Authors vs Writers: The Difference
This is a Digital Marketing Strategy for beginners. Seasoned writers and authors have all the connections and marketing they can ask for. So, this post is for someone who is considering starting out and has no clue where to start. Now then. The first question is: what is the difference between authors and writers?
Well. A writer can be anyone who expresses their thoughts through writing. An author is someone who, ideally, has been published through their work as a composer of any literary piece, whether it is a novel, an essay or a poem.
In other words, an author is an evolved writer. At the same time we have plenty of freelance writers but not freelance authors. Why is that important? Because a Ghostwriter can write a novel for an Author. Think of it as a helping hand. The freelance writer will help the author with their work for a fee, without being named as an author of the novel. Get the picture? Good. Because before you start your writing career – you need to think carefully if you want to be a writer or an author.
Freelance writing vs Fiction
The first difference in your Marketing Strategy starts with your decision if you want to be known by your real name or a pseudonym. This is an important part. Soon you’ll see why.
Freelance writers usually go by their real names to make them easier to find. Plus. People who want to be known for their work, usually want people to know their names and the fact that it is that particular person behind that specific piece of work. Authors sometimes use pseudonyms. Many singers use stage names too. Why is it important to know what you want to call yourself before starting out as a writer? Well, because based on what you want to write, you will have to choose where to publish that work. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t ask legal advice from a doughnut shop… So, if you’re in need of a lawyer – you’ll go to a law firm.
Same with writers. First step is to know your audience. For instance if you’re not sure whether your novel would attract attention you can use free websites to publish your work and see what happens. These websites, like Royal Road, allow newly starting authors to post their work, interact with readers, get ratings, even reviews on their work, helping them shape their writing. On top of it all – in case you’re a shy one – you can use a screen-name. Once you have a good idea on how well (or not… sorry) your fiction works – you can consider copyrighting your work.
Now, considering that you wish to be a freelance writer on molecular biology – you probably would like to avoid fiction based websites. Right? So. A professional website would be highly advised in this situation. For the sake of the argument, let’s say you have that. Now what? Now you have to attract readers. How? By marketing your work, of course!
Luckily for us we live in a very digital world! It makes marketing your writing soo much easier! Best part about it – if you’re on a budget – there are plenty of free options for you to choose from how to market your work.
Linkedin, Medium, WordPress – to name a few – might work best as advertising tools to showcase your freelance articles. These webpages are heavily orientated toward professionals’ of all areas. For instance, say you have your own website – where you publish your work and where people can reach out to you – using another platform, to make your own website known, will increase your chances of attracting more readers as well as potential clients. Twitter, for example, can also be used in such a way. For freelance writers and novelists alike.
In case you don’t know where to start – consider checking out websites like Writer’s Work or Answer The Public – that should give you an idea of what to choose from. Answer the Public is a good place to start with because it shows you the “hot” topics that people want to read about the most. So, if you want to gain awareness on your writing skills – that is one of the better options how you can market your writing. Pick a topic and go wild! Well, not too wild.
Besides, if you really are on a budget – as any other beginner artist – you probably can’t afford to splurge on Paid Advertising. So, SEO (which is a super important part of Digital Marketing) is probably something you should be looking into. WordPress, for instance, gives you a chance to work on that as you publish your work, allowing for better organic marketing. Nice, huh?
It’s good to remember…
…not to overdo it. The marketing tools that you will be using all depend on the work you wish to do and who will be reading it. Picking one or two social media platforms or websites where to publish your work will work better than tackling aaalll of them at the same time. You’ll see why in a moment.
Communication is Key
It really is. Feedback is crucial for a beginner writer. Rather than focusing on large numbers of readers, focus on engaging your audience on a smaller stage. Show them attention. A bit of extra TLC can’t hurt. Why? Well, because by interacting with your readers you have more chances to attract other readers that will be more likely to truly appreciate your work. It’s a chain reaction: the more people like something, the more they tend to refer others to check it out. This is a way to organically build your ideal audience. In this age of Likes be different! Aim for quality over quantity.
Listen to your audience
Pay attention to what they want and see how you can work that into your work. It is difficult to get a miss on something when you work with the right people. So, if we think of your audience as being “the right one” that is – “your ideal readers” – then answering their needs would only benefit you – a little something to keep in mind.
Let’s review the opening point for this Strategy – we are beginners. So. Having said that – no need to over do with our goals either. Marketing goals for writers can be somewhat difficult to establish. So why not start with easy ones?
- How about gaining new followers in the next month?
- Double the views on your most proud article within the next three weeks?
- Publish a new post twice a week?
- Make new connections by the end of the week?
- Answer 15-35 comments on your website?
- Work on SEO?
- Improve cover art?
Take your pick! Set goals for yourself and work on achieving them. Start small and work your way up. Remember – having patience (and plenty of it too!) is very important. Marketing your work as a writer will take time. You need to work at it to get some results and you will need to work at it even harder to achieve your desired results.
Just in case…
…you’re thinking right now that doing all this sounds like a drag – you always have the option of hiring a Marketing Pro and letting them handle this. Although, before you get on Google to look for one – think if you can afford it…
As any beginner artist – it will be awhile before you can splurge on your marketing. It is never easy to create a buzz on something new, especially if you’re aiming for the right kind of a buzz. Tap into the resources that you have. Ask for help. Improvise. Be creative. Be patient.