You’re a writer. You think about marketing your writing a lot. Occasionally, you may even do it.
If you’re not snowed under with paying writing jobs, there’s a reason. The reason is one word: “occasionally”. You need to be consistent with your marketing.
Marketing isn’t rocket science. You just need to decide what you want (what you’re selling) and where your clients will come from. Once you know that, all you need to do is figure out how to get the best clients for you.
Your best clients won’t be my best clients, or the best clients for any other writer you know. Everything depends on what you want. Figure out how to get it, and you’re golden.
I love this blog post on marketing from Lee Rosen, a divorce lawyer:
Here’s the choice. Pick one:
That choice boils down your marketing options. Just as it works for lawyers, it works for writers. Decide whether you’re an introvert (choose the website option) or an extrovert (choose networking.)
Then make up your mind that you’ll be consistent.
Marketing your writing: consistency counts more than anything else
Let’s say that you chose the “website” route. If you chose networking, carry on — you don’t need my help to schmooze. 🙂
Let’s also say that you choose to sell your writing services. You’ll offer website content creation and blogging services to local businesses.
1. Go LOCAL, for less competition and fewer hassles
We’ve talked about servicing local businesses before. It’s much easier to get local clients than clients on the other side of the world, all things being equal.
No matter where you live, whether it’s a major city, or a whether it’s a tiny town with five houses and a feed and grain store, it’s easier to get local clients. If you’re in a tiny town, choose the nearest largish city from which you’ll get clients.
Please do this exercise NOW, before reading on
Head over to Google.com, and type “writing services my town” into the search query box to see what comes up. Don’t enter the quotes, and for “my town” enter the name of your nearest large city.
Results? Write them down.
Next, go back to Google’s search query box, and type “web content writer my town.”
Results? Write them down too.
For the moment, ignore Google’s AdWords ads on the right side and on the top of the search results pages. Study the organic results.
By “organic”, we mean:
“Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.”
If you didn’t enter a MAJOR city, you should see that in the organic results there are very few content writers (and maybe NONE at all) in your local area.
If there’s no one offering what you’re offering, it’s happy days, right? That means that you have little/ no competition, but… this is both good and bad. It’s good, because no one else is promoting what you do. It’s bad, because it means that they may not be promoting because there’s no demand. That’s OK. You can educate your potential clients, and create your own demand.
Now add your name and location to every page of your website
Now go and edit your website pages. Add your name, and your LOCATION to every single page of your website.
Google and the other search engines geotarget. This means that when a prospective clients enters “Web content writer” into Google, a page on your site will appear in the results, as long as Google knows where you are — Google knows where the searcher is, from the IP address. Google always knows, unless the searcher is jumping through hoops to cloak his IP address.
This little tactic of adding your name and location to each and every one of your webpages sounds obvious, and so it is. But very few writers bother to do it. Go and do it, so that Google and friends can help you to market your business.
To help Google along, go to Google My Business locations, and fill in your details.
2. Build out your website: you WILL get results
Around a decade ago, I decided that I’d SEO (search engine optimize) the daylights out of AngelaBooth.com. It was boring, boring, but… I got results. Here’s why:
- I had a big website — relatively big that is when compared to other writers’ websites;
- I blogged regularly;
- I did a little article marketing.
Of course I got enquiries and clients… too many clients, so I had to cut way back on my enthusiasm for my site.
The lesson from this is: when you focus on your website and just do it as your sole form of marketing, you will get results.
Yes, it’s a decade later. However, the fundamentals don’t change. If you take your website seriously, and decide that you will make it truly useful to your prospective clients, you’ll get more clients than you believe possible.
Every one of my students who’s taken the advice to heart when I suggested that they go all-in with their writer’s website has benefited hugely. Writers have quit their day jobs, to focus solely on writing, and have lifted their hourly rate from abysmal to excellent. You can do it too.
The results from your marketing push take time, but so what?
Imagine you’re a farmer. It’s spring. You plough and farrow a field or three. You chuck in a lot of seeds.
When do you get the harvest?
Your harvest takes time.
It’s the same when you start marketing. You’re planting seeds. Those seeds need to sprout, and grow — but grow they will. Like the farmer, you need to irrigate and weed your cop.
Before I push this analogy further than it wants to go — you’re planting seeds when you add pages and sections to your website. You’re irrigating and weeding when you make changes to those pages, and engage on social media, and write the occasional press release.
If you’re a reasonable writer, you will get results. You can’t avoid getting your harvest, because you’ve planted a crop.
OK — there you have it. Make a choice. Website or networking? Choose, and go ahead and market your writing. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it. All you need is consistency.