3 Reasons an Author’s Byline Isn’t Everything

Carla Tensuan

Carla Tensuan

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There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about freelancing, one being that an author’s byline is the ultimate measure of success. This is one of the main reasons for taking on writing assignments for some writers.

But seeing your name on a website, blog, newspaper, or magazine is not the goal. Other ways of getting recognition and money may not be as visible but are still just as important. Here are my top three reasons a byline is not necessarily everything when freelancing.

What is an author’s byline?

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An author byline is the name of the writer who contributed an article. It is usually found either right below a title or at the end of the article. Your byline may include a short bio and a photo. It is a way of crediting the person who wrote the piece.

There are other ways to be recognized

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Everyone knows the feeling of seeing their author’s byline for the first time. The sense that you’ve made it, that your voice has been heard and will be heard again, is a fantastic accomplishment. It’s hard to put into words, but it feels like you belong and are a part of something bigger than yourself.

A credit byline in a publication is indeed good for credibility and recognition. But there are other ways to get your name out there. Freelance writers can get recognition in different ways, such as by serving esteemed organizations. Some writers do podcasts, others run social media campaigns for companies, and others create viral or high-ranking content for websites with large audiences. Freelancers who never see their names in print might be doing other things right.

Use your skills to get noticed

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Instead of just focusing on writing, think about the other aspects of your business. Whether it’s marketing, design, or editing (or all three!), you have other skills that can be applied and are helpful to your clients. For example, a content writer I know shares her insights and experience through her social media accounts and online writing workshops.

Network and reach out

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As a freelancer, you’ll be spending a lot of time networking. Networking is about making the right connections and building relationships with others in the industry. By networking and reaching out to others, you can expand your reach. Moreover, you never know who might have an opportunity for you among their contacts.

An author’s byline isn’t everything

When you freelance, there are many ways to get noticed. While an author’s byline can be great, it’s not the only way to be recognized. You don’t want to be known as the “guy who writes this.” Instead, you want to be identified as “the guy who does this,” promoting your skills over the individual work you produce.

About the author

Carla Tensuan is a freelance writer, editor, and communications specialist. She specializes in crafting creative copy, blog content, and press releases. She enjoys listening to podcasts, reading books, and practicing yoga in her free time. She lives with her husband in Manila, Philippines.