10 Smart Ways to Market Your Freelance Writing Business

No matter what season it is or whether there’s a holiday coming up, as a freelance writer, you want to make sure that when you step away from the computer, you’ll still have a presence online.

What do I mean by this?

Well, for starters, you don’t want people to all of a sudden forget about you.

10 Smart Ways to Market Your Freelance Writing Business

Do you want to be the freelance writer who takes the entire summer off without touching their laptop, updating a social media profile, writing a blog post or connecting with their email subscribers?

I hope not.

Because if you are, then making a living writing is going to be tough for you.

You’re going to have market your freelance writing business, pitch constantly and work your little tail off  to find work once you get back from vacation or finally get your motivation back.

But, you know what?

There are some easy ways to make your presence felt online every day – whether you’re taking the weekend off to go camping or you’re super swamped with a huge project that leaves you with no time to be online.

And no, I’m not going to tell you that you have to guest post or develop a pitching process or even solidify your brand to stay current and on the radar of prospects.

No. the best way to have the illusion of always being online is to have an effective marketing strategy – yes, you have to market yourself as a freelance writer.

Eww..

I know.

For a lot of us, marketing is an icky word. I mean, we’re writers, not sales people.

Well, my friend, I’m sorry to tell you, but if you truly want to be a successful freelance writer – you know the one that can work wherever they want, with whomever they want and whenever they want – you’re going to have to make marketing your new BFF.

Think of Marketing as a Freelance Writer as a Way to Connect

When I think of marketing my freelance writing business, I sort of think it’s my way of connecting with others. It’s like I have a business card and whenever I “see” someone online, I “hand” them my business card.

We connect and over time we nurture a relationship.

So, even if you pooh-pooh marketing yourself as a freelance writer and think it’s not for you, there are some easy – and smart – ways to market your freelance writing business.

Some of these marketing strategies may take more time than others, while some of these might mean you have to step out of your comfort zone to see any results.

I created a video about these tips if you like watching instead of reading! And I would LOVE it if you subscribed to my YouTube channel!

1. Use an Email Signature

One thing’s for sure – when you’re a freelance writer you’re going to be doing a lot of emailing.

I get almost 100 emails a day during the week.

That’s a lot!

Not all of them are inquiries, but many of them can be potential leads for writing work or to take my course.

And an easy way to promote your services is to create an email signature. Here’s what mine looks like:

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It’s nothing fancy, but I have all the necessary links and contact information I want to share. For your email signature you can even include things like:

  • A phone number to reach you
  • Your Skype address
  • Your lead magnet or opt-in freebie
  • Your headshot

2. Have Different Places to House Your Portfolio

The online world is big and vast so you want to “inhabit” as much of it as you can online. And for freelance writers, this means having different places to house your portfolio.

And, this is an excellent way to market yourself as a freelance writer for hire!

If you’re not sure what I mean, a portfolio showcases your work as a writer. Typically, it’s the best pieces you want to show and it’s pieces in your niche.

There are many different places to have a portfolio, like on your website, on your LinkedIn profile or on a portfolio site like Contently.

I say, use all of them!

For the longest time I only had my portfolio on my website, but once I started my LinkedIn profile I slowly started updating my resume with all my new client work.

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I also started housing my portfolio on Contently.

What’s nice about Contently is that once you upload your samples (you can even upload PDFs) it tracks the social media shares giving prospects a bit of a metric on how engaging your writing is.

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One other place you can house your portfolio is on Pinterest.

I recently removed mine since I’m currently sharing my Pinterest profile with two blogs, but a lot of freelance writers are now using Pinterest to market their services.

For example, here’s Carrie Smith’s (from Careful Cents) writing portfolio on Pinterest.

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The goal is to expose your work to as many different potential clients as possible. So using platforms like LinkedIn, Contently and Pinterest just helps you reach more people.

And the great thing? They are all free to use 🙂

And, it’s not that hard is it? When you market your freelance writing business on social media, you will immediately get more eyes on your services!

3. Start a Blog

I know.

I’ve been preaching this for ever now – especially to new freelance writers – but having your own blog is one of the best ways to stay current and in the eyes of potential clients.

Oh, and it’s a great way to land awesome freelance writing jobs.

Posting content in your writing niche shows prospects you know your stuff.

For example, I have a blog, Twins Mommy, where I share tips to help moms make money.

I get inquiries on this blog for freelance writing.

Or, you can use your freelance writing site to blog about topics you want to get paid to write.

This is what a course participant, Heather, did on her freelance writing site. She’s a tech freelance writer and her blog shows her expert knowledge in this industry.

This is a built-in way to always have samples available in your niche.

Or, you can go another route like what I did.

I just started a blog about freelance writing and blogging.

And while it’s not entirely in my digital marketing niche, it does show how engaging my writing is in terms of capturing visitors and converting them into subscribers (which is what a lot of my clients want my writing to do for them).

So no matter what you really blog about, if it’s highly engaging, well-written, formatted correctly and you promote it strategically on social media, prospects will find you.

If you need help setting up your blog for your business, check out my easy tech-free tutorial! It includes a video also!

4. Say You’re “For Hire” In Your Author Bio

One neat trick I started doing early on was saying I was for hire in my author bio.

This immediately tells potential clients that I’m available and it’s just a great way to market yourself as a freelance writer.

For example, here’s my author bio for my guest posts over on Tweak Your Biz.

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It’s not necessary for every author bio, but it’s best to place “for hire” on those guest posts that your target clients read.

5. Stay In Your Writing Niche

Ahh, your writing niche.

For many new freelance writers this can be a challenging thing to solidify. Once you choose your writing niche, there’s no law saying that you have to stay with that writing niche.

Take the time to discover what you really like to write about and whether or not you can make a living from it.

I started with parenting and natural health as my niches, but quickly learned I couldn’t really make a profit from writing in those industries.

It wasn’t until later I started reading about how to market my freelance writing business that I loved all things about digital marketing.

So, once you find your groove and a niche that you love writing in, stay with it.

Start to build your writing portfolio in that writing niche.

I’m working on building my digital marketing niche portfolio. For the longest time I either was ghostwriting in this niche or providing content to sites that haven’t been created yet.

It’s just recently that I picked up some awesome clients in email marketing and digital marketing.

Now, I’m able to build my digital marketing portfolio and am finding that the inquiries that come my way are all in that niche.

So, aside from building your authority in your freelance writing niche, it’s a great way to market yourself as a freelance writer since prospects who are looking for writers will quickly find you (based on your niche).

6. Be Associated With Other Freelance Writers

In one of my recent posts I mentioned that a secret to being a well-paid freelance writer is not what you know, it’s WHO you know.

And being “associated” with other certain freelance writers can help you land a gig. How do I know this?

One of my course participants landed a writing gig over on Blogging Wizard (one of my clients). And she was able to do that because she took my course, which, for the client, meant I vouched for her – by proxy.

BOOM!

7. Hobnob with Influencers

One of the great things about social media is that you can connect with absolutely anyone, even if they are famous or an influencer.

And it’s super easy too. You know how I do it?

By commenting on their blogs.

Here’s my comment on QuickSprout – one of Neil Patel’s blogs and his response.

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Then this lead to my reaching out to him on LinkedIn where we messaged each other and eventually I asked him if he would want to contribute to an upcoming Huffington Post of mine.

He said sure.

Fo’ realz.

It’s that easy.

So, go ahead and follow influencers in your industry or the blogging industry in general, comment on their blog posts and connect with them! This is a sneaky way to market yourself as a freelance writer because through your exchanges you can let out you’re a freelance writer for hire. Or better yet, let your email signature do all the marketing for you!

This may lead to them hiring you or asking you to guest post so get out that and e-meet everyone 🙂

8. Pin Your Ad on Social Media

Another thing you can do to market your freelance writing biz is just to “pin” it on Twitter or Facebook.

This means it stays at the top of your feed so that more people won’t miss this important information.

You can pin a testimonial like I did:

Social proof is a big indicator that other people like your services and writing.

This can help prospects realize quicker that you would be a good fit for their business.

You can also just pin a little ad of your services and site. This is what Lorraine Reguly of Wording Well did:

9. Comment on Blogs You Want to Write For

Yes, it’s that easy.

Go to blogs you admire or want to write for and start commenting on their posts as a way to market your freelance writing business.

Most blog owners read their comments and will respond to them.

This is how I landed my gig over on Blogging Wizard when Adam had comments on his blog.

connect

I left a no-fluff comment and Adam responded back to me. We made a connection.

From there I probably shared his content and he took a look at my site and my blog.

Here’s my “Hire Me” page and how I send people to my blog:

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From there he contacted me and he ended up hiring me.

10. Tell A Fellow Freelance Writer You Have a Spot Open

Finally, one way to market yourself as a freelance writer is to just let another freelance writer know you have a spot open on your content schedule.

A lot of established freelance writers often have more work than they can handle.

And we are always open to handing work off to other writers who ask.

By telling others you need work, work will eventually find its way to you. It’s happened to me numerous times and it will happen to you.

 What Are You Waiting For?

Being a freelance writer is more than knowing how to write. It’s being a savvy marketer.

But, you don’t have to have years of sales experience to promote your services. You just need to know how to do it the smart way.

These ten ways will totally help you get the word out that you are a freelance writer looking for work.

Over to you – which marketing strategy are you going to try out first?

If you’re ready to really earn a living from writing, you can get your step-by-step profitable freelance writing blueprint by joining Write Your Way to Your First $1k.  It walks you through the exact action steps you need to take to land clients, tweak your website to increase conversions and get paid to write.

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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59 Comments

Thank you so much, Elna. This post saved me so much time and stress over starting my author website and building my platform. I’m a planner by nature so I like to have a good idea about what I’m doing before I dive into with such a big investment of time and energy. Even if it is something I’ve extremely passionate about. Again, thank you for your post and sharing your wisdom with the writing community.Reply to Delilah
Hi Delilah, You’re welcome! Have fun marketing your freelance writing business!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, These are awesome ways that will come in handy in marketing my freelance writing business. I will definitely use some of them especially now that I have decided to take my freelance writing career to the next level. ThanksReply to Risper
Hi Elna! I need to thank you for this post. Very valuable. I’ve been following you for a long time, I read your posts and I also took the Freelance Blogging in a Weekend course. I must say, each and every one of your observations is actionable, useful, and they ultimately lead to success. Although I had already put some of your advice into practice (as I have been following you for a while), such as starting to design my Pinterest profiles and updating my portfolio on LinkedIn and Contently, this particular post led me to personalize my mail signature, think more about commenting on blogs and talk to other freelancers to let them know that I am available for work. Also, this week I’m going to start submitting pitches for guest posts on other blogs, and your bio tips helped me polish mine so it looks good. Finally, I find the advice to stay in your own niche extremely valuable. I have been offered work in other niches but I know that I need to stay in mine because that is what will allow me to give the best results to clients and to fully deploy my expertise. Thank you very much for such valuable contributions. People actually benefit from this, and by reading your posts I polished my writing, too. This article is great, as usual! AyelénReply to Ayelén
Hi Ayelen, Thank you for your comment! I’m humbled by your story and grit to be a successful freelance writer! I hope you enjoyed Freelance Blogging in a Weekend and found the writing skills that clients pay big bucks for helpful for your clients. Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, these are great tips! Thank you so much. I have bookmarked the page to go back to as a reference. Im just starting my Copywriting business and will use Pinterest as one way to promote thanks to you. I also subscribed to your Youtube channel. Thanks againReply to Brian
Hi. I just read you post and I’m so glad I clicked on it. I own a new online writing service myself. And like many writers I’m very hesitant with marketing tactics and techniques simply because I’m not good at it or should I say no nothing of it. But I realize I can’t do that if I want my writing service to be taken somewhere. Thank you for the honest advice. I’m gonna look forward to check more of your work and learn from senior bloggers like yourself.Reply to Shaziya
Hi Shaziya, So glad you found this post helpful for you as a new freelance writer! Yes, marketing is a huge part to getting clients. Fortunately for me I loved learning about digital marekting tactics and I soon offered writing about digital marekting to clients!Reply to Elna
I just recently got serious about my freelance writing since losing my job in retail, and one aspect of my business I’ve been having to remind myself of is marketing. It’s pretty obvious since a large part of retail is also marketing, but being an introvert I’ve had a rough start at it. I’m getting better at it, it does take having a thick skin I’ve noticed.Reply to Ahmad
I feel exactly as you! I hope I can begin to grow like you too.Reply to Shaziya
Hi, Yes, marketing is a big part in landing more freelance writing jobs. I’m also an introvert but I feel being behind the computer is much easier to network and reach out than in person!Reply to Elna
Thank you for sharing the tips Elna. I have regained my momentum and I’m ready to get back in the race.Reply to Krystal
Hi Krystal, That’s great to hear! Getting back into the swing of things can be difficult especially after a holiday or a stall in business!Reply to Elna
Great post. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your expertise.Reply to Joseph
Thanks for this post Elna…just starting out on my own freelance writing career and your tips have got things underway. I’ve also downloaded your free guide to accelerating your freelance writing income and can’t wait to read it. Hopefully, I’m already on the right track.Reply to Dawn
Hi Dawn! Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the guide and grow your income!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this! I am a web designer who specializes in SEO, but I also keep up with two of my own blogs, meaning I am writing a lot. I figured that incorporating an SEO content writing service would be a perfect additional service for my market. Now I’m in the boat of trying to figure out how to market myself. I feel like I’m starting from scratch! Your post gave me so much helpful info and a place to start. One thing I overlooked was writing for authority sites (like Blogging Wizard). I had always assumed those sites were unpaid work. I’ll definitely be expanding my scope and looking into sites like that as well! DanaReply to Dana
Hi Dana! That’s a fantastic idea! Blogging Wizard is a client of mine. You can guest post on his site though (not anymore!) and that’s unpaid. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Elna, I was surprised to see you mention me in this post! Thanks, girlfriend! 🙂 I love all the ways you described here; so many freelancers forget to keep promoting themselves when they “get busy working.” Or when they just have too much on their plate to remember! 😉Reply to Lorraine
Hey Lorraine! Of course I will mention you! You are one of the best bloggers there is! Love your blog and what you are doing to help others with your new book, From Nope to Hope!Reply to Elna
Aren’t you just the sweetest! 🙂 Thank you for the compliments!Reply to Lorraine
Love this blog post! Such simple, yet effective ways to get more gigs and market your freelance writing biz! I’m just now breaking into the world of ‘real’ freelance writing, and I absorb any morsel of information like a sponge. I hope to specialize in Digital Marketing also, but have literally hundreds of other interests (sigh). Nailing down a niche is tough, but I’ll take your advice and start posting blogs that relate to what I want to write about for a living. Thanks so much for posting, even if I’m a little late to the game on this one!Reply to Alanna
Hi Alanna! That’s good! Keep to one to three niches and write in those topics. You will find which topic you like more and you’ll find out which topic has more jobs!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Another great post from you, informative and well put together. I always read your posts, and I am taking your course “Write your way to your first 1K”. I love it and it is certainly helping me to come out of myself, but I am still pretty scared and every time some one reaches out to me I freeze. I need to get over this quickly or I will never earn anything. Thank you for your great inspirational posts. Veronica.Reply to Veronica
Hey Veronica! So happy you are in the course! I know you can do it. You’ve started so that’s the first step. Now comes the hustling, negotiating and writing! Then you get paid. I hope you joined the pitching challenge? Good luck.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Once again you’ve provided valuable information for freelance writers who are looking for ways to market their business. And the examples you gave will surely leave no doubt on how to use these suggestions to their advantage. Passing this along to share with others. You rock mama! Hope you’re having a great week! CoriReply to Corina
Hey Corina! Thanks a bunch. Marketing your services is key if you want to succeed!Reply to Elna
Elna, thanks for sharing!… The above was an awesome tips and educated me a lot. I don’t even think about make text signature for my email, but now I have to. You know?… I’m thinking about updating my Linkedin profile and adding some portfolios link, however now working on build it. Sure, I’ve blog for long time, but I don’t have many great content. I knew blog post is great portfolio for me hence I working on improving quality, but it seem a hard working to me. Thanks for sharing you tips hereReply to Kimsea
Hey Kimsea, Thanks so much for stopping by! That’s great you’re going to start using an email signature! It’s definitely a great way to brand your service! That’s great you’re going to use your blog for your portfolio. Tweak your posts and get it ready for your samples!Reply to Elna
These are truly awesome tips Elna! Not only did I bookmark this post and take a ton of handwritten notes, I’ve actually gone ahead and put two of these tips into practice while “studying” it Jess 🙂Reply to Jessica
Hey Jessica! Long time no see 🙂 How ya doing? Thanks so much. Happy to hear you are using these tips.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, These are some great tips — and it reminds me of the adage about important things being easy to do, but also easy not to do. For instance, pinning a promotional post to the top of our social profiles — simple, right? Fast. Easy. Yet so few people make use of this feature, even though it’s available on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. You’re a definite rock star when it comes to marketing yourself online. Good job. Love that Neil responded to your comment, too. Very cool. Best, BrentReply to Brent
Hey Brent! Thanks so much for stopping by. Are you still on holidays or back? Hey I didn’t know G+ had a pinning option. I knew Facebook did though. I wonder if Pinterest does… would be ironic if it didn’t 🙂 Yeah marketing is a BIG thing if you want to make it online as a writer for the long haul.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great post as usual. I’ve taken notes of all the points and will be using them. Thanks a lot.Reply to SK
Thanks so much! Glad you found some tips to help you up your freelance game.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great tips! Being all over is a great tip and commenting with influencers is just awesome! I had a contently account since maybe late 2014 but hadn’t actually done anything on that. Your portfolio there looks awesome and I am eager to set myself one. I too have a blog for my niche clients, social media and content marketing. That works because my content gets seen on the search engines by clients. This has earned me a secure living off writing. I need to tell all my fellow freelancers (you too 😛 ) that I do actually have a slot empty to be filled in. 😀 -SwadhinReply to Swadhin
Hey Swadhin, Thanks so much!That’s great you have a Contently profile. Now you can start using it!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I love how you always take a complicated subject and explain it so clearly that there’s no excuse for us to not have a successful freelancing business. This is such a great post. And thanks so much for the shout out! 🙂 I couldn’t have done that without your help through the Writeto1k course and from the support of your FB group. Thank you!Reply to Christine
Hey Christine, You’re a great freelance writer and that’s why I featured you twice in this post 🙂 Thanks again for your support and for enrolling in my course. I know it’s paying off for you big time!Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna, I immediately updated my Contently portfolio, deleting my old site, changed my physical address etc. can’t believe I forgot to do all that, your post was a needed reminder.Reply to Kim
Kim, Wow! That’s great. I’m sure you’ll be turning down leads for sure!Reply to Elna
Excellent stuff Elna. Thanks a bunch. I will incorporate all of them in my marketing efforts too.Reply to Rita
Hey Rita, Awesome girl! So glad to help you out in your freelance writing biz.Reply to Elna
Hey, Elna. Great post! That’s a new detail to add to a blogger bio. Really catchy! And I never knew I can ask other freelance writers for work. That’s a good thing to know. Thanks so much for sharing.Reply to Heide
Hey Heide, Yeah, asking other writers for some clients is totally alright 🙂 Many writers may have more work than they can handle so handing it off to a fellow freelancer is always the first option.Reply to Elna
It’s good to know that I am already employing most of these tips. My area of improvement is putting myself out there with other writers and influencers. Just mustering up the courage to hold a convo is a bit intimidating since I still feel a bit green in the industry. Always enjoy your posts. Going to add to my Buffer queue! JenneeReply to Jennee
Hey Jennee, Good to know that you are employing most of these marketing tips. Way to go girl!Reply to Elna
Top quality and great tips Elna. I just realized that there are alot of things that i havent done and i need to be doing them.I am implementing them ASAP! Many thanks.Reply to Melchyy
Hey Melychyy, That’s great! Thanks so much for coming over and leaving a comment. Glad I put a fire under you, ha 🙂 You’re ready to start marketing your business! Good luck.Reply to Elna
Great and informative post, Elna! I’ve pinned several times on social media and it’s never crossed my mind to pin about the services I offer. Smart move and one I will definitely utilize!Reply to Latoya
Hey Latoya! Thank a lot. Yeah, Pinterest can be a gold mine for many freelance writers. I was surprised I landed a writing gig so fast! Good luck!Reply to Elna
It’s not often that I read a blog post and want to pop open another window on my laptop and start applying what I’m learning. You made that happen today. As a long time blogger and new freelance writer I’ve gotten a bit overwhelmed with all of the ways to start marketing. I’m going to stop right here and focus on your tips. Thanks!Reply to Darice
Hey Darcie, That’s amazing news! Thanks so much for that compliment 🙂 I’m glad you wanted to take action right away. It shows you mean business (as my 3-year-old daughter says). Great tell me how it all goes!Reply to Elna
Great article Elna, I decided that I wanted to go with the camping industry as my niche. I find myself questioning that decision every other week because it is difficult to find work on sites like ProBlogger, Indeed, and others. How did you discover that your original niche wasn’t profitable?Reply to Terry
Hey Terry, Your niche is pretty neat since not a lot of freelance writing are in that niche. So you might do best with cold and warm pitching approaches rather than looking at job boards. So guest posting and cold pitching would be your strategy. For me, there were a lot of job ads for parenting bloggers and the pay was stated. So something like $25 for a post. I saw many like that. I also knew that the parenting niche is over saturated. So I decided to find a different niche! Thanks!Reply to Elna
Elna, great tips on marketing your freelance business. Each one is actionable. I would note in the email signature to avoid giving a home phone number. I’ve had a problem with this one. A business number is great though.Reply to Karen
Hey Karen, Thanks so much. Yes, I would avoid using a home phone number too! It’s easy nowadays to grab a business phone number 🙂Reply to Elna
Great post. Across the board, all of these tips are worth applying to help market your business. One of the first things I thought when I saw your e-mail signature was, “Right. I need to do that.” Haha.Reply to Jeffrey
Hey Jeffrey, Thanks a bunch. Glad you found these tips helpful and that you’ll start doing some of them! Yes, an email signature is a great way to market your services!Reply to Elna