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Six Weeks to Sustained Self-Promotion

By Pamela White

Writers write.

Want more money? Then memorize this phrase: "Writers promote."

Think you don't have time to organize a marketing plan for

yourself, your books, your website? Try this six-week plan to a sustained program of self-promotion and you, too, will find new friends who will help you, editors who approach you, and readers who will follow you throughout your writing career.

Week One: Focus on online message boards and lists. Yahoo, MSN,

Topica and Smartgroups all have online discussion lists that you can

search by topic. Sign up, read past messages, then decide whether

you'll stay with the list or move on. Some lists have nothing but

spam messages; others are packed with information. Register with

message boards that focus on writing. Do the same with these as you

did the lists. Choose at least five to participate in. Choose two

days a week, at a minimum, on which you will send messages to the

lists. Be aware than many of the same writers will be on more than

one list so don't just write a canned message and send it to

all. Show that you've read previous messages - answer a question, ask

a question, share a valuable link. Once in a while you can mention a

favorable review or a "Hurray, I got the assignment" message.

Week Two: Keep up your week one efforts. Study local newspapers,

both daily and weekly. Investigate any magazines published for local

readers. Keep a running list of local media contacts. Some of the

things you should note: who is writing about food, what type of

stories are turned into juicy features, what kinds of announcements

run in the business section, how many food articles are syndicated

from another source? This list of media contacts will save you time

when you have an article you want to write or you are seeking an

article to be written about you, your business or your book.

Week Three: Weeks one and two plus a trip to an office supply store.

Buy some great paper - matte, two-sided coated paper, color or

white. Write a brochure for yourself. Don't feel it's

appropriate for what you are writing about? Then design a business card and print it up. Or ask a graphic designer to create a unique look for

your business card. I was at a business fair, manning the table for

my employer at the time (a college), and I realized that I could

have networked my own writing business if I'd only had a business

card to hand over to the advertising and web design businesses. Get

some business cards.

Week Four: This is the week when you take your writing business on

the road. Go to the local Chamber of Commerce's Business After

Hours event. Chat with people, and hand over a brochure or business

card when you meet someone who can hire you, or who can connect you

with a publisher or editor. Keep posting on those message boards and

lists; have fun with them.

Week Five: Write a press release about your recent success. Did you

publish an article, finish a workshop, win an award, or open for

business? Write your press release in third person as if you are

writing an article. Send it to someone - your discussion list

buddies for a critique, a local weekly that runs news releases

unedited to fill in the news holes, post it on your website

(don't have a website - that's what you can do on week seven).

Week Six: Two tasks this week: This is the week you make contact

with three new editors. Call the local food editor or features

editor and take him or her out to lunch. Email a magazine editor

with an article pitch. Contact an online newsletter editor and see

if you can trade ad space for an article you'd love to write for

him. Your second task is to subscribe to online newsletters for

writers - www.writesuccess.com, and www.fundsforwriters.com are only

two that consistently provide essential information for writers.

Throughout these weeks, you should also be writing, researching

markets for publication, and submitting your work. Keep up with the

list discussions. A great one for information and markets is

workforwriters@yahoogroups.com.

Keep up the good work - network with writers online and potential

clients and editors in person to sell yourself and your writing.

****************************

About The Author
Pamela White is publisher of Food Writing, an online ezine for writers and food lovers. Visit her at www.food-writing.com.Her popular 6-week class is now a self-study ebook "Make Money as a Food Writer." She also teaches a new, expanded 8-week online food writing class.



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