Monday, January 9, 2012

The Coolest writing site

Searching for new venues

Like many of you who follow my various writings, I am constantly searching for new venues to promote my current work.

I am also happy to announce that I am now adding yet another “hopeful source of income” through promoting not only myself but other writers and authors as their publicist (or as some would say, "literary agent").  As such, seeking out avenues of promotion has brought about some very interesting finds.

Most venues are extremely competitive and rightfully so.  Each  site usually has something a bit different and a little more enticing to make the writer want to utilize their service. Many of these venues are also expensive and less than cost effective to the “starving writer”.

Of course for most of us as writers or bloggers, the goal is always, “How can I make money doing this?” We all obviously enjoy writing or we wouldn’t be doing it but if we can make a few dollars or even a full time income at it, that would be nice.

Another matter of great importance is, “How can I promote what I write?”

Many blogging sites who pay directly without adding Google Adsense, Amazon or Ebay promotional accounts, pay very little (on the average ONLY $.01 per ten total page views upwards to the better sites of $1.00 per article (and that's if your articles are any good). Just consider how many articles, poems, writings, etc. you have to write, edit, post, publish and promote.  By the way most blog sites base their payments on sixty day cycles and if you don't generate a minimum of $10.00 worth of revenue within that period, you forfeit what you earned and have to start all over.  Also, any page views of previously posted articles is not carried over to be credited to your account.  Some sites even have a (no guarantee/no money back) start up fee as well. These sites often have tremendous restrictions and reject almost anything which their editing software, server/editorial teams even remotely identify as duplicate or “unworthy” of their so called literary quality.

Unless you have the good fortune like me writing for an online newspaper receiving revenue directly from readership (which the pay is still minimal in the beginning) or an author who is having great success from published books, the promotional opportunities are just not as good as they used to be.

As I stated to a friend not too long ago, everyone thinks they’re a writer today. This has widened opportunities for legitimate media and publishers to obtain unlimited amounts of material without any cost or legal ramifications and turn it into opportunity and profit for themselves. So for the individual writer the quest for safe, “out of the box” promotional opportunities continue.

As all too many of you as published authors know, even book or professional paper publishing today pays no advances unless you’re a known commodity.  This is one reason so many “self publishing companies” have popped up. Having eight previously published books and papers while in the ministry, I was astounded to find out that I might have to pay to get published. This is one reason (having previously been in the printing and publishing business) I am in the process of re-establishing myself as a publisher. I have some ideas for many of you which I think you’ll find interesting, attractive and not have to be taken advantaged of financially.

The bottom line is readership. If there are no readers there is no profit and if there is no promotion then there are no readers. If nobody knows you’re there, if they're unfamiliar with your work and they don't spread the word, then you’re not going anywhere.

 Absolute coolest site ever

Those who will admit some of the secrets about internet promotion will tell you the key is search engine location. Yes, just like real estate, it is location, location, location; if they can't find you, they won't buy you. Without a minimum of an eighty percent score by Google Search engine crawlers, Google and most of the other search engines won’t even list your writing, blog, website etc. That means there has to be enough traffic already going to your writing site just to be picked up by Google. This is partly why writers like myself and many others utilize Google Blogspot to blog (as well as other sites) and Google plus as the primary social network because Google is constantly working in the background to watch, link, back link, etc. It's really quite nice but still without the eighty percent score, you're not going to be found.

There is of course all the other social networks which do a fair job of sharing your work. I enjoy staying informed of my writer/author friends work on FaceBook and Google plus, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc.  But today, EVERYBODY IS ON FaceBook and Twitter especially. (For writers, I highly recommend the move to or addition of adding a Google plus account; you’ll find the majority of writers identifying more with that site.)

But the “absolutely coolest site ever” I have had the good fortune to discover is both a Blog site in its own right and a Blog distribution sight called ZIMBIO
Zimbio doesn’t pay you, per se’ but once you submit your blog sight, news sights, web sights or miscellaneous writing sights, you can simply “ping your sight” (as much as you want) and wa-la your blogs, writings, poems, etc. get posted to a number of their own Zines (on line magazines) as well as picked up by other on line sources.

Now what makes this really cool and gives the added edge over other sights is the “Zine” content covering everything from celebrities, fashion, dating, sports, etc. and you have the opportunity to post either where they recommend or anywhere you think you might find a following. You can even create a new Zine and submit for approval.

Unlike other blog and blog distribution sites, many people simply subscribe to Zimbio for their professionally produced content which is excellent. When you log on for the first time you will see what a different style and feel Zimbio has. It will seem a bit awkward at first because it's more like opening a slick classy magazine with high quality photos and layout than your typical blog or website.

In about fifteen minutes however, I set up my sight and have four separate blogs automatically being picked up and distributed.  I have already had over fifty articles, poems and writings submitted. It’s absolutely simple. I highly recommend this sight.

I also want to say a word of thanks to a fellow writer and Google plus  friend (“from across the Pond” as they say) Steve Mitchell of Posh Coffee Company which in itself is such a very cool business (you have to go to Steve’s Google plus page to check it out). Steve began doing allot of this investigation long before me and has been extremely helpful. Thanks Steve.

Let people know about your work, give Zimbio a try.

©Copyright 2012 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III


Anonymous said...

How could I forget? Love, love, love the Beatle Video. Hehehe, how appropriate for us Writers.....Paperback Writer. Love it.

Deborah Brooks-Langford said...

Love the Beatles.. can I sign up and do this one too?

Lee Outlaw said...

Thank you both ladies and yes Debbie you and Susan can do this one as well. In fact you should, nothing ventured, nothing gained.