Using Facebook to Market Your Freelance Writing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Freelance writing, as a career, is a roller coaster balanced on a slippery mountainside with a dash of happy sunshine days thrown into the mix. It is precarious and in constant change from one day to the next. If your PayPal account were charted, it would most definitely look like the carefully designed tracks of a really crazy roller coaster.
Have I drawn a pretty clear word picture of the freelance lifestyle? I’ve only been a freelance writer for three years, but I have learned enough to know that it is seldom as comfortable as a nice solid monthly paycheck that never changes unless you earn a raise.
Gaining readers is the one true goal for a freelance writer. Yes, I get paid by my clients for every blog post or new article I send them. But bringing new readers to their websites or online magazines is the ultimate victory. Providing them with new readers, also known as customers, will make them happy. Happy they hired me to write for them and hopefully, happy to pay me a bit more each year.
I think that I can safely say that almost everyone is on Facebook in one way or another. At least it is truthful to say that our target audiences are usually using social media in their daily life. So it makes sense to use Facebook to market your freelance writing.
This is where Facebook as a marketing tool can become a triple threat, as in, the good, the bad and the really ugly.
Facebook is the first place I share my fresh freelance articles and blog posts. Most online sites have already installed the easy to share widgets and it places your article in numerous social media newsfeeds at the click of a button. Your readers do not need to hunt you down or even bookmark you.
A tidy little graphic appears and a short blurb of your writing to entice them to click, and you have a reader! And if the reader stays a while on the client’s business or community page it helps them, helps you and a potential customer is created.
My most faithful readers come to my websites through the Facebook links. The Facebook connection makes it easy for my readers to send an interesting article to a friend of theirs and so and so on. The simplicity is key.
Facebook is primarily a social media, with an emphasis on the word “social”. The majority of viewers click onto their Facebook page in order to catch up with friends, watch funny videos uploaded by friends and to post their family photos and events.
For purely social viewers, the addition of announcements about our latest published article can be a nuisance and something to be scrolled past quickly. They may feel that we are posting commercials about ourselves. As a freelance writer I need to be careful of over sharing in this aspect. I want everyone to come read my writing and leave a comment here and there, but I run the risk of losing followers for myself and for my client if I persist in clogging up the newsfeeds of my friends.
When I first began writing freelance, I joined a few content-mill-type websites. I did not know any better. These so called “writing sites” pay the writers according to how many clicks, page-lingers and shares the post receives. This may sound fine, but it requires badgering your friends to come by the blog post and to share it as much as possible. I of course, used my Facebook connections to let people know that I needed their help. My friends still tell me it did not bother them, but it made me feel kind of dirty inside. I would desperately beg people to help me make a few pennies by clicking on my links. As it turned out, it was literally pennies per click and I stopped selling my soul in this way.
Facebook is a wonderful place, full of variety and inspiration. I believe that a freelance writer can learn to use it wisely and still enjoy it as a social media where we meet people from all over the world at the tip of our fingers! Treating it with care will keep Facebook a healthy gathering place that keeps us freelancers free! As free as being on a slippery slope, roller coaster anyway.