Congratulations, you’ve completed your first novel! It’s finally time to shop for an agent or, if you’re not into the traditional publishing route, to self-publish. Whichever path you choose to introduce your master opus to the masses, you’re going to face a tremendous challenge at your next step. Your work will be competing for the attention of agents, publishers, and readers against a pool of talented authors and limited publishing opportunities. For the self-publisher, there’s the challenge of connecting with an audience beyond your immediate circle of friends and supporters. For the traditionalist, the difficulty lies in convincing professionals with deep constraints to take a chance on a new author. [Read more…]
If you’ve got a flair for writing and enjoy creating stimulating and informative articles, then you’re probably ready to start your own freelance writing business.
But, being good at writing isn’t enough. It’s a very competitive marketplace. You need your business to stand out from the crowd and to keep your present online; even when you’re not.
The best way of achieving this is to have an effective marketing strategy. [Read more…]
As a freelance professional, the most important tool in your marketing arsenal is your website. This is the first step to project your intentions to potential customers. If you configure it correctly, you can generate a lot of interest, converting prospective customers into paying ones, and your freelance business can flourish.
Shockingly, studies have revealed that countless small businesses do not maximise the benefits of their website. Are you interested in capitalising your business presence online? Implement these 10 vital elements now, and you’ll achieve the desired results.Is your freelance website working to your advantage? Check. Click To Tweet
As with most professions, freelance writing takes skill, but the main difference between success and failure is how you sell yourself. There are many people who can do what you do. Unless you have built a brand of your own, based on a unique perspective or skill set, there are probably thousands of people in the world who can do your job with as much or more skill. The difference is marketing and communication, both of which can distinguish you from others in your industry, if you know what to do. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: This post was written by Christopher Jan Benitez, content marketer during the day, heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice. Family man all the time.
There is no denying that freelance writers are essential in the world of online marketing. Sure, big firms probably have teams of in-house writers to do most of the work. But even they require extra manpower from time to time. This is where freelance writers come in.
Freelance writers provide the much-needed content for marketing, advertising, blogging, and link-building for SEO. They should also be flexible and able to write from a broad selection of topics for more work opportunities. Just like the digital marketing industry as a whole, writers should be quick to learn and adapt to the changing circumstances. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: This post was written by Aby League, a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow @abyleague on Twitter.
Today, blogs and social media platforms are doing wonders for the business community. They allow businesses to promote their brands across large audiences, as well as help them build brand identity and trust among customers. However, for this approach to be successful, business owners and/or freelance writers like you must learn to use these two tools in a way that they’ll effectively complement each other.
Image courtesy of Christian Schnettelker via Flickr, Creative Commons
Social media holds great potential in driving readers to your blog.
Consequently, a blog can support your social media account by leveraging credibility and substance. However, you must be careful to strike a balance between the two. If you’re just starting to build your business’s web presence, you must first learn the basics of blogging and social media: what they do, what they’re used for, and how they can help move your business forward.
See, blogging and social media work differently.
A blog is ideally used to share a business’s expertise and knowledge on industry-relevant matters. It provides a conversational approach in discussing various topics that do not just promote the your brand, but also genuinely provide interesting information that readers will truly benefit from. On the other hand, social media platforms allow you to reach a larger community—since everyone these days are either logged in on Facebook, scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, or looking for creative ideas on Pinterest.
Blogs and social media serve two different purposes—but when used together, they provide a great chance of building a powerful and influential web presence for virtually any type of business. Whether you want to drive a steady stream of readers to your blog, or make people want to share your blog content on Facebook and Twitter, here is how you can use blogging and social media to your business advantage:
- Use social media to grow your blog’s traffic. A blog entry will not be able to promote itself unless it is shared across multiple social media platforms. However, building blog audience through social media can be quite tricky. Keep in mind that the key to grabbing attention on social media is to create short but interesting content. When sharing a certain blog entry on social media, put effort in making fun and creative captions or visuals that would entice social media users to click the link to your blog. How a social snippet looks on social media is almost as important as what it says.
- Make your blog entries “shareable” across all social media platforms. It’s one thing to share your own content on social media, but it’s another to be able to make it easy for readers to share your content on their social media accounts. It’s the online equivalent of advertising through word of mouth. Include share buttons on your blog so that readers can easily share or recommend your brand through your interesting blog post. Also, make sure that your buttons are up-to-date, as social media icons tend to change really fast.
- Take advantage of Analytics. If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, you are probably missing out. This tool allows you to monitor the activity on your website or blog by counting how many people are actually clicking your outbound social media links. If the numbers are low, you can re-examine if your social media buttons are in a strategic position on the page, or if you’re writing about the wrong things on your blog. Either way, let the numbers help you improve what needs to be improved. You can also use Avinash Kaushik’s social media metrics as a guide to gauge your social media performance.
- Write about things that matter to your readers. You can share your blog posts on social media all you want—you can even put social media buttons all over your page, but readers won’t share your content if it gives them nothing worth sharing. As such, write about topics that are socially relevant. Blogging must be creative and informative, and not aggressive, hard sell writing. Remember that you want to educate and empower your readers so that they keep coming back for more.
Image courtesy of Robb Sutton via Flickr, Creative Commons
- Showcase your social media content on your blog. While blogs do allow more depth than social media channels, social media can still showcase unique content that doesn’t need a blog entry of its own. If people engage with such posts on social media, consider featuring these posts on your blog. For instance, if your Tweets get a lot of Retweets and replies, it would be a great idea to integrate your Twitter feed directly on your site.
If there is one thing that we’ve said over and over again, it’s that freelance writers need to have their own website. A writer’s website serves many purposes, perhaps the main one being your online portfolio.
If you don’t have your writer’s website yet, don’t fret, as there are many platforms and tools that make it easy for non-developers and non-designers create a website, of which website.1and1.com is one example. Practically anyone can use it without having to worry about technical aspects.
Even if you have your writer’s website already, you might want to take a look at it again to see if it is optimally laid out so that you can get as much out of it as possible.
Here are some tips to create an effective writer’s website.
Craft great landing pages
A landing page is a page on a website that a visitor is directed to with the intent of getting him to respond to a “call to action”. For example, a landing page on your site can ask the visitor to sign up for your newsletter. Another example is to entice the visitor to buy your eBook.
The key to landing pages is that you want people to actually take action. You want conversion. Results.
There is an art to writing landing pages that convert, and here is a good guide that will help you: The 5 Stages of Writing Irresistible Landing Page Copy.
Here is another comprehensive guide to help you with landing pages.
Create sections and make navigation easy
What is the purpose of your website? At its core, a writer’s website is your identity online. It can serve as your business card. It can showcase your writing portfolio. It can have a section that serves as your blog, where you can write about anything you want and update it on a regular basis. It’s your website. You can do what you want with it.
However, do remember that the simpler things are online, the more appealing to the reader. Create several sections, but don’t overdo it. For example, have a Blog, Portfolio, About Page, Contact Page, and Products Page.
The next crucial element: make sure those sections are easy to find and that your entire website is easy to navigate.
Try to make sure that your visitors have to click as little as possible to get to information that they want. One less click is always good.
Also read: Difference Between a Resume and a Portfolio?
Provide specific information about yourself
Since a writer’s website is meant to be your online representative, it needs to introduce yourself properly. You want clients to get in touch with you, right? That means you can’t be an anonymous person online. People need to know who you are, and they need to know some details about you so they can make a decision whether to hire you or not.
Make it easy to get in touch with you.
Again, you want your website to convert – that is, get people to hire you or buy your products if you’re selling any. As such, make it as easy as possible to get in touch with you. In your contact page, highlight your contact information as much as possible. Whatever email or phone number you display, make sure you check them often. If you know your response time is between 24-48 hours (or whatever number), make that clear as well.
Last weekend, I was talking to a friend about how some freelancers we know have gone back to a desk job, and how they struggle with the required discipline and structure needed – and implemented – in most offices. We dwelled on the idea how, many years ago, writers, developers, and designers found themselves looking at a goldmine simply working at home – in jammies or not.
Today, though, I think that many of you will agree that if you really are serious about making freelance writing a steady and reliable source of income, you have to treat freelance writing as a business. Otherwise, it is so easy to fall into the trap of “it’s fun and I make money while I’m at” mindset.
Not that that kind of thinking is necessarily bad, it’s just that if you consider freelance writing as your career, then you need to tap into the business person inside of you.
That being said, part of running a business is promoting it. In case you need some ideas on how to promote your writing business, here are several…
Don’t forget the people in your neighborhood.
We may make a living online, but that doesn’t mean the real world doesn’t keep turning. When was the last time you went to a bar or a restaurant? Did you notice how horrible the copy on their menu was? Have you checked the web sites of local establishments?
Maybe these small businesses can use your help. Don’t hesitate to look around for clients!
Along the lines of looking for clients in the (local) real world, you can make use of promo items or tokens that promote your writing business. The traditional way is to hand out business cards – but we know where those usually end up! So, how about considering other custom tokens such as pens instead of a business card?
You can also go for flyers. Yes, this seems so outdated, but if you have a local farmer’s market during the weekends, for example, they are perfect venues to reach out to potential clients.
Use social media wisely and tastefully.
Everyone seems to be a guru when it comes to social media these days, but anyone who spends a lot of time on social media platforms will know that self-promotion and over promotion just doesn’t bring a lot of positives. Indeed, you’ll probably be labeled as noise and end up being ignored.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should not take advantage of social media to promote your writing business. In fact, you have to have a decent social media presence in order to be noticed. The trick is to choose what to post and when to post.
More importantly, don’t just be a broadcaster. Respond to tweets. Engage in conversations. Share other people’s work that you find interesting. Be human.
Also, using tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite will help you optimize your social media activities.
Be active in writing communities.
It’s not all about Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. There are many writing communities – FWJ being one of them – online that offer support (both work and personal). Don’t isolate yourself. Join these communities and participate in discussions. Even if it’s only commenting on Facebook, you can make a connection that can lead to future clients.
What methods have you tried to promote your writing business? Share them in the comments!
Book marketing is on the rise! With the advent of tablets, digital books are getting more and more popular. Self-publishing author community is growing fast as well. If you haven’t considered book marketing yet, it’s a great time to start!
Honestly, there is no one way to market an ebook. But there are tips you can use to create the perfect campaign to fit your needs. Here are five bits of advice to do just that.
1. Put It On Your Site
This is going to be the easiest way to let people know about your ebook. Make it immediately accessible on your website or blog, with a button right there on the front page that leads them to the download or sales page. You can do this whether you are offering it for a price or for free, as long as any visitors you have are aware of its existence. Obviously, this works best if you have a steady flow of daily traffic. The more people who visit your site, the more likely you’re going to be to sell your book. Try occasionally posting about the book, as well. Just to remind reader that it is there, and what it is about.
Tip: This Web site will normally be your primary book/ebook sales channel, out of the three channels in the Online Publishing Model.I REPEAT. You MUST have a dedicated sales-mini-site to sell your ebook effectively online. (Courtesy of writinghelp-central.com)
2. Sell It Through Amazon
Amazon it one of the best places to sell your ebook. The royalty percentage is decent, you get reviews from people who have already read it, and it is a more affordable option compared to many other retailers. Plus, it will come up in searches based on genre, keyword, ect. You can even offer it as part of their Amazon Prime lending library service. Which means you can still let some people read it for free if they are Prime members, but also sell it to those who aren’t (which will be most users).
Tip: Write a compelling promotional copy: It is meant tease your reader: build curiosity instead of satisfying it. (Courtesy of cartridgeink.co.uk)
3. Give It For Free
I recommend to all writers with their first ebook at least that they offer it for free for a certain amount of time. Just to get reviews and ratings, and maybe help spread the word a bit. To help propel your visibility while doing this, try offering it only on your site for free at first for a Like on Facebook or a Tweet on Twitter. That is a great way of getting more people introduced to the book without you having to do a thing.
Dedicate a certain number of books to the free period, and once you reach that number and have a steady foundation of readers, start charging for it. A lot of self-published writers will offer around ten to twenty free ones on Amazon, but more popular blogs or sites might go as much as fifty to one hundred. It depends on your preference.
Tip: Amazon’s “Give a Gift Feature” allows you to send someone a free copy of your Kindle book via e-mail. Offering e-books free for a limited time or a limited audience is an effective approach to e-book marketing. (Courtesy of Small Biz Trends)
4. Use Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+…these are all fantastic platforms for you to promote your book. Hype it up in the weeks prior to its release. Engage with users more directly by holding conversations on your page and other pages.
Retweet or share content. Hold a giveaway for a copy of the book for free before it is launched. You can even create a “trailer” for it on YouTube, or something similar. Also try to get interviews, affiliations and reviews from other social media users/pages, or even blogs. It is time to start calling those contacts.
Tip: Some of the hashtags are guaranteed to give you increased exposure, retweets and interaction. Some of the best one for eBook marketing include: #MustRead, #FridayReads, etc (Courtesy of Social Media Sun)
5. Use MyBlogGuest eBooks Gallery
MyBlogGuest lets you upload your eBook cover and let hundreds of bloggers review your (e)Book for free! This is one of the most unintrusive ways to promote your eBook and get some additional exposure from bloggers.
Have a tip for promoting an ebook? Let us know in the comments.