One of the best ways to job security as a freelance writer is to become your own marketing agent. Who can better promote your writing than you? Always view your writing as a business, because it is! You are a retailer, the Neiman-Marcus or topnotch magazine writing. Your articles are your merchandise, your inventory. Don’t ever think of yourself as bragging; view yourself as an entrepreneur who is marketing a new inventory or product, namely your articles. When you tell others about your latest work, you are adding to your resume and ultimately applying for your next writing gig. Never forget that!
1. Set up a blog or create a website exclusively for your writing
Always take yourself seriously as a professional writer. Spread the word about your work and others will start paying attention to your work. Each time you have something published, be sure to write a post about it and also create a link to your work on the blog. Always give reference to the magazine where your article appears. This is a win-win strategy for both you and the magazine and its editor.
2. Promote your articles via as many social media sites as possible
Use any and every social media spot for your writing; social media sites are a perfect marketing tool and avenue for your work. Limit your posts to writing-related news and events. This is not the venue for photos of your latest vacation or announcement of the birth of your new granddaughter. Actively seek connections and friends to expand your online presence as a professional writer.
3. Develop a newsletter or an email mailing list to announce the publishing of every article
Friends and family will appreciate receiving the news about your latest published article. Add names to your list as new people show an interest or curiosity about what you are doing. If someone in particular has inspired you to write a particular article, be sure to mention them. People always enjoy being appreciated. Perhaps Aunt Sally’s story about finding a pet sitter when she went on vacation inspired you to write about care for your dog while you are away, for example. Always welcome comments to your article, either to you personally, or on the web site where your article appears if there is a spot for reader comments.
4. Send email links to individuals who may have a particular interest in your latest published article
People love to know that you are thinking of them. If your friend Karen is considering installing a fence at her home, be sure to write her about your latest article “Affordable Fences”, and ask for her input. If Dave has strong opinions about tattoos, forward your article about tattoos and ask Dave for his comments.
5. Submit a press release each time you, the writer, get a promotion
Your local newspaper probably has a weekly column where community members are recognized for their professional accomplishments. Our newspaper calls it “Business Briefs” and it appears in the business section of each Sunday edition. Next time a magazine asks you to write a weekly column, for example, write a paragraph and send a professional-looking photo of yourself to the editor. See how other press releases are written first, and then use that style to write your own. Know the specific name of the business editor and find out their email address so that you can send this press release to them personally. You will be amazed as I was at how many of your local friends, neighbors and co-workers read these. Don’t be surprised to receive in the US Mail, greeting cards with enclosed clippings of your press release.
6. Make public appearances where you can promote your work
Perhaps your nearby high school wants their students to discover that professional writers don’t have to be fancy, over-the-top Hollywood types of people. After all, many published writers live in urban and rural areas all over the country and most writers are regular folks like you and me. Be flattered by the invitation to speak to a group of any age audience in any setting, and always agree to talk to these local groups. Maybe one of the service clubs would like you to present a talk during one of their monthly lunches. Or possibly you can organize an event at your local library where you and other authors can answer questions for the public. Always say “yes” to any and every invitation to get public exposure for your writing.
7. Maintain accurate and thorough records for your writing
Keep track of everything you write and submit, and also where and when it gets published. And of course, keep records for yourself, for marketing, and also for the Internal Revenue Service, every payment you receive for your work. You will be amazed how handy it will be to have a comprehensive list of all your writing when it comes time to do more marketing. Venues where you may ultimately have your articles published with think well of you if they see how productive and versatile you are as a professional writer.
Most businesses, big and small, whether they are selling product or only service advertise. As a professional writer, whether experienced or a newbie, must get the word out that you are a serious writer, always ready to embark on the next writing adventure.