Writing Predictions for 2019
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
January 2019
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
January 2019

As a part of that New Year spirit we wanted to make some predictions about what 2019 might have in store for our community. In this three-part series we’ll be talking about:

  • Writing Trends
  • Changes in Book Marketing Tactics
  • And the Forecast for Publishing

Starting with just writing in general, we’ll be talking about what a writer (regardless of the kind) can do to prepare for the year ahead. Over the next couple of days we’ll be talking about social media, ads, digital publishing and more.

Writers Can’t Just Be Writers

Writers are notoriously introverted, but as the world becomes more social and people grow more open online writers can’t afford to stay in the shadows.

Whether you are trying to land a guest post opportunity on a popular website or are starting a copywriting business, personal brands are a must.

Today’s consumers aren’t drawn to logos and businesses. They are drawn to people. People who are honest and open to sharing pieces of themselves as if they were longtime friends.

With platforms like Instagram and YouTube allowing businesses and customers to actually see the person they are working with it is going to become hard for working writers to gain attention if they aren’t willing to show their face.

There Are More Ways Than Ever To Make Money As a Writer

In the early days of the Internet, writers could produce website copy or blog posts and get paid a decent living to do it. And while some may argue that those opportunities are now spread too thin and pay too little, the ever changing online landscape is bound to produce more opportunities as it grows.

Last year an article went viral that came from Time about a woman making $6000 a day writing inspirational quotes on Instagram. And while it has taken two decades of copywriting for her to demand $950/hour for her services, it just goes to show that there’s no limit to the need for writers and that really great ones can write their own ticket.

Collaborations Will Be Key

There is definitely a lot of overcrowding in the online marketplace and new writers looking to stand out may have a hard time getting off the ground and getting noticed.

In 2019 we may see writers banding together and forming communities and companies so they can reach a larger audience together. We may also find that writers join forces with other creatives in similar fields to form full offerings to clients.

Specialization and Niche Focus

A versatile writer is valuable, but a specialized writer is irreplaceable. As the measure of quality content expands, brands and businesses hiring writers aren’t going to be looking for “someone who can writing about anything.” They are going to be looking for people who are experts.

Whether you’re a journalist or a freelancer having a few disciplines where you are an expert will take you from a rookie to a pro.

In an arena where thousands (if not millions) are capable of writing about motherhood, become the go-to expert on the subject of breastfeeding after a c-section or the most knowledgeable writer on nature-based educational activities for toddlers. The more focused and niche you can be the easier it is to sell yourself.

Tech Savvy Isn’t Optional

It’s time to get on board with how people will be researching you when you are up for a job or in line for publication. A potential employer or client is going to do three things the second your name becomes of interest to them. They are going to:

  • Google you. When is the last time you searched your own name? What came up when you did? Was it flattering to your portfolio? Did it serve the niche you’re hoping to land a job in? Are you published by recognizable media outlets? These are the questions your clients/employer will be asking so they are questions you need to ask yourself and if your results aren’t shining on the search pages, it’s time to start thinking about personal SEO.
  • Check your website. If you don’t have a website that houses information about who you are and what you do it’s time to get one. Whether you are a full-fledged business or a freelancer starting up, there’s no excuse not to have a presence online and a space you own. It’s the first step in taking control of the search results around your name and a must for demonstrating to hiring individuals that you have the ability to operate in an online space.
  • Scroll your social media accounts. Assuming you have at least one public social media account it’s important to be aware of what you post there. Not only do you want it to be professionally appropriate, but does it speak to who you are as a writer? Do you have quotes posted about being a professional writer or just pictures of your kids? Do you tweet using relevant hashtags or is it mostly entertainment news?

Your online brand is a multi-faceted space. Make sure you are doing regular assessments to make sure the public messages you are putting out align with your career goals as a writer.

Communication Must Be On Point

Being a great writer does not always mean you are a great communicator. In 2019 attention spans are short and digital formalities are a must. This means that people expect:

  • Responses within 24 hours
  • Project deadline updates
  • Clear communication on project details
  • Organization (calendars, alerts, scheduled content)
  • Typo-free communication (Your projects aren’t the only thing that needs editing. Sending a typo-filled emails to clients or potential employers is going to send a BIG red flag).
  • Direction to your other online properties (include social handles and your website in your email signature)

You Have to Know Your Story         

Being a quality writer isn’t enough. People want to know your story and this doesn’t only apply to fiction authors. A list of services and recommendations isn’t enough to hook interest. Anyone can offer services. What attracts business is a story.

What is yours?

Perhaps your sister is a member of the WPGA and you caddied for her for years and now your writing skill is in the golf industry. Not only does that help identify your expertise and attract people in that arena to you as a writer, but it’s INTERESTING!

Even when it comes to hiring professionals in a business setting, people want to be entertained. Mainly because they want to know that your writing will be capable of entertaining and telling a story.

If you don’t know your own story, how can a hiring client expect you to tell theirs?

Commit this year to stepping outside your comfort zone, auditing your public presence and elevating your brand as a writer.

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