up on the idea. That’s how I got in on it.

Another way is to contact some fellow writers and agree to Tweet, Facebook, and comment. An ideal set up is with 4 of you who agree to place well-thought out comments (not the spammy kind) on each others posts and to help promote each other. This steps up your Google presence a little more and if done well can lower your Alexa ranking.

One note, try to stay within your niche. You don’t want to waste the time of others (or yours) who aren’t going to benefit from your content and from whom you won’t benefit:)

The last way is not to get discouraged…keep plugging away at social media networking. It’s like getting rejection letters, one day that’s all you get until you get your first acceptance and then your ball starts rolling!

sky.com half price May 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm

First off I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick
question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had a hard
time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however
it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any recommendations or hints? Many thanks!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: