Is your writing business in a slump?
Slow times happen to every business, including all writing businesses. Whether you’re a freelancer, a blogger, or a self-publishing author, slumps happen. Avoid panic—you can recover.
To conquer a slump, focus on your daily activities, as well as on planning. Before you know it, your business will be growing again.
Why daily activities? Because when our business is busy, we get tunnel vision. We’re completely focused on meeting our deadlines. We ignore the habits which led to success.
Get back to basics.
Is your writing business in a slump? Focus on daily activities
Slumps are predictable, because:
- All business is cyclical: no business stays the same. You need to diversify, and be alert to opportunities.
- You need to market and write daily so that you have options.
- Remember the 90-day rule—it’s not just for marketing.
If your writing business is in a slump, think about what you did three months ago. You need to be aware of business cycles, but nothing impacts your business as much as your daily writing and daily marketing… And you’ll see the full effects of these activities in 90 days.
Let’s look at three powerful and practical ways to conquer a slump.
1. You’re in charge: plan, then execute your plans
Planning is always essential.
Try this: estimate where you’d like your business to be in three months. How many bookings? Clients? Sales? Create a couple of goals.
Try the WOOP process for goal setting.
Work backward from your goals. Make lists of weekly and daily tasks, including writing tasks.
2. Daily writing: it’s the foundation of any writing business
No matter what type of writing business you have, you need process goals. These are goals over which you have total control.
A goal like: “Make $100,000 this year from my writing” isn’t a process goal, because others are involved in how much you’re paid, and when you’re paid.
On the other hand, a goal like: “Write 1,000 words of fiction every weekday” is a process goal. You control how much you write each day.
Whenever one of my writing students complains about a slump, I ask: what did you write today?
What you write doesn’t matter as much as daily writing, so write. Schedule writing time into your calendar. Next, schedule marketing time.
3. Daily marketing activities: marketing is more than promotions
When you think of marketing activities, what comes to mind? Do you think of advertising and promotions?
Marketing goes WAY beyond promotions—they’re just a small part of marketing.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “4 Ps” of marketing? It’s time to apply them to your business.
In brief, the 4Ps of marketing are:
- Promotion; and
Start with the products your writing business offers: think of your writing services as a series of products. You can create products from any service you offer.
Let’s say you’re a blogger. You decide to offer a “boost your blog” product, which comprises: six blog posts, plus ten social media postings. Price the product, then promote it. Next, create additional products.
When you “productify” your services, you offer solutions to common problems your clients face. Moreover, your clients can buy these services immediately. Investigate options like Shopify to start developing products from your services.
After you’ve created a few products, you can develop the other 3 Ps:
- Price: create products at different price points;
- Promotion: create promotions. Use advertising, social media, etc;
- Place: extend your marketing reach. If you’re self-publishing, make your books available in additional venues. For example: use D2D as well as Amazon, and sell your books from your own website.
If you’ve been focusing purely on promotions when you’re marketing, you’re crippling yourself. Brainstorm products and prices. As one of my mentors used to say: everything is marketing.
Your writing business will succeed, despite slumps
You may wish you could avoid slumps and other downturns, but slumps have advantages. They encourage you to look at your business in new ways, and try new things.
Onward. Conquer your slump, starting today. Have fun, and good luck. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.