How to Build a Reputation as an Author

If you want to make a lot of money as an author, you need to develop your reputation from the ground up. With a better reputation, you’ll have a bigger natural audience, you’ll have connections to more powerful people, and you’ll find it much easier to land publication deals and speaking opportunities in the future.

But how can you build a reputation if you’re just getting started?

Get Some Early Portfolio Pieces

Before doing anything else, develop some early portfolio pieces. After all, it’s going to be difficult to develop your reputation as an author unless you already have some excellent works attached to your name.

These are just some ideas for how to get started:

·       Write (and self-publish) a book. Self-publishing a book is much easier and less expensive than most people think. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to write the book and edit it, the publication piece of the puzzle is relatively straightforward. Once you’re able to showcase a finished hardcover book that reflects your skill and talent, you’ll instantly upgrade your reputation.

·       Start your own blog. If you don’t like the idea of writing or publishing a book, consider starting a blog. You can also start a blog if you already have a book and are looking for a convenient way to promote it and yourself. Make sure to contribute to the blog regularly, at least once per week, and demonstrate your true skills as a writer.

·       Get featured as a guest author. You can also gain exposure by getting featured as a guest author on other blogs and publication websites. Reach out to editors of these websites with pitches for article ideas; it’s only a matter of time before you get accepted.

Polish Your Online Presence

Next, work on polishing your online presence. Get some professional headshots and include them, along with a detailed biography, on every channel you can find:

·       Your website. Your website should be a hub for your personal brand, showcasing who you are, what you’ve worked on, and what your biggest accomplishments have been. Anyone researching you should find this first.

·       Social media. You also need to claim and actively manage your social media profiles. These are some of the best places to meet new people and one of the best ways to promote your best work.

·       Public listings. Consider improving your online presence in public listings as well. Can you create a biography for yourself as a writer on your most active publications? Can you make sure your book is for sale on popular platforms like Amazon?

Double Down on Networking

Professional networking is important and valuable for almost any career, But it’s even more important if you’re trying to build your reputation as an author. Attend local meetup events and networking opportunities, and never pass up the chance to add someone new to your network. 

Simply introducing yourself as an author enough times will help to improve your notoriety and recognizability. This is also an excellent way to meet people who can help your career, such as publicists, promoters, and editors.

Land Speaking Opportunities

It’s not hard to find speaking opportunities if you know where to look. Research local events that will be happening in the near future and see if any of them align with your expertise or interest. 

Then, reach out to the event organizer and see if there are any speaking opportunities. Getting in front of a crowd of people and speaking articulately about your favorite subject can help boost your reputation (and confidence) significantly.

Get Involved in Writing Communities

It’s also important to get involved in writing communities. The more involved you are, and the more people you meet, the bigger your sphere of influence will grow.

·       Actively participate in discussions. Get involved in interesting discussions you encounter on social media and on relevant forums. State your opinion and back it up when possible.

·       Network with influencers. Influencer marketing is popular because it gives you an instant shortcut to reach someone else’s massive audience. Get to know major influencers in your niche and work with them to cross-promote, if possible.

·       Collaborate. Another viable option to expand your reach is to collaborate more frequently, producing content with other influencers and skilled writers.

·       Engage with your followers. Don’t forget to engage with your followers regularly; it will keep them active and attract more people to your channels.

Keep Climbing the Ladder

Developing your reputation as an author isn’t a one-time ordeal. It’s something you have to keep working on indefinitely. As you develop more of a foothold for yourself in this career path, keep climbing the ladder, looking for new connections, better publication opportunities, and new areas where you can promote yourself.

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