Useful Writing Tips and Trends to Skyrocket Your Writing Business
I’m dubbing 2014 the year of the writer because opportunities have never been greater. Gather your writing peeps and tweet this!
There were some hot fashion trends in 2013.
From round eyeglass frames on girls to “Mad Men”-inspired side part haircuts on the guys, it seemed like everyone was making big money by going back to the basics and re-hashing old ideas that had lead to previous success.
But, what works in the fashion world does not necessarily work in the writing world.
To run a successful writing business you cannot simply rely on old ideas to create new success.
However, one easy way to create new ideas you can use is to pay attention to the trends that are happening in your areas of expertise. That’s because trends get us in the mode to try new things – a great perspective to begin the upcoming New Year.
So, in honor of 2014, here are 14 Marketing and Writing Trends You can use to change the world in 2014:
14. More businesses will figure out this “content marketing” thing
Content marketing has been a buzzword for a long time. When used effectively, content marketing can lead to increased revenue for a business.
Every day, more and more businesses are unleashing the power of smart, conversational, and just plain USEFUL content via their social media content, blogs, and other communications and PR maneuvers.
They are seeing what happens when they help their customers by providing a simple, to the point method of interacting and getting voices heard that costs eons less than any other “traditional” marketing method. This trend is only going to get stronger in the New Year so if you haven’t taken the time to understand and leverage content marketing, this is the year!
For more information about what content marketing is and why it’s an essential business tool, check out this article on Forbes.com by Jayson DeMers.
13. The demand for quality content that actually converts (e.g. leads to increased sales or reduces costs or better yet, both) will only increase.
All this call for content will likely increase the need for freelance writers who can write useful online content. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you are good and work hard you can absolutely make it as a successful freelance writer.
You’re already following your true calling and you’re making a good living as a writer. Or at least, you’re trying to. Quality content that converts communicates something that is instantly understood and followed by whoever is reading. This translates to sales.
I am more convinced than ever that 2014 is your time to shine as a writer because the stars are aligned (what does that even mean – are the stars ever out of alignment?).
But truly, with the increased demand for quality content, now is the perfect time to unleash that writing gift on the world to make a difference for you, and the companies and people you write for.
Also, if you’re interested in learning more about becoming a successful online content writer, I wrote a book called “Online Writing for Profit and Purpose” which is jam-packed with actionable tips and advice on becoming a successful online writer.
12. You will no longer have to cringe with shame when you tell people what you do for work.
Provided, of course, that you actually DO cringe when you talk about how you’re a writer living your dreams. At any rate, get ready to add a new job title to your resume. That of “Chief Creative Twitter of Awesome Company, LLC.” (Yes, I’m talking to you.)
If you’re working for yourself then you might want to be more creative in your title than “freelance writer.” A content specialist will get paid more than a “writer” so keep that in mind when you position yourself for hire.
This year and beyond more and more businesses will be using content marketing so it only makes sense that they’re going to need to hire smart and strangely attractive people like yourself to work for them.
If you are barely scraping by with your wages from working as a freelance writer, then tweak up your title in some manner and this could be the year that you finally start making real income from doing what you love and loving what you do. Position yourself online and off and let the networking begin.
If you are looking for good advice on how to network as a freelance writer, then check out this useful article by EN Jio of FreelanceWriting.com called “How to Network As a Freelance Journalist”.
11. The number of people obliviously looking at their phones and tablets in public and not paying attention to where they’re going or what they’re doing will continue to skyrocket.
This trend could be either scary or awesome. It will most likely fall somewhere in between. At any rate, these people will need some content to read and understand when they’re staring into their screens, right?
And who do you think will be creating that content? Here’s a hint: you? (Sorry, I’m not one for hints. I’d rather just speak directly and clearly, with an occasional tendency to use humor for effect. I was never really good at dropping “hints”.)
So get ready to see even more demand for quality content that is read on a phone or tablet or both which means there are ample opportunities to have your work read by more people to help them improve their lives.
While we’re at it, can we please continue to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving? Perhaps AT&T’s “Don’t Text While Driving” documentary could get that conversation jump started to where it needs to be seriously discussed:
10. The rise of the content creators and curators!
Popular content curator sites such as Huffington Post, Drudge Report, and of course, the perennial crowd-pleaser My Yahoo! will only continue to go crazy online and in people’s minds. Which means what? Yup, you got it, more opportunity to write and get your written words read by the world. It can’t get much easier than this.
9. Content will get even more specialized and “nichey”.
And “nichey” is not even a real word though it should be.
Content put out by businesses online needs to differentiate itself from the competition in order to stand out and be noticed by the appropriate audience if they want their business to succeed.
Great content gets read and noticed. Crappy content cannot help the business get more revenue. Which means if you’re their writer they will blame YOU for their drop in business if you’re not doing right by your words.
So, get ready to focus your freelance blog writing (if you do that game, and you should be, because it can be highly rewarding and a good source of writing income) into some hyperspecialized and focused niches.
This means you better be prepared to do your homework and explore the subject in detail before you start writing your content.
8. There will be more sharing of good things – including content.
By now, most normal adults have figured out this whole “Facebook” thing. Post a picture of your kid doing something awesome, or something good happening in your life, and you’ll get “Likes” and pithy comments. (Hey, I recently posted on facebook about my 8 year old son Quinn who is the star of a cageball video – don’t know what cageball is? Go here – http://www.trampolinecageball.com/ – Quinn is the blond boy at the very end. I guarantee you’ll laugh.)
But beyond the “hey isn’t my kid awesome posts” If people enjoy reading a piece of useful Web content that will help them improve their life in some way, even if it just improves their mood (briefly), then they will be more likely to “share” this comment on social media. Use this ever-growing trend to your advantage.
7. People will actually start using Google+.
Google+ is kind of like the awkward kid in your class who grows up to be the awkward adult who creates a popular search engine that leads to a technology empire.
And now that Google+ has teamed up with YouTube to clean up its infamously racy comments section, then it makes sense that the social network will continue to grow and leverage its universal appeal across the universe and beyond.
Still unconvinced that Google+ will elevate itself from player to king in the catorce?
Then check out what Danny Bermant, Director at Brainstorm Digital presented recently at the annual Smart Insights Digital Marketing Summit about his own ideas for social media trends in 2014 (via SlideShare). He thinks Google+ will only continue to grow and ultimately dominate the social media mindwaves for years to come.
Good to know. I’d better start using mine.
6. According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the demand for writers and authors is expected to grow by 6 percent from 2010 to 2020.
This certainly beats that number going into the negative side of things, right? Here’s a link to the US Department of Labor’s report about what it means to be an author these days and trying to make a living in the USA.
Read it and jump for joy. Because we get PAID to do this – to write. Does it get any better?
5. SEO will once again dominate the scene.
You mean SEO is not going away? No, damn it. The demand for qualified writers who can produce content that is capable of being indexed on the first page of Google search results will continue to rise. And writers who can do that will get paid very well.
If you’re one of these writers then prepare to make a lucrative living doing what you do best.
And if you’re not yet one of these writers but want to be here’s a free eBook download on SEO from Copyblogger .
4. Videos, in particular micro-videos like Vine and Instagram, will continue to explode in use and popularity.
Sites like YouTube and Vimeo are continuing to become the main destination for more Web visitors for video content. In addition to the content being streamed on these sites, are the pre-video ads and other content that will compete for the viewer’s attention and dollars.
And guess what? Video content usually needs to be created, written out, and edited. And that’s where you can help and get paid.
3. Self-publishing will continue to undergo exponential growth and be a viable path to achieving your dreams of being a successful writer.
One study by Bowker, the company that issues ISBN numbers for books in the US, shows that self publishing increased 287% from ‘06 to ‘11.
And that was BEFORE everyone and their brother had a smartphone, iPad, and Kindles. If you’ve been hesitating to jump on board the self-publishing train, then 2014 is the year you get your ticket punched.
Next stop: Best Selling Self Published Author Town!
As you may know if you read ZenCopy on a regular basis I’m a big fan of self-publishing. My first books were published the old fashioned way but a few years ago I made the switch and pulled all my rights back. If you are interested in self publishing take a look at my independent publishing company called KD Books and Publishing.
I feature not only my books, but books I’ve published by other authors who are particularly passionate about their topics. This has led me to publish an eclectic selection of niche books including a contract bridge book and I’m currently working on a chemistry textbook written by some highly focused authors. Go figure. The point is, self publishing has many avenues and if you’re a zencopy subscriber I’m going to be offering some publishing assistance in 2014 so stay tuned.
If you’re not subscribe now so you don’t miss out.
2. You will get more freelance work from other freelance writers.
As more freelance writers build their success and get busy producing useful content for their clients, they will be outsourcing more and more of their tasks and projects to other freelance writers.
If you’re unfamiliar with how outsourcing in the freelance world works, then check out this useful video from The Suitecasepreneur, Natalie Sisson about outsourcing with home-based and freelance businesses:
(Yes, I do outsource some of my work at this point. I hit months where I can’t write all the articles people want, or I can’t keep up with my own stuff. In fact, I outsource some of my work -including Social Media to Jim Kim of http://www.jim-kim.net/ (Thanks, Jim!).)
1. Social media accounts will grow. (Duh).
Whether you gain a handful or several million is up to you and is determined by the content you provide on your social media. Take a moment and quickly scan through your Twitter Followers list.
These are all people who are leaning on YOU for answers to improve their lives.
That’s why they’re following you to be among the first people to read and follow your content.
So, it’s your job to providing useful and informative information. Even if you don’t have the answer, then I’m sure one of your Twitter followers might!
That’s the beauty of social media, it’s our opportunity to share knowledge, help each other improve our lives, and exchange useful information to educate ourselves and do good things today for an even better tomorrow. You can follow me on Twitter here.
The Internet will continue to be a useful resource relied upon by millions of people worldwide for information, advice, and guidance. As a writer, this New Year is your opportunity to help the world with your knowledge, experience, and writing.
Keep at it and you’ll be doing a lot of that in 2014 and beyond.
What trends in 2014 are you looking forward to as a writer?
Which trends are you ready to pounce on NOW?
Leave a comment below and let’s discuss our thoughts and exchange ideas to help people.