10 Free or Cheap Ways To Market Your Writing Business

These 10 strategies cost nothing, or close to it. They’ll save you money… and put money in your bank account, too!

1. Look in the business section of your local paper for the names of people who have been promoted, hired or rewarded by their companies. Write a short congratulatory letter (refer to the specific achievement to make it personal), and enclose two or more of your business cards (one for the person to keep, the others for him or her to give to others). By the way, your business cards DO include complete information about what you do, don’t they? If not, redesign them today! Just a title, such as “Freelance Writer,” is too vague. List what you can do (newsletters, brochures, ads, etc.) and add a blurb that highlights the main benefit you offer.

2. Scan magazines and newspapers for articles that are of interest to one or more of your current clients or “hot prospects” (people you’ve talked to but have not worked for yet). Clip the articles and send them to the prospects with an attached, handwritten note stating something like, “Hi, Alice. Thought you might be interested in this. Please keep me in mind for your future writing needs! Regards, Henry.” This strategy gives you a reason to remind your clients and prospects about you. It’s a way to keep your name in their minds. The use of snail mail and a handwritten note gives this tactic a personal touch. This is much more effective (and less obtrusive) than sending interesting tidbits via e-mail.

3. Create an alliance with graphic designers. Writers sometimes need graphic design work or have the opportunity to refer their clients to artists. And artists frequently need good copy that their clients cannot or do not want to supply themselves. Contact local graphic designers and ask them about their businesses before you talk about yours. Let them know that you may have an occasional client who could use their services. After the conversation gets going, you can mention your services. Follow up by sending a personal letter and several of your business cards. (One for the designer to keep, and the others for the designer to give to clients who may need you someday.)

4. Join an organization, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the local advertising club. Face-to-face networking is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business. Put your business cards in your pocket and always give two or three to each person (one to keep and one or two to share).

5. After you join an organization, volunteer and be active. Get noticed by taking a visible role in committees or events.

6. Call 5 to 10 people you know — friends, relatives, coworkers, folks at church, etc.–and talk to them about what you are doing as a freelance copywriter. Let them know you are available for work if they happen to hear of anyone who can use your services. Sometimes we think our “inner circle” knows what we do and can therefore refer us to others. More often, though, these people have only a limited idea of our capabilities. Change their misperceptions today!

7. Start your own newsletter or e-zine. Make sure at least 75 percent of the copy is information people can use — not marketing hype about you. For example, write articles on “Better Business Writing,” “The Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When You Write a Business Letter,” or “Advertising Copy That Sells.” Show your expertise in most of the newsletter, then highlight the benefits of your writing services. Remember to add a call to action (what you want the reader to do next, such as call you for a free consultation).

8. Contact a bookstore and offer to teach a free seminar about writing. Use a recently published book as a resource, and have lots of copies on hand for participants who are interested in purchasing the book. You’ll benefit from the free publicity and the store will benefit from the free promotion of the book.

9. Call four ad agencies and ask to speak to the creative or copy director. Be ready with a 30-second introductory pitch about your services and how you can benefit the ad agency. Ask for either a meeting to discuss the agency’s needs or permission to send a package with some of your writing samples.

10. Try to get in the newspaper or on the radio or local TV. Many media outlets actively seek guests who have something interesting to say. Develop a topic idea that will showcase your talents as a writer while also making for a good story or segment. Contact local reporters, radio hosts and TV producers with your idea.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy Poole has been a Prosperous Writer since she launched her highly profitable freelance copywriting business in 1985. She is also a Writer’s Coach who empowers other writers to prosper in this opportunity-rich field. Kathy gives writers the confidence, knowledge and action plans they need to start, run and grow their own lucrative copywriting businesses – much sooner and more easily than they could by themselves. For information, resources, more articles and a complimentary Special Report, visit http://www.prosperouswriter.com

Send e-mails to kathy@prosperouswriter.com

*I do enjoy coffee, and if I have it my way, I might have more than one cup of coffee a day, so feel free to fund my coffee addiction 🙂

20 Revenue Sharing Sites – Written Content

Revenue Sharing: People working together and registering online in a way similar to that of a corporation, and sharing the proceeds.

What you need to do?

Write content, submit content, wait for content to be reviewed and published, and earn royalties (Google Adsense) based on page views (different sites might have different methods to calculate the earnings).

There are 20 revenue sharing sites that are worth checking out.

It is time to earn some extra money.

If you know any other revenue sharing sites that are not in the list, feel free to add in the comment.

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1. Triond : I have talked about how you can make money with Triond.

2. Bukisa : Similar to Triond. Check out how you can make money with Bukisa.

3. Associated Content

4. Ehow.com : If you love to write how-to articles, this is your best choice.

5. Hubpages

6. Squidoo

7. Suite 101

8. Xomba

9. Thisisby

10. Pakt

11. About.com : If you are really good at certain topics, you can be a guide on About.com.

12. Helium

13. Oondi

14. LaunchTags

15. Scratch Projects

16. GreenDoc

17. Daytipper

18. MeshPlex

19. Digital Journal

20. SoftwareJudge

Note: 16.09.09 – Serena from RevShareSites shared a list of 52 (and growing) revenue sharing sites and information about each of them. Some of the sites are listed above. Others are unknown to me, but I guess it is worth checking out.

Update 29.12.09: Ryan from Info Barrel would like to add his site to the list. I have looked at the front page of the site. Look promising but you will have to learn more from his site.

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any wrong information listed on RevShareSites.

*I do enjoy coffee, and if I have it my way, I might have more than one cup of coffee a day, so feel free to fund my coffee addiction 🙂

Are You Sure You Want To Be A Writer?

Writing

photo credit: tnarik

“I want to be a writer.”

“But you don’t even know what you want to write.”

“Well, I can always find a topic to write about.”

“Are you really?”

*****

The truth is being a writer is difficult. For some people, writing is natural. Writing is like eating rice to me. Writing is like taking a bath every day. When writing is natural, getting writing jobs would be easier.

However, for others, writing is like having to bungee jump or jump off the cliff, way too difficult and way too dangerous.

Too difficult because you will have to find your way around looking for jobs that might be paying peanuts and too dangerous because if you have no full time job on hand, and without consistent work from your clients, you won’t be able to earn enough to support your expenses.

Why you need to think through before becoming a writer?

You need to have the right skills in order to have a career in writing.

By scoring an A in the English exam (I.e. SPM or STPM in Malaysia) is only the first step. There are many more steps to come.

Writing is ‘easy’ for me not because I scored an A for English exam and definitely not because I was born to write, but because I spent countless of hours learning English since I was 12.

My History of English Learning

I have scrapbooks with cut-outs from the newspapers (specifically the sections that highlight English learning).

What I did was, scan through the newspapers, look out for the articles that interest me and cut them out, before I pasted them in the scrapbooks.

I have different scrapbooks for different purpose.

For example, I have a book specifically for Proverbs and Idioms.

After so many years, I have collected quite a lot of cut-outs and therefore, I have learnt as much as I could when I was in school but learning never stops.

Quit your job or not?

Yes and No.

Yes, if you can earn enough to support yourself.

No, if you are financially dependent on your full time job. Write part time and work your way up one step at a time.

How?

How can you join the writing industry?

Listen and Learn. Listen to the people who are experts in the writing industry. Learn every writing skills you need for your work.

If you love to write novels, you will have to learn how to write a novel.

If you write about general issues, you will need to read up on the latest issues.

When?

When can you join the writing industry?

It totally depends on yourself.

“When do you want to join?”

What?

What you need to do / prepare in order to join in the writing industry?

Resume, portfolio and a professional email address.

Resume

You can have the same resume you use for job application or you can create a new one. Make sure it is simple and clean.

Portfolio

This is a showcase of your work. Whatever you have done in the past. If you have not written anything, you will have to write now!

Professional email

No one likes to hire someone with an email like this: xxx@yahoo.com, sexybabe97@yahoo.com, lemonade90@hotmail.com or similar email addresses.

Get something like yourname@yahoo.com or yourname@hotmail.com  or even yourname@gmail.com. (replace ‘your name’ with your own NAME).

The best email addresses would be a paid email address although this is optional.

Conclusion

Once you are ready and prepared, it is time to hit the job market and apply for jobs.

Good luck!

*I do enjoy coffee, and if I have it my way, I might have more than one cup of coffee a day, so feel free to fund my coffee addiction 🙂

Freelance Writer – 3 Reasons Why You Need a Blog

Face it, being a freelance writer is never an easy task. You need to be good at writing and have strong portfolio to gain you work that pays well – perhaps more than you ever imagine. However, there are so many freelance writers that are willing to earn smaller income as long as there are work for them.

Still, being a freelance writer has its own perks such as setting our own working hours and setting our own rates too.

Now, why you need a blog if you are a freelance writer?

1. Exposure: Everything is about exposure these days. Remember, you are running your own business in writing. You need to ‘sell’ your services to the public. To sell, you need to promote your own services. Otherwise, who would know what you are offering. It is like having a home. People will find you easily with an address. Invite them to visit you, talk to them and they will be interested in what you are offering (i.e. your writing services).

2. Portfolio: A blog also acts as your portfolio. In fact, a blog is the easiest way to display your work because you are the one running the blog and write for the blog. Direct your potential customers to your blog and showcase your blog writing skills. They will be impressed.

3. Professionalism: Since you are running your own business, you might want to appear to be more professional in your career. Having a blog in writing is like gaining the authority in writing industry. Remember, there are many writers around you (which means competitors) and you need to stand out in the crowd. Do something that is like a signature mark from you. Write something unique to attract more people to your blog. Good content will always attract more readers. More readers mean more exposure and more opportunities for you.

A bonus tip: Print your own business cards. Personalise it. Spread it. Make sure you include your name, address, emails, blog address and a short description of who you are and what you offer. This will allow your potential clients to reach you whenever they need you.

*I do enjoy coffee, and if I have it my way, I might have more than one cup of coffee a day, so feel free to fund my coffee addiction 🙂