I am launching a new feature on my blog called “Help a Content Marketing Writer” in which I will profile a freelance writer wanting to either break into content marketing writing or expand their content marketing writing business. After talking with the writer, I will offer suggestions both over the phone and in a post on the blog to help the writer identify their niche, find new potential clients, and increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. I also hope that by reading about other writers, you will be able to get new marketing ideas and brainstorm new niches for yourself. If you are interested in being a featured writer in the future, please send me an email.
Since I want this blog to grow into a community where we help one another, I am going to put every person (and the featured writer) who provides a suggestion in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of the month. If you provide suggestions to multiple feature writers, then you will be entered multiple times in the drawing. I’m not asking you to open up your black book of editors, but just provide general market ideas for the writer to explore. The good thing about content marketing writing as opposed to consumer magazines is that there is more than enough work to go around for all writers.
Now let’s meet Chrystle…
Chrystle has been freelancing for many years and has an impressive list of publications she has written for including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, and Prevention. Having written several books and many articles for consumer publications on natural health, she already has a clear niche that works well for content marketing. Take a look at Chrystle’s website here. She also has a separate website dedicated to her books and natural health platform.
In our initial emails, Chrystle told me that she has been rebuilding her business after dealing with a chronic illness and needs to quickly increase her income. She downplayed her content marketing writing experience and offhandedly mentioned that she had written for Costco Connection and TMG. However, when I visited her website, I saw numerous examples of content marketing deliverables in her portfolio, including CVS, Lowes Foods, and Garden of Life.
My Suggestions to Chrystle
After several emails and a phone conversation, I am positive that Chrystle can be a very successful content marketing writer. She is an experienced journalist with a marketable niche. Plus, she is very persistent and determined.
Here are three suggestions I gave Chrystle:
1. Position yourself as an experienced content marketing writer.
My main suggestion to Chrystle is to change her mindset from thinking that she is ‘breaking into’ content marketing to thinking that she is already an experienced content marketing writer. Like most experienced freelancer writers, Chrystle has been creating content marketing for years, but didn’t know it. But in her LOI, she presents herself as freelance writer looking to get into content marketing writing not as an experienced content marketing writer.
I advised her to rewrite her LOI to position herself as a content marketing writer and to add in a sentence that says, “I have created content marketing materials for a number of national brands, including CVS, Lowes Foods, and Garden of Life.” Since I have consistently heard from brands and agencies that they are looking for a writer with experience in their industry, I advised Chrystle to put links to relevant clips in her LOI. I also recommended changing her tagline of “Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, and Author” on her website and LinkedIn profile to read “Freelance Content Marketing Writer, Journalist, and Author.” Since her email signature currently only references her book writing experience, she should also update it to include content marketing as well. She may want to consider having multiple signatures and choose the most appropriate one for the correspondence.
2. Think outside the box for new markets.
During our conversation, Chrystle asked about new markets and clients for the natural health niche. I advised her to think about brands and businesses that market to people who are interested in natural health and natural remedies. Another market is companies that have a vested interest in people staying healthy.
Here are some target markets that Chrystle should look into:
- Grocery stores, especially those focused on health food. Many have custom publications, newsletters, and content in the store.
- Stores that sell natural supplements, such as GNC and drug stores.
- Brands manufacturing supplements, such as Nordic Naturals.
- Gyms, wellness centers, and YMCAs that want to distribute healthy living information to people who work out regularly.
- Brands focused organic, vegan/vegetarian, and gluten free foods, since many people who follow these diets/lifestyles are interested in healthy living and would be a good target audience for natural health information.
- Insurance companies that want to reduce health care costs and encourage their clients to stay healthy. Many have custom publications.
- Internal communications departments at large companies, because many companies send out newsletters and magazines to their employees. Since healthy employees means decreased healthcare costs and increased productivity, companies would be interested in natural health articles for their employees.
- Holistic health service providers such as naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists could benefit from a natural health blog to drive traffic to their respective websites.
- Content marketing agencies representing brands in her niche.
3. Follow up on LOIs
Several times during the conversation, I would mention a potential type of market and Chrystle would say that she had sent an LOI to a brand in that industry, but never heard back. She told me that she knew that she needed to follow up, but rarely actually followed through. I encouraged her to put a reminder to send a follow-up email on her calendar for 2-3 weeks after she sends an LOI.
What suggestions do you have to help Chrystle quickly build her business? Any new target markets? Or new marketing strategies? I will put everyone who comments with a suggestion in a drawing for an Amazon gift card at the end of the month.