The Steps I Take to Move Forward as a Writer

Article by Wendy McCance

As a writer and blogger, there are constant adjustments I make as I learn and grow so that I can optimize my platform and create more success for myself.  I often wonder what other writers and bloggers learn and what they tweak so things run smoother for them and they get better results.

I don’t know why I haven’t run across this type of straight forward article.  I wish other writers and bloggers would expose the inner workings of their mind.  As I am wrapping up the year and making final adjustments, I thought it would be beneficial if I opened up the inner workings of my mind to share what I have been doing to smooth out the edges and create a more efficient and polished image.

As I move around the web from one social media platform to another, I will look at my profile and determine how well I connect with others on each site.  I ask myself how I can improve what I see in front of me.  I do the same thing when I am working on my blog.

An important adjustment I make from time to time is to read over my profile, resume, and the wording on each page of my blog.  No matter how good I think it sounds when I originally write each item, along the way, I tweak the wording.  I find that the more time that passes, the more I learn and the more I see improvements that can be made in the wording I use.  I usually update and smooth out each of these items a few times a year.

About once a month, I will tear apart features of my blog and fix mistakes I find.  I might change titles, look for writing errors, adjust tags and categories and put in better keywords.  Considering that there is something like 600 posts on this blog, I will only do a small amount at a time.

I am constantly evaluating the way I organize my client lists, business expenses and files so that I have a system that is more efficient.

I will go through my lists of clients, and look over what work I have done for them. I make decisions about working with them in the future based on the amount of work I have done for each client, how easy they are to get a hold of and how long it takes to have preliminary discussions before actually starting the assignment.  If I have had several talks by way of phone calls, email correspondence, meetings etc… but it takes months to do the project and the pay is minimal, I might pass on future projects.

It might sound harsh to walk away from a client, but I have gotten so busy that endless conversations with no project appearing for months at a time drain too much time from an already busy schedule.  If I were to look at the many free hours that were used up without a good paying project at the end of it, I have essentially lost a lot of money.  That time could have been used doing other assignments.

A few times a month I will have a research day.  I will scan the web to find answers to questions I have.  I will read up on new techniques I can use and I will look for new avenues to get additional work.

I keep several word documents that are filled with ideas.  I have one document that is just for subjects I can write about.  Another document lists ways to get more clients with samples of letters I have written up and can use.  I even have a word document that has ideas about what I would like to do with my blog.

I love this system because whenever an idea comes to me, I can minimize whatever I am doing on the computer, pull up the document and write my thoughts down.  It helps to keep me on top of my game.  It also helps because if I write it on a piece of paper or assume I will just remember it later, chances are the idea will get lost and forgotten.

Finally, the busier I have become, the less time I have available for interacting on the social platforms I use.  I wish I could touch on this more often, but at least twice a month I will spend time showing support for others.  It’s not a good system and I try to show my presence more often, but it just rarely works out.  My goal in the coming year is to find a way to reach the sites that matter to me whether it is someone’s blog, Twitter or Google+ and interact more often.

I have learned that there is always something that can be done better.  Having an open mind and the patience to dissect what you are doing makes a huge difference in the long run.

 

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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5 thoughts on “The Steps I Take to Move Forward as a Writer

  1. Another great post with very practical and helpful advice. Thanks again Wendy! It is always good to revist how we are doing things. I have been doing so on a smaller scale and come January, since I will have been blogging for one year (can’t believe it!) I will be doing much more of this, and with all my writing projects 🙂

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