To really succeed as a writer you need traffic, links and subscribers, and you need a lot of them. While ultimately, only clients would put money in your pockets, you need more than just clients for your writing business to survive.
In my own opinion, getting clients is one of the easiest tasks for any writer out there, because you can easily visit your favorite freelance job board to apply to any job that interests you, you can easily create a hire me page on your blog and market it with guest posts, and you can easily do a variety of things to get your first clients in a matter of days, but at the end, all that matters most is the audience you build.
Below are a few reasons why you need just more than clients. Below are reasons why you also need traffic, links and subscribers to be successful as a writer.
- Having an audience creates a potential source of future passive income for your business.
- Having an audience provides you with an endless source of potential clients.
- Having an audience helps make your business a lot more than just a business that depends on your writing.
- Marketing yourself helps build relationship with other great writers and position you as an expert – leading to more opportunities for you and the ability to determine who your clients are.
- Having an audience allows you to have a lot more jobs than you can handle, thus giving you the opportunity to reject the ones you want and choose better high-paying jobs.
I know some of the above points have the word “potential” attached to them, and “potential” alone won’t put the money in your pocket. However, if you can build your audience the right way, and if you can market your business the right way, with only a few thousand visitors to your blog monthly you will have more than enough opportunities for your business to thrive.
I get new client opportunities almost every day nowadays, and it is starting to become clear that I have positioned myself as an expert at what I do, and that I’m reaping the rewards right now. As a result, I have been able to amass a lot of traffic, links and subscribers using a few “potent” tactics, and in this article I will be listing 10 solid tips to help your business get more results as a writer.
1. Be Professional in the Real Sense of It
I get a lot of emails and comments regularly, and one kind of comment I get a lot of time is that from people complimenting my design.
A lot of people wonder why I happily spent $3,000 on a single blog design, even though I don’t have a system to help make money from my blog directly – but the reality is this, my blog is a medium that channels freelance writing clients to my business, and I have to treat it as such.
Even though I used to get freelance offers before this design, the number of offers I get has quadrupled just as a result of implementing a new design – and I don’t even have a hire me page yet.
Mind you, I’m not trying to tell you to spend $3,000 on your next blog design. Instead, try to make your next blog design simple, professional and elegant. Let it paint a perfect picture of the ideal person in your audience’s mind, and you’d be amazed at the results you can get just from that.
You also need to realize that being professional is just more than your design, it also has to do with how you write and present your content, and there is no ending to learning new ways to be professional.
2. Have a Blog
If you’re a freelance writer without a blog, you’re missing a lot, and there’s no amount of advice that will be able to help you stand.
This is a growing age where more and more people are starting to rely on the internet for information and services, and a lot of businesses are starting to testify to how powerful blogging is and how it quadrupled their company sales.
Search engines also have a liking for blogs, and as a result index and rank content published on blogs regularly.
Blogs can help position you as an expert, and they can also serve as a channel to help you reach your audience on a constant basis, thus leading to a lot more success on your path.
3. Master SEO
If this is the first time you’re hearing about SEO you will probably think it is one of those difficult subjects only veteran marketers need to know about, but you’re wrong! As a writer, SEO can mean the difference in your blog succeeding or failing, and if you can do things right, getting your services page to rank well for your desired keywords can mean the difference between your getting new job offers each day and getting nothing at all. In other words, even if you ignore every other tip on this page, SEO can still mean the difference between success and failure for your writing business.
If you’re new to SEO, there is definitely a lot to learn for you, and even though I’ll be sharing some SEO tips in the future I’ll still recommend you try to find out some more information about the following terms (of course using Google): Keyword Research, SEO Copywriting, Link Building.
4. Be Active on Forums
It can be on your favorite internet marketing forum, and it can be on that other niche-related forum you just like to engage on; being active on forums can do a lot to contribute to your audience and business as a freelance writer.
I’m not telling you to start posting your links on forums anyhow (that is called spamming) – Instead, I’m talking about contributing constant value through creating new threads and replying to other threads. It is acts like these that let people see that you truly know a lot about the subject you’re talking about, thereby leading to you becoming a perceived expert on the subject.
To get people to get to know more about you, all you need is a compelling bio in the form of a forum signature, and you will be amazed how serious those who discover you through it can be.
5. Build a Social Media Following
A lot of people despise Facebook and Twitter. I used to, too, until I really discovered how powerful these mediums can be.
I studied a few tips on how important social media sites can be, and how to leverage them for my business. As a result, I have been able to build a following of over 1,400 people on Facebook, and over 1,000 people on Twitter – The result? I sometimes get up to 200 people in a single day from Facebook just by posting to my account about one of my latest posts, and I also have a great way to connect with my followers if I have a new tip for them, or if I need a quick favor.
I’m still amazed at how people underestimate social media sites, though. These sites work if you do the right thing, but make sure you use them alongside your blog. They are digital sharecroppers, so don’t let them EVER take the place of your blog.
6. Have a Guest Blogging Plan
Believe me, I have written a lot of guest posts, the majority of those guest posts were written without any aim in mind, and as a result, aside from the experience that came with writing them, I gained little to nothing from writing all those guest posts (hundreds of them).
The reality now is that I’m becoming smarter with my approach every day, and as a result, I determine when to get published on a big blog, and when to go on a guest blogging spree for smaller blogs, and it’s working well for me.
No matter what people tell you about guest blogging, guest blogging without a plan is bound to fail, and I’m telling you this based on my experience as someone who has written almost a thousand guest posts for this blog.
For the sake of clarity, below are two types of guest blogging plan I use regularly.
=> Massive Guest Blogging on Small Blogs: I use this approach mostly these days, not just because it is easy to get published on a small blog but because I can easily write 3 guest posts for a small blog in the place of one for a big blog, and almost all of those 3 guest posts will be published the same day in comparison to big blogs that only publish weeks or months after.
Mind you, I don’t just write guest posts on small blogs just for the sake of getting published; I write it to improve my rankings, and it has been working really great for me so far. To learn more about my approach, you can check out a case study I did on it here.
=> Occasional Guest Blogging on Big Blogs: This is another approach I use regularly, and it entails me writing a guest post for a few big blogs in one month. Those big blogs I write a guest post for will end up sending me hundreds, or thousands, of visitors for each guest post, and as a result lead to hundreds of subscribers to my blog.
This approach can be pretty effective if you want quick results – for example, it can be very effective if you’re just launching a new blog or product.
I plan on trying a combination of both approaches starting next month, and there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
7. Organize Creative Interviews With Other Bloggers
Another way to gain exposure for your business to build an audience is by organizing creative interviews and features with other bloggers in your field. Some of these bloggers are highly respected and have a big audience, and if you’re able to interview them they will end up sharing your interview on top social media sites, thus leading to a lot more results for you.
Another approach you can take is to get other top bloggers to interview you. I have been interviewed and featured by some top bloggers online, and this has contributed significantly to my blogging career.
I know you might be looking for a sure-fire tip to get interviewed, but I doubt there is any. Instead, I’d advise that you engage and interact regularly with the blogger you want to interview you, and you should send them a message asking them to interview you.
The reality is that asking can mean a whole lot of difference in you being interviewed or not. For example, as much as I’d love to feature and interview new and talented writers on this blog, nobody contacts me, and as a result it is almost impossible to feature anyone.
One key thing you should notice, though, is that no blogger will feature you for the sake of you. They think first about what their audience stand to benefit, and if you can be trusted. If you can work on those two things, getting featured by other bloggers can be a piece of cake.
8. Build a Targeted Mailing List
Personally, I believe any article on marketing that doesn’t encourage building a mailing list is incomplete.
List building is currently the oldest marketing tactic available on the internet today, and it still seems to be the most effective.
You might have heard a lot of stories about how social media sites or RSS is killing email, but I’d like you to disregard all those as they are all myths.
If I want to make a post of mine go viral, if I want to advertise any of my services to people who are interested, all I need to do is send an email to my list.
There are currently thousands of subscribers, and even though it took me some time to get there, I can boldly say building a mailing list is the wisest, and most daring, business decision I’ve ever made.
9. Get Featured in Email Lists by Top Bloggers in Your Field
There are a lot of top bloggers in your field with thousands and tens of thousands of subscribers on their list, and most of these bloggers hardly send regular emails to their lists because it can be a problem to maintain their blogs and do that at the same time. The problem is that these bloggers want to send regular emails to their lists, and they know the importance of doing so, but they can’t. You can easily leverage this opportunity to your advantage by contacting the bloggers to ask them to allow you to contribute high-value content to their email list, and that in exchange they only allow you to include a bio with a link back to your blog.
This is just like guest blogging, but for email lists, and by doing this you will both enjoy the traffic and the benefit of being endorsed by another blogger.
10. Use Yahoo Answers to Make Yourself an Expert
In my own opinion, there are two kinds of experts online. The first one is an expert that is endorsed by another respected expert in his/her field, and the other one is the expert that makes himself/herself an expert.
One of the best ways to quickly become an expert is by being endorsed by another expert in your industry, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen every so often. You have the option to make that top blogger endorse you, or you can easily go out there to endorse yourself.
Yahoo! Answers is currently the biggest question and answer website online, and there are thousands of different people asking different questions in each category every day. You can easily make yourself an expert by responding to at least 30 – 50 questions with valuable and insightful answers every day, and by including your website as the source. That way, you will be able to build a reputation by letting a lot of people come across your answers and websites, and you will also be getting traffic from your answers for years to come, depending on how well it is ranked in the search engines.
Nominate WritersinCharge as the Best Blog for Writers
Did you enjoy this article? Have you been enjoying other articles on this blog? There is a contest going on on WritetoDone.com to determine the best blog for writers for this year, and the only way to win the contest is by getting a lot of votes. I’d really appreciate if you can help nominate my blog by commenting about it on the nomination post and giving your reasons for nominating it: http://writetodone.com/2011/11/22/nominate-your-favorite-writing-blog-6th-annual-top-10-blogs-for-writers-contest/
P.S. Your nomination won’t be valid without you giving a reason for nominating WritersinCharge, so please kindly give a reason when you nominate this blog.