10 Tips on Marketing Yourself as a Freelance Writer Online

Marketing yourselfMarketing yourself isn’t just a useful skill to have if you want to see any kind of success as a freelance writer – it’s become an absolute necessity. Below are ten tips on marketing yourself as a freelance writer online (without the need to sign up for a marketing degree).

1. Get to grips with inbound marketing by writing your own blog

Yes it’s hard work, but marketing yourself via a well-written, resourceful and consistent blog can do wonders for drawing in leads. You can set up a free and easy to use blog on Blogger or WordPress.com, or you can go the whole hog and host your very own.

>> I marketed so hard I went from full-time day-job worker to full-time writer online – from scratch. Find out how you can do the same RIGHT HERE.

2. Don’t just be present on social media – engage, share and network

Like blogging, keeping up with all your social media accounts can be time consuming but social media really is key to marketing yourself and your freelance writing skills online. Be active, share useful content and instigate a bit of networking. If you need help keeping on top of all your different social networks then this Hootsuite post might be of some help.

3. Be overly useful in forums and online communities

Answer relevant questions on Yahoo Answers and Quora. Find out where potential clients are interacting online and be active in those communities. As long as you don’t become annoying and spammy in your marketing efforts, people will appreciate your engagement and advice – and this might just lead to a few new clients.

4. Learn the basics of SEO

Whether you’ve got a blog or a simple website promoting your freelance writing services, optimizing your webpages to make it easy for the search engines (and therefore potential clients) to find you is a no-brainer. The fundamentals of SEO are not hard to understand either. (Read How to Make Your Writing Search Engine Friendly if you want to learn the basics of SEO in non-technical plain English.)

5. Perfect your pitch

The above points so far are all well and good but what about taking the bull by the horns and just pitching directly to a client for some freelance writing work? This is the ultimate in marketing yourself so you need to get it right. There’s loads of advice online about this sort of thing but the main things to consider when pitching for work are to research the publication and to keep your pitches relevant and brief.

6. Get guest blogging

If you have something useful, insightful and perhaps entertaining to offer readers of other blogs, then guest blogging is another good way of marketing yourself and your services. This is not an opportunity for you to blatantly self-promote however. Concentrate first and foremost on giving value and writing the best piece you can write. Most blogs will give you a link back to your own website or blog at the end of the piece and if it’s good enough you may just get some highly targeted new business leads.

7. Use email marketing

This is particularly effective if you blog regularly, but still works even if you don’t. Setting up an email newsletter to keep people up to date with your freelance writing activities can be an effective way of marketing yourself and remaining at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s free and ridiculously easy to set up an email newsletter. I use Mailchimp myself – mainly because it’s free and simple to use, but also because it’s fun and easy on the eye too.

8. Pay for targeted advertising

All the ideas so far have been completely free of charge but there’s nothing wrong with spending a little to make a lot. Google Adsense campaigns and Facebook advertising can be as inexpensive as you want them to be and, if done effectively, can be highly targeted ways of marketing yourself as a freelance writer.

9. Set up a referral discount for your happy clients

Got a few happy clients under your belt already? Great – don’t let them go to waste then! Use your happy clients to spread the word and do your marketing for you by setting up a referral discount for them when they recommend somebody that goes on to become a new client. People love discounts and you love new clients – it really is win-win.

10. Team up with other freelancers

They say there’s power in numbers (or is that ‘safety’?). Either way, by teaming up with other freelancers you can market yourself while helping others too. This can be as simple as swapping adverts on your website with a graphic designer, or as involved as working together to bundle each other’s services into packages to offer out to clients. Find fellow freelancers that are game for this type of thing in forums or on social media. Hint: Linkedin groups are particularly good for this.

>> Get more ways to market yourself, in-depth instructions on how to find your niche, plus pitching templates and step-by-step instructions on how to earn a living from freelance writing online in the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.

photo credit: Will Lion via photopin


  • Vandana Singhal

    Reply Reply June 18, 2013

    Thanks for sharing these useful tips!

  • Diana

    Reply Reply June 22, 2013

    great post all the way, Kirsty! I’d like to say that these are great marketing tips not only for freelance writers but for any type of freelance consultants. 😀

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply June 24, 2013

      Absolutely Diana. Glad you found it useful!

  • Kirsty, I really like these tips! I think we are creating a network right here! Once again, thanks! This is Gaius, experienced Freelance journalist with strong passion for quality, based in Goma, Eastern DR Congo.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply July 31, 2013

      Thanks Gaius, and do sign up to get weekly emails from me if you’re interested: http://eepurl.com/CZ0W5. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Zippywriter

    Reply Reply November 2, 2013

    Great post and awesome advice Kirsty! Love #10 especially. Thank you. 🙂

  • Dom

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    Really helpful tips here – I’m new to the freelance writing world so I’m yet to take on my first client.

    These will certainly come in handy with my freelance journey!

  • Paul Caputo

    Reply Reply March 11, 2014

    All excellent tips. Freelancing can be tough, especially on popular topics when there are so many people out there prepared to write for nothing. I think sticking to these principles on a daily basis is an excellent start.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply March 11, 2014

      Thanks Paul – glad you liked the post.

  • Peter Zmijewski

    Reply Reply April 18, 2014

    I find these tips very helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply April 19, 2014

      You’re welcome Peter.

  • Kaen

    Reply Reply June 24, 2014

    I think Step 9 has made me realise the importance of keeping the customer happy, we have now implemented this in our approach. Think it will pay off in the long run. Thank you Kirsty

  • Dave Burnham

    Reply Reply October 8, 2014

    Thanks for sharing this very useful post. I have it bookmarked for future reference.

  • Anne Heraghty

    Reply Reply January 21, 2015

    Great tips, but you have a typo on point 5. Perfect YOUR pitch, right?

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 21, 2015

      Ah, I forgot the ‘r’ altogether it seems! All changed now – thanks so much Anne.

      • Anne Heraghty

        Reply Reply January 21, 2015

        Sure. I’m in the market for some editing work 😉

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