Finding great writers to follow who will share career tips and writing advice is a literal goldmine–pun intended! The problem is, there are so many writing mentors, book coaches, and blogging guides that it’s hard to know whom to follow to get good advice on advancing your career or learning to write for an audience.
While I can’t tell you all the little reasons you might not want to follow certain writers, I can give you one great big one that applies to all candidates. Don’t follow a writer who’s not really a writer, but an information marketer.
Don’t get me wrong: Lots of writers sell ebooks, guides, and courses to help other writers succeed (and make some money for themselves, too). That’s fine. There are tons of writers to follow that have great stores of wisdom to share and I am glad they’re willing to part with it. I’ll buy that ebook if I think it will help me further my career. I’ll feel good about it, too, because I am not only helping myself, I’ll be helping a fellow writer pay his mortgage. Win-win!
The problem occurs when a writer begins selling ebooks, courses, guides, personal coaching, etc. for writers when they aren’t “real” writers after all. Let me give you an example:
Joe Writer writes a blog about his adventures as a freelance writer. When he gets a good amount of traffic, he starts selling books, courses, or other training about the secrets of the writing business. But wait! What has Joe written besides his blog? Oh, an ebook on writing that he first offered for free on his website. Okay–what else? Let’s see. Has Joe written any articles for magazines or newspapers? No–except to write about writing so he can promotes on his site. Oh. Okay, then. Does Joe have any other books published? No–except books on how he has this amazing freelance career. Mmmm-hmmm. He’s has an amazing full-time writing career, but he’s never published anything except blogs and books and courses about himself?
There’s your sign, people. Don’t blink and miss it.
Now don’t get me wrong, everyone’s got to make a living. And Joe Writer has a great deal to teach others who either want to become bloggers or information marketers. But for those of us who want to become freelance writers or novelists, Joe’s got a lot of pretty words and not a lot of substance. If you’re looking for writers to follow to further your career in fiction or non-fiction writing, Joe’s not the answer.
Now, don’t discount a writer just because they offer how-to ebooks, courses, or coaching. I’m probably even going to do this myself one day. But I have a string of freelance clients, a published non-fiction book One Size Does NOT Fit All: Stress Management and a soon-to-be published fiction book. And other helpful writers do, too, so give them a chance.
In the meantime, if you feel the need to send money to an information marketer, choose Michael Hyatt. He now bills himself as a leadership/productivity kinda guy, but he’s got scads of publishing experience, having been the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He’s got two worthy programs for writers, Get Published and Platform University, both subjects he knows a great deal about. Plus he has loads of great (and free) productivity advice on his website.
What writer do you follow for career advice? I’d love to hear!
See you on the next page!