Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why Freelance Writers May Be the Poorest Internet Entrepreneurs (Part II of II)

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s post. Without further ado, other reasons freelance writers may be the poorest internet entrepreneurs are:

3. Nobody wants to pay for content: I’ve written on this so many times, I just don’t want to go over it again.

However, I will point out that as outlets like social bookmarking sites and free article directories abound -- many just don't feel the need to pay for original content. And why should they?

They can link to an article, or as long as they put in the resource box, outright publish an article on their website, blog, or in their newsletter.

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4. Publishing is "easy": Easy is in quotation marks because as anyone who's ever started a publication of any kind knows, it's not. Yes, to start is easy. To make money from it is a whole other ball of wax. Why?

Because that means treating is as a business and marketing, marketing, marketing it to the hilt. I daresay that many freelance writers are introverts when it comes to the work. We don't really care for bugging people to buy an e-book, place an ad, sign up for a seminar. Who likes to be told no, no, no? No one.

BUT, to make a living from our words, that's what we have to endure, which brings me to my next point, marketing.

5. Marketing is not easy for most freelance writers: Many freelance writers drop the ball when it comes to marketing.

That’s why there are so many abandoned websites and blogs, why there are so many suspended newsletters and why many freelancers never finish and/or start that e-book, e-course, etc.

Give Freelance Writing Poverty the Boot!

How? By taking the following steps:

Make marketing a habit: To do this, with each venture – create a marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it does have to be specific.

Eg, I will contact 25 new prospects a day inviting them to join my newsletter.

I will write and submit 1 article to five different article directories a day.

I will update my blog daily.

Whatever your plan is, write it down, look at it daily and get it done.

Think long range: Eg, pre-market. What I mean is, if you know you want to publish an e-book, start marketing it 4, 5, 6 months or more in advance.

This does two things: (a) it forces you to stick to a schedule to get the book done; and (b) it gets you in the habit of marketing before the product is even ready.

Once the product is finished, you’ll be even more motivated to market because that means money in your pocket right away.

Focus on building a brand, not making a one-time sale: For example, I’m known for writing about the “business of creative freelancing.” All of my e-books and e-courses focus on this.

I write e-books about it, I blog about it, I conduct e-courses and seminars on it and I publish a newsletter on it. I’m consistent – I’m all about the business of creative freelancing.

When prospects think of me, they don’t think of me as one-hit wonder. They know they can count on me again and again to deliver on one subject – the business of creative freelancing.

In short, target a niche and become the best in that niche. You want top of mind for something – not bottom of the drawer for everything. While I’m not saying you can’t be successful as an all-around writer, my sincere belief is that niche writing makes freelancing so much easier.

Don’t believe me? Read Nancy Hendrickson’s article entitled, Why Niche, Why Now? Nancy’s been a freelancer since 1987 and in this 2002 article she lists income of 35K from niche writing income.

Remember, marketing is a herculean task. It is behind-the-scenes, “unpaid” work that takes a while to garner a payoff. Many freelancers don’t stick with it long enough to get this payoff. Make sure you do!

For more on how to effectively market your freelance writing services, check out The Small Biz Owner’s Complete Marketing Kit! here.

Monday’s Post: I’m really excited about this topic, which is Publishing E-books for A Living: How to Ensure an Income for Life. Some great inside info will be provided. Stay tuned!

Yuwanda Black, Publisher
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merjoem32 said...

I agree. I used to write articles for a client. It was to provide fresh content for his AdSense sites. However, the sites did not turn out to be as profitable as he thought they would be. As a result, he had no choice but to let me go. Now, I have to venture into Internet marketing in order to find a more stable income.

Inkwell Editorial said...

Dear merjoem32:

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario.

Proactively marketing though will prevent you from, hopefully, repeating this situation. Good luck.

BloggingWriter said...

This is a fantastic post. I agree. I spend a proportion of my time promoting myself and sometimes the clients come to me :)