writer marketing tips

7 Marketing Tips to Avoid Becoming a Starving Writer

In your writer’s nook, office or imagination, you may be a published author or highly sought after freelancer. But unless people other than your significant other have read your work, you may need to work on your marketing. In order to get your work into the hands and hearts of the general public, you’ll need to know a few marketing secrets that will help people get to know your name and familiarize them with your writing style. Here are a few tips to landing more clients and marketing your writing services:

  1. Pro Bono– When you’re a starting your writing career, it may help to offer your services pro bono, or in other words, free of charge. Offer to complete a project in exchange for positive feedback and great reviews. By doing a few of these, your credentials will skyrocket and people will be more confident to solicit your services. Bypassing payment for four or five jobs may sting in the beginning, but it builds lasting relationships with those four or five clients AND makes you look established, trustworthy, hardworking, reliable and professional to those who are seeking your talents.


  1. Ask Around– At your next family get together or dinner out with friends, mention that you’re interested in getting new projects, and ask if they know anyone in need of an excellent writer/designer etc. You never know, they may have an uncle or neighbor that has been mentioning their desperate need for fresh new website content or a company blog. It doesn’t hurt to ask!


  1. Put Your Work on Display– Create, maintain and regularly update an online blog with your best work. Creating a website is easy and inexpensive, and is a great way to showcase your work and be found by prospective clients. It makes you look professional and creative, two qualities that every freelancer should possess.


  1. Pick up The Phone– Now before you skip this step entirely, just give it a shot. Cold calling prospective clients can be scary and intimidating, but if it lands you a profitable and long-lasting business relationship, a few moments of sweaty hands and butterflies in your stomach is worth it. If you’re active on social media (which you SHOULD BE) you can offer to have a business call or Skype meeting with prospective clients who show interest in your work. There’s something special that happens when a client hears the excitement, friendliness and passion in your voice about what you do. It’s a brave move, but nobody did anything worth doing being frozen by fear.


  1. Broaden Your Horizons– If you’re looking for quality and professional business relationships, Craigslist probably isn’t your best bet. Tt’s a better use of your time to focus on (and pay for) websites specifically targeted at matching people together for work-related purposes. Websites like and are credited and trustworthy sites that will connect you with real people who will pay you real money for your services.


  1. Get Social- As mentioned before, you should be updating statuses on Facebook, tweeting about your latest work, posting pictures on Instagram of you writing, next to a steaming coffee mug, with your cat in your lap and mountains in the background. Okay, forget the “typical writer’s Instagram picture,” but DO get and stay active on social media. Amazing things can happen when you put yourself and your work out there for millions of people to see.


One such example of this is Yasmin Mogahed. She’s a published author and prolific speaker and has over 145K followers on Twitter alone. She’s active on several of her social media sites and has made a name for herself as a writer. Social media is an easy and free way for self-promotion.


  1. Buddy Up– It doesn’t hurt to partner with a few other freelancers who write for similar niches as you do. If they are too busy to take on a new project, they can refer you, and vise versa. Being a member of MWPA you have a built-in base of writers, authors and fellow publisher members whom you can network with.


Freelance writing is an exciting adventure because it’s always different. One day you may be writing content for a non-profit organization, and the next you could be describing exotic islands and vacation packages. If you market yourself correctly, you could be swimming in job invitations and prospective client emails before you know it. There are many freelance writers who have client waiting lists due to their demand. The “starving writer” persona need not apply to you.


Taking the time to map out a smart marketing plan will help you effectively reach clients who are looking for talented writers like you. Marketing is something you must do on a continuous basis to reap real rewards. Pick a few marketing strategies that cater to your talents and interests, and you’ll be surprised with the work that starts coming in as a result of consistent marketing.

Sakeena is a freelance writer, author, and founder of the Muslim Writers and Publishers Association. Her dream is to help Muslim writers share their stories with the world. She is currently working on a memoir and preparing for the launch of MWPA.

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