It is one thing to say you are a writer, and quite another to actually BE a writer. The first step in positioning yourself as a writer is to write! Yes, write, and write a lot. Get your name out there through newsletters, blog posts, articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. You will want to set up a website or blog and make sure you post frequently. Your website can be used to promote any writing you have done, or if you are just starting out, you will want to publish your articles, stories, and blogs using strong keywords so search engines can find your work.
Another thing you need to do to position yourself as a writer is to establish yourself as an expert in something. Start out by looking at the things you do best. The things you are passionate about, and/or the things others come to you for advice on. Dan Miller, in his book,Write to the Bank, says that one way to establish yourself as an expert is to write short articles and submit them to newspapers, trade publications and magazines. Don’t worry too much at this point about getting paid for those short articles, but use them to establish yourself as someone who knows about the topic.
This is the time you want to use to start getting your name out there so people start to recognize you as the ‘go-to’ person when they need information about your content area. The time will come when publications will start approaching you with contracts or offers to write (for pay) articles about the topic you have identified as your area of expertise.
You don’t want to limit yourself to one topic area, but do try to keep the areas you are writing about related. It is much better to be known as an expert in one area than as someone who dabbles in lots of different areas. Once you have established your self as a writer, it is OK to venture out into other genres, content areas, etc.
Once you have established yourself as a writer, keep writing. Successful writing is a combination of promotion and writing – with emphasis on promotion. Use your Social Media connections like LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter to promote your blog or website. And don’t stop. If you are consistent in getting your work out there, you will start to be recognized and other writing opportunities will open up for you. By the way, my website is: www.janiewrites.com!