Marketing For Writers

6 Jun

003Good morning once again on this 6th day of June, 2013.  I hope this missive finds you feeling successful.

Today we are going to talk about the ugly “M” word….Marketing.

Let’s start out with some background.  I have a degree in Marketing and I actually taught it in high school my first two years of teaching.  I have owned and operated four businesses over the years….and….I am incredibly shy and humble.

I cannot cold-call.  I’ve tried for years, but the very thought of walking into a business establishment and asking them to let me write for them makes me break out in a cold sweat.

I get it….truly!

Still, I also understand that marketing is the key to success in any business, and writing is a business. As much as we would love to while away our days just writing and not promoting, we will not get very far using that approach.

What product are you selling?  YOU!  Never forget that basic fact….you are the product and not your writing.  You are the face of your business and not your writing.  As such, you need to promote you, but you need to do it in a way that does not compromise your principles and does not make you feel like a ten-dollar whore in a coastal town.

Well, the good news is that there are ways to do that. The bad news is that it is all up to you to get it done.


The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.
Peter Drucker

This is such an important point to understand in marketing.  What do you have to offer that the customer needs?  Put it another way: what does the customer need and how can your talents meet that need?

When I approach a potential customer, I first think about their business….how can my writing increase their business? When I approach a magazine editor with an article, the question becomes how will my article increase their readership?

Give it some thought!


Well, you have already received quite a few tips already, haven’t you? Here is one more:

Make a list of potential businesses you would like to write for, or make a list of the potential magazines you would like to write for.  Start local and move up the food chain.

Last year I decided I wanted to write for real estate companies. I made a list of twenty companies in our city and I sent emails to all of the agents in those twenty companies. I landed two blog jobs that I still have.  The effort took me one afternoon of emailing and now I get steady income from it.

Magazines….always start local, and when you approach them with an email make sure they know you are a local writer.


joshua tree

I’ve already give you quite a bit to chew on, so here is your prompt and then I’ll say goodbye for today.  Do you see anything in this picture worth writing about?


Whenever I’m looking for a little extra freelance cash, I turn to this site, Freelancer, and in particular the Craigslist writing job listings.  You can find them here.


That’s all I have time for today my friends. I hope I’ve given you something to think about as you go about your day.  Believe this: I want you all to succeed.  You are not my competitors but rather my peers, and I want us all, five years from now, to meet in Miami Beach and talk about our successes.

Have your people call my people and we’ll set it up. J


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

16 Responses to “Marketing For Writers”

  1. Clear-eyed Sky June 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Oh, cool. I can drive to Miami.

  2. Janine Huldie June 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I, too, am not too good at marketing myself, but you are so right about thinking it through before jumping into something. Hope you are having a great day so far and thanks as always Bill!! 🙂

    • Bill Holland June 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Janine, it is the toughest part of this business and most writers struggle with it….but….we have to do it. 🙂 Thanks my friend and it is a great day to be alive.

  3. ruchira June 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Miami beach it is 🙂 I sure pray that I can buy my own tix :))

    Great tips..I am also an introvert when it comes to marketing my writing thus, never FB my articles. I am still taking baby steps, and with people like you, will keep getting a push.

    btw..I like your mantra…“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”
    Happy Thursday, Bill

    • Bill Holland June 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Ruchira, I don’t know of many writers who enjoy marketing…in fact, I don’t know of any. LOL

      Thank you my friend and enjoy your day. It’s a great day to be alive.

  4. Natasha Hoover (@Natasha5887) June 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Thanks for the tip about the writing site. I’ve already gone over to check it out! I was (surprised?glad?) to find a writing contest section there, too. Cool! I’ll probably be in Miami in 5 years, but because that’s where my man wants to move back to when he gets out of the Navy. I’m not sure that counts…

    • Billybuc June 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Natasha, I think it would be so great to one day get a bunch of HP writers together so we could meet….so yes, any reason would count. 🙂 Thanks for the visit.

  5. pictimilitude June 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Love this. I’m slowly but surely expanding the list of companies for whom I write. I’m up to 4 now and hope to increase it over the summer. 🙂 Between ebook writing, art shows, regular blogging and trying to write a novel, write up lesson plan units, create new songs on my forlorn and abandoned guitar. Not too busy, right? HA! Have a great day, BB.

    • Bill Holland June 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Cyndi, it is absolutely overwhelming at times my friend. I know exactly what you are saying. 🙂

  6. Russ Moran June 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Excellent post as usual Bill. One comment though. Today is June 6, not July 6. That jumped out at me because I turn 67 on 7/6. Don’t you hate it when a client edits you?

    • Bill Holland June 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Oops….my goodness, time flies, doesn’t it? Thanks buddy!

  7. Melanie Chisnall June 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Believe it or not, that picture has a faint similarity to the picture I’m painting right now. It reminds me of my desert country, Namibia. Beautiful. I’m trying to get a lot of blogging done today so that I have a committed time to focus on magazines and marketing next week. You are right about the marketing. It needs to be part of our daily/weekly business plan. I’m feeling a lot more positive after reading your post today and your supportive emails. Thank you!!! Have a brilliant weekend.

    • Bill Holland June 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Mel, I know it is hard. It saddens me to see you struggling because I understand that struggle all too well. You just have to keep moving forward my friend. You are talented, but sometimes talent is not enough, and you are the only one who can do what needs to be done to move to the next level.

      Have a wonderful weekend and know that I believe in you.


  8. i'mkarn June 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    lol…i’ll have my people contact your people…we’ll do lunch!
    Kiss, kiss…
    you mix your humor with your facts – i like that!
    Thanks for the info, Bill…in collection

    • Bill Holland June 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      kiss kiss, Leslie, and I’ll be in touch. LOL Have a great weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: