Advertising Writing Services: Does It Make Sense?

When you need more work, it seems like all ideas are on the table. Cold-calling, offering a free ebook, networking… but what about advertising? Most freelancers don’t advertise their services in the traditional manner. Most of us just don’t have an ad budget big enough to take out even a square inch in the local paper on a regular basis. Then again, most of us don’t have an ad budget in general.

But there may be some situations where advertising our writing services make sense. With online ads often costing pennies, the return on even a small advertising budget could be useful. If you’ve got any sort of product, be it a template or an ebook, it’s even more reasonable to consider advertising.

Simply advertising freelance writing services may not be practical. If you check out the level of competition you’re facing on Google AdWords for phrases like ‘freelance writer,’ you’ll quickly realize that there are some other writers out there driving up the price. It’s only when you start looking at more targeted niches that you can get the best prices on. A good example would be ‘freelance copy writer,’ instead.

Another option is advertising on sites that cater to your target market. If you write marketing copy for small businesses, for instance, check out some of the blogs covering marketing for small business. They offer a lot of information about marketing — enough that many small business owners hoping to do the work themselves will get overwhelmed. If your ad is there in the side bar when they start looking for alternatives, you can land a client or two.

Personally, advertising is not my favorite marketing method, simply because of the cost. I’d rather spend the time on putting together a guest post or cold-calling. However, if you’ve got the budget, though, and you’d rather not spend the time, advertising makes for a great alternative.

5 Comments

  1. Matt   •  

    As the movement toward local search grows, keep an eye on that as an option. By targeting your message using strong keywords (as you mention) and geography optimized with your homepage, you’ll further increase relevance and thereby reduce costs.

  2. Erin   •  

    Hi there, I found your blog when reading some posts you had done over at lifehacker.org.

    I wrote copy for a marketing firm for four years and I think people who become successful at working freelance or being self employed in any capacity, should think more about how they will bring business in. You are correct that we don’t set up a budget for “advertising” or the pursuit of new clients.

    We have to put something in whether it is time (to write free articles) or money for ads. I guess it depends on what you have available, time or money.

  3. thursday   •     Author

    @Matt, I think local search can be a great opportunity, especially for writers wanting to carve out a local niche.

  4. thursday   •     Author

    @Erin, It’s very true that freelancers have to be willing to spend either money or time on marketing. I know a lot of us choose to invest time because it seems, at leas ton the surface, less expensive than money. Of course, that really depends on each of our own situations.

  5. Pingback: Just Write Blog Carnival: December 26, 2009 Edition | Incurable Disease of Writing

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