I work with professional writers every day. Each and every one of them is writing to sell — they’re not hobbyists. Their income and family security depends on their sales. Sadly, over and over, I see writers making the same mistake. It’s not their fault, and if you’re making this mistake, it’s not your fault either.
Luckily, this fundamental HUGE mistake is easy to correct, and you can do it today.
Writing to sell: if you forget to do this, it will destroy your sales
I’m embarrassed to tell you that I’ve made this mistake in the past, and no doubt I’ll make it again in the future. It’s easy to do. Here’s why — we get so caught up in our writing, and remembering 1,001 details, that… we don’t ask for the sale.
Calls to Action (CTAs): ask for the sale, always
Calls to Action are essential. In a Call to Action, you’re asking for the sale. You need to do it consistently, and often. Selling your writing depends on it.
That said, there’s no need to be pushy or sleazy about it — you just need to remember to do it.
Last week I was working with a writer who told me: “I’m blogging, I’m on social media, and I’m advertising — why aren’t my ebooks selling?”
Easy answer. She wasn’t asking for the sale.
Her ebooks were nowhere to be found on her blog. She had a “Books” page, true, but — and it’s shocking how often this happens — she had zero clickable links. There were other problems too, but the no-clickable-links horror was the big mistake.
Similarly, when I browsed her social media accounts, I had to HUNT for a couple of mentions of her books, and again, no clickable links.
Her advertising was also a disaster, and that was costing her money and sales. Biggest mistake? The ads were wonderful, and they talked about her books, but she sent prospective buyers to her blog… and… Right. No clickable links.
You need to tell people what you’d like them to do
I’ve written about asking for what you want often on the blog. People are happy to do what you’d like them to do, but we’re all busy. No one has time for subtlety. When someone sends you a long email message, you scroll to the end, hoping to learn what the person wants.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Writing income: be upfront with what you want” quote=”Writing income: be upfront with what you want” theme=”style1″]
Be upfront with what you want.
- If you want a writing client to hire you again, ask.
- If you want a company to hire you to write their newsletter, ask.
- If you want a publishing company to subcontract you to ghostwrite books, ask.
- If you want readers to write reviews, put a little message in the back of your books: ask.
You’ll be amazed what you’ll achieve if you remember to ask.
It’s EASY to forget to ASK
I’m a copywriter. I’ve been writing advertising for many years. But I still make this error. Thank heavens, as far as I know, I’ve never missed a CTA on a client’s ad. But I’ve missed CTAs on blog posts and ebooks — I just forgot.
Every time I forget something as essential as a CTA, I grab a sticky note. I write CTA!!! on it, and stick it on my monitor. Months pass, and I toss away the sticky note. Then I forget a CTA again… and I post a new sticky note. We all make this mistake occasionally.
Remember my student, who was oblivious to ASKING, everywhere?
You’ll be happy to know that her income got an immediate boost when she started adding her CTAs. She’s pleased with her career now. 🙂