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I feel silly and naive when I say this, but I have NO idea how to advertise.
I just graduated with my English/Writing degree this past December and am applying it to my own freelance business. I've been in business for 5 or 6 months now, and ONLY advertise via Craigslist. Based on what I've read so far in the Marketing section, it doesn't seem like anyone else advertises CL. Any particular reason?
That said, I'm looking for other ways to advertise. I'm thinking about taking out an ad in the classifieds section of my local newspaper, but not sure if it would get any attention.
My Craigslist ads get quite an amount of feedback but I'm looking toward advertising elsewhere in order to truly start making money.
Any tips for a newbie on how best to start out with advertising?
February 11, 2010
I stay away from CL like the plague. Occasionally you'll find a gem advertised there (as in gigs), but it's rare. I don't think it's worth the time to look given how much competition is also there. Generally CL is just somewhere the bottom-of-the-barrel buyers go when they want cheap labor.
I hold off on paid advertising unless there's a dry spell or other marketing tactics aren't working. In most cases it isn't necessary and it won't last (like an ad in a targeted trade pub). I'm not sure of the exact client base you're targeting, but if you're thinking about local classifieds, I'd guess you're targeting business clients rather than publications. In that case, you might be better off with cold calls and direct mail campaigns than classified ads. You can always start small for testing and scale it later.
If you do want to stick with traditional ads, make sure they're in places where your target market is. The local paper might help a bit if you're limiting yourself to local clients. But otherwise I'd opt for trade publications and related websites first.
January 2, 2013
First off, thanks so much for your advice. I am definitely open to all forms of advertising. Now, for advertising in trade publications and related websites -- I'm obviously assuming they will cost a bit to advertise in -- is it worth it?
And Samantha, thank you for that tip! I'll focus on redoing my advertising to focus on my portfolio. Thank you!
February 11, 2010
I wouldn't personally bother advertising in them, only because I think you'd get a better return on other types of marketing. Plus, in print editions once the issue's out, readers drop off in favor of newer issues. So ongoing exposure is limited. If you want to try it to reach their targeted audiences, I'd see if they offer online-only ads or newsletter ads first. It's easier to track impressions (views) and conversions on those without guesstimating actual viewers of the ad based on subscriber numbers.
That's a good point. I think I'll forgo print advertising and try for online-only ads.
Sorry I didn't mention this before, but right now I write/edit for everything I can get my hands on, but my true passion and skills lie in editing fiction manuscripts. I've been looking online for writing websites that offer (reasonably cheap) advertising. I've found one that offers a 125x125 ad space for $50 per month. It's a super small ad, but it's cheap and won't be a big deal if I don't get any return on it. I have that one in mind, but I'm still looking around. If I don't find anything else, I'll probably go with that for a month and see how it goes.
February 11, 2010
That sounds like a good plan. At least you'll get some testing out of it to find out if paid ads are attracting the kind of buyer's you're looking for. As for fiction editing, I'd make sure you're showing up high in search engines, especially for a specific genre you want to focus on. I know when I was recently searching for editors, I had a hard time finding specialists in my area without asking people for referrals. There just weren't many good websites for these folks to attract prospects. That means the market's wide open on that front.
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