How to Balance Marketing and Sales

If you’re running a freelance business you already know you need both marketing and sales. Even if you’re not stoked on it, you’ve accepted it as part of your life.

How to Balance Marketing and Sales

And if you’re thinking about starting a freelance writing business then this is your official notice that you will need to employ marketing and sales tactics if you’d like run a successful business.

Doesn’t have to be icky, doesn’t have to be high pressure, but it DOES have to exist.

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How to balance marketing and sales

These days there are super helpful apps and cloud-based services that can make creating marketing and sales funnels super easy. Here are a few ideas to get the gears turning.

Automated systems

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Hubspot are super helpful when setting up systems in your business. You can use CRMs for a variety of functions like onboarding, offboarding, and even keep-in-touch strategies.

CRMs allow you to set up consistent communications and invoicing processes so you can optimize and scale your business.

And please don’t worry about becoming a robot! You honestly can integrate automated systems into your marketing and sales flow and it can be a great enhancement to your workflow. Consider only automating repeatable tasks that you don’t need to add a personal touch to until you feel more comfortable with letting go of control.

CRMs are the best tools for sales and marketing automation, allowing you to track your leads, maintain warm relationships, and close sales like a boss.

When you get to the place of accepting marketing as part of your life, and incorporate tools that can automate and make your life easier, you’ll see your conversion rate increase and reduce inefficiencies. You’ll also have more time to focus on actual writing.

If you're running a freelance business you already know you need both marketing and sales. Even if you're not stoked on it, you've accepted it as part of your life.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How to Keep Writing When Things are Hard and Feeling Rough

One of the first things you learn as a freelancer is you have to keep writing even when you don’t feel like it. Even when the words aren’t flowing. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

How to Keep Writing When Things are Hard and Feeling Rough

I don’t know about you but after the panic and stress of adjusting to a new normal and a world changed forever, I haven’t felt like writing as much.

And yet, there’s still a job to do.

Finding and maintaining focus has been something of a challenge (understatement) and I’ve had to resort to some pretty strict self-care routines to stay balanced. Well, as balanced as possible.

Extra Credit: 10 Tips to Help You Get in the Zone to Write

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How to keep writing when things are hard

We’ve all endured and will continue enduring loss and other hard things. We just will. So how can we find a way to get words on paper, even when it’s the last thing we want to do?

Here are a few tips I have found helpful for getting unstuck. Maybe the words won’t come like the used to. Perhaps they’ll take a long time to happen. But they will come.

Pomodoros

If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique then please open your mind to trying something new.

If you have used it before, then you know how much you can accomplish in just 25 minutes.

All you have to do is commit to focus on your writing for 25 minutes. Set a timer and get typing. Or handwriting. Or whatever. Even if you write “I don’t know what to write,” over and over for a bit. I dare you to do that and not get the juices flowing. The action of starting and the discipline of continuing will serve you well.

Stop when the timer beeps

This is really hard for me! Pomodoros are awesome for getting going and when the 25 minutes are up often I don’t want to stop.

But do stop.

When the timer goes off, stop where you are, even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. Stop what you’re doing, get up and take a five-minute break. After five minutes sit down and pick up where you left off.

It’s like a self-made writing prompt.

I know it sounds like you’ll lose your momentum and get off track but after your mind learns the ways of the Poms you’ll find yourself even more invigorated to keep going after you have your short break.

At least try it, OK?

Get outside

Telling writers to get up and go outside isn’t new, and it’s not even the first time I’ve said “get outside!” But it bears repeating. Because it works!

If you’re spinning your wheels get up and go outside. Even 15 minutes will make a difference. Change your scenery, get some steps in and breathe in the fresh air. Chill out. Walk around, then return to your desk and get to work. You’ll see.

If you’re really stuck, set it aside and come back to it later

There’s a time for discipline and there’s a time to put it in your drawer and do something else for a while. If you’re forcing words and you’re getting nowhere, you may be better served to stop.

Sure, this could be construed as giving up but you’re not quitting. You’re just letting the thoughts roll around your subconscious while. A little while.

We’re looking for balance, remember. You’ll learn to tell what your poor, addled writing brain needs to get back into the swing of things.

I’d also recommend only using this tip if you can afford the time to step away for a while. If you’re on deadline…no dice. You’ve got to figure this out another way.

Extra credit: How to Create a Writing Schedule

We’re all doing our best here. And things are often hard. But if you’re going to make it in this freelance writing game then you’re going to have to find ways to keep writing even when everything sucks.

Figuring out these life hacks doesn’t fix everything but it will help you keep moving forward, and that’s worth something.

If you’ve found creative ways to keep writing I’d love to hear about it and learn from your experiences. Let me know!

One of the first things you learn as a freelancer is you have to keep writing even when you don't feel like it. Even when the words aren't flowing. It's not easy, but it's possible.

I don't know about you but after the panic and stress of adjusting to a new normal and a world changed forever, I haven't felt like writing as much.

And yet, there's still a job to do.

Finding and maintaining focus has been something of a challenge (understatement) and I've had to resort to some pretty strict self-care routines to stay balanced. Well, as balanced as possible.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

How Long Should My Book Be? How to Determine Novel Wordcounts

Have you ever asked how long should my book be?

How Long Should My Book Be Guide to Word Count

Did you know what a great question it is? GREAT question!

Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with wild abandon and with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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How long should my book be?

When you’re planning a book (even if you’re a pantser) it’s important to know a few things about your genre ahead of time—things like, well, what genre it is.

And what the theme is. And how many words it will be. Yeah. Even word count should be pre-planned.

And I know how weird that sounds if this is the first time you’re hearing it.

How to write an outline worksheet

Wondering how to structure an outline? It will help you plan your book!

I’ve created a PDF worksheet walking you through the broad strokes of creating an outline. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Write an Outline for Anything Worksheet.”

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What!? There’s a word count for novels!? Yup.

And it’s kind of one of those things you should abide by unless you’re crazy-famous and/or already a successful author (because obvs these guidelines don’t apply to you) or you don’t care about selling books.

Because word count matters. And the rules change for every genre.

So, your first task is to figure out what genre your book is in. After that, check the list below to find the answer to your question how long should my book be?

General guidelines: How long should my book be?

Fiction

  • Middle Grade—20,000 to 50,000 words
  • Young Adult—45,000 to 80,000 words
  • Novels—50,000 to 120,000 words
    • Paranormal Romance—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Romance—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Category Romance—55,000 to 75,000 words
    • Cozy Mysteries—65,000 to 90,000 words
    • Horror—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Western—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Light Paranormal Mysteries/Hobby Mysteries—75,000 to 90,000 words
    • Historical Mysteries/Noir—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Thrillers/Crime—90,000 to 100,000 words
    • Chick Lit—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Literary—65,000 to 100,000 words
    • Science Fiction—90,000 to 110,000 words
    • Romantic Science Fiction—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Space Opera—90,000 to 120,000 words
    • Contemporary Fantasy—90,000 to 100,000 words
    • Other Fantasy—90,000 to 120,000 words
You've decided to write a book worksheet

Do you want to write a book? Start here

I’ve created a PDF fillable worksheet walking you through four important steps to take BEFORE you start writing. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Non-Fiction

  • Devotional—30,000 to 50,000 words
  • Self-Help—40,000 to 90,000 words
  • Memoir—50,000 to 90,000 words
  • Narrative Non-Fiction—50,000 to 110,000 words
  • Biography—50,000 to 110,000 words
  • Prescriptive/How-To—50,000 to 150,000

Of course these guidelines are only just that—guidelines. And there are WAY more genres and sub-genres (e.g. new weird and slipstream…what now!?) so it’s best to do your own research.

But do pay attention and at least be aware of publisher AND reader expectations. Because you still have to list your word count in your query letter or book proposal!

Sources: The Swivet, Jerry Jenkins, Books & Such Literary Management

Create a Writing Schedule Worksheet

When you’re ready to write a book and you know the genre and how many words it will be, your next step is to create a writing schedule.

I’ve created a PDF worksheet to help you realistic schedule. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library navigate to the writing section and look for “Create a Writing Schedule Worksheet.”

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Other posts relating to publishing (although not answering the question how long should my book be but they’re still relevant!)

Have you ever asked how long should my book be? Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
Have you ever asked how long should my book be? Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with little thought to structure, plot or word count.
Have you ever asked <em>how long should my book be?</em> Did you know what a great question it is? GREAT question! Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with wild abandon and with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

5 Important Twitter Tips for Freelance Writers

I’m writing Twitter tips for writers. I know, I thought all the writers would have got the memo by now too.

twitter tips for writers

5 important Twitter tips for freelance writers

Just kidding. I know you’re not on Twitter because you’ve heard it’s dead and you don’t understand it and you don’t know what you’d do with 10,000 followers anyway (all real things writers have said to me, by the way).

And that’s OK.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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But I think you should be on Twitter because that’s where the writing people are.

Like, all of them.

  • Agents
  • Editors
  • Publishers
  • Publications
  • Authors
  • Freelance Writers
  • All the writing people

Because everyone’s there, and you are a writer, I’d like to take this opportunity to prompt you to reconsider being there. Or if you haven’t visited in a while, to log back in.

Pull up a chair and get ready to take some notes, because these are the five most important things to pay attention to on Twitter if you want to connect with any of the types of people listed above.

5 Important Twitter Tips for Freelance Writers

Twitter tips for writers

Use the @mention tool as much as possible

One of Twitter’s strengths is giving you direct access to people you don’t know, but want to.

And when you @mention someone (this means tagging the Twitter user in a tweet) it grabs their attention and helps them notice you in a not-creepy way.

Even though the landscape has changed over the years, Twitter is still all about connecting. When you compose tweets, you should be thinking about who you can mention in it.

For example

  • If you’re sharing a great article you read, @mention the person who wrote it and the publication that published it
  • If you’re tweeting about having a great writing session at the local coffee shop, @mention who you were with and where
  • Or if you’re at a writing conference or event @mention the speaker you’re watching and the conference you’re attending

By integrating @mentions into your tweeting strategy it helps keeps your content focused, relays valuable information to your followers, and helps you make connections.

Use hashtags; use the right hashtags

Because Twitter is all about connecting, people use hashtags to find and follow information or people. They’re so important on Twitter.

Maybe I’m preaching the the choir here, and you already understand hashtag best practices but I’ll mention it again just in case. Hashtags are meant to help people find you and connect with you. So using hashtags and using the right hashtags is pretty important.

If you’re wondering how to find hashtags, I have a little guide here and some hashtags for writers to get you started.

125 Writing Hashtags PDF Download

Want 125 writing-related hashtags? They’re my gift to you, free in my resource library. Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the “social media” section and look for “125 Writing Hashtags.”

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Using the examples above, here are a few hashtags you could try.

Remember, we’re using hashtags to connect with people so we’re not making up our own or trying to be clever. Those are throwaways.

  • If you’re sharing a great article you read and want other writers to check it out, try #bookrecommendations #amreading or #writingtip
  • If you’re tweeting about having a great writing session why not try #writerslife #writersgroup or #critiquegroup
  • Or if you’re at a writing conference or event make sure to use the event hashtag along with whatever the topic is about (e.g. #writingprompts or #writingcommunity etc.)

Use lists

As far as Twitter tips go, this is the one that’s made the most difference to my Twitter experience. Lists keep things streamlined, which—if you’ve followed me for any amount of time—you know I’m a big fan of.

Lists are curated groups of Twitter users, making it possible to spend less time on Twitter and yet take strategic connecting to the next level. Your lists can be public or private and I recommend a mix of both. Here are a few lists you can create, just to get the creative juices flowing.

  • Agents you want to connect with
  • Writers you admire
  • People you want to work for or collaborate with
  • Local people you want to keep track of
  • People you meet at writing events

Once you create these types of lists, you then start adding Twitter users to them. If your list is public the user is notified when you add them to the list.

If your list is private then no one knows about it and no one can see or follow your list.

I have a few lists of people I’d like to connect with or work with and I keep those private, but some of my lists are curated based on types of writing and I keep those public so others can benefit from them if they want to follow my lists.

Twitter tip within a Twitter tip: If you don’t know much about Twitter lists but want to try them, here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up a list.


Ready to create a strategy? I’ve got you covered: Get Noticed by Influencers on Twitter by using Lists


Complete and optimize your bio

Your Twitter bio HAS to be complete AND optimized. You can’t be vague or clever or witty here, not if you want to make strategic connections.

And the best way to make these connections is by ensuring your profile makes people want to connect with and follow you.

Here are five quick tips for optimizing your Twitter profile

  • Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
  • Make it easy for people to know who you are and what you do
  • Link to your website
  • Include keywords about your services
  • Be clear on your location/contact info

These are kind of basic tips but there are so many profiles out there missing one or more of these key elements.

Let’s back up for a second and remember why we’re doing Twitter tips in the first place: We’re freelance writers looking to make connections with writing industry people.

In order to make a good first impression and grab their attention, we want our Twitter profiles to be complete and optimized.


5 Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles Ebook

If you want these tips in more detail and download form I have a free printable for you in my resource library. Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password. Then, when you’re in the social media section download the “Social Media Optimization Ebook.”

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Understand Twitter best practices

As far as Twitter tips go, this is one of those “duh” ones. If you want to succeed on Twitter, you have to understand how to use it properly and abide by its best practices.

So while you want to create a strategy where you’re not on the platform 24/7, you also want to understand it enough to use it properly.

What does this mean? Well, here are a few things that come to mind.

  • It means you don’t just set up your tweets to send out and never engage with others
  • It means you don’t spam people with self-promotion, you send valuable and on-brand content to your followers
  • Also, it means you don’t stalk people! You follow them, you retweet them when appropriate, and you watch for opportunities to make genuine connections
  • It means you’re not just there for what you can get out the platform but you’re also there to be generous and add value
  • It means you join the conversation when you can, in real time.

Twitter, like all of social media, thrives on generosity

When you provide relevant information and entertainment and build genuine relationships you become a part of a vibrant community that you contribute to and also benefit from. By following best practices it ensures you aren’t seen as a spammer or someone just out for themselves. Also, it keeps you from getting kicked off Twitter. Which happens.

I hope these five Twitter tips help clarify a few things for what you should do on Twitter and why.

There’s lots more we can cover like what to tweet, how to make connections, and how to curate all this valuable content you’re supposed to share. If you want to go deeper on any of these topics get in touch. I do offer social media coaching and training, customized to your unique needs.

More Twitter tips

I'm writing Twitter tips for writers. I know you're not there because you heard it's dead. But that's where the writing people are. So consider it. OK?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create (like that social media printable I mentioned earlier). I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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I'm writing Twitter tips for writers. I know you're not there because you heard it's dead. But that's where the writing people are. So consider it. OK?
I'm writing Twitter tips for writers. I know you're not there because you've heard it's dead and you don't understand it and you don't know what you'd do with 10,000 followers anyway. And that's OK. But I think you should be on Twitter because that's where the writing people are.

How to Promote Your Writing on Social Media

When you’re a freelance writer it might seem a bit strange to promote your writing to others on social media but it’s an important step in marketing your work and showcasing your skills.

How to promote your writing on social media

How to promote your writing on social media

Your first thought might be that you can’t share your freelance writing either because it won’t make sense to your social media followers, you’re ghostwriting and it’s not exactly OK to take credit for ghostwriting or you’re under a confidentiality clause.

All very possible and very important reasons why you should not be sharing your stuff!

But that doesn’t get you off the hook. Maybe you can’t share your freelance work but you can promote your writing on social media.

By the way, optimizing your social media profiles is important! You want to ensure potential clients know who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

Download your free ebook from my resource library! All you have to do is pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the social media section and download the ebook called “Social Media Optimization.”

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Ready to promote your writing on social media? Here are a few ideas

Promote your writing idea 1. You can write a blog and share individual articles on social media as they publish.

1. You can write a blog and share individual articles on social media as they publish

Write and publish articles on your website or on a platform like Medium.

Whatever it is, you can share articles on LinkedIn, tweet links to them on Twitter, post about them on Facebook, talk about them on Instagram…you’re creating content, putting your work out there and engaging your followers all at the same time.

Blogs are brilliant.

Promote your writing idea 2.  What's your area of expertise? Create tips and tricks to help your followers improve in that area and post about them on social media.

2. What’s your area of expertise? Create tips and tricks to help your followers improve in that area and post about them on social media

Maybe you offer a tip per week on Instagram or perhaps it’s a Facebook Live video each month…whatever it is you’re showcasing your skills on social media and helping potential clients get to know, like and trust you.

Promote your writing idea 3. Have you written a book? Then why not talk about that on social media.

3. Have you written a book? Then why not talk about that on social media

Develop a content calendar and rotate through different ways to talk about your book—talk about who it’s for, what the benefit is to the reader, publish excerpts, put it on sale, etc.

Promote your writing idea 4. Post about what you learn.

4. Post about what you learn

Maybe you can’t post about the exact freelance work you’re doing but maybe you can post about ways you’ve learned to make it easier, more efficient, etc.

Have you learned about a new place to get great gigs? Why not share about that?

How about a new hack to get your brainstorms down in a quarter of the time? I’m sure people would love learning about that!

When you share about things you learn you become a resource for your followers—someone they want to hear more from.

Idea 5. If you can post your freelance work—do it! Share them all over social media.

5. If you can post your freelance work—do it! Share them all over social media

When you share your latest article or post try and talk about it in a way that is interesting rather than “Here’s an article I wrote, check it out!” While that works every now and then if you become someone who drops links and just expects your followers to read it because you wrote it.

Try and engage them by describing what’s in it for them if they take the time to click the link.

Extra credit: Build your freelance business with these five easy social media tweaks

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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For more ideas about promoting your writing check out these articles

When you're a freelance writer it might seem strange to promote your writing to others on social media but it's an important step in marketing yourself.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
When you're a freelance writer it might seem strange to promote your writing to others on social media but it's an important step in marketing yourself.
When you're a freelance writer it might seem a bit strange to promote your writing to others on social media but it's an important step in marketing your work and showcasing your skills.