Knowing how to connect and network with other writers is the key to a successful writing career. These social media tips are from one of the most community-minded, supportive, connected writers I know: George Angus of Tumblemoose.
“We are the most fortunate generation of writers there has ever been,” says George. “Instantly, we can put our writing out into the world, receive feedback and connect with other purveyors of the craft.”
Connecting with other writers helps us figure out our writing styles and feel less isolated. And, networking with writers is one of the best ways for freelancers to snag more writing jobs! For an in-depth look at using social media to connect with other writers, read Networking Is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence — or Even Land Your Next Job.
And, here are George’s tips for building a strong writers network through internet communities…
How to Connect and Network With Writers – 5 Social Media Tips
1. Be present in a community. Which community does not really matter — Twitter, writers’ forums, LinkedIn groups, or your own blog — but your presence there is very important. This community can be the blogs you visit on a regular basis or a favorite writer’s discussion board – whatever works for you. To connect and network with other writers, visit the site regularly and contribute often.
2. Give 100% to the community you choose. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) I was sitting in the dentist’s office on the eve of my wedding. The very wise and sage-like hygenist gave me these words of wisdom: “Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. Give 100% and expect nothing in return.” This pearl will help you in all aspects of your life, including building a strong writers network. Give 100%! Share your thoughts and advice freely, without expecting anything in return. Giving builds trust and community. This isn’t just a social media tip — it’s a way to bond and build relationships with people who know what you’re experiencing as a writer.
3. Give a little more. Every time I do this, I find I’ve made a valuable friend. I’ve given a free copy of my e-book, The Writing Experience, to someone who I felt would really put it to use. What I’ve received in return is way more than $9.95. At some point in the future, I’ll be able to learn something from them – and that is the greatest form of currency I know.
4. Be consistent. Building a strong writers network, keeping meaningful connections alive, and engaging with other writers is hard work. You need to be active nearly every day. It’s easy to let blog commenting go a few days and before you know it, a week has gone by and the blog posts are “stale.” Make sure you’re consistent as you connect and network with other writers — it’s part of building a successful writing career.
5. Engage people who have different opinions or outlooks. Someone on Twitter let me know that a blog, which I hadn’t seen before, had a different take on a subject I wrote about. The author was in a full-on tirade and basically blasted my view to smithereens. I could have been defensive and pointed out to him the error of his ways. Instead, I posted a congenial and thoughtful post, giving him credit for his valid points. Since then we have been actively engaging each other; I’ve learned a lot from him and he makes me laugh most every day.
Do you want write for a living? Join the Writers Work Community and get professional career training, writing tools, an online portfolio, and more. Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!
George Angus created and runs Tumblemoose Writing Services. Visit him on Twitter — @GeorgeAngus.