Weekend Reading: Market Research for Freelance Writers

If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, you need to have a plan. It’s a point frequently driven home here. But how do you get to that plan? How do you know what strategies are most likely to work? How do you know what your target clients really want? How, exactly, are you supposed to know what to do? Before you come up with a business

Weekend Reading: 5 Posts on Personal Branding

Whether you’re launching a new freelance writing business or wondering why you struggle to attract the “right” kinds of clients in an existing business, your branding is something you can’t afford to ignore. More than that, for most freelancers, your brand is you. Instead of a traditional business brand, you’ll focus on personal branding — where your professional image revolves around who you are, what credentials

Reader Question: Blogging to Promote Your Freelance Writing Services

Having a client-focused blog on your freelance writer website is a great idea. That’s especially true if you’re new to freelancing and need a boost in search engine and social media visibility. But what kind of blog should you run on your professional site? Should you share tutorials? Advice? News? Or should you take a more personal approach with storytelling? That’s what Meghan Coughlin wanted to know

Pen Names and Gender Anonymity (Podcast)

This week on the All Freelance Writing Podcast, I tackle a question from Jeremy Tarrier. He was curious about how a writer might protect gender anonymity when writing under a pen name (or if it’s really even a problem). Listen now. This was an interesting topic for me because I actually have the opposite problem: I write under an ambiguous pen name that could easily

Media Kits for Writers: A Beginner’s Guide

One of my current projects is assembling a new media kit. As you might know, I have a background in public relations. So I’m keenly aware of the importance of earned media, and have been securing coverage for my clients for quite some time. While I’ve also secured my fair share of coverage for myself, with changing professional ambitions in my future, doing even more

10 Reasons Your Guest Post Pitches Get Ignored

Every week I receive dozens of guest post pitches across all of my blogs, and it’s not uncommon for that to creep over 100 in a week (and those are just the ones making it past my inbox filters; imagine how many bigger blogs must have to sort through). Yet I respond to less than 10% of those pitches. Even fewer result in guest posts

Why (and How) to Launch Your Author Blog Before Your Book

Maybe you’re writing your first book. Perhaps it’s off with your editor. In either case, you still have a ways to go before your book is in the hands of readers. That means it’s much too early to worry about setting up an author blog, right? Wrong. You don’t need to wait until your book launch to set up an author blog. In fact, you

Building Author Visibility Before a Book Launch: A 10-Point Plan

When it comes to book marketing, I frequently mention that promotion is something authors need to think about early — even before your books are published. A part of that is building your author platform and gaining visibility (and an audience of readers anxious to buy your book when it’s released). This year one of my biggest projects involves building visibility under my horror author

Quick Tip for Indie Authors: Create Your Own Media List

If you’ve ever distributed a press release to promote one of your books, chances are you did it wrong. It’s not your fault if you did. I’ve seen all the nonsense authors are exposed to online. This ranges from claims that press releases never work unless you’re already famous (utter BS) to “advice” that equates to spamming your press release to every free distribution website you

Quick Tip: Look Beyond Your Bubble for Freelance Writing Advice

Last week Paula Hendrickson wrote a great guest post for Lori Widmer’s blog on vetting writing experts. This topic is near and dear to my heart because I’ve had more new writers come to me looking for help after taking horrible advice from pseudo experts than I can count. I feel for those writers. It’s easy to get sucked in because some of these charlatans are masters

Quick Tip: Keep Your Book Marketing as Creative as Your Writing

I’ve been ranting for the last week or two about atrocious examples of marketing from companies like Upwork, Freshbooks, and Canva. So it feels like a good time to change gears and get back to the things writers should focus on rather than avoid. This week’s quick tip for writers is a bit of a lead-in to Friday’s podcast episode. There, we’ll explore ways indie authors

Quick Tip: Tie Your Book to a Worthy Cause

When you promote a new book release, chances are good you’ll send out at least one press release. And one of the biggest book launch press release mistakes I see authors make is sending a release with nothing newsworthy to say. That fact that you’re releasing a new book is very rarely newsworthy on its own, unless you’re a well-known author. Instead, you can increase

Ways Bloggers Can Minimize the Impact of Being on Skeazy Pitch Lists (Podcast)

  The latest episode of the All Freelance Writing Podcast is now live. As promised in my last post’s comments, it includes an extension of the Elance / Upwork fiasco with their lame blogger relations attempt. Then I move on to offer a few tips to bloggers who are tired of finding themselves on these lists. Also in this episode: Is there really a difference

Quick Tip: Diversify Your Virtual Blog Tour Stops When Promoting Your Books

Planning a virtual book tour on a series of blogs can be time consuming, both for you and your hosts. One way you can make the most of your time is to diversify the types of posts included in your blog tour. Let’s look at some of the most common types of virtual blog tour stops for authors. Some will save you time directly. And

This Target Market Mistake Could Cost You Money

Is your marketing helping you reach the best freelance writing prospects? That depends on your target market and how successful you are at reaching members of that group. One of the biggest mistakes a new freelance writer can make is having no target market. That’s when you simply take any gig that comes along, whether or not you enjoy the work, whether or not you

Use Ancillary Products to Promote Your Book (and Earn More Money)

Are you earning as much as you want to from your indie published books? Many authors aren’t happy with their sluggish sales. And when they come to me with marketing questions hoping to improve their situation, I often ask two questions: What does your marketing plan include? What other revenue streams have you set up around your book’s brand? If you’re still working on your book marketing plan,

Weekend Reading: Author Branding

This week’s “weekend reading” collection is a follow-up to the last podcast episode, covering branding for writers. Enjoy! How Your WordPress Blog Can Build Your Author Brand By Bob Dunn at BobWP.com If you still aren’t sure what branding is, or how it applies to you as an author, this post is a good place to start. It guides you through some of the most

Reader Question: Grammar, Second Languages, and Book Soundtracks

We have an interesting question for authors this week from an anonymous reader who created a soundtrack for their upcoming book. This is a topic that’s been on my mind recently as I was looking into BookTrack and also happened across an Amazon Prime music playlist featuring classical music for reading. While I’ve used soundtracks to help me write stories, listening to soundtracks or reading-specific playlists while I

Distribute Your Book Launch Press Release the Right Way

Earlier this week we looked at ways you can write a better book launch press release. But what you do with that finished release is just as important as how it’s written. So today I’d like to share a few press release distribution tips for authors — things you can do to help your announcement get more attention, without being immediately dismissed. Here are three distribution tips

Quick Tip: Don’t Blow Your Book Launch Press Release

If there’s one public relations tool that authors (and just about everyone else for that matter) gets wrong, it’s the press release. I see ignorant bloggers claiming “the press release is dead” all the time. They’re usually the ones who have used them wrong for years. In some circles they’ve become synonymous with “spam.” But thankfully the press release isn’t dead. And if you learn

Quick Tip: Nobody Cares That You Wrote a Book

Maybe “nobody” is a bit of a stretch. But here’s a harsh truth for authors: most people really do not care that you wrote a book. You just published a book. You’re excited. You want to shout it from the rooftops. I get it. So tell your friends and family. Share the news with your writer’s group. Mention it on your personal blog even. But

5 Stupid Excuses Freelance Writers Make for Not Reaching Their Goals

When you work as a freelancer, sometimes you’ll struggle to reach your goals. But one of the most destructive things you can do when that happens is make excuses. Yet freelance writers makes excuses all the time to justify their lack of success in one area or another. After all, that’s easier than taking responsibility and making changes. Today let’s look at some of those

Weekend Reading: Book Promotion Budgets

For this week’s “weekend reading” collection, I’d like to follow up on my last post, Where Should You Spend Your Book Marketing Budget? Here are three posts that offer additional insight into book promotional budgets, setting them, deciding where to spend your money, and finding low cost ways to promote your books when your marketing budget is tight. Enjoy! How Should You Spend Your Book

Where Should You Spend Your Book Marketing Budget?

As an indie author, you’ll find plenty of people and companies that would happily try to part you from your money, all in the name of book marketing or publicity. But, again as an indie, you might have a limited book marketing budget to work with. So where should you spend it? This topic came up here previously, starting off with a discussion about writing contests,

Turn Your Blog Posts Into an E-book With the Anthologize WordPress Plugin

Did you know that you can turn your old blog posts into a .pdf e-book you can sell or give away to help build your email list? Right within WordPress? At least with the Anthologize plugin you can. This plugin lets you choose key blog posts and then group them into e-book sections before exporting. Now, it’s not a perfect solution. You’re supposed to be

Reader Question: When Should Indie Authors Publish a Second Book?

Last week, a question from Sunayna Prasad came in about building a fan base and how it affects series publishing. Basically, she wanted to know if she should publish the second book in her new series right away, or if she should wait until she has more fans or readers of the first. Here’s her question: “I am writing a sequel to my published book.

Quick Tip: Make Sure Your Author Blog Reaches the Right Readers

Your author blog can be an important, and effective, book marketing tool. But I’ve seen countless authors complain that blogging isn’t worth their time, only to discover that they’re going about it in the wrong way. One of the biggest issues I’ve seen is that authors aren’t targeting the right readers with their blogs. And if you don’t reach the right audience, it should be

Weekend Reading: Email Marketing Copy

Whether you’re interested in staying in touch with freelance writing prospects, your blog’s readers, or readers of your books, having an email list is a smart idea. But what you send to your email subscribers is as important as building your list. That’s what keeps subscribers interested, and it’s that email marketing copy that converts casual readers into buyers, community members, or whatever else you’re hoping for.

Your USP: Stand Out From the Freelance Writing Crowd

If you want to move beyond low paying freelance writing jobs, you need a solid marketing strategy. Where many writers go wrong is putting all of their attention on marketing tactics — using social networks, guest posting, or writing query letters for example. While tactics are important, you can never use them to their full potential if you don’t have an underlying strategy and marketing message. That’s

Weekend Reading: Content Marketing Tips and Tools

This weekend, let’s focus on content marketing tips and and tools for writers. Whether you’re using content marketing to promote your blog, book, or freelance writing business, you’re bound to learn something new from at least one of these three resources. Enjoy! Content Marketing Tips: Sage Advice from World Class Writers By Jimmy Rodela at SocialMediaToday.com This post compiles content marketing tips from some of the