Writing to Live

Lately I’d been searching for a new job.  Yet it didn’t strike me until I saw a job posting for a social media person listed and hit apply that I could sell my services as a writer.  Maybe it’s still a bit of that fear I’ve felt since starting this blog with the aim of overcoming it, or perhaps it’s just a lack of imagination on my part, in so far, as the writing job market goes.

I’d heard of people working as “professional bloggers”.  I thought at the time it was people who’d built up their blogs enough they had paid advertising on their site.  I also knew that people freelanced as blog content writers.  I need a steady income, and am not as confident in my writing as I’d like to be yet, so this route was never a possibility for me.  However, there appears to be a growing trend in the business industry now towards hiring on dedicated staff members that manage social media content.

It kind of makes sense.

There are a lot of benefits to having an in-house social media expert.  Unless a company is using the same freelance writer consistently, and the way past (and some current) means of obtaining freelance blog articles from writers worked this wasn’t necessarily a possibility, then the company is not getting consistent work.  Writers have different styles and voices.  Some may write casual narrative, others may maintain a cool demeanor throughout, some may be brief and concise, whereas others may be verbose and dramatic.  Using the same writer or small team of writers allows for a consistency of style.  The company and its blog readers will always know what to expect, which helps build up an audience, and broaden the potential consumer base.

Furthermore, having an in-house writer means that the company can have an ongoing relationship with that writer, and allows the writer to better specialize in the type of writing the company needs and desires. For example, writing for a book store will be vastly different than writing for a yarn store.  The products are very different, and the customers are different with some potential overlap (not many people do yarn craft, but most people, including some of those who do yarn craft, read).  A company can easily speak to a writer about any concerns they have with the writer’s services, and determine a solution.  In freelance, this isn’t always possible either.

Which segues nicely into the next point, that an in-house writer allows the writer to develop a relationship with the audience.  They learn the product better the more they write about it, and they learn better what interests the audience and what doesn’t, and can adapt their writing appropriately to keep the audience coming back for more.  Many readers like to feel a connection to the writer behind an article, to get a feel for the person “speaking” to them through the blog.  Having a different writer every time is not necessarily a bad thing, but the company misses out on developing a loyal fanbase.

The company I applied for is going to “try” me out for a short stint, see how effective I am in the position and how well I get along with the company. The person they had in the position originally didn’t work out as they hoped and has made them more careful about who they bring on.  I’m excited, and a little nervous.  Using social media as an advertising tool is a relatively new concept, but there are already people out there who’ve mastered the technique, and shared their “tried and true” methods via…social media.  I know I have a few resources I can turn to for help and tips on the topic.

Mainly, I’m anxious because this is the sink or swim moment.  Can I live off my writing?  I’m looking forward to finding out.  Meantime, I may look at doing some freelance work too.  Hey, I never said it was obsolete.

Anyhow, wish me luck!  And if anyone has any experience, either in social media advertising or freelance writing, consider sharing your stories with me in the comments below.

  1. No experience here; but the professor sends luck your way. Will you send an update?

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