As modern writers we live in two different worlds: the online world and the offline world. We have to live in both to have success in our writing. We also face some harsh critiques if we want to sell our knowledge or books to people.
In the online world you need a blog to promote yourself and talk to others about your points of view on writing, and you need to update this frequently to maintain a following of readers.
You need to get a like-minded group together to keep working with it so that in the end you don’t have to do so as much by yourself. You might need to hire people to write blog posts for you if it gets to much, or you might need to hire a competent editor if your writing needs improvement.
You’ll have to think about social networking, and how to make an impact. You’ll need to develop an online persona, or even a reputation that makes people want to sit down to read some of your writing. You’ll need marketing plans and a good deal of time management. Not to mention that a blog posts needs to make people give a care about either you or your blog. All within office hours, or late at night after your “real life” commitments are finished.
Sounds a lot like work doesn’t it?
In the offline world, you need to continue writing and editing your manuscript. This is also important to your success since there are more readers out there that you might never reach with your blog — no matter how great your blog is. You need to publish that manuscript. You will need to spend a great deal of reflection and time to create and build a book that makes a brick and mortar store want to display it, even if you are a self-published author.
If you self-publish you are facing an uphill battle. If you publish traditionally you are facing an uphill battle. In either case you will have to edit and build your manuscript to be the best that it can be. The choices and the types of models of publishing you can chose from almost makes a writer want to use Occam’s razor to its full potential. The best and least complex choice or hypothesis wins.
You will emotionally invest yourself in your writing, and you might even develop a love/hate relationship with the people you are closest to. They understand you work, but they can’t or won’t understand the effort and time it takes to create something people will care about. Worst case, they will openly try to stop you. Prove to them you can make money and they will support you.
Then, you have to go and work in the online world. This means you will also need to deal with the search engines so that people can find you. The same scenario.
What about Google?
Google’s tools can both help and hurt you. It can help if your book is placed on the list of “good books” on Google buzz and your blog can be found on the search engine’s results. The big thing is “if.” So many people want to be seen on Google because, like it or not, Google is the search engines everyone turns to. There is choice out there, such as using Yahoo! or any other smaller search engines, but the tools that Google offers to a writer is worth the time and effort it takes to bring them here.
Google is the major thing which brings you more readers, and this means that you can perhaps sell your book to those readers.
Another tool used by writers is AdSense, which as a product is something most writers know about but don’t understand (or have the time to). While this tool means that you can get some money eventually from the company, your part in doing so means that you will continue to post on your blog, or strive to make it better. It means that you focus on keywords, or how your blog is doing. You have some sort of big brother watching your every move on your blog, and analyzing it to see if your blog, and you are worthy of more effort.
You have to create and build a better blog under this watchful eye if you hope to earn more money. You also have to do this quickly.
If you have the chance to change your writing style or how your online work is viewed, you will need to go back and re-write or re-edit every single blog post you have done over however long your blog has been “online” or active. To Google every post counts and has value– or not. If it doesn’t have value you are “dead.” Your efforts will seem to have little effect, but if you are able, and are deemed worthy, a large undertaking and more of a readership (and money) is the result. AdSense is “free,” but the reality is the effort that a writer needs to create the money is not.
The options offered by Google as a marketing tool means that you do have to think about self-promotion in a different way than you might have done even five years ago. If you are online, think about Google and the effect it has on writing and publishing — in other words, like when choosing a self-publishing company look carefully at the tools Google offers and use them to your best advantage.
If using a vanity press seems the best way, head over to the Google search engine, and type in the name of the company you want. Most of the top ten results are the company’s many websites and this is also true with other search engines. Adding the words “review” or “scam” adds a new dimension to the results, and most readers will see not the only the website, but other people’s blogs or reviews on the various companies.
This means, that you will spend time on another marketing tool of Google, which is AdWords. Google helps publishers who are interested in promoting their works, for a fee. However, even with this, there is a time investment and most writers, who are serious about their writing, aren’t, and shouldn’t be worried about search engines until their blogs have some backing to them.
Google is, in essence, a powerful tool for building your writing and blog, but if you are not willing or don’t have the time to work on your blog it doesn’t matter as much as you think it might.