When I first launched my professional freelance writing site last fall, all the sources I consulted suggested that content marketing was king – that in order to “build my list” and “sell my products” and “enhance my personal brand,” I needed to tack on a blog and regularly update it. You know, if I built it, they would come.
I’m sure that works. I’ve seen it work.
But here’s the thing:
It’s not for me.
After kicking myself since December – the last time I posted here – for not regularly sending out my email newsletter or updating my blog here at The Storyteller, I’ve come to a sort of peace: I don’t enjoy blogging about writing. Rather than jumping at the chance to share here, I feel only pressure to post. And I’m at a point in my life where I’m all about deleting stress and adding joy. Let’s face it, if I wanted to be a content marketer—if I really loved doing that—I’d be doing it.
Besides, you know what? The internet is super-overloaded with content about writing, publishing, and freelancing. THERE ARE ALREADY APPROXIMATELY ONE ZILLION EXPERTS OUT THERE DOING WHAT I SET OUT TO DO and, while I think my voice is the bomb, I DON’T THINK I’M PARTICULARLY ADDING TO THE MIX.
Here’s what I love to do for writers:
- I love to teach them the secrets of storytelling.
- I love working one-on-one editing their essays, offering constructive tips on how to organize, write a killer narrative hook, or wrap up with a punch. I have one client whose original blog posts I mark up and send back on a weekly basis, usually doing a package deal with her for ten posts at a time.
- I love to ghostwrite original content when they just don’t have the time, matching their voices and channeling their ideas.
- I love to eyeball stuff they’re unsure about, offering reader notes.
- I love to MENTOR, COACH, EDIT, and TEACH writers at all stages and from all backgrounds.
- I love working with literary writers who want to finally get their memoir underway. I spent a few months last fall tutoring one such budding author and it was a joy to see his work blossom.
- I love working with nonprofits to help hone their policy messages. I dusted off my law degree and spent the past six months doing just that with this pair of public policy reports aimed at reforming our criminal justice system.
- I love coaching individual students on their grad school essays, helping them show versus tell those unique stories that set them apart from other applicants. I’m working with an amazing young man on his MBA applications right now.
If you happen to be interested in any of these services, by all means, shoot me an email at cindy(at)cindyreed(dot)me or pass my name along to anyone you think might be a good fit.
If you’re interested in resources on the topics I set out to conquer on this blog – the craft and business of writing and freelancing – you should read these six people. I do.
1. Carrie at Careful Cents. All about the business of freelancing, Carrie offers a great self-employment tax guide, tips on productivity, reviews of helpful tools and apps, and the opportunity to join her vibrant Facebook group.
2. Mridu Khullar Relph at the International Freelancer. Great tips on pitching publications from a bold thinker, Mridu offers an inspiring newsletter jam-packed with insider info on article writing, as well as links to her latest online courses.
3. Jane Friedman. Simply the best resource on the latest in publishing and creating an author platform.
4. Susan Macarelli at Beyond Your Blog. Susan’s podcasts and articles feature detailed interviews with editors at the sites where you want to appear, answering questions about who accepts submissions, who pays, and what editors want. She also runs a supportive Facebook group community.
5. Who Pays Writers. This searchable crowd-sourced forum lists who pays writers and how much in both traditional and digital media, with commentary on what certain publications are like to work with and how fast or slow they pay. Though it’s been dormant of late, the site still offers transparency in the often opaque world of proposing rates for your writing.
6. Ed Gandia’s Rate Guide. I use this guide for selecting rates on B2B and commercial writing work. Ed covers copywriting, whitepapers, blogging, email marketing, and more.
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A wise friend – okay, it was M.L. Philpott, published author, public television host, and literary magazine founder – once said: “DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT” in this brilliant post “The Advice That Works For (Pretty Much) Everything.” There’s pressure on those of us in the blogosphere to master every social media channel, constantly hollering into the ether to make our name on the web. But there’s a time to step back and focus on what works for you and, usually, you’ll find those are the things you truly love to do anyway.
So I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter, but there won’t be any more blog posts – weekly, sporadically, or otherwise. I’ll email on occasion to announce my latest writing classes (next one starts June 20!!), speaking engagements, or other cool endeavors I think might interest you.
And I’ll trust that if you need help with a blog post, essay, memoir, policy report, or any other kind of writing that you feel a little unsure about, you’ll know where to find me even if I’m not shouting into your ear about how awesome I am.