Friday, September 28, 2007

POST #24: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar in October. You will learn exactly what to do to earn $100, $150, $200/day or more as a freelance writer, editor and/or copy editor. Click to register!

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I've started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Why Marketing Too Much Can Lead to Less Business

There are so many ways to market your freelance writing services, it’s downright scary and can leave you immobilized.

But, when you finally take the plunge – doing too much can lead to fewer clients – not more. How?

Consider this: The outlets for marketing include the following -- and quite a few more that I’m sure to leave off the list.

Offline Marketing Outlets: postcards, flyers, sales letters, newspaper ads, brochures, promotional items, face-to-face networking, cold calling, etc.

Online Marketing Outlets: website, e-newsletters, forums, social networking sites (eg, MySpace, FaceBook, Squidoo), blogs, ebooks, article writing, online columns, etc.

How to start, where to start, what will give you the most bang for your buck – and your time? It can be difficult to know. So, how do you decide?

Quite frankly, your niche and your marketing budget will dictate which marketing methods to use, as discussed in Post #21. However, if you’re still confused, stick to the following advice:

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1. Consistency: As in, choose marketing methods you can afford – and have the time to – repeat. Marketing is not a one-hit wonder. And, as I’ve written so often in the past, a common marketing rule is that it takes the average consumer 7 to 28 times of seeing your ad before they will buy.

So, spending money on a splashy direct mail piece is not prudent – if you can’t afford to send it out week after week, month after month, etc.

2. Combine Methods: As in, combine different marketing methods for maximum effect. I use a couple of free methods all the time (eg, article marketing, newsletter publication). A few times a year – usually once a quarter, I’ll send out a direct mail piece.

As marketing is something that has to be done consistently to take effect, by combining free and paid methods, I’m never in danger of not being able to market.

If ever I can’t afford to do send out postcards or brochures (my favorite mailers), then I’ve still gotten my name in front of prospects via my newsletter and article marketing efforts.

3. Don’t be “Faddy”: IE, don’t feel like you have to jump on every new fad that comes out. I put up a MySpace and Squidoo page a few months ago, and have only gone back to them a few times.

Why did I do it? A momentary, "I got caught up in the hype" lapse. Like a blog, if you’re not going to actively update and market via that outlet, it’s best not to bother with it. You’re simply wasting time.

Again, it all goes back to consistency. I’ve blogged since February 2005. I’ve used article marketing since 2002 or 2003 (can’t exactly remember). I’ve had my website since 1999. Via these outlets, I’ve built up a pretty good client base.

Why? Because I consistently update, change and market via these outlets. So, they work.The bottom line: Find one, two or three (and I don’t advise more than three) free marketing mediums you have the time – and money – to devote to, and stick with these.

Spreading your efforts more than this will only scatter your marketing efforts – making them less, not more, effective.

MONDAY'S POST: We’ll discuss when you should change your advertising – and how?

What do you think? If you have questions, comments or observations about this post, send them in. Email them to info [at]

Creatively and consistently yours,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter?

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Missed the last issue of Inkwell's freelance writing newsletter? The 9/12 issue featured an interview with freelance writer, Gordon Graham, aka, that white paper guy.

Gordon charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce one from scratch. Wanna know what he had to say? Sign up to receive your copy to read his informative, in-depth interview.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
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