Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to Joyce Shafer, Expert Author for the Self Improvement category and author of the book I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say.
Joyce has a passion for helping others get a glimpse of the value of self-empowerment. She uses the written word every day to share her thoughts and experiences with clients to help them set their own life goals. She truly believes that a positive attitude and looking within ourselves for support are the best ways to achieve success in our endeavors. Showing her true personality, she says, “I have to write as much as I have to breathe!”
According to Joyce, the best reward she receives from her writing efforts is hearing from readers who’ve been impacted by her words. That, above all, is what keeps her motivated to write. As part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Joyce to share her thoughts on article writing and marketing.
- What sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
My passion is to assist others to recognize and love how truly self-empowered they are. So many individuals want more or want to be more, to have experiences and outcomes they truly desire. They tend to tell (and retell) themselves and others non-supportive stories. I believe that people can fine tune their ability to identify, aim at, and hit their ideal targets in every area of their life — and do so more effortlessly and enjoyably. I not only believe, but know individuals have the answers right for them within. They can get into the practice of not only seeking the right answers, but seeking the right questions first. To value this process as well as their experiences, and to do this consistently is important.
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
I write from the heart then ask myself “If I were reading the article, would what I wrote answer my question or make me consider a new thought?” Find what works and do more of it. Stay open to learning.
- How do you stay motivated to write articles?
I have to write as much as I have to breathe! Plus, the fact I publish a free weekly newsletter online means I must write at least one article a week.
- How do you decide what to write about?
I have more inspiration than I allow time to write. What often happens is one idea inspires me profoundly or gives me a hard nudge — sometimes hours before I need to publish.
- How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?
UPI was the first venue where I published articles when they still called us columnists; and I was invited to do so by the editor after he was late for work because he couldn’t stop reading my Guru book (that’s how he introduced himself: “I was late for work today and it’s your fault!”). Columnists were limited to 600 words or less, so I had to learn how to write everything down, then make it shorter. The format changed and this loosened. What I do now is follow my inspirations, “sleep” on the article if time allows, and work on it until I feel satisfied. And, I’m okay about deleting anything that doesn’t really need to be included. I free-flow, revise, edit, revise, edit …
- How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?
EzineArticles shows up quite often as the site where my articles are read.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
It’s a vital part. It creates connections, clients, sales and opportunities.
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
Article Reports is a valuable tool, among all the terrific ones you offer. Press Release is handy, especially because of EzineArticles’ recognition as a valuable source of information — plus, it’s free! The tools also make EzineArticles easy to recommend to others just getting started with article writing.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change?
Every early article. Just kidding! I could say, “Had I known then what I know now,” but I’m a proponent of things happening in their right timing. It’s important to be where you are now and be open to learning and growing.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
If anyone has an answer, solution, or insight for others and they withhold it — stop it! Write and share. It’s an amazing feeling to get an email from a reader from anywhere, especially living on the other side of the world, who took a moment to express appreciation for your words to share how your musings benefited them in some way. Even one such email makes it all worth it. Trust yourself and take the calculated risks every writer takes.
Joyce had these nuggets of knowledge to share with newbie and veteran authors alike:
- Use your own voice.
- Appreciate that your writing will improve the more you write, and allow yourself to enjoy the process of evolving as a writer.
- Read what you’ve written aloud before you consider it ready.
Take these nuggets with you for your next writing session. They’ll help you make each article you write just a little bit better. Also, leave a comment for Joyce. She’d love to hear from you!