When you are a freelance writer all of your promotion comes from you. You can write until the cows come home, but if you have no audience what’s the point? Self promotion and the freelance writer are intertwined and cannot be separated. If you don’t self promote you will have no readers. There’s almost nothing more important to a freelance writer than to have your work reach the largest amount of readers as possible. Publishers hire writers for one reason; to bring readers. If you’re not bringing readers, what are you doing? And it’s nothing personal, just business as usual.
If you are ready to step up to the plate and get involved in searching out readers there are many things you can do. Here are some tips that will help you get involved in your writing community, begin to network, and get more readers!
The first thing you should do is seek out a writers group. A group setting will allow you to exercise your writing skills and participate in constructive criticism. Your group can be anything from a writer’s class to events or lectures. The contacts you make with these people can help you sell your work and find assignments. If you become an active member of any writing group you join you are sure to learn tips and tricks of the trade, as well as find numerous resources for advertisement and promotion. Networking is key when promoting your freelance publications and services. As a writer you have to build a solid network of readers, professionals, publishers, and colleagues that you are in constant contact with. These are the people that you want to create anticipation in before your work is actually published. There are also plenty of great places to advertise your work online. http://www.gather.com and http://www.italknews.com are both great places to promote your online work. The more links that point to your work, the better.
Once every month send a “hello” email out to everyone you know, letting them know what is going on in your world, and what they can expect to see from you in the future. This contact group will eventually become your reader base, and they will bring more readers too as the information is shared and passed along. Remember to pace yourself so you don’t get burned out too easily. It is a good idea to send out links, articles, and news frequently to the people on your contact list.
Look for places where you can place advertisements for not only your services, but your upcoming publications as well. Word of mouth seems to work the best when promoting your freelance material so you have to start opening up. Writing is often a solitary task and many of us are not accustomed to getting out there and spreading the word. Come up with some sort of routine where you contact people to let them know you are publishing a new work. Just don’t go overboard with emails because your email will eventually be filtered by some sort of spam blocker.
When your work is finally published, send out an email or newsletter letting everyone know that it is out. Call some of your professional contacts and colleagues and let them know as well. Don’t forget your writers group either. Most likely, they will be glad to see that you are published and will share in your joy.