If you’re a writer who can write short, snappy, but chock-full-of-information articles, then the Web is your perfect home. For anatomical reasons, web surfers cannot read long articles with text-rich paragraphs – but they’re after information, and if you can provide it, then you’re a winner.
But how do you let the world know that you can write well? And how can the world know that you are willing to offer your services as an article writer?
The key is to successfully market yourself by marketing your articles. But if you can’t send out dozens of emails to prospective clients, or spend hours designing a website, what can you do to get people to hire you?
The key is to write one, and only one ground-breaking article, and to include a resource box.
A resource box contains information about you, and it will usually be at the end of your article. But to make your Web visitors curious, you have to make a resource box so brief and loaded with information, they’ll want to hire you after they read the first five words of it.
So what should be in your resource box?
• Give your name – not your full name that stretches all the way out of your birth certificate, but the name you would like to be placed on checks, and how you would like request letters to be addressed. Oftentimes, online writers rely so much on their email addresses and contact details that they forget to put their names down.
• Give your website address, if you have a website. Direct your prospective clients to formal samples of your writing – not to your informal blog where you have details of what happened during your day, all in “Net-Speak.”
• Make your pitch – a one to three sentence proposal that shows readers what makes you and your writing unique. Some marketing experts refer to this as your unique selling proposition, or your USP, the promise of fulfilling an unmet need. Others call it the “Elevator Pitch,” or what you would tell a prospective client if you were caught for a few seconds together on the elevator.
The key to making a pitch is brevity: say in a few words all that makes you special.
• Make a call to action by inviting people to visit your website and take you on as a writer. This can be done in a simple sentence that will tell prospective clients that you are the person for the job, and that if they do not take you on, they will regret their choices for the rest of their lives (of course, in not too many words).
• Lastly, give your contact information. Give only your professional email addresses, not your “cute” e-mail addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This does not reflect well on your credibility as a writer, and it will make you appear juvenile, no matter how “cute” your e-mail address is. Stick to email@example.com (Yahoo and Google Mail are acceptable providers). If you do not have such an address, get one.
“Your Name” email addresses are not only more professional-looking, they are easier for your busy clients to remember.
If you follow your writing rules when making your resource box – that is, if you keep it short and to-the-point, you’ll be sure to get a lot of clients clamoring for your services in no time. All you have to do is advertise well and frequently, and make your writing shine.
Jay Franklin is an innovator and strategist with over 20 years of experience in consumer insight driven product development and marketing strategy. He applies creativity to business issues and finds opportunities related to products, services, and customer experiences. His innovations have been patented twice.
Jay has spoken on innovation at major business schools, including Booth (Chicago), Wharton (Pennsylvania), and Ross (Michigan), and on sustainability in business at conferences in the US and Brazil.
What colleagues have said about Jay:
"Jay was the intellectual driving force behind much of the company's marketing success..."
"...one of the most creative, forward-thinking people..."
"Jay is a rare thing: an extraordinarily bright marketer whose innovation work is based on extremely thorough and sophisticated analyses, but yield outcomes that feel intuitive...He's got a curious mind, directs his curiosity at the heart of an issue, and knows how to engage other people in his quest."