Your first question after reading the title of this article is probably, 'what does it mean to brand yourself?'
Well, it means exactly what it says. When we go to the supermarket we tend to trust brands we know. We look at the name of the manufacturer on the label - Heinz, HP, Nescafe, etc - and we instinctively trust these names. Why? Because they're known brands.
This is exactly what you need to do to yourself if you want to be a successful writer. Brand yourself. Get your name 'out there' and get it known to as many different people as you possibly can.
Using articles on the internet is a great way to brand yourself, because your name can become known all over the world in an instant, or as long as it takes for someone to read your article.
There are plenty of ezines and web sites looking for articles with good, well-written content.
But how do you go about writing an article and getting it known?
First, you need to pick a subject to write about, a subject that people are interested in. It also needs to be a subject that you are knowledgeable in or, preferably, be related to a book you've recently written or a product you're trying to sell. This way, even though the articles are written for free, they can result in sales.
Everyone has a subject that they're knowledgeable in. Writers usually write about writing, artists about painting, chefs about cooking and housewives about cleaning, chores, children, etc.
Even if you feel you're not knowledgeable about anything, think of a subject that you're interested in, and that others might be interested in too. Research the subject (children's books at the library are usually the easiest to understand on any subject) and make copious notes.
Make sure though, that your article is only about one subject without going off on a tangent about something only related to it. For instance, if your subject is about writing a novel, don't suddenly veer off and start talking about short stories.
Readers are only interested in one subject at a time, and if your article doesn't stick to its promise of the content it originally promised, your readers will quickly lose interest, stop reading and be dubious about any other article written by you.
Remember; if you're going to brand yourself, make sure it's a brand people can trust.
Every article should have a beginning, middle and an end. I know that sounds pretty obvious but it's a point that quite often gets missed.
Your beginning needs to state a problem. The middle should discuss this problem and offer examples, if possible. The end needs to offer solutions and then sum up. And your bio should be included at the end of the article.
Your title should in some way explain what the article is about.
The word count should be no more than 1,000. You can go to 1,500 at a push but just remember that it's much harder to read from computer screen and readers get tired of reading if the article is too long.
Make good use of white spaces and keep paragraphs short to make the article easier to read.
Make sure your article isn't an obvious sales pitch or your reader won't even bother to finish reading it.
Make sure your article is full of facts and be sure that they are correct.
Keep your writing tight and avoid flowery prose which has no place in a non-fiction article.
Be sure that your articles are available for reprint to anyone who wants to use them.
Use free article sites that can quickly and efficiently upload your articles ready for publication across the whole World Wide Web.
Manually submit your articles to web sites or ezines looking for content, but make sure your article is appropriate for their needs.
But above all else, make sure your articles are informative. If they don't offer information to the reader, then you come across looking like an amateur who doesn't know anything about their subject or how to write.
Here are some article sites that you can submit your articles to for free:
Just make sure you check out all guidelines before you submit to these sites.
So, all that's left to do now is get writing, get your articles out there and BRAND yourself.