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Why No Freelance Writer Should Hate Marketing and What to Do if You Do

hate marketingI don’t know how many times I’ve heard writers say, “… but I hate marketing!” In fact, I’ve been known to say it myself, at least I used to.

Maybe it’s no wonder we tend to actively dislike the whole idea of marketing ourselves and our writing. After all, we’re all subjected to tons of so-called marketing messages every day. According to Jay Walker-Smith, Yankelovich Consumer Research, quoted at Marketing-Made-Simple.com“We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today.” Although some will argue the numbers, the truth is we’re all exposed to marketing clutter.

Typical writer’s objections to marketing

Here are some of the objections I’ve had two marketing and I know other writers have had as well:

  • We don’t like it, often, when someone markets to us.
  • We have a sense we shouldn’t have to market ourselves and our writing.
  • Marketing feels like selling out.
  • We’re embarrassed talking about ourselves and our talents.
  • Marketing is boring.
  • We don’t know how to market.
  • Were sure were going to do it wrong.

Let’s look at these individually and see if they are true.

We don’t like it when someone markets to us

Well sure, nobody likes to be marketed to in less, of course, we learn about something we think we need or just discover we want. If, for example, I’m looking for new computer I avidly read the computer ads. What I really hate is marketing that gets in my face and interests what I’m doing. I’m sure I don’t ever have to do that kind of marketing for my writing.

We have a sense we shouldn’t have to market ourselves and our writing

What’s that all about? Is it some sort of false sense of entitlement? Maybe, but I suspect it’s more about some of our other objections and we just say we shouldn’t have to market as a way to avoid looking directly at our real fears. After all no one can be expected hires for rating if they don’t know we’re here.

Marketing feels like selling out

This is a biggie. Somehow we got the idea that telling the world or prospective customers we can do a writing job well is dishonest. It’s not of course, unless if we can’t do the job. This one may be a cover for poor self-worth. If that’s the case, improving how you see yourself will do more for you then trying to market at this point. When you’re comfortable with yourself and your skills you can trust yourself not to sell out.

We’re embarrassed talking about our self and our writing talents

This is another form of the poor self-worth problem. Assuming you’re not interrupting every conversation or badgering people talking about your writing skills what are you embarrassed about? Seriously – is there any good reason to feel shy about talking about the skills you have? I don’t think so.

Marketing is boring

There’s some truth to this often. Sending the same kind of query over and over again, tracking website statistics, keeping track of old and new clients and contacts is not as exciting as getting some good writing done. That’s why do I marketing in the afternoons which is not my best writing time. All of you can find a similar time for yourself – a time that doesn’t interrupt your writing but lets you get some marketing done. On the other hand, finding a new customer for your writing is exciting and it won’t happen without some marketing.

You don’t know how to market

There may be some truth to this. Fortunately marketing is a learnable skill. There’s a ton of information about how to market yourself and your writing on this site and on many others. Pick something and give it a try – more than once… maybe 10 times or over a week or two. You may discover something that both works and you’re willing to do. If not, rinse and repeat until you find the marketing you’ll do and works for you. Remember, none of us were born knowing how to market.

We’re sure we’re doing it wrong

Maybe you are doing it wrong and you’ll have to drop that particular effort or change it so it works. So what? See above. There is a way for you to market your writing and not hate the marketing; it’s up to you to find it.

Are your attitudes about marketing getting in your way? What can you do to change them?


Join my effortless, elegant, easy, without selling out, marketing for freelance writers list- at no cost to you.

Write well and often,





{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Hi Anne, It’s true that marketing is the surprise aspect of the job to writers. It’s such a necessary part however. The trick is finding out the ways that suit you and that are effective for you. Great post, thanks.
    Sarah Charmley recently posted..Freelance Interview – Meet Anne Wayman of About Freelance Writing.comMy Profile

    • Exactly… and there are so many ways to market there’s at least a couple that will suit anyone.

  • …”where” here? (re: ‘…shouldn’t market ourselves’)

    • Paul, I’m sure you have something in mind but I can’t figure it out… seems to be a typo your reporting but I need more info to correct it.

  • Hello, stranger! It’s good to see you are still going strong! If I thought learning and executing good marketing techniques was a bugger in 2009, boy are my eyes wide open today. The frustration of RE-building from scratch cannot be put into words. Thanks for a helpful guide to self-analysis of my own marketing qualms and concerns.
    Trina Lea Grant recently posted..Freelance Writers: Photo, Logo or Gravatar?My Profile

    • You’re welcome, Trina.

      • Anne – watch your your/you’re and where/we’re. For others that might be forgivable, but we’re writers. And, by the way, I often let phonetics rule the day as well. But I think we all need to be a bit more neurotic about what appears in hard copy.

        P.S. Great article. Thanks.

        • Paul, I do know the difference between your/you’re etc. And I’m not good at proofing my own work – is anyone? I decided years ago to live with the fact here – and fix it when it’s pointed out. Which is why I say ‘typos allowed here.’ Glad you liked the article.

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