Hello, friend. This month I’m departing a bit from my usual format here on the Web Writing Advice blog. First, I want to check-in. I hope you’ve found a way to manage the rollercoaster of emotions and avalanche of news each day. I’m leaning into the many grounding tools learned from my mental health therapist and my spiritual practices. Some moments are more difficult than others. Each day I’m finding gratitude in my circle of supportive friends, ability to maintain my career, comfortable home and current good health.
Second, as a former print media journalist, I’m torn between distancing myself from the chaos to help maintain my own sanity and diving into every ounce of COVID-19 coverage I can lay my eyes on to learn more, more, more. I enjoy hearing the questions asked, and more so thinking what I would ask if I were at the news conferences. The newsie mind never quiets.
It’s a weird time to be a writer. There are many topics I could address from my researcher, writer, publisher perspective, but today I’m going to focus on my fellow writers. Each day I’m hearing news of layoffs, marketing budget cuts, campaigns being paused and clients halting their content production.
Life is hard for so many right now.
An avid reader of the blog reached out this week to see if I had any tips for moving forward after having his income stripped to zero over the span of two weeks. First, his day job was furloughed, then his freelance writing client ended the contract. Unfortunately, I know he’s not alone in this, and many more colleagues will face similar challenges in the weeks ahead.
So, here’s what I’m thinking and doing to keep my writing opportunities flowing, and ultimately paying the bills. Please adapt and share these ideas with our fellow wordy friends who might benefit.
We’re in this together.
Update your writer’s website.
Get extremely clear on the services you offer and your writing niches. Don’t let potential partnerships linger because they can’t figure out what you do. (I need to make a few updates to this site this week too.) Clarity wins partnerships. Then, make it easy to contact you. Share your email, phone number, social handles and a contact page for visitors to reach you.
Rekindle previous client connections.
Reach out to past clients and ask if they need assistance with current marketing projects. But first, see what sort of messaging they are creating today. Is it COVID-19 focused? Is it evergreen? I’ve had clients this past month opt for both approaches. Then, pitch them inline with their current strategy. Be aware of their present day challenges and content plan. It may be very different than what you worked on in the past.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela
Connect with writing colleagues.
We all need more connection during this time, even if it is via Zoom, What’s App and FaceTime. Value your friendships and help one another through this global crisis. Some may have work they can’t complete due to their new living situation, home school duties, illness or family priorities. They might happily introduce you to their contacts and pass off a project or two to make more time for themselves, and help you out.
Promote your services on social media.
To be empathetic to the current global crisis, update your usual promotional language on social media to align with current needs. For example, share your experience with crisis management communications, health research/writing, interview skills or ability to turn around short deadlines in this age of multiple daily news conferences. Be what a publisher needs!
Pitch your favorite publications.
If you have extra time, dig into the contributor guidelines on websites you’d like to write for. Study their current posts and reach out to see what topics and content they are producing at the moment. It may vary from their usual, but being knowledgeable of their brand tone and target audience is still critical during a first meeting. Can you offer a unique story or perspective related to the global crisis that will speak to their consumers? Pitch it!
Clean up your online portfolios.
Add new content that’s published in the last year. Then, consider removing anything that no longer represents the type of work you want to do moving forward. Your portfolio is often the first impression a potential client has of you. Make it relevant to the type of writer you are currently, not when you initially set up the portfolio.
This economic downswing won’t last forever. When we help rebuild the businesses we love to write for, and move forward, marketing professionals will be more in demand than ever to reconnect with audiences who are also in transition. Until then, do what you do best. Develop ideas. Create content. Connect often. And, keep offering your talent to this world.
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