Promoting Your Work to Get Work

By Terreece M. Clarke

By now, every writer knows to promote their blogs and web articles through various social networking sites. Almost as soon as you hit publish, you’re sending the url through Twitter and that’s great, but have you ever thought about using social networking and email blasts to promote your print work?

It’s pretty easy when the magazine or newspaper you’ve gotten a clip from has the clip online. Then it’s just a matter of zipping it out to all of your Facebook, Twitter and Digg friends. When the clip isn’t available online, you then have a great opportunity to upload the article – in an easy to read format, i.e. PDF, to your Web site and drive traffic there.

Email blasts are another great way to get the word out about what you’re doing, especially to editors. A monthly, well-written, mini-newsletter sent not only to your mom and your writer buddies, but also to editors you’ve worked with helps promote you in several ways – it reminds editors of who you are, it gets traffic either to your site or to the publication’s site and the newsletter itself is another example of your work.

One thing to remember about email blasts. Keep it professional, visually interesting and fairly brief. You don’t have to include the whole article in email, just a quick tease and a link. And in the spirit of keeping it professional, don’t get spammy with blasts, no one wants to hear from you everyday – well except maybe your mother. Other than that, stick to monthy quarterly reports of your most impressive work.

Are any of you already using these techniques? How is it working for you?

photo courtesy of


  1. says

    Interesting post, Terreece. I’m not sure I have any editors I’d feel comfortable sending out a newsletter to. Most of my editors is very particular with his editorial calendar, so I’d only send him specific queries when I had them.

    Can you explain a bit further how this would work in practice? Hmm maybe because I’m pretty entrenched in my niche that my editors are a bit particular…

  2. says

    Hey Andy, you do need to have the measure of an editor. I do it according to the genre. Instead of sending out “Hey, how are you?” emails. I send a brief newsletter that’s an update of work that has appeared. It helps if the first newsletter you send an editor you’re adding to the list has an article you’ve written for them. Shows your getting the word out on their magazine. Or add a “Coming up next month – “Kids and Competition” from Columbus Parent”.

    More of a sales letter than a Christmas newsletter if you feel me :0)

  3. says

    I’m not an editor, and I’m curious about how others feel about email blasts.

    Personally I get too much email as it is. If I receive a few too many promotional emails from a particular person/company, they go straight to the spam folder. Then again, I also keep up with blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc. So I try to be as efficient with my time as possible [i.e. I can be impatient].

  4. says

    I do a monthly newsletter through MailChimp, but it’s important to note that EVERYONE on your email list needs opt in. You cannot include editors on a mass email unless they have given you permission to do so.

    That’s why it makes sense to use an email vendor to keep track of your list for you and hopefully ensure that your email doesn’t end up in people’s spam filters (which can happen when you’re bcc’ing a large number of people on an email). Plus, using an email program gives you templates to play with and make your email look more professional. Other email options include Constant Contact and e-Dialog.

  5. says

    I like that idea. Kewl article, Terreece. :) I think I would include one or two of my recent articles in the newsletter as well as two links to interesting articles I read in that month. I am always sending links of interesting articles I find to my colleagues from previous freelance writing projects and vice versa. This way I can include them in the newsletter. Excellent plan. :)

  6. says

    Do people actually do this? I don’t do the whole twitter-facebook thing, so I’m out of the loop, but I would think an e-mail newsletter would be so annoying, even frommy best friend or favorite client. I’m working (very very slowly) on putting together an online portfolio dealie, and I’m planning on including a blog that I can update whenever I publish something, so that if people want to stalk me, er, I mean, check in on me, they can do so. But I would never even consider cluttering up people’s inbox with an e-mail newsletter. The only time I might send out a mass e-mail would be for something huge, like if I published a book.

    But like I said, I’m a newbie freelancer and am not hep to the jive with social networking. So–do people actually do this?

  7. says

    Sonya – I do it and it works out well. My hook? As I said before, the newsletter is monthly, it’s brief, the editors have opted in when they find that their publication would be featured.

    Twitter, Facebook etc helps, but a Twitter post comes and go each day. A newsletter or if you want to get away from that word a “top news” email blast gives your followers, editors, etc. a comprehensive update of what you’re doing. It could be a simple, attractive email with a hello, titles and brief descriptions of the articles and then links to the full article whether at your site or at the publication’s site.

    Susan – great resources! Thanks!

    Amy – thanks!

    It may not work for everyone and not everyone may be comfortable with it, I just want to make people aware that it is an option.

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