An important part of my marketing strategy is my freelance writing blog. It serves as kind of an online home base for me. No matter what type of work I’m doing, wherever else I might be blogging, or how busy my workload is, I strive to keep my freelance writing blog updated with a new post every week.
As a result of my efforts, I’ve received a number of inquiries from prospective clients (several of whom eventually gave me repeat business). I think, with the right approach, you could do it too.
We’ve already explained some of the benefits of having a freelance blog as well as some of the challenges. So, we won’t go into detail about those here. Instead, we’ll focus on how to really use your blog to get freelancing jobs.
Part Is Not All
Notice that I stated that having a freelance blog is PART of my marketing strategy. It’s very important to note that a freelancing blog should not be ALL of your marketing strategy.
One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is sticking a blog out there and doing little else to get your name out there. While a few clients may wander in, simply having a freelancing blog doesn’t automatically guarantee that your prospective clients will ever see it.
If you’re expecting to use blogging as the only marketing strategy for your freelancing business, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.
Getting Your Name Out There
Having a blog AND a strong social media strategy can be a great marketing combination for a freelancer. Prospective clients get to know a little bit about you through social media and can click through to your freelancing blog to learn more.
Naturally, you’ve already updated all of your social media profiles to include a link to your blog, right? If you engage in guest posting, make sure that your profile there includes a link to your own blog.
Another way to get your name out there is to make sure to include your blog address in any comments that you leave on other blogs. While the other blogger may not actually comment on your blog, chances are good that he or she will click through to make sure that you are a legitimate commenter.
You’re in Control
One of the best things about having your own freelancing blog is that you are totally in control of what gets posted there. There’s no 140 character limit like on Twitter. Your mother can’t come by and post embarrassing baby pictures of you on your wall like she can on Facebook.
Having total control of your blog means that you can make your freelancing blog a really powerful representation of what you can do.
Creating a Good Home Base
While it’s important to update your freelancing blog regularly (several times a month) to show that you are still actively in business, you don’t need to worry about posting daily (or multiple times a day) unless you are actually operating your blog as a business. So, don’t worry about competing with the TechCrunch blogs of the world.
Instead, focus on making your blog as professional as possible. If you are a freelance writer, this is your chance to show that you can create compelling content. If you are a designer, this is your chance to really show off your talent. If you are a freelance photographer, make sure to feature your own images.
Remember that clients will judge your expertise based partially on your freelancing blog, so it’s more important to create quality content than frequent content. Avoid posting to your freelancing blog just for the sake of getting something published (another common mistake that freelancers make).
Also, make sure that your freelancing blog includes a way to contact you. Too many freelance bloggers, even bloggers who are supposedly using their blog as a marketing strategy, leave out their contact information. Then, they wonder why they get no business through their blog.
Of course, having a freelancing blog is a long-term strategy. Many freelancers get frustrated or think they are doing wrong if a prospective client doesn’t contact them the day after their first blog post.
Sadly, blogging doesn’t usually work that quickly for most freelancers–but, that doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. It may take a prospective client several visits before they feel comfortable enough with what they see to contact you. Blogging is definitely a marketing strategy where persistence pays off.
Blogging Makes Financial Sense
While most of us do pay something for our freelancing blogs (web hosting services, premium themes, etc.), in general, having a freelancing blog is a smart use of your marketing dollar. Even after you take into account the time that you invest in your blog, in the long-term running a freelancing blog is cheaper and more effective than many other forms of advertising.
What About You?
How do you use your freelancing blog to get clients? What tips would you add?
Leave your answers in the comments.
Image by Brett L.