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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tips from ASJA ConCon 2014

First off, thanks to my readers who participated in the one-day only $0.99 sale last Wednesday, November 19! I sold 177 copes of Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets, Second Edition and 40 copies of other ebooks. 

Here's what happened on Amazon:  
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Writing Skills
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Entrepreneurship & Small Business > Small Business
#6 in Books > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Writing > Writing Skills

So that was very cool, and I hope I've gained a few more readers! Thanks again! 

Were you at ASJA's Con Con earlier this month in Chicago? If not, you missed out on a great conference that was loaded with smart, insightful speakers geared toward writers who produce content for clients. 

Here's a roundup of some of the take-aways from keynoter Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing (who was a great speaker--engaging, funny, and prepared) made the point that in 1865, writer Henry James was getting paid $1/word. Today that's the standard for many publications, today too, but the cost of living has increased by a factor of 21since then. Yikes! 

You only want to write? Change your thinking. "In the past, publishers would have audiences for we're all expected to be marketers," said Heinrich. 

Content is king, and going to continue to be. "Eighty-one percent of companies plan to shift their budges to spend more on content and new member experiences," he said. [And if you're not pursuing this kind of work, why not?]

Heinrich talked about the "decision journey" of engagement customers take--ideally, they travel from awareness to consideration to preference to purchase to loyalty. As a content writer, you want to help move them along that journey and help them become loyal to the brand you're representing. 

KPIs, or "key performance indicators" or metrics, are how the success of content is measured. Knowing what KPIs your client is tracking--and what their goals are--will help you succeed as a content writer. 

Heinrichs had 15 specific ideas that freelancers could try to succeed in today's market:  

1. Become an influencer. An influencer brings something--market reach, expertise, persuasiveness--that a client values. And companies pay $200 to $200,000 to have an influencer write about or represent a product or service. 
2. Find a "tiny niche," which Heinrichs describes as including 100,000 to 400,000 people. 
3. Gain legitimacy with a book. 
4. Collaborate. 
5. Start a publishing company
6. Network. 
7. Become a remora. (In other words, hook on to someone successful and go along for the ride.) 
8. Pursue an issue. 
9. Become a speaker. 
10. Pursue your passion--and work a real job in the meantime. 
11. Teach. 
12. Gather a video audience. And writers who can write for and edit video are going to be so in demand, in fact, that Heinrichs suggested writers that every writer learn FinalCut, a video editing program. (It's on my to-do list.) 
13. Diversify. 
14. Work for karma. 
15. Find your own great story. 

I gleaned some other tips from ConCon which I'll share in another post. In the meantime, if you're thinking about doing ghostwriting or content marketing, check out Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More, Second Edition.

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