Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Day Four of Armchair BEA: When you wish you had access to a private jet and unlimited cash … so you could attend a Book Expo America! Then you could quit your job and read books all day. Ahhh, the life.

Make sure to check out the twitter hashtag #ArmchairBEA today. They will help you sort through the massive amounts of promo info being dumped into the twitter-verse from the biggest publishing expo around. It’s almost better than waiting in line for three hours to see Stephen Colbert talk about his not-quite-for-children kids book I Am a Pole. Ok, maybe not. It would be awesome to see him.

Reaching Beyond the Blog

Have you ever wanted to reach beyond your little Blogger or WordPress world with your writing? The host blog has some great tips today. Also, check out the other participating blogs.

As for me, I have a few stories to share as well:

Use Twitter To Your Advantage:
As wannabe published writers, we’re frequently told to use twitter for networking. Following great advice from the prolific Kristen Lamb (check out her very active blog and the #MyWANA hashtag on twitter, which stands for: My We-Are-Not-Alone (as writers)) she suggests — can you believe this  — to have fun with twitter by following interests outside of publishing. It’s smart because the more you use twitter, the more fun and worthwhile it is, and when it comes to promoting your own work, you’ll have a wider audience to promote to (as long as you keep it genuine and don’t spam everyone).

One day saw a tweet about a blogger looking for writers for her pop culture website. This led to a 9 month gig writing TV feature articles. I connected with other writers and loads of people read my posts, commented, and followed me back. Writing for deadlines strengthened me as a writer, and I pushed myself to create opinionated articles.

Use Those Outside Interests In Your Blog:
I delved deeper by following TV blogs and review sites on twitter, just having fun with it. I did a TV theme on my blog for the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April and connected with a wider audience of bloggers that way. Watching TV is often an escape for people, and it’s easy to talk about. The A to Z hosts asked for contributors to their blog for the remainder of the year. Another great opportunity!

Network With People Already In Your Life:
I have an acquaintance from another corner of life who I met online 12 years ago (back when people thought you were weird for chatting online with strangers). I wrote one little article for his site, and it turns out, he sold his site to a company with significant resources. I have that foot in the door, which may lead to more writing opportunities, given they want me and it works out with my schedule. Who knew?! Sometimes the people in your life already have opportunities. Ask if you can write a blog post for another blogger and start there. Find something that has nothing to do with books and offer to write a blog post or an article for a site devoted to what you already like.

Professional Groups Can Connect You Further:
From local writing groups to SCBWI and RWA chapters, finding people already devoted to writing can connect you to larger resources. Some SCBWI folk I know also publish articles in children’s magazines or freelance for newspapers. You can actually get paid for these!

Have you written for sources other than your blog? How did you find them?

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