Every weekday afternoon at 2:00 am Central Time, I host my own web radio show called Book Bites for Kids on blogtalkradio.com. Each part of the program includes 30-minute interviews with authors and/or illustrators of children’s books.
If you’re a freelance writer yourself, there are many benefits to hosting your own show this way. Probably the biggest advantage is that you can meet and interact with so many interesting people, which sometimes brings exciting publishing opportunities. I enjoy talking to other writers every working day. I learned something new about writing and publishing from every guy I interviewed.
You might consider starting your own web radio show. If you do, here are some things I’ve learned so far that can help you get started:
1.) Do your homework. Before each show, learn as much as you can about the guests you’ve arranged for that section. If the guest is the author, read his/her recent book (if possible). Ask authors who want to be guests of their latest book, ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), several weeks before their scheduled run so you have the chance to receive and read their book. Also find out if the author has a website. If he/she does, plan to visit the website for the show so you can become more familiar with the author and his/her work.
2.) Send a list of interview questions to the author (or other people you will be interviewing) the day before the performance. This gives the interviewee time to review the question and formulate an answer. Some moderators ask the guest to submit questions they want to ask during the interview. But I find that often the person I plan to interview has never been interviewed before and doesn’t really understand what kind of questions the audience wants to answer. In addition, you don’t want to have “dead” airtime during the show, so you want to make sure that you and your guests have a lot to say.
3.) Be sure to send your guests a reminder email on the day of the performance. In addition, make sure your guests know when your show starts. You might be surprised to find that when the show starts in the central time, but they live in the Pacific or Eastern time zone, guests often confuse the show time. Help the guest determine when to call for the show based on where they live to make sure you don’t start the show without a guest (I ran into this situation and it’s not fun).
Starting and hosting your own web radio show is both fun and beneficial for you as you will broaden your network of writers and publishers, become more familiar with the books on the current market and create a large audience that will recognize your name and Will. look for your book (and your guest author’s book) in the bookstore.
Need Clients for Your Freelance Writing Business?
If you want your writing business to turn from a sporadic hobby to a full-time career (with full-time benefits and income), you need to understand the writing business. Nothing is more important to the success of your business than knowing how to acquire customers. Now is a good time to become a writer, but only if you know where to find clients and how to get them. If you’re looking to transform your writing life from part-time to professional, here are six proven ways to acquire clients.
Getting clients is a big mystery in the writer’s life. This is a mystery, because writers who can do this rarely talk about it.
And there are many myths about it.
Here are six ways to acquire customers that you may not have thought of before. These techniques are suitable for attracting new customers, winning back old customers and stimulating more business from regular customers.
Build your network first. Internet is one of the things that many people talk about, but few who really master it. For professional writers, your network is made up of individuals (not a company, industry, department, or publication) who may hire you. You have to pay close attention to these people. This means vacation cards, the occasional emails or phone calls, and reminders about your business. I want to say that 60% of my business today comes from someone who knows me (someone in my network). This is your richest business district… mine!
Besides, people hire writers. Suppose a person from Company A worked with you for a time when he quit his job to take a new job at Company B. Guess? Compared to Company A, you are now more likely to land your next writing job at Company B, but if you play well, you can stay in Company A. People are loyal to people, loyalty to companies is just a coincidence.
Second, talk about your work. Don’t be an annoying dude, but make sure people know what you’re doing. People know people, believe it or not, people actually grope for writers. Don’t talk about it, but make sure your friends, neighbors, guests, acquaintances and postman know what you’re doing. I once got a year-long show from my mom’s contact at the bowling alley! (She told a bowler on another team how I make a living – a few days later I got a call from another lady’s daughter. She was looking for a very special kind of writer!)
Third, don’t ignore sites like e-lance and other places where freelancers can bid for jobs. This is indeed a trade show on these sites and you’ll see some crazy offers (for example, “It only costs $12 to write 100 articles, and you should be able to complete the homework in three hours”), but there are some highly respected companies these sites. Be picky, but please check. I use these sites to fill what I call “stagnation time”, the periods of the year when my business slows down. I’ve never made money on these sites, but you can’t bid on every job there. Some of these jobs are not worth having!
Fourth, develop your own website and promote your own services. Most websites created by creatives are real online portfolios; this is interesting, but i don’t think it will do much work. Instead, use your website to discuss your ideas about writing, your field, and the like. Once the customer calls, you can always talk about samples. A year ago I wouldn’t call this a strategy because even though I had a website, it didn’t pay off. Now that I have found a very powerful new customer, he found me with the power of the website.
(In most cases, a website is a good thing to help you confirm to a new customer that he or she made the right choice. People will check your website, but this way they won’t find writers. I think these change situation.)
Fifth, try direct mail. You must be very smart. The letter you write should be persuasive and persuasive and should be sent to real people (by name) via first class mail. The less it resembles direct mail (also known as spam), the more likely it is to get through. Give it a real stamp. Send it to a real person, even with hands. In this letter, you should describe your business and what you can do.
You need to determine the reach of the target customers. Find some companies that may need your services, call to find out who is hiring a freelance writer, then send a letter directly to that person. Call in a few days. This is a daunting plan because you have to stick to it, but it works, especially if you’re diligent, target the right people, and have a compelling sales letter. This is the best way to acquire new customers; in my experience
City newspaper. Look closely to see what’s missing, write down a few examples, then recommend it directly to the appropriate editor via email or letter. This is how I got my first major writing job (I’m a specialty writer for Variety), and on the second attempt I got a job writing a column, about to enter its fifth year. This works. Two drawbacks: it usually doesn’t pay off well and you have to be very careful and make sure your product meets the needs of newspapers.
If you find the right publication, you may land a job as a film critic, gardener, or travel writer. However, you must be a matchmaker. Unless it looks very suitable for newspapers, don’t make suggestions.
You may be excited about the last thought, but please think about it. Who needs a low paying writing job? Well, maybe you do. Frequently appearing in major publications can increase your credibility as a writer. You can usually use these writing credits for more profitable (but less obvious) writing jobs in similar industries. Newspapers help fill out your clip files, and sometimes you can resell articles or do a lot of research to generate similar stories for higher-income magazines or websites.
Writing is a good life, but a lot of it is work, and work is work. Acquiring clients is not an easy task for any professional. Writers have to chat a lot, surf the internet, email directly and seek opportunities like everyone else.
To my surprise, some of these things are very effective. You often hear the other side of the story when you connect with a great long-term customer. Many companies dream of finding a reliable, high-quality writer. Now some companies and customers want to know how to write their brochures, articles, press releases and websites.
Your job is not to “sell” your services to them. Your job is really just to make sure they know you’re there and ready to take the job.