How to Build Your Online Authority With Focused Writing Goals

By Karen Cioffi

We’re in the last month of the first quarter. It’s time to reassess.

As each year comes and goes, you need to put your writing focus and writing goals under a microscope. Take the time to analyze if you’re known for who you want to be known for.

In other words, if you ‘really’ want to be known as a top-notch ghostwriter is your focus and goals leading in that direction? Are your actions leading in that direction? Or, are you here, there, and everywhere? Are you lacking online authority in your niche?

You don’t want to be known as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’

While it can be that you have a number of different areas you’re involved in, you need to pick and choose to be ‘master’ of one or two.

It’s this focus that will enable you to gain authority in your niche and to attract customers or clients.

It’s this focus that will motivate you to take the necessary steps to reach your goals.

So, how do you focus in on who and what you want to be known for?

This is interesting, because it can change as the years come and go. For example, I started out as a children’s writer, and while I still love this aspect of my writing, I have evolved into a freelance/ghostwriter (specializing in business incentive and health writing) and an online marketer (specializing in helping authors create and build their online platform).

Taking my freelance writing and marketing skills a bit further, I created a new business, the Article Writing Doctor.

Finding my focus, I took the time to analyze my actions and revamp my websites to reflect what I want to be known for.

While I have three businesses going, they’re all very closely connected – my focus is intact.

Updating this article, there are times when your 'calling' or what you should be doing pushes you in a certain direction.

As I mentioned, I started out as children's writer and veered off in other directions. But over the past two years or so, I've marketed myself as a children's ghostwriter and people have been coming to me to ghost their stories. I could have four or five clients at one time. So, obviously, my focus is back on being a children's ghostwriter.

Fortunately, I'm passionate about writing for children so it works out well.

I still do marketing e-classes, but it's separate and I don't market them. I work through sites like WOW! Women on Writing.

What about you?

Maybe you write for children. Maybe you're a romance writer, a technical writer, or business writer. Maybe you're a freelance writer or ghostwriter. Maybe you're all these things.

But, what do you specialize in? What are you known for?

Do you have online authority in a particular niche?

To help determine your area/s of focus you need to write down the questions below and answer each one (write your answers out):

•    What writing arenas are you involved in?
•    Do you find yourself leaning toward one or two more so than the others, if so what are they?
•    Can you effectively market yourself in these areas?
•    Are you writing and marketing as a hobby or to earn an income or a supplemental income? If your goal is to make money, write down how much?
•    Did you have a writing/marketing goal for last year? Did you reach it? If not, why?
•    What does success mean to you – what does it look like?
•    Do you really want success? If so, is there anything blocking your path to it (often we sabotage our own success)?
•    What do you want to be known for?
•    What can your new ‘signature’ tag be?

You’ll need to think about these questions. It might be helpful to actually have someone ask you each question and quickly give answers. Sometimes this helps you get a glimpse of what’s going on subconsciously.

Once you have your goals in sight, write them down; be sure to include the tasks of increasing your online presence and mailing list. You’ll need to keep those goals front and center and read them every day. The reason for this is our ‘intention’ can quickly be sidetracked if we don’t continually keep it in sight and in mind.

After you have your goals in place, write down action steps to get there. It’s advisable to have a yearly calendar with goals to reach each month. Then prepare a weekly writing/marketing plan to achieve those monthly goals. Again, you need to keep those goals and action steps visible. Remember: out of sight often really does mean out of mind.

Creating focused writing goals and implementing focused action steps to reach them will definitely help you increase your online authority.

This works even if you switch niches as I have. It just takes more focus and work to become known as an authority in a different niche of field. But, it can be done.


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Heidiwriter said...

I like your personal goal with your new business. We always need to have something to work toward!

Magdalena Ball said...

Excellent prompt to plan and set goals - not just at the beginning of the year. It's so easy to lose focus, especially when you're a jack of all trades.

Karen Cioffi said...

Heidi. LOL, It seems I'm always evolving.

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, it does become more difficult to focus when you have your hat in a lot of rings. I struggle to keep focused and build my platform on my strengths. My writing coach, Suzanne Lieurance, really helps reign me in, otherwise I'd be all over the place. :)

Kathleen Moulton said...

Karen, I like the point you made of reassessment. It's too easy for me to wander off.

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathleen, you have plenty of company! :)

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks Karen for pointing out that we're nearing the end of the first quarter of the year. It's difficult to believe, and you're right. Time to reassess.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Excellent questions to help get focused. Thanks Karen

Karen Cioffi said...

Shirley, it is amazing how quickly time is going. It actually pays to step back once a month to see if you're staying on track. But, if not then, then definitely quarterly.

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary Jo, glad the questions got you thinking. It's important to know what you want and where you're heading.

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