Want to make money writing? You can, as long as you’re prepared to give your writing away. “Free” can be a powerful weapon in your writer’s toolbox. However, it can also present a powerful mental block.
Writers don’t like writing for free. Writing takes time and energy. You should be compensated for that, shouldn’t you? Of course you should.
Consider this. Would you rather spend forever writing ten 500-word articles a day for $5 each… or write one or two articles a week, for free… and then be able to sell your articles for a dollar a WORD thereafter?
It’s a paradox. You give it away, and make more money in the long run.
People like to get stuff for free, so “freemium” is a powerful business model.
Tip: there’s “free”, and then there’s “silly”. Be sure that you have a goal when you write for free, because it’s easy for people to take advantage of you. Your words are valuable. I’ve talked about my “if it’s free, it’s for me” motto before.
“Free” writing is promotion
This is the commonest freemium model, and one I’ve use ALL my writing career. I cheerfully auditioned for magazines for which I wanted to write, copywriting clients I wanted to win, and publishers for whom I wanted to write. Additionally, you know that I have many blogs which I write for free.
There are endless ways you can use the freemium model in your writing business. Let’s look at five ways.
1. Create a mailing list: write a free report as a giveaway
People who hire you to write want to know what they’re getting; they want to know that you can write. So, look on all your free writing as a writing sample. You’re giving, in order to get.
Give potential clients a writing sample. Create a freebie report, in exchange for their email address. Many of my students have built great careers on a free report which took a few hours to create.
Include valuable info in the report. Target it towards your ideal clients. When they download your report, they’re on your mailing list, and you can contact them again.
The more your subscribers see your name in their Inbox (keep offering great free info) the more they’ll consider you “their” writer.
2. Guest blog: to make contacts and get known
Guest blogging’s hugely popular. Everyone benefits. Websites get content. Writers get known. What’s not to like?
Here’s the key: know why you’re writing for a particular blog. If the blog’s readers are your target audience (the clients you want, or ebook buyers), you’ll become known by them.
However, this isn’t enough. See #1. Create a mailing list and a freebie, so you can stay in touch with prospects. Prospects need to see your name more than once: they need to get to know and trust you.
3. Write one blog post a week: it’s a writing sample
Your blog is a writing sample.
Read that again, and think about it.
Writers get hired on the strength of their blog. They make lucrative deals. Your blog’s the hub of your writing business.
If you’re thinking “yes, but” please don’t. Your blog’s your fortune. Believe it.
4. Write a series of ebooks: make one perpetually free
Offering ebooks free to drive sales has pretty much died. There are just too many freebies around. You get lost in the crowd. However, you can still make it work for you.
Here’s how. Write a series of ebooks: fiction, or nonfiction, whatever you’re writing. Once you’ve published the third book in the series, make the first ebook permanently free at Smashwords. Amazon will match the price, so that it’s free on Amazon as well.
Alternatively, if you’re only using Amazon, use KDP Select. Your ebooks will be free for five days every three months:
KDP authors and publishers can take advantage of KDP Select for the opportunity to reach more readers and make more money. If you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select you will make the book exclusive to Kindle for each 90-day enrollment period and the book is eligible to be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Each time your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library you will earn a share of the global fund (click here to see how payments are calculated).
5. Writing ebooks? Write free reviews of others’ ebooks
If you’re writing ebooks, promote other authors. Write reviews. This benefits you in many ways. Primarily, you’ll get known. Post your reviews on your own site. Make sure you have links to your own ebooks at Amazon on your site. (This is VITAL – it never ceases to amaze me how many writers have blogs, but ZERO links to their own ebooks on the blog.)
Big tip: write the reviews out of the goodness of your heart. Please don’t get into review schemes, in which a review becomes a quid pro quo. This will BITE you in the rear end eventually.
You CAN make the freemium model work for you
Freemium works for others, and it can work for you. Try it.
P.S. We haven’t discussed Google Authorship, which is becoming more and more important if you want to make your name as a writer. We’ll cover that in connection with freemium shortly.
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