As a follow up to my post yesterday, Introducing the Professional Life of Susan Gunelius, today I’m going to share my writing life with the Freelance Writing Jobs community, so you can get to know me better.
Like most writers, I have always loved to write. I’d rather take an essay test in school than multiple choice any day of the week. English was a natural choice for my minor in college, and when I started my corporate marketing career, writing became a key part of my role. It was through my work in Corporate America that I learned how to write copy and marketing communications that get results.
In 2004, my corporate career came to a stop for personal reasons, which I’ll tell you about in my next post, but I couldn’t stay away from marketing and writing for long before I had an idea to write a book about copywriting that would help small business owners who can’t afford to hire professional copywriters create copy that works. I was tired of watching small business commercials and looking at small business print ads that had little chance of delivering the returns the business owners wanted and needed. That’s when I came up with the idea for my first book, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Next, I had to learn how to get a book published, and that’s when my entire life changed.
I turned to the Internet to learn how to get a book published and found websites like AbsoluteWrite.com that taught me everything I needed to know about publishing nonfiction books. I spent months researching and learned that my best chance for getting interest from a well-known publisher was to build a platform across the social web. Blogging became my priority target. I taught myself to blog and realized that by joining a blog network, I could increase my online presence faster. I turned to my expertise, marketing, and pursued network blogging opportunities with respected networks that had a broad reach (there were several at the time).
Throughout this process, I was writing my first book. I spent about 6 months learning and building my online platform before I started to approach agents with my book proposal. I targeted ten agents and within a month had two agents express interest. One sent my proposal along to a publisher to gauge reaction, but at the exact same time, something else happened.
I wrote a blog post on a blog I was writing for a large blog network at the time about the Harry Potter brand. A publisher in England, Palgrave Macmillan (a division of Macmillan Publishing), saw the blog post and contacted me asking if I would be interested in writing a book about the Harry Potter marketing phenomenon. Of course, I said yes. Within a week or so, I heard back from my agent about the publisher’s reaction to my copywriting book. They wanted it. Within a year, Entrepreneur Press published my copywriting book, and Palgrave Macmillan published my Harry Potter book, Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. From there, the domino effect took over and my new career was born.
Since I started all of this in 2007 until now, I launched my own company and had six books published with a seventh on the way in 2011 and more in the pipeline. My blog for women working in the field of business, WomenOnBusiness.com, was named a finalist in the 2009 Stevie Awards for Women in Business in the category of Best Blog, and has been named to two “Top Blogs” lists by Forbes.com. I am a featured writer on Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and my marketing related articles have appeared across the web on sites like MSNBC.com, FoxBusiness.com, WashingtonPost.com, TheStreet.com, SmartMoney.com, Yahoo! Advertising, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Small Business, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. I write blogs and online content for a variety of large and small clients, including About.com (a New York Times company), Cox Communications, Newstex.com, Corporate-Eye.com, and many more. Long story short, I’m busier than ever and desperately need an assistant.
I built my writing career by focusing on my strengths and leveraging the social web for organic growth. If you look at my Twitter profile or Facebook profile, you’ll see that I don’t have tens of thousands of followers and connections, and there is a reason for that. I’m a proponent of content marketing via social media where quality trumps quantity. Deb built Freelance Writing Jobs under a similar methodology where quality has always been placed first, and I certainly have no intention of changing that.
Up next: my personal life
By the way, Deb interviewed me a while back for her Success Stories series on Freelance Writing Jobs, which you can read here.