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How To,  Writing Tips

How To Brand Yourself as a Writer

Creating a solid brand as a writer is one of the most essential parts of breaking into the industry. When people hear your name or see your work, they should be able to tell that you are a writer. The more detailed your brand is, the easier it will be to connect with your potential audience.

It can be tricky to create a brand as a writer, and many beginners have trouble knowing where to begin. If you find yourself unsure of creating a brand as a writer, you’ve come to the right place!

And, be sure to read until the end so you can receive a free printable quick-guide on how to brand yourself as a writer!

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3 Most Essential Steps To Brand Yourself as a Writer

Portfolio

A portfolio is a must-have for any writer; it’s where you are able to let your skills shine and show people what you have to offer.

Picture It:

Potential Agent: Oh, you’re a writer? That’s great, I have an opportunity you seem like you’d be perfect for! Can I check out your work?

You Without a Portfolio: Umm, I guess I can email you a story I’ve been working on…

You With a Portfolio: Of course! Check out all my work and awards at jsmithwriting

Besides the professionalism and simplicity, having a public place to showcase your work allows people to find you on their own

Okay, okay, I get it. But, how do I create one? And what do I include on it?

A website is the best way to support your portfolio. Preferably, you have a proper website with a custom domain, great hosting, and owned by you. Unfortunately, owning a website can be pretty expensive, so it’s completely understandable if you choose to use a free site such as Tumblr, Wix, or another free hosting site.

Whichever you choose to display your portfolio, be sure to make the theme/design easy-to-read and simple, but unique.

As for what you should include in your portfolio, you’ll want contact information, accomplishments, and any awards. Have you been featured in a literary magazine? Include that! Have you won a writing contest? Put it on! Don’t be afraid to show off your achievements.

Include a few of your best short stories and flash fiction pieces, as well as snippets from longer stories. Be sure to be diverse and show many different facets. Include stories, scripts, screenplays, poems, game-writing, whichever mediums you excel in.

If you need some inspiration, you can check out the portfolio I created in college here.

Social Media Accounts

Social media has become such a fundamental part of our society, and it is so important to growing your brand. This is how you will not only grow your following, but also interact and engage with your audience.

I suggest having at least three social media accounts but focusing on one. You want to have profiles on a few different platforms so people can quickly discover you. However, trying to stay consistent on multiple accounts isn’t easy. Focusing on one platform will allow you to keep on top of your brand and growth while still benefiting from various platforms.

There are many different platforms, and really it’s up to you which you choose to use, but there are some staples I recommend having as a writer.

  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is where you’ll grow the business side of your brand. It’s great for posting any writing accomplishments, networking with other authors, and bringing potential business partners to your door.
  2. Twitter: Twitter is the place to develop relationships between you and your audience. Reply to mentions, share what you’re working on, and interact with other writers.

As for a third platform, I suggest choosing whichever one you enjoy most. If you love spending time on Instagram, go for that. If you prefer Pinterest or Tumblr, select one of them. The more you genuinely enjoy a social media platform, the more active you’ll be. So, don’t worry too much about how you’ll use the site as a writer. You can figure that out as you go—focus on picking something you know you’ll have fun with.

Regularly Share Your Work

Getting your work seen is the most important thing as a writer. Unfortunately, this can be pretty difficult and can take months to years to see results. Luckily, consistently sharing your work online will help speed up this process and make it exponentially easier to be seen.

You can post snippets of your writing on social media, post short stories on your portfolio, and share your writing on your blog. And, you’ll want to be regularly sharing, so choose how often you think you’ll be able to post consistently. It could be every day, once a week, however frequently you feel comfortable. Don’t get in over your head, though, and try posting a whole flash fiction every day or something, because you won’t be able to keep up with that.

Grow Your Brand and Gain Exposure

Once you have the essential steps in place, you can dive deeper into developing your brand as a writer. One of the best ways to gain exposure is to submit your work to literary magazines and self-publish ebooks, novels, short stories, poems, etc.

The more you get your work out there, the more likely an agent or someone similar will be to seeing it. And, as you gain an audience of people who enjoy your writing, the easier and more successful it will be publishing in the future, or even looking for representation.

Below, I will have a list of some popular literary sites if you are interested in submitting your work.

Something similar to publishing and submitting your writing to magazines is to enter into writing contests. These are usually free or inexpensive to enter and come with prizes for winning. Be careful, though; there are many scams out there, so be sure to find reputable sites and contests. Again, there will be resources below if you’d like to see some contests.

Blogging and freelancing are also great ways to build your brand as a writer. With freelancing and blogging, you can be consistently and frequently showcasing your skills and having your work out in the world.

Both blogging and freelancing can be time-consuming, but they also allow you to earn a steady income as a writer while growing your brand. I have a post on the best tools for bloggers if you’d like to learn more about blogging.

For more information, you can check out some resources below.

You can sign up for my weekly newsletter and receive a printable quick-guide to branding yourself as a writer!

Resources

Literary Magazines

F(r)iction

Scarlet Leaf Review

Publishing Sites

Smashwords

Kindle Ebooks

Contests

New York Public Library

F(r)iction

Freelancing

Fivver

Upwork

Avoid Scams

Writer Beware

Contests and Awards

You can sign up for my weekly newsletter and receive a printable quick-guide to branding yourself as a writer!

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