Holiday Marketing for Freelance Writers

This is the first of a new monthly feature here at All Freelance Writing. Every month, we'll talk about marketing things you should be thinking about during that time of the year (or if there's not much "special" going on, we'll cover some general marketing you can think about during that month). It's October and, like it or not, it's time to start thinking about marketing for the holiday season (technically, I'd say we're even a little bit late at this point)! Let's get to it.

Who Needs to Think About Holiday Marketing?

Unless you want to completely blow off an excellent time of the year for promotions (and a time of year where people are often feeling generous and quite willing to part with their money!), you do! I don't care if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, something else, or nothing at all. If your clients (and I mean any of your clients, or prospective clients) are going to be in the "holiday spirit," you'd be a fool not to join them - at least when it comes to your work.

Am I saying you should pander to every holiday and every faith separately? No. A general "holiday" promotion can be all-inclusive, and great for marketing.

Why Think About Holiday Marketing so Early?

I don't know about you, but all of the retailers around me already have their Christmas displays up - almost seems silly to do that at the same time where people are still shopping for Halloween candy, right? Not so.

October is the time of year where a lot of folks with "Christmas club accounts" cash them out and get started on early holiday shopping. That means there are people with a bit of extra money in their hands thinking about spending it! By the time the actual holidays roll around, those funds are often at least somewhat depleted, and people are in panic-mode rushing around trying to find their perfect gifts.

By beginning your holiday marketing now, you can reach out to both groups (those shoppers spending money now, and you can be fully prepared to get the later rush crowd involved in your business). How?

What Should You do Right Now?

There are plenty of things to think about regarding holiday marketing during October. Here are some ideas to get you moving in the right direction in promoting your services, information products, and even sites and blogs:

  • Now is a great time to publish gift lists. Whether you're monetizing them directly with affiliate links or just hoping they'll drive some extra traffic your way, get them on your site or blog now if you want them indexed (and with decent inbound links) by the holidays when those searches pick up! In addition to gift lists, individual reviews can work too.
  • Create a short report. It doesn't have to be holiday-related itself. Instead, you'll have it ready as a bonus or "free gift" to give away to clients during the holidays to entice them to place orders for your services. Not interested in creating a product? Think about other things you could give away for free - for example, if you're an SEO content writer, maybe you'll decide to give away a few extra articles for those ordering in bulk (or more than you currently do if you already give away freebies).
  • Prepare Your Own Products for Sale. If you don't have an informational product yet, put one together that you can sell well before the holidays (I'd say you'd want it ready in no more than a month at this point in time). If you do have something for sale already (like e-books), prepare some banner ads or fresh sales copy you can implement closer to the holidays, pushing your products as great gift items.

What do you plan to do to market your sites, products, or services during the holidays this year? Let's all share some holiday marketing tips and make the most of it. 🙂

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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6 thoughts on “Holiday Marketing for Freelance Writers”

  1. You know, I never really considered marketing writing services for the holidays. I always thought of holiday marketing and though, “huh, I don’t sell cookies/gift items/et.” so I never did anything with it.

    I’m thinking of doing a discount promotion where $20 from every paid project between Halloween and December 15 is used to buy a toy for Toys for Tots. Jenn, how would you recommend contacting Toys for Tots to let them know (I don’t want to just start promoting, as a friend of mine decided to donate 100% of his ad revenue to Make-A-Wish one year and he got an e-mail from them telling him to pull his promotion of the donation)?

  2. lol I know the feeling – entirely forgiven. 😉

    That’s one of the reasons I thought it was worth bringing this issue up – and touching on seasonal marketing issues at all actually. I don’t think freelance writers take advantage of as much as they can (myself included), and sometimes it just takes a little nudge to make us say “Oh yeah! Maybe I can make this work for me.” 🙂

    As for the Toys for Tots thing, you could see if they list info on their site about partnering with them. If not, I’d reach out to their PR person first if you can find contact info. They’ll let you know if they allow partnership-style promotions, and they may even have press release templates or a specific boilerplate of their own they may want you to include if you do promote things.

    Other than that, I’d leave out the organization name altogether. It’s actually common for them not to want to be associated with businesses and sites they’re not officially partnering with (I used to work in the nonprofit sector before going solo, and we always had to be careful about things like this). You see… if you say you’re going to donate, that’s great. But there’s nothing holding you to that commitment, and if you don’t come through, it can drag their name down too. It might be better to promote after-the-fact saying you’ve already donated $X to a specific charity.

    That said, there’s no reason you couldn’t promote it earlier in a more general sense, such as “We’re going to be setting aside $20 from every paid project between Halloween and December 15th to buy toys for underprivileged children,” without mentioning an actual organization. That could mean toys for tots, that you’re going to personally distribute things within your particular community, donate them to a church group that’s collecting, etc.

  3. That’s a good idea. I haven’t worked with nonprofits, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to do in terms of the promotion. I might do what you suggested and make it a general discount promotion, where a percentage of the proceeds by toys.

  4. Ah, you’ve made the light bulb come on for me. See, I don’t celebrate the holidays so I don’t think about them too much. I don’t watch a lot of TV and working from home so much don’t help. I just happen to be working on a reort right now, but a special promotion would be a great idea – thanks for that!


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