As a freelance writer, you have a free marketing tool at your disposal - your ability to write. When marketing your freelance writing services, how can you leverage your ability to write in order to attract more clients? Try these writing-related marketing tips to showcase your writing ability while bringing in more work:
Start a Blog
By setting up your own blog, you get to showcase not only your general writing style, but also your expertise in your niche or writing specialty. For example, if you write business copy, you might start a blog on copywriting. If you're a music writer, you might start a music blog to highlight your review and interviewing styles, which may be attractive to future clients.
Publish a Book
I know - easier said than done. Yet being a published author can lend a lot of credibility to you not only as a writer, but also in your specialty. Don't want to deal with pitching publishers? Give self-publishing a try.
Writing e-books can showcase your writing ability and expertise much as blogs and book writing can. The biggest benefits of the e-book format are that there are no length requirements, and they can be made instantly available once written. You can also choose to sell the e-books as an additional (and relatively passive) revenue stream, or you can give them away for free solely for marketing purposes (such as to build your email list, which might be used to pitch services in the future).
Use Article Marketing
I don't really support the use of the spam-style article directories (like ezinearticles), which are solely about self-promotion and link-building rather than lending much true credibility. Instead, consider publishing your free articles (with a byline or resource box for attribution) as guest posts on reputable sites in your niche, or through topic-specific sites known for higher quality work. Where you place your work can determine who sees it and how they view it (if you publish in a "bad neighborhood," even quality pieces are devalued a little bit by the company they keep). For example, if you write on small business issues, you may want to publish to a site like Work.com. Many of the sites that would happily publish your content to your target audience don't advertise that fact. Don't be afraid to ask.
Newsletters are similar to blogs in that you'll continually publish new material. The difference is that they give you a chance to build your email list, letting you reach out to prospective clients more directly with offers, sales, or pitches.
If you can write, you can use that ability to market your freelance writing services. In addition to the more common examples above, consider these: publish an op-ed or letter to the editor related to your specialty in your area paper (especially if you target local clients), post on forums where you can reach your target market (and treat each post as a mini writing sample), start a small print zine or newsletter, or even just put your writing skills to the test with some good old fashioned queries.
How do you use your writing to market your writing and draw in new clients?