Freelance content writers--why be a traveler when you can be a destination? Promoting yourself to a full schedule...
This is one of those posts that other writers will probably find more interesting than will prospective content buyers.
Here are a few things I have noticed recently...
One commenter to the post containing my interview with Pawan from Pee Bee Info$y$ lamented the fact that so much web content work is "automatically" outsourced to non-US/UK/Canada (should I add Australia to that slashy list?) writers, depriving stateside talent of opportunity.
Content writers at a popular writing forum are again swapping lists of alternatives to Associated Content in hopes of finding some other source of regular business.
At least two talented and experienced content writers with whom I have worked have complained about the never-ending feast/famine cycle and how they hate the lean times when they don't have work lined up.
Writers discussing just how miserable the bid boards are in terms of quality opportunities and the difficulty of competing on a playing field where <$5 articles are becoming a norm.
I have a solution for all of these people. Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but I do have an answer to the troubles many content writers experience. It's called marketing.
If you want to stay busy at rates that fit your needs and expectations, you have to successfully market your writing business. It's that simple.
I'm not going to claim to be the world's greatest self-promoter. However, I have a made a point of promoting Content Done Better and that's paid huge dividends. Meanwhile, I see plenty of talented writers who don't do much in terms of self-promotion at all. There is a weird irony in that, considering the fact that they want to write content for clients who are generally interested in marketing sites and products...
I do look for clients once in awhile, but those rainmaking forays are relatively limited. Instead, I invite clients to find me. That does take some work, but it avoids the feast/famine cycle and probably requires less effort than spending a significant portion of my schedule searching for jobs.
Like many content writers, I started by hunting down jobs. After landing a few, I decided it wasn't my cup of tea. I wanted to create a situation where people would start hunting me down. After reading a Tom Peters article and some similar material, I decided to make promotion, branding and marketing a core element of what I do.
I get business via word of mouth referrals, by being discovered at this blog or via Content Done Better's primary website, by networking with others in the content, SEO and internet marketing communities, and other promotional means. It beats the hell out of scouring the boards, etc. in hopes of drumming up jobs. In fact, it can even be a little fun.
If you are sick of going to the mountain, convince the mountain to come to you. That's my completely unsolicited advice to freelance content writers who are yearning for more work.