In 2012, International Freelancers Academy commissioned a Freelance Industry Report (containing more than 80 charts and graphs) in which as many as 1,500 freelancers across the globe, working in over 50 different professions offered valuable insight about the industry.
- Over 22% of freelancers cited finding clients as their biggest problem,
- 23% of freelancers got clients by word of mouth,
- less than 23% earned their freelancing income from referrals, and
- only 0.8% of all freelancers made money through article marketing.
It’s shocking that none of the 1500 freelancers who were interviewed ever mentioned blogging as a way of making money or attracting clients.
Blogging is king
No one can undermine the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing and referrals, but nothing equals the effectiveness of blogging as a way to get new business. A blog can attract the attention of prospective clients, impress upon them that you are an expert in your field, and convince them to hire you. Even from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective, blogging helps improve the rank of your website on the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), so that more prospects can find you. The truth is: blogging is integral to the success of any freelancer’s business.
Most freelancers start a blog not because they want to, but because they have to, which is why more often than not they end up frustrated. One reason why bloggers shy away from blogging is because all they can think about is generating passive income, which is wrong. They have set themselves up for failure because of the false notion that they can start monetizing their blog from Day 1.
Passive income is possible through blogging, but the income isn’t directly from it per se. Blogging takes time. There is no set timeframe in which a blog might start generating money—or new clients. This doesn’t mean it takes ages. As long as you keep at it diligently, you will be rewarded for your efforts.
A big challenge that bloggers face is having a constant stream of interesting and engaging content in the pipeline. They can tackle this by sticking only to those topics which truly demonstrate their expertise. Writing about stuff that you’re not too sure about is a big no-no. Sooner or later your readers will guess you’re not a subject matter expert—and that’s definitely not a situation you want to find yourself in! Moreover, blogging about topics that you don’t care about can sound forced and stiff. Readers will notice your disinterest instantly. You might even drive potential prospects away, which defeats the purpose of why you are blogging.
Some freelancers may find maintaining their blogs rather tiring, which is why guest posting is another proven strategy because it’s a great way to grab more eyeballs. In fact, posting on bigger blogs can help you get more leads because you’ve reached the big guys through your post. It also gives you an amazing opportunity to impress clients. All this makes sense only if you’re excited about blogging and are willing to do it for free until you’ve established an online reputation for yourself as a coveted blogger.
Keep posts coming
Writing about topics that are tangential but related is a great way to keep the posts coming in. These posts can be laser focused on your target audience and give readers an array of interesting topics that add plenty of value. Start with just one subject or group of closely related subjects that you feel confident about, and start posting newsworthy content.
You can improve the effectiveness of your blog with these extra tips:
- Update your blog frequently and always be seen as an expert in whatever you write about. Case studies and ultimate guides are great ways to garner attention.
- Ensure that the posts have strong titles and are extremely informative and interesting.
- Engage your readers, so there are loads of comments and responses to those comments that prospects can see. This is exactly what social sharing is all about.
- A professional and SEO-focused blog theme works wonders for your traffic.
- Links your posts and pages only when necessary, and when relevant.
- Work on your ‘Hire Me’ page and make it sound as persuasive, engaging, and convincing as possible.
Once your blog has a following, you will find it easier to build an email marketing list. Start pitching your services to prospects and reach out to them instead of waiting for them to email you. Remember: when you write about what you love, it always reflects in your posts. Your blog has the best chances to establish a loyal base of readers and will become one of your best marketing tools.
About the author:
As a freelance copywriter, Soumya Nalam creates top-notch web content and marketing collateral including brochures, newsletters, and press releases to help clients market their products and services effectively. She has a work experience of 8 years, including 3.5+ years as a freelancer catering to the content needs and requirements of client across diverse industries. She worked as a Senior Publishing Specialist at Thomson Reuters Corporation and at Google, she was given a leadership position for a 40 million dollar annual business in the AdSense Online Operations Division. Visit Soumya Nalam online at http://soumyanalam.brandyourself.com