The world of freelance writing has no doubt shifted to the Internet. Although some freelance gigs may want to keep your writing anonymous, most put your writing on a website for the world to see. This works great because it gives you a nice portfolio of writing to send to future writing gigs you hope to land. You can tell a potential editor to check out the article you wrote on a particular website, and you can even link right back to that article in your email pitch.
However, as a writer becomes more and more established online it’s simply impossible to type out and send every single link to every single editor. For this reason, many writers are constantly updating a spreadsheet and hoping editors take the time to open the spreadsheet, click on the links, and read the article. This led me to wonder: Is there an easier way to get your writing in one place?
Using Google+ Contributor List Option
Freelance writers should use social sharing whenever possible, and Google+ is no different. In fact, Google+ could very well soon become the most important social media website for freelance writers because part of the “about” section of the network is set aside for “contributor to.” In other words, anyone who visits your Google+ profile has the option to see all of the websites you have contributed to; organized into a neat little column. Consider the following example from my Google+ “about” section:
As you can see above, Google+ has a section for occupation, employment, and education much like other networks such as Facebook, but it also offers a side bar showing which websites your work has been featured.
As if this wasn’t good enough, you can setup this section of your Google+ profile to link right back to articles you’ve written (as opposed to just the homepage of the site). This way, editors can find you on Google+, see where you’ve contributed, and click on whichever link they desire to see exactly what article you contributed to that site.
How to Get Started with Google+ Contributor List
It is extremely easy to add this list to your Google+ profile, but many writers don’t even know this exists because Google+ is so new. The first step is to, of course, sign up for a Google+ account. If you need more information, visit the Social Media Examiner Complete Guide.
Once you have an account, you’re ready to get started. Whether you’re a Google+ pro who missed this gem of information or new to the social site, consider the 6 easy steps to setting up the contributor list:
- Go to your profile page. You can do this by clicking your name, your picture, or the icon up-top that looks like a person inside a circle.
- Click “edit profile” located on the top right hand side of your screen.
- Click “about” located right under your pictures
- Click “contributor to” on the right hand side and click “add custom link”
- Create a label for your link for people to see (generally the name of the site where you contributed) and then copy and paste the URL where your article appears.
- Click “save” and then “done editing” and you’re all set!
It is also worth noting that your articles will be displayed in the order in which you input them onto the site. In other words, if you want your best articles up top, begin inputting those first!
You can continue typing in all of the sites where you have contributed and click “save” all at once to help the process go a little bit faster. It may take a while at first, but in the long run having your articles connected with you via social media is a great way to stay organized and keep the freelance gigs coming.
Why Google+ > Your Old Spreadsheet
Sometimes it can be hard for a writer to break an old habit. After all, sending spreadsheets to editors has probably worked great for a long time. However, the introduction of Google+ and the idea of sending just one link to your Google+ page has some advantages that creating a spreadsheet simply does not:
- Convenience – Many editors feel very comfortable using social networking sites. Although opening a spreadsheet is not difficult, it can sometimes be confusing in the way it’s setup for someone who didn’t set it up themselves.
- More Information – Editors will be able to see more information about you. Sometimes putting a face and a little bit of personality helps an editor find you and your writing appealing. This could also spark a conversation about something other than writing, which is always helpful when trying to find writing gigs. After all, it is almost like you’re on a job interview.
- Connection – Sending an editor to your Google+ profile could very well results in a follow. This will help you stay connected in the future and be impressive to other editors checking out your page. If you’re connected with a lot of great editors, your chances of getting hired will be greater.
- Logo Displayed – Google+ will display the logo of the website where you contributed (if that website has a Google+ profile page). If an editor recognizes a site or a logo, they may be more apt to give your pitch a listen.
The only problem that arises with the Google+ contributor list comes when you have written for a site more than once. You can put every article you’ve written for that site on your list, but then you will have that same logo and same label three times in a row. Consider the example to the right. Although each Business.com label links to a different article, your list will look a bit repetitive.
However, chances are an editor will not need to see more than one article per website that you write for. You should have more than enough if you are writing for sites several times, so throw away that spreadsheet and start getting social with your pitches.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to ip phone systems. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including telemarketing services to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Resource Nation.