To ensure a steady flow of work and income, a writer should promote himself constantly. Not everyone knows you are a writer and the competition for work is very high. Not only do you compete with publications regular staffers and commissioned writers but with more learned and skilled freelancers.
Marketing should be on top of your priorities after production of your writing. You need to adopt various strategies to get your name out there and display your prowess.
Here are a few useful ways to promote yourself and achieve success:
In this information age that we are in, it is necessary for every business person to have a web site to display his/her wares as well as communicate with potential customers. You should consider yourself in business and adopt appropriate business practice in order to succeed.
You need a web-site where you explain what writing services you offer, your writing credentials and samples of your published work is essential not only to provide information to would-be clients but to show them your writing competence. Of course there are other add-ons such as auto-responders, ezines, etc to supplement your site. Your website should be optimized for better search engine ranking and its URL displayed in your business documents so that people are informed of its presence.
This is a good strategy for publicizing yourself and its effects may last for quite a long time. This strategy works best online.
In this strategy you select subjects and topics in your area of specialization and post the complete articles to article submission websites for free publication. Each article will contain the writer’s byline at the beginning and a brief bio at the end. The bio will include your name, email address, website URL and what you do or who you are.
If your article is good it may be accepted for publication on the website and read by hundreds, if not thousands of people on line. Among these people are editors and ezine publishers who will republish the complete article in their publications.
The interest that your article generates and the information you provide in your bio will market you as a good writer and people will click on your website URL. The multiplier effect of this will be increased enquiries on what you offer, orders for your services or more visitors to your website. You will also have earned credits for publication of your article, which you can send to prospective publishers.
Some of the websites that accept and publish articles submitted are: -
“Advertising pays” is as true today as it was decades back. As we said earlier, nobody knows you are there or you offer writing services. Your website is online. You can advertise your services in the many free classified ads sites and safe lists. You can also put paid ads on high traffic sites, writer’s sites, job boards, ezine ad networks, etc.
A one or two line reference of what you do together with your website URL can be added in a special section of your e-mail address so that all e-mail messages you send out will contain the “signature file” is another good way to promote yourself especially if you are sending out many e-mail messages to newsgroups and online communities. After reading your message, people would want to know who you are and what you do. When they click your website or auto-responder address they will be led to what you do or offer. Set up a signature file in your e-mail, participate in discussions by sending e-mail messages and watch enquiries grow. However, be careful not to advertise directly when you post to newsgroups as that may offend others and that is not the main purpose of newsgroups.
SENDING OUT QUERIES
Sometimes, even after using other means to promote yourself you have to use this one also. It may be considered the most common way of finding work for freelance writers. Querying is an art in itself and there are many do’s and don’ts. Some publications accept e-mail queries while others don’t. Some do and others do not accept work from freelancers. You need to read market guides such as the Writers Market or submission guidelines from publishers’ websites as well as practice writing query letters.
The more queries you send the better as they increase you chances of acceptance.
Word of mouth promotion/networking are also other ways to promote yourself within your locality. Attend seminars on writing or your area of specialization and inform others that you are a writer and you can assist them in their promoting their businesses in one way or another. Put your name, your occupation and contacts as a writer on business cards, calendars, and diaries and distribute freely locally. Ask your friends to recommend you to others. The possibilities are many and are only limited by your ability to explore them.
Writers need to market themselves in order to keep the business coming in and ensure a steady flow of income throughout the throughout the year.
This article was posted on February 17, 2004