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Freelance Writing - How To Market Yourself

Updated on December 27, 2012

Market Your Writing

As a freelance writer, you need to identify what your goals are. Are you a novelist, a screenwriter, or a short story writer? Is your specialty writing articles or blogging? Take some time to figure out just where you would like your writing to take you.

Take inventory of your assets. What skills do you have? What skills do you need? What makes you unique as a writer? These are the tools in your marketing toolbox.

Find a Market for Your Writing

Once you figure out your goals, you need to decide where those markets are and how to go about breaking into them. Look for freelance writing markets that represent who you are and what you write.

Start a list of potential freelance markets including submission guidelines and contact information. Keep the list updated as you discover more writing markets. You will want to look at the location of the company, if they are interested in the type of work you are submitting, what their submission policies are, and the type and amount of payment offered. The time they require to get back to you may be a consideration also, along with whether or not they take simultaneous submissions. Organization is the key at this stage.

If writer's guidelines are available it may be wise to send for them. This may save you valuable time in when it comes to sending in your work. Many companies offer sample copies of their publications. Reading past copies will give you a clearer picture of the type of writing they publish and whether your writing fits into their style and needs.

Writer's Market Publications
Writer's Market Publications

Submitting Your Work to Freelance Markets

The next step is to start the submission process. I know this is the scary part, but you need to be confident in yourself and your writing skills. After all, the worst thing they can say is no.

Organization is again essential for the submission process. Keep records of all correspondence. Make copies of emails and letters. File these with copies of the writing submitted including dates of when it was sent, dates you need to follow up, and date you should move on to a new market.

Sell yourself, but protect your credibility. Give an accurate account of your publishing credits, education and awards won.

Freelance Writing as a Job

The above may sound like a lot of work, but that is exactly how you have to think of it. If you want to make a living from your writing, then you need to treat it like your job. It can't come somewhere down the list after your day job, housework, or walking the dog. Set aside a specific time each day to write and market yourself. Don't let anything else distract you from it. If you want to be a successful writer, then it has to be your number one priority.

Treat yourself as a business

Keep your eyes open for opportunities. You never know when an unexpected door might open up for you. Just reading the local or national newspaper, may inspire you to pursue something you hadn't yet thought about. Be on the lookout for new freelance writing markets.

Networking is a great way to get your name out there and to meet others who may offer good advice and helpful knowledge. Of course this works both ways, and you may find yourself helping others. Make friends, stay in touch, and seek out others writers. There is always more to learn.

Develop on Online Writing Presence

A website can be a valuable tool for the freelance writer. And the good news is you don't have to be a computer wizard to put one together. There are many online tools too help with developing a website, such as GoDaddy, build-website.com, yahoo business, and many more. Networking again is a free way to promote your site. A website can be used to showcase your talents and display a portfolio of your writing.

If you are not comfortable with having your own website, the next best thing and a very helpful tool with or without a website is creating a blog. Like web design and hosting, there are many online sources for help in creating a blog.

Writing Workshops and Events

There are countless writing workshops ranging from events aimed at very specific niches to general events that cover all aspects of writing and publishing. These workshops are an excellent way to meet other freelance writers as well as professionals writers. They are a great place to learn from writers who are well established in their field.

When attending a writing workshop, bring along some of your work. You never know who you might meet or what opportunities might present themselves.

With the multitude of writing workshops, there is bound to be one near you. Take advantage of this great opportunity to market yourself.

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