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Summer Marketing Advice for Freelance Writers: Half a Dozen+ Ways to Increase Your Income During this Slow Time

Back in 2008, I wrote summer marketing tutorial that detailed six ways to earn more during the slow summer months.

Why Summer Is Slow for Freelance Writers

As I wrote in the above-mentioned tutorial, editorial is cyclical — meaning there are some months that are busier than others. Although, I have to say, this is becoming less and less true IMO, since web writing and social media have become so popular the last few years.

Freelance Writers: 2 Things You Should Be Doing in 2014 to Earn More During Slow Periods

Update Your Service Offerings: In the summer marketing tutorial, one of the things I advised doing is to add new services. I talked about how I added Meta Tag writing to my services back then (remember, this was written in 2008). I started writing SEO content in 2007.

Now, in 2014, a good service to add would be social media. More clients know about this, are embracing the idea that they need it, but still don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves. Proof?

Freelance Writers: Advice on How to Land More Jobs During Slow Summer MonthsIn the Forbes.com article, Small Businesses Don’t Have Time for Social Media — and Don’t Track Results, states:

The data seem to indicate we’re at a point where entrepreneurs definitely think they need to be in social media. CEOs are pouring more time and money into it — nearly half spend over six hours a week at it, and another quarter of respondents spend six to ten hours posting to various social-media sites.

But one-third of the business owners said they’d like to spend less time on it …

This last sentence highlights a great need that freelancers can step in and fill. Companies are already spending the money, but they either don’t want to or have the time to invest in social media, never mind track its results.

Right now, my firm offers this service and I have to say, it’s some of the easiest money I’ve ever made. All most clients want is a consistent presence on popular outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Read that entire Forbes article; it tells you what small business owners say they want.

Bottom line, social media account management is a hot service you can offer right now. And, it doesn’t take up too much time. Learn more about what to expect if you decide to offer social media account management services.

Build a Marketing Database: Another thing I advise doing in that tutorial I wrote back in 2008 is to market for new clients. I said:

It can be as simple as sending out two email queries a day to a new firm. That’s 40 per month (M-F); 480 per year. With even a 2% return, that’s almost 10 new clients a year that you will have picked up.

One of the easiest ways to build a marketing database is to use social media. Why social media? I like this way of building a database because it’s easy — and free.

To explain, let’s say you decide specialize in medical/health content. Well, you can find companies by using a hashtag, eg, #Pharmaceutical. Then, start going through results. Most have their blog/website URL listed in their Twitter profile. Click through to get other contact info, eg, an email address or telephone number. See how often their blog is updated, what type of content they post. Then, contact them and offer your service (follow them too). You could say something like:

I dropped by your site and see that your blog hasn’t been updated in XX weeks/months. The article you posted on XXX is exactly the type of content I specialize in. I can help you generate more sales and leads from your site by providing quality, relevant content on a regular basis. Here’s link to some of my samples. I’ll follow up in _____. I look forward to the possibility of working with you.

Now, this type of database building is time consuming. But, if you’re slow during the summer, it’s an excellent way to use your time PRODUCTIVELY to grow your income in the future.

As I said above, only sending out a few inquiries —  consistently — really adds up.  Just based on the law of averages alone, you will land clients like this, and they’re usually higher-paying.

Conclusion

You have to constantly stay on top of trends to see which services work for your clients. For example, in a recent post here I talked about adding services for self-publishers to your freelance writing rosters. More and more people are self-publishing books, and I can tell you from personal experience, we need reasonably priced help!

As for building your own personal database — a list you build yourself is like gold because it’s clients you found on your own and if you service them properly, many will stay with you for years. I have one client I’ve worked with since 1998 or 1999 (don’t remember). Inkwell Editorial officially opened its doors in 1997 — so he’s been with us since practically the day we opened up.

So spend time adding a few contacts per day/week to your database. Then, contact them regularly, eg, every 30 to 60 days. You’d be amazed at how fast your freelance writing business will grow if you do this, then you’ll have to start turning down clients, or bringing on others to help you out (outsourcing jobs) — and that’s when you can make a more-than-decent living. It will be a lot of work — never forget this and I don’t’ want to gloss over it.

Sometimes I’ve questioned my sanity in dealing with outsourcers. But if you get a few good ones you can depend on, it can exponentially increase your freelance writing income.

P.S.: Did you know that the average salary of SEO writers is $66,000 as of this writing? That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.

SEO Copywriting Training: Course Discount

P.P.S.: Remember, when you learn how to write SEO content, you learn so much more than this one skill because it gives you the knowledge you need to take control of your financial future.

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    Comments

    1. Have a great one , your brand new follower .

    2. I plan on kicking up my marketing this summer. I’ve decided to move into marketing to 2 different audiences: ingredient suppliers and authors. Ingredient suppliers always need marketing materials for trade shows, websites, brochures, etc. I particularly like writing white papers as they are longer, more complicated pieces. I find that more interesting to write than short, quick articles.

      Working with authors is a special passion of mine as I have fallen in love with self publishing while writing my own book. People are in need of not only ghostwriters, but editors as well as copywriting to help them market the book. Things like Amazon descriptions, the print on the back of the book, blogging and guest blogging — all of which require SEO skils. I am also planning classes and ebooks on how to do all that DIY.

      I love being a freelance writer because I get to pick and choose what I want to work on. There is no freedom like it!
      Halona Black recently posted…Schedule Your FREE Author Jam Session and Get Clarity on Your Book IdeaMy Profile

      • Clearly defining who you’re marketing too will make it that much easier too Halona, so good for you for knuckling down and deciding who you want to work with/for.

        As for the DIY classes for self publishers — excellent idea! I’ve toyed with putting a self-publishing course together for a few years now, but just never seem to have the time. Maybe one day — here in Jamaica. Good luck with everything, and keep me posted on how it goes.

        Hope you’re having a grand summer so far.

    3. How can I send out email inquiries without it being considered spam? I read somewhere that it’s illegal to send unsolicited emails because of the CANSPAM Act.

      • D:

        Dig around the site, find a name/department and send the email directly to that person department. In short personalize it, by saying something like, I visited your site _____________ and saw that the last article you posted, entitled (article name), was over a month ago. I provide blogging services blah, blah, blah.

        The key is to let the person/organization know that you’ve done some homework on them and that you’re not just sending out random email. This isn’t spam; you’re contacting them for a legitimate reason which you back up by visiting their site/blog first.

        Hope this insight helps.