Social media conferences, unlike writing conferences, may not ring a bell in you if you are not really into content marketing. Still, it is one among many types of conferences that writers shouldn’t ignore, especially if they’re into writing fiction or do content production for online and social media consumption.
If you want to up your social media marketing skills, boost your creativity in design and writing, or open up to new possibilities in areas such as tech, you may have to look beyond conferences aimed just at writers.
Luckily, the start of a new year brings with it many conferences for writers and digital marketers. It is also a time for us writers to reflect, make resolutions, and plan on events to attend during the year—and this is where social media conferences, just like writers’ conferences, should enter in our planner.Continue reading
Let me take a wild guess: Because you enjoy writing, you’ve always dreamed about making a living with it.
After all, friends and family members tell you how much they love and enjoy your writing every time you share it with them, so it must be good enough.
Am I right so far?
But now that you’re ready to become a professional writer, you’re suddenly reading everywhere you turn that it’s dangerous to depend on the people closest to you for feedback on your writing. One, they may not know enough about writing to give you relevant and useful feedback. Two, even if they are knowledgeable, they might be less than honest about any negative feedback they have, to avoid hurting your feelings.
And now, you’re completely off-balance because you don’t know who else to ask, or where else you can go to get honest feedback on your writing. Since I’ve been in your shoes before, I understand how you feel.
But there is good news!Continue reading
Using a pen name (also known as a pseudonym, literary double, or nom de plume) is a writing tradition that is both old and widespread. Many of the classic authors we are familiar with wrote and published using a pen name—Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) being one characteristic example.
The reasons behind using a pen name can vary. Sometimes, one’s real name might be considered too long or too difficult to pronounce. “Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum” would’ve been a challenge for a publisher (and a nightmare for a cover designer), so “Ayn Rand” was preferred.
Moreover, some famous female authors have opted for a pen name to hide their gender, in order to be taken more seriously. Examples include George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Currer and Ellis Bell (Charlotte and Emily Brontë), and James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Bradley Sheldon).
Using a pen name can have some important benefits regarding marketing and publishing. Plus, using a pen name can help your writing—for reasons you might not readily appreciate, as I’ll explain later in the post.
However, here’s a crucial question: Can using a pen name also hurt your writing?Continue reading
I’ve been in so many rooms of writers, editors, and journalists who roll their eyes at the mention of search engine optimization (SEO). As a lot, we tend to be appalled that we must deign to taint our creations with keywords to appease the “Almighty Algorithm.”
We seem to believe there’s good writing … and then there’s SEO writing. That’s probably because most advice on writing for SEO is about numbers and algorithms. It makes you assume search engines only like boring, robotic, and even awkward writing. That’s not true (anymore).
Good writers should love SEO. Not just out of obligation, but because it helps you make better content—and it’s not as complicated as it seems.Continue reading