Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to Build Your Online Authority With Focused Writing Goals

By Karen Cioffi

As each year comes and goes, you need to periodically 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 an award-winning author, are 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. I now offer small businesses and health professionals SEO writing training.

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.

What about you?

Maybe you write for children. Maybe you're 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.

Image: Copyright 2013 Karen Cioffi

Need help getting your author-writer platform optimized? Check out Create and Build Your Author Online Platform, my 6-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing.

For details CLICK HERE.



  1. Thanks for sharing how you use 3 careers & roll them into 1 focus goal. I'm hard pressed sometimes to combine mine. I write inspirational YA fiction & also focus on weight loss suggestions & devotions. I concentrate on messages of hope & that takes in both of my passions. Good post.

  2. Janet, those are very different niches and should remain separate. While it's good to blend similar niches together, some do need to remain separate.

    I also have a health site focused on a few autoimmune illnesses, but haven't kept it active. I'm trying to incorporate my new business with the health niche by offering services for health professionals. Health is an evergreen and always hot niche.

  3. Great advice. I need to write my goals down (which I sometimes do but seldom look at them). Writing for Mg and Teens is what I enjoy. I'm thinking about starting a newsletter to help promote my work. I need to get organized. Thanks for reminding me. :)