Sharing Your Writing Online on Writing.com
I have always wanted to share my writing with people from all parts of the world. One day while being on the computer I decided to do a search for websites where I can post my work. The search results on Google led me to a wonderful site called writing.com.
I have been a member of this website since March of 2005 and feel blessed that I have found it. This website is what led me to publish my first book Pieces of Me (a poetry book) and gave me the confidence to post more of my work on other websites and to publish more books as well. I now have a total of nine books published and will definitely publish more in the future.
Things You Should Know About Writing.com
Writing.com has a free membership but it doesn't give you all the benefits the site has to offer and it allows you to post only 10 items you have written, which is clearly not enough. That is why it is best to opt for one of the paid memberships. If you can't afford to buy a membership don't worry. There are people that sponsor other members, so they may gift you a paid membership.
I currently have an upgraded membership, which allows me to post 250 items to my portfolio, which includes a blog (which of course can have many entries in it). It costs me only $49.99 for a yearly membership, which is not that bad. And since writing.com has what are called Gift Points, which are like virtual money, I can renew my membership without spending any real money. And if I don't have enough Gift Points to renew I can always buy more Gift Points so in turn I will spend less money on my membership renewal.
Gift Points (GPs) can be earned in a number of ways. One of the easiest ways to earn them is to log in to your writing.com account. By doing that you will automatically get a certain number of Gift Points added to your account, which can vary. I don't keep track of this very often but I remember I would get 100 GPs just for logging in on a given day. Sometimes if there is something special going on I would get more GPs than that. A few times I got over a thousand GPs just for logging into my account.
Another way to earn Gift Points is to leave reviews on items that others have written. Some authors automatically offer GPs to people for leaving reviews of 250 characters or more. Some don't do that but may send you GPs on their own when they want to do that. You may even earn them by posting your reviews to the Public Reviews page or participating in review groups.
Participating in contests is also a great way to earn Gift Points. Usually you earn GPs by winning the contest or coming in second or third, but sometimes you may earn some GPs for coming in fourth or fifth or even maybe just for participating. It all depends on who is running the contest and what the rules are.
Sometimes there are promotions offered on the website where if you purchase Gift Points you will get a % free. For example, they may offer 15% free Gift Points when you purchase a certain amount of GPs. You are not required to buy GPs by any means but that is another way to get some extra GPs into your account.
The Benefits of Writing.com
Writing.com has many benefits. Being part of this website allows you to have a writing portfolio, a blog, and even a website. It allows you to post and share all kinds of writing - poetry, lyrics, prose, bios, short stories, books, articles, essays, editorials, novels, novellas, letters, monologues, and much more - in any genre. It also allows you to receive reviews and ratings for the writing you post, which is important both for you and for those reading your work. Readers will not be able to see those reviews in that item's page but the reviews are public and the ratings will be visible. When you create your item you can set it to accept only ratings with reviews, reviews only, emails only, or unrestricted (which allows people to only rate or rate and review).
Another great thing about writing.com is that it allows you to earn virtual merit badges, awardicons, ribbons, trophies, and other virtual awards. People that read your work can choose to give it an award. You can also earn an award by participating in a contest, for reviewing work written by others, and by engaging in the community and interacting with others. There are many different kinds of awards you can earn on the website even within the same type. For example, there are many kinds of merit badges you can earn (poetry, reviewing, angel, music, inner beauty, appreciation, etc.).
Earning awards for your writing and engagement within the writing community - though virtual - is still a big honor and the more of them you have the prouder you feel and the more you stand out in the community as the merit badges you earn increase your community recognition score that is displayed next to your handle (username). That score also goes up the longer you are part of the website. Each year that you renew your membership your community recognition score goes up. Your score also goes up when you review items. For every 100 reviews you make you get 1 recognition score added to your overall score. You will also see an increase in your recognition score when you refer someone to writing.com and they sign up, and when you get promoted within the website.
Yes, you can get promoted on writing.com. Your status can be changed to Preferred Author (where the briefcase displayed next to your name will be bigger and yellow in color) or a Moderator (where the briefcase will change to blue), or Staff (where the briefcase will change to red). I am not sure how one would get promoted to Staff but it is possible to get promoted to a Preferred Author or a Moderator by engaging in the community and posting items that people love to read and review. I am a Preferred Author and I prefer to have that status rather than being showcases as a Moderator as I am writer and published author and this title benefits me more.
If you are an author who has published some books you can add up to six of them to the website. They have to be on amazon.com though. All you need to do is go to your My In Print area of your account and add the ASINs of your books and submit. When you do that every time people visit one of your folders or items in your portfolio they will see on the left side of the page Support This Author under which the front cover image of your book will be displayed along with the title, author name, and price, before which it will say Buy New. Clicking on the cover image, the Buy New, and the title will take readers to that book's page on amazon.com, where they will be able to preview and purchase your book. If you have more than six books you will have to pick which ones you want to showcase. Of course you can always create an item in your portfolio and talk about all of your books. You can include cover images, ISBNs, prices, descriptions, etc. and where they can be bought. You can do all this even if you add books to your My In Print area. It won't hurt. For greater book promotion you can add a link to your books in your blog posts and in email signatures as well.
I hope this helps you learn a bit about the wonderful writing.com community and website. There is much more to discover. But this should give you an understanding of the site and how it works and why it's beneficial for you as a writer and/or author to join it.
© 2012 Lena Kovadlo