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5 Ways To Sell Your Writing Without Selling Out

sell your writingFreelance writers often worry that if they market their writing and themselves they may be selling out.

When I hear this, I’m always quick to ask what they actually mean by selling out and I get answers like this:

  • When I pitch my writing I feel like I’m compromising.
  • My samples should be enough – why do I have to do more?
  • I’m afraid a website offering my writing skills will look like I’m bragging.
  • I’m actually embarrassed to ask for money.
  • I’m afraid my writing is good enough.

Each of these statements and many more like them actually say more about the person saying them than they are about the act or art of selling. What’s being said boils down to “I’m afraid I’m not good enough; I’m afraid my writing is not good enough and I don’t want to risk making a fool of myself.”

In other words, in almost every case like this the person protesting about having to sell their writing is really doubting themselves. It’s really hard to sell yourself and your writing if you don’t value yourself and your writing.

I can hear some of you protesting, saying “but I don’t like being sold to – I watch advertisements on TV or read them on the web and I think they are sleazy. Is it any wonder I don’t want to sell my writing and my writing abilities?”

I’ll grant you that some selling, maybe even lots of selling, is done in a sleazy manner. Believe me, I do not want you to adopt selling in any way that truly compromises your integrity.

Selling service is not selling out

Quit thinking about yourself so much!

The people you market to aren’t going to hire you if they don’t think you can do a job they want done. The fact that you can write is just that. You have a talent that many other people don’t or don’t like to do themselves and they want to find someone to do it for them.

In other words you’re in the service business. You’re filling a need.

You’re not trying to convince someone they need to hire a writer the way some selling price to convince you that you need to buy more stuff.

Not selling is hiding

In fact I’ll go so far as to say that if you’re a decent writer who likes or loves to write and who wants to earn money writing, refusing to sell means you are hiding your talents. You’re denying the gifts you’ve been given.

Think that through because I don’t believe that your intention. Instead you’ve got snarled up, which happens to all of us.

5 Ways To Sell Your Writing Without Selling Out

Here are five ways you can approach prospect of selling your services be sure you won’t be selling out.

  1. Keep an attitude of service always been in mind. When you come from asking how you can be of service as opposed to what you can get, you can be pretty sure you’re not selling out.
  2. Don’t compromise yourself when you’re offering your writing. You may want to compromise how much you charge or how you approach the job in question. When you do this consciously, making the best decision you can for you and your client, you’re not selling out.
  3. If you’re embarrassed to ask for money, consider the alternative – that is writing for free. I know, that doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for most of us. You may need to examine your attitudes about money. Expecting to be paid for the work you do is not selling out as long as you’re setting your prices from a position of service read and greed.
  4. Answering a client’s legitimate questions about how you can meet their expectations is not selling out. After all, people can’t read your mind.
  5. If you’re really concerned that your writing isn’t good enough, get a reality check. Ask someone you trust, or find another professional writer who can give you a real assessment. Recognizing that any piece of writing can be improved does not mean your writing isn’t good enough. Owning your writing talents and letting people know about them is not selling out.

How do you make sure you’re not selling out when your marketing?


Get early notice about marketing info and class by joining my effortless, elegant, easy, without selling out, marketing for freelance writers list at no cost to you.

Write well and often,





{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Sue Chehrenegar

    You have said that answering a client’s questions is not selling out. What sort of questions should a writer feel comfortable about posing to a client?

    • Yes, you’re interviewing the potential client. Look for a post about this shortly.

  • Great post Anne! If I am honest to the client and finish the work within the given deadline and with the given standards, I don’t feel like I am selling out. Having said that, sometimes it does feel awkward talking about money with writing clients. I guess with time and experience price negotiation gets better.
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