Free SWOT Analysis Worksheet for Freelance Writers

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on May 3, 2010 in Marketing, Writers' Resources
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Let's kick off this week full of freebies and announcements with a SWOT analysis worksheet. Add this to your marketing arsenal as a way to figure out your current place within your market.

The first page of the .pdf includes a brief background on what a SWOT analysis is (lets you map out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and it includes a sample filled out for a hypothetical freelance writer. The second page is a blank worksheet you can print and fill out in your own marketing planning process for your freelance writing services.

If you'd like to share this free tool with other freelance writers, please remember to link to this page or our list of resources for writers. Do not hotlink our download files directly. Thanks!

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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15 Comments

  1. Jessie Haynes May 3, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for another great freebie, Jenn. I love the SWOT method: very helpful in nailing down what your marketing time needs to accomplish.

  2. Nita Teoh May 4, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for another great resource Jenn. The SWOT analysis is a good tool for finding out how your business is tracking at a point in time, and then repeating the exercise in future to assess how and where your business has changed over time.

  3. Shevonne May 4, 2010 Reply

    Thank you! A SWOT analysis can do wonders to your business, so very grateful for this freebie. :)

  4. Wolfster May 4, 2010 Reply

    I’ve used and created SWOTs quite a bit for other types of businesses. I didn’t think it would do much for me.

    The filled in sample SWOT (just downloaded it to check it out), though, really helped me identify things that I didn’t think about in regards to myself in comparison to other writers, etc.

    This may not be the most appropriate place to ask a follow-up question, but I noticed that one of the weaknesses of the sample person was something along the lines of “not much of a budget for marketing”. What would someone spend money for marketing on (I just send letters of introduction; post info plus contact info on linkedin, which is free; or for areas in my niche area – pay for an online listing)

  5. Yo Prinzel
    Yo Prinzel May 4, 2010 Reply

    What if you don’t have any weaknesses? I just crossed that out and wrote down, “Favorite Animal.” Now my SWOT has cat written on it and I’m not sure how that helps my business.
    :-D

    • Rebecca Garland May 4, 2010 Reply

      @ Yo – Mine is covered with “I’m a Superstar!” Do y’all think that might bode ill for my SWOT?

      • Yo Prinzel
        Yo Prinzel May 4, 2010 Reply

        I think that’s better than cat ‘cuz it means you’re walking around all confident and I just want to sleep and eat tuna.

        • Rebecca May 5, 2010 Reply

          Hmmm…maybe “Overconfident” should make it on to the sheet. I just want to sleep, but that’s a whole other thing. :)

          • Yo Prinzel
            Yo Prinzel May 5, 2010

            Wait, are you saying overconfidence is a weakness? Why didn’t anyone tell me that sooner?? ;-P

  6. Rebecca Garland May 4, 2010 Reply

    @ Wolfster – One of the marketing methods many writers don’t think of is PPC (Pay-Per-Click) It’s highly effective for certain keywords but takes some experimentation and finesse to make it work in most cases. While you can get serious returns from PPC, you have to spend money to get exposure which might not be earned back for some time. PPC is tricky even for skilled marketers and can be expensive if you’re not on top of your campaign and spending all of the time. That is where a big marketing budget can pay off in a big way.

    Another budget buster can be taking time off from client projects (with pay) to create a marketable items such as a white paper or ebook. You lose profits while creating and then if you use it for marketing, you’ll need to set up a landing page or copy of some kind to promote it which can be expensive if you can’t do that yourself and then you can incur additional expenses if you pay affiliate commission on sales or leads to the book or (again) for PPC traffic for exposure to the book.

    • Yo Prinzel
      Yo Prinzel May 4, 2010 Reply

      I spent a few hundred dollars on PPC during my slow season last year. I got a couple of clients from it and they more than made up for the cost. I’ll probably roll that around again later this year.

      Other marketing costs could be advertising in reunion booklets or yearbooks (I target insurance agents remember :)), banner ads, business cards (design and printing), time off for networking events etc.

      • Yo Prinzel
        Yo Prinzel May 4, 2010 Reply

        OMG forgot there was a cat in the pic with me. Hahaha, now I really seem like the crazy cat lady :)

  7. Wolfster May 4, 2010 Reply

    @Rebecca,

    Thank you for sharing that piece of information (PPC). I’ve received free coupons to try out google ads (I think they are pay per click), but never imagined that it would help me as a writer. I may have to give that a go before the next anticipated slow time. Sounds like a good thing to experiment with provided I put a cap on it and land a client or two.

    If anyone else has ideas that would cost $ for marketing and that pay off for writers, feel free to share.

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