There was a post by Erin Miller naming her top triond writers, and to my astonishment, muy name was mentioned, a fact that left me gasping with amazement, that someone as talented as she is should consider my work notable.
It is one of the joys of writing, when someone else who shares your craft, successfully, lets you know that they number among your admirers, something extremely flattering and humbling, all at once. It is true to say that, for me at least, as a writer, the greatest thrill I get is not from making money for the words I wrote, as nice as that obviously is, but much more from the stream of commentary I get from readers, to date almost 99% complimentary, which is pretty impressive, I think.
That is what I like so much about triond, because fellow writers are always willing to post comments about the works you submit, offer helpful advice if asked, and generally give the whole experience of being at triond more like a family get-together than a bunch of strangers who all happen tp enjoy writing. It is a very comfortable feeling, and makes participation in this site much more pleasurable,
I joined mylot recently, where you can actually earn money for simply taking part in the written discussions on all sorts of topics. Triond gets mentioned quite a bit, and for those among you who really enjoy blogging, it is certainly another enjoyable way to earn money from your writing, without the hassle of doing research and then writing it up. Just a thought for those of you who sometimes fancy a different challenge.
I have been amazed by the number of responses to my piece about submitting the same stuff on several sites at once, and it seems that the majority of you see this type of marketing your writing as the wrong one. I still intend to publish on shetoldme, because they give 100% of the adsense revenue, which over time could amount to decent earnings, if I can build a following there, but like any other site, building up followers means spending time at the site, joining in with activities, impossible if you post to too many at once.
I think all of us would accept that it is very unusual for an idea one has to go viral, as I once experienced with a piece I wrote about the hyper-realistic pencil drawings of Hong Kong artist Paul Lung – 85,000 views – so the best way forward is always going to be maintaining a regular submission stream of good quality content written works, which by the nature of that quality will attract views.
Over time, as Jimmy Shlaho and Nelson Doyle have both pointed out, writers of good quality content attract and keep loyal audiences of followers, who in turn point others in the direction of this writers work, so you you have to be prepared for the long haul, because while a temporary, viral flaring of interest in one post is exciting and motivating all at once, the reality is that almost all of your writing life will be spent slogging away at maintaining your position.
This is not said to depress the newcomers to the writing life, far from it, because everyone has to put their foot on the bottom rug, if they want to climb higher up the ladder, and progress without effort is such a rarity that you do much better to believe it will never happen to you, and work as hard as you can all the time. There is merit in social networking sites, and linking content to them will help get you more views, but most importantly, try your damnedest to make your writing interesting, informative and entertaining.
Manage that, and you will build up a loyal following far more quickly than you first imagined, so that your confidence improves, and you start to undertake bigger writing challenges. As a relative idiot when it comes to computers, I get confused by terms like RSS feeds and SEO’s, keywords and so on, all supposedly tools that make life better for web writers, but if they serve a purpose one should do ones best to find out more about them, using them, if helpful, to improve viewing statistics.
At the end of the day though, and here you have to be brutally honest with yourself, it all comes down to one thing – writing ability and talent – if you have it, then however it takes, and however hard it seems, you will make it as a writer, if determined enough. Those with no real talent for the pen will know it very quickly, and should go do something else, in reality.
I have been writing now for fifty years, hopefully getting better as I go along, and events like my inclusion on Erin Miller’s list help reinforce my resolve – to keep writing and submitting until I simply cannot do it anymore. I would die a happy man indeed, were I in the middle of composing something new when life left my body. It is a privilege to have the ability to please others with ones written work, and the triond fellowship make it a genuine pleasure into the bargain.