Friday, April 15, 2011

A Mousetrap of the Writerly Variety

Dawn Sievers has been a Facebook friend of mine for some times now. She moderates an awesome group, Authentic Bloggers, as well. But though I knew she was very involved with writing, I really didn't know much about her, so I invited her to write something up. This way, I can get to know her a little better, and you do too. Kudos to Dawn for all her accomplishments.

For those who have been blogging for a while, you're probably familiar with the concept of guest posting. That's when another blogger invites you to write a blog article that will be featured on their blog. It gives you more exposure to a completely different demographic (depending on the focus of that other blog); you meet new people and if you're lucky, people will enjoy your guest post enough to investigate your blog and you'll grow your readership.

I don't do a lot of guest blogging, and the main reason is a simple one - lack of time. I am a freelance writer, editor and blogger, and also a social media management consultant. The fact that writing is both my avocation and my vocation means that I write a good 90% of the business week for myself and my blog at Healing Morning, and for clients. Whatever time is left over, I'm attending networking functions and meeting new people in order to source new contracts. Blogging on a personal level tends to get shifted to the side burner as a result. If you're a blogger, then you know one of the Cardinal Rules of Blogging is reciprocation. Given that I stay so busy, it isn't often that I have time for the guest blogging process. Occasionally, a blogging friend will invite me to do a guest post, and I do my best to accept the offer if it fits the general tone and theme of what I do at Healing Morning.

Anna L. Walls, of Anna's Obsession blog, recently asked me to do a guest post. So, here I am, ruminating on writerly things. I've written my whole life, and began to work in a freelance aspect with writing and editing about 18 - 20 years ago. I've had endless ups and downs, hot moments and long dry spells, as I worked to create a niche for myself. Recently, within the past 2-3 years, social media has afforded me an ancillary option to add to my bag of tricks as a writer, and as a result, my business is growing and thriving.

What the heck is a social media manager or consultant? It's someone like me who has strong writing and editing skills, who is also social media savvy and capable of taking on the social media management needs for various clients. This can translate to ghost writing blogs, to ghost writing newspaper articles, to doing research, to writing all manner of reports, to creating ad copy, to technical writing, and finally, to writing and scheduling daily/weekly social media wall posts for clients who are too busy to do it for themselves.

This sounds easy, yes? Like something you could dive into without a second thought and have immediate, over the top success. I wish that were true! The reality is that although social media is, indeed, increasing on an exponential manner on a worldwide basis, most business owners are still a bit vague about how social media can benefit their profit margin. Marketing is everything to every business, and many business owners haven't quite warmed up to the concept that social media is the strongest marketing tool available these days. At least this is true of the area where I'm located - the southeastern region is historically a bit slower to embrace new marketing concepts and trends. As a result, a great deal of my own marketing of these services is being an educator and teaching people about the value of social media.

I'm happy to say that there is increasing awareness and appreciation for social media consulting in my geographical location. I'm meeting more and more business owners who are waking up to the fact that they're overlooking a very hot, not to mention FREE, marketing tool. I am hopeful that within the next 6 months, I'll have enough business in my pipeline that I'll have to hire additional help. I'm well on the way to making that dream a reality, so in my own small part of the world, I am seeing a slight improvement in the economy. In addition to that slight economical improvement, I recognize that I've done a lot of the groundwork and created that ideal valuable niche for myself. Most networking group meetings I attend, I find that I am the unique person in attendance, offering a service that no one else does in my local area. We all recognize the logic behind coming up with that next fresh, unique idea, and for me, freelance writing, editing, blogging and social media consulting is proving to be my version of the "better mousetrap". My mousetrap is of the writerly variety.

I am also another blogger who has aspirations and intentions of becoming a published author in both fiction and non-fiction genres. While I work to make that dream a reality, the freelance writing side of things is what pays the bills for me. I feel that I am fortunate to be one of those people who is being paid to do what I love. I also am happy that I can see strong signs of this foundation leading to bigger and better experiences. My mousetrap of the writerly variety is proving to be a pretty handy and clever creation.

*Disclaimer: No mice were harmed in the writing of this article.*


Alfandi said...

guest blogging...i think it's a good way of providing exposure to each other..good luck on your book..

Healing Morning said...

Looks like you got the photograph part taken care of! Thanks so much for the invitation to guest post here on Anna's Obsession - it was a fun exercise. I hope your readers enjoy the post. :)

I will also grab the specific link to link back to you.

~ Dawn

Dave said...

Dawnie! I had to do a double-take when I was reading this, because I thought Anna was trying to claim credit for your Healing Morning blog. LOL

Ok, not really. But I was a bit confused at first. Usually guest posts have an introduction from the blogger identifying who the guest poster is.

All of that being said, I'm glad that you're making such a success of yourself in this whole social media thing. I'm sure you could teach me a thing or two (or three, or four, or four million) about it.

This is a great post, with some great information for those who may be looking into doing what you do.

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for stopping by folks. I did sort of sort out the picture. Unfortunately it isn't within the post like yours is.

Dave - you are so right - my bad. I'll fix that right away. Thanks for catching my laps.

Dave said...

Not a problem, Anna! Always happy to help.

Considering the types of mistakes I've made on my blog, this one's pretty minor.

Healing Morning said...

Dave, I continue to learn daily about social media management. And it's usually as a result of making some big boneheaded mistake first! I made one of those w/ a potential client two weeks ago, as a matter of fact, and learned a valuable lesson in the process. With social media changing daily, I doubt I'll ever stop learning and as always, I'm happy to share tips and tricks.

Anna, I didn't give a second thought to the lack of an intro until Dave mentioned it. I LOVE the intro, btw! It's always cool to hear other people's thoughts about your blog and your writing. It's been a fun endeavor, Anna! :)

~ Dawn

Dave said...

Wow. Now *that's* an intro. :)

Anna L. Walls said...

Glad you like it, guys. It's well deserved, Dawn.

Lou Barba said...

Hi Dawn,

Your post certainly puts some ideas in MY head. My blog contains fiction which I write to keep it from being a spammy sales page. Lots of people like my stories (surprise...surprise) It's nice to see that I could actually put more focus just on writing.

Lou Barba

Roy Durham said...

a bit of double teaming i see two great lady that write beautifully. and have a good head on the shoulders i love both of your blogs. i would like to have your both guest post on my blog any time . dawn you do have a good mouse trap. however i will have to warn mouse. and Anna you can have this snow back any time. lol thank you and god bless all

Anna L. Walls said...

Hey Roy, You pick the time and subject. I'd be honored. I think Mouse is pretty talented, Cat might have his work cut out for him. hahaha