Writing has always been an outlet for me though I have not always enjoyed it. Writing is creative, detailed, and powerful. Choosing words to describe images and visuals in my imagination that have not yet become real is an extremely difficult process. The fact that words hold so much power, evoke so much emotion, and can persuade the reader for or against makes it one of the most amazing tools we all have in our business arsenal.
As I began blogging in 2008 and writing more frequently for EzineArticles, I began to dream of writing for well-known publications. From a personal standpoint, having my name attached to an article whose sole purpose is to help and inspire the reader to take action, that is my dream. With that dream, there is a lot of fear. How will my writing be judged? Will anyone read it? Will anyone care?
The First Step to Overcoming my Fears
At the end of January 2016, I took a leap of faith. I applied and was approved to be a contributor for Slant, a new online platform for news, stories, and discussing the future. Excited, I wrote my first article for them about one of my favorite hipster cephalopod, Edgar. After 61 days, here is how that article has performed:
With that article, I even made the front page as a featured article for Slant’s ‘Future’ category. I was floored with excitement!
A Positive Reaction Spurs More Action
With this positive reaction, I began writing more. I wanted to bring a topic that I am passionate about to Slant’s platform. I crafted a well thought out article with bite-sized content, perfect for skimming while being helpful at the same time.
However, my results did not fair as well. After 61 days on Slant, here is the performance of the article:
The Score Tied, I Forged Ahead
I had a great reception with my first article and then heard crickets with a topic I am really passionate about. While I thought about giving up, I realized that I still needed to continue testing the waters to find my niche, build my exposure, and continue to fine-tune my writing. I could tell my writing was valuable to readers, as the shares I’ve received have been quite high. I forged on, determined to find a way to reach article nirvana.
I continued to write and promote articles on Slant as well as Orbit. Then, I wrote an article that connected with my Slant readers and has surpassed all expectations I had for it. I had recently come across a new networking app called Shapr. I tried it out and had an amazing 3-4 connections in the first week of using it. Based on my positive experience, I decided to write an article on it for Slant. I also reached out the app’s founders once the article was published to let them know about it. And the reception has been amazing!
Here is the latest statistics for my Shapr article on Slant:
My article was also retweeted many times on Twitter by the founders of the app, which definitely made my day:
— Ludovic Huraux (@LudovicHuraux) March 6, 2016
Overall Thoughts on @Slant
While it’s still early, my experience with @Slant so far has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve worked with the team directly to distribute my articles, continue to promote my Slant articles as well as others via social media, and can see the positive effects of being a @Slant contributor. Here are 3 takeaways from my first 61 days:
- It’s a lot of work. Committing to another platform takes discipline, creativity, and a well-structured schedule to pull off. I’ve had sort of a relaxed publishing schedule due my current working schedule but plan to increase my contributions in the coming months.
- It’s an amazing platform to see what works. Working with the editors, I’ve learned so many tips and tricks as they relate to copywriting, headlines and sub-heads, and even how and where they place images and gifs within the body of the article. I continue to take all of this into account as I work to improve my writing for my own publication, #Orbit, as well as @Slant.
- Building exposure and a community. I love the fact that I am able to write and publish my thoughts and research onto a platform and get instant feedback. The exposure for my personal brand is great, but the community I have been able to create by combining @Slant with social networks like Twitter has been amazing. I would not have been able to connect with the Shapr founders had I not written an article about how much I enjoyed their product.
Here are my current articles published on @Slant, with more coming in the near future
Are you a contributor to @Slant or other online platforms? What has been your experience so far? How do you determine your schedule as a contributor? Leave a comment and join the conversation.