MAP Out Your Editing Business

By Andrea Susan Glass

In the course I teach at UCSD Extension, “Marketing for Copyeditors: How to Get the Word Out,” I have students complete a MAP for their final assignment. MAP stands for Marketing Action Plan!

I suggest creating a 90-day MAP every 90 days! That way you can track what’s working and what you want to repeat and what’s not working that you want to tweak or eliminate. I suggest using a Word table or Excel spreadsheet. And I have a long list of headings, among which you can choose.

Here’s an example of what that would look like:

  • Date: November 18, 2021
  • Strategy: Networking
  • Location: SD/PEN online meeting
  • Action: Promote my new book
  • Media: Put Amazon link in chat
  • Cost: Annual membership of $65
  • Support Needed: Board members
  • Accountability: Nancy
  • Follow Up: Post book release in next newsletter
  • Potential Obstacles: May not be appropriate to announce
  • Solutions: Ask in advance
  • Expected Result: Five book sales and three reviews
  • Actual Result: To be seen…

I’m more comfortable with Word than Excel so here’s what a table might look like:


If you’re an editor entrepreneur rather than working for a company, marketing is just one of the many tasks you have to perform to stay in business. Many of us aren’t comfortable with marketing and may not be very skilled at it. My students all cower in fear when I explain to them that they’ll have to market themselves. However, over the four weeks of the course, exercise by exercise, they grow in confidence. Once they create their MAP, they’re way more comfortable with the idea of going out and getting clients.

I do explain that there’s passive and active marketing. If you’re a newbie and are experiencing the fear and lack of confidence, it’s best to start with passive marketing. An example would be putting up a blog or website. It’s sort of like “build it and they will come.” They don’t come right away, but at least you have a starting point for where “they” can go once you begin more active marketing.

Another passive method would be to set up a LinkedIn and Facebook profile. You could also set up Twitter and Instagram, depending on where you think your ideal clients hang out. This is a passive method if you do nothing but open your accounts.

Once you start posting, responding, and sending people to your website, you’re moving into active marketing. And even more active would be attending meetings like SD/PEN and events where you think you’ll find your ideal clients, like conferences and business meetings—whether live or virtual.

A good idea is to mix it up—the virtual and real world; the passive and active. Keep track of what works, that is, what you’re most comfortable with and effective at and where you attract more clients. Then keep repeating what works, add more marketing methods, and eliminate or adjust what isn’t working. I know sometimes we can’t determine why a method didn’t work, such as attending a live networking event. That’s why it’s helpful to have support. When I went to a recent live event, I took another author with me. We compared notes afterward and were able to refine our approach.

The more you get expected results—and maybe even some unexpected, but positive ones—the more comfortable you’ll become with marketing your editing business. Keep updating your MAP every 90 days, and you’ll have a solid foundation for your business.

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