Would you apply for this job if you saw it advertised?
- Can develop effective and engaging creative content across a variety of platforms
- Experience with marketing, including social media, newsletters, CRM, and PR
- Solid understanding of SEO
- Creates and continuously monitors key data and reporting metrics to identify performance
- Sound knowledge of current marketing strategy and trends
InDesign, Photoshop, and video editing skills would be highly regarded, although not essential
- Ability to target market segments
- Oh yeah, should be good at writing
Must have: An extensive list of leads with the proven capability to build your own following
Pay: Will fluctuates widely based on performance and algorithms but is largely determined by your marketing.
While the above may paint a fairly scary picture for people who are new to writing or are considering writing as a side hustle, it is accurate.
Because to make it as a writer, you better be a damn good marketer.
Determine your target audience
Your marketing begins before you write your first word.
You need to understand your audience before putting pen to paper or your finger on the keyboard.
Whether you are writing a book, an article for a publication, or even a social media post — define your audience and write to them.
Too many writers write like they are constructing a journal entry. This is what I have done, where I have been, and my thoughts. Guess what? People don’t care. They don’t know you. So why would they want to know your personal life? It was a mistake I made for a while.
Keep that style of writing for your diary. Or maybe your blog. If you are writing for a specific publication, understand its audience and what the editor is looking for.
If you are writing for Quora — understand their audience. If you are writing for a Parents Association community group — understand the audience. If you are writing a LinkedIn post — understand your audience.
Every piece of writing has an audience. Understand them before you type your first word.
The 4 P’s are not equal
When I studied marketing at college, we were told to focus on the four P’s — often known as the marketing mix.
Price. Promotion. Place. Product.
As a writer, these are still important, but one P stands above the rest.
You need to promote your work. On your social media, in special interest groups pertaining to your topic, on relevant groups on platforms such as Reddit and Quora. You need to be wherever the target audience you identified before writing hangs out.
It is important to ensure that you engage on these platforms and not randomly drop links that may be considered spam. At the same time, as you promote your articles, you are building your brand. So be sure to engage with others in the community.
If a book is printed and no one reads it, was it ever really written?
I recently released my first book — Come Again?
Once I had written the book, had the cover and layout designed, and was ready to publish, the real work began.
I spent hours researching best practices, watching videos, reading articles, and messaging other authors and all of them said the same thing.
You absolutely need a marketing plan for your book. For without one, you won’t get any sales. The only chance for my book to succeed was if I marketed the hell out of it.
There are almost 50 million e-books in the Amazon Kindle store. That sure is a lot of competition. So you could change your luck that the Amazon algorithm will push you to the top of those 50 million, or you could use every marketing strategy you can think of to drive your book in front of people.
If you don’t market your book, it will be just one in 50 million.
I’ve spent more time marketing my book than writing it.
One key strategy to long-term writing success is search engine optimization. It’s a handy marketing tool too often ignored by writers.
But Google can be your friend.
If you want your article to burn brightly forever instead of flickering out after a few days, you best work on your SEO.
Many platforms that writers put content on have high-ranking domains, which gives you a leg up in the SEO stakes. Other simple things to boost your writing are using keywords in the opening and closing paragraphs, including links throughout, and considering an SEO-friendly title.
One thing I like to do when writing a topic is to consider what people would search for to find information on the topic. In addition, use subheadings throughout your content with high intent keywords.
Here is a quick tip you can follow now — or in a few minutes when you have finished reading this article.
Google SEO tips for writing.
The articles that appear in the first few are experts on this topic — after all, they used their own advice to rank highly on Google.
Follow their advice.
Obsess over statistics
Don’t obsess over statistics! I see that all the time. I get it. The focus needs to be on writing.
But statistics are used by every marketer for a reason. They give us insights. Would a CEO ever say to a marketer, don’t look at your website stats or sales figures?
I obsess over statistics — probably too much, admittedly. However, they are such an important tool.
If the writing platform you are on provides statistics, use all of them
Look at views versus reads. Analyze length of reading time. If I get a lot of views but reading time is low — it tells me my marketing (headline, promotion of article, choice of publication) was good, but my product wasn’t.
Check where readers are coming from. This will help you drive traffic in future marketing efforts. It will reinforce who your target audience is.
Don’t miss this basic step — analyze what has worked and what hasn’t.
The cold hard truth
You could be the best writer in the world, but without marketing, you may never grow an audience or build a brand. You won’t make sales or get views.
New writers need to do the hard yards with regard to marketing their work. If they put in the effort early, they can build their audience. As your audience grows, you can rely more on your followers to assist with marketing and generate views.
This can press the algorithm in pushing your work further.
Ah, you finally breathe a sigh of relief. You’re thinking that you can relax and focus solely on writing when you reach that stage.
Now the next level of marketing begins — offering products and courses and leveraging your followers and databases. Maybe even writing a book.
The truth is, as a writer, you will always be a marketer.
So you better be a damn good one.