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8 Networking Tips for Writers

These networking tips for writers will help you feel less isolated and alone – and they could help you earn more money as a freelance writer! Whether you love your isolation or not, you need to network if you want to be a successful freelance writer who actually earns her keep as a wordsmith.

Before the networking tips, a quip:

“Something of the hermit’s temper is an essential element in many forms of excellence, since it enables men to resist the lure of popularity, to pursue important work in spite of general indifference or hostility, and arrive at options which are opposed to prevalent errors.” – Bertrand Russell.

Working from home is often a quiet, solitary occupation – but that doesn’t mean you can’t network! In fact, if you’re an introvert, you’ll love these networking tips for writers because most of them don’t involve face-to-face interaction (which can be draining for introverted writers). These networking tips for writers  can not only further your freelancing career, they make your job more enjoyable. And, click on Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer: How to Win Top Writing Assignments by Jenn Glatzer for some excellent freelance writing tips…

8 Networking Tips for Writers

1. Build relationships. “Give yourself permission to ‘waste’ a little time,” writes Lois Frankel in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. “If you’re not spending 5% of your day building relationships, you’re doing something wrong.” Building relationships affects your career, image, and self-confidence. How do you build relationships as an isolated writer? Keep reading…

2. Keep in email contact. Some of the experts (life coaches, psychologists, publicists, etc) I interview for articles are absolutely amazing! One emails me regularly with writing newsletters and websites. Another just sent me a lovely gift basket (okay, that’s not email contact, but you get my point). When one of my articles get published in print or online, I try to email the experts I interviewed…they usually appreciate the link. This networking tip for writers keeps you at the forefront of people’s minds.

3. Keep in snail mail contact. If you discipline yourself to reach out via the mail – such as with thank you cards to experts or editors – then you’ll feel less isolated as a writer and you’ll stand out in a crowd of freelancers. Plus, this networking tip brightens people’s days and makes them think pleasantly of you. Great karma!

4. Keep a list of experts. Have you ever needed to talk to a bee wrangler or hot air balloon pilot to get real info for your article, novel, or poem? I have…and it takes a long time to find those people if you don’t have a list of experts. Create a database (written or computerized) of all the experts and resourceful people you know. Use it whenever you need info or inspiration or have something newsworthy to share with someone on your list.

5. Join a couple of writing forums. Don’t go overboard with this networking tip for writers – forums or social media sites such as Twitter can steal hours when they should only be occupying minutes! But, participating in a strong writing forum or two will give you inspiration, leads, ideas, and a feeling of support. Plus, this a networking tip can amuse, inform, and refresh you.

6. Join the CAA. If you’re not Canadian, the Canadian Authors’ Association won’t do you much good – but a professional writing association in your region or country will! Associations not only offer networking tips for writers, they often offer workshops, seminars and support.

7. Exchange blog and website links. Is listing other blogs or websites on your own site a mistake because it directs traffic away? No. In the research I’ve done, I’ve found that exchanging links with people whose sites are similar to yours (and thus of interest to your viewers) increases your Google page rank and offers a better service to your readers. Plus, it’s a great networking tip with other writers, experts, clients, etc. 

8. Connect with people you don’t know. Just this morning, I received a one-line email from a blogger who said, “You might want to change ‘lightening’ to ‘lightning’ on your post 6-27-08.” Now, this could potentially have been a networking opportunity for us as writers. Pointing out praiseworthy or “needs work” items in other people’s blogs is a great networking tip for writers. (If you’re pointing out errors, first say something nice – but sincere).

Do you have any networking tips for writers that work for you? I welcome your comments below…

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2 thoughts on “8 Networking Tips for Writers”

  1. A freelance writer emailed me a few weeks ago, noticing my request on HARO for medical experts. She offered me one of the docs she often uses, and we ended up chatting back and forth via email. This is a perfect example of networking, IMHO!

    If you see a fellow scribe asking for something, and if you have the answer, then give it up! Great way to build community and help each other out…which is what networking is all about.