If you’ve spent any amount of time online recently, you’ve probably noticed the flurry of posts about content. Nearly all of the posts point out that content is important for anyone doing business online.
Guess what? All those posts are right. (Well, mostly right.) Content IS very important if you want to do business online–and that includes most of us freelancers, too.
Of course, content is not the only thing that’s important to your freelancing business. But it’s still very important.
In this post, I’ll explain what content is and examine what freelancers should (and shouldn’t) be doing about creating online content.
What Content Really Is
When a freelance writer like me starts reading about the importance of content, I feel like rejoicing because most people think of words (blog posts, articles, and so on) as being content. So, if content is becoming more popular and if content is writing, then it could mean more work for me. Yay!
But, of course, that is totally the wrong definition of content. It’s incomplete.
Content is not just the words that you put online. Content includes every single thing that you share online. That means:
- Audio recordings
- Social media comments
All of the above are content, as well as:
- Blog posts
You probably already have a website or blog for your freelancing business where you publish content. You just need to learn to use it effectively. Now that we understand what content is, let’s take a look at what goals freelancers should have for their content.
Content Goals for Freelancers
As a freelancer, your goal in creating content is a little bit different from a news organization or even from a popular blog site (unless blogging is your main freelancing gig). News sites and popular blogs are only after traffic, and can use almost every type of content to get it.
Big blogs often thrive on publishing controversial and maybe even shocking material. The more traffic they get, the more they can charge their advertisers, which directly contributes to their bottom line.
If you’re a freelancer, you do want to get some traffic to your freelancing blog or website. However, your goal is not just to get a lot traffic to look at your site. You want to get targeted traffic that will ultimately attract clients to your freelancing business.
Your content goals are very different from those of the news sites. In most cases, you probably need to avoid controversial and shocking content and focus on helping your clients instead.
So, if freelancers are to avoid shocking and controversial content, what type of content should they publish?
What Type of Content Helps Freelancers the Most?
What is the best type of content for a freelancer to publish?
Here is a list of content ideas that will help build most freelancing businesses:
- A post that solves a common problem that most of your clients face
- A video that provides valuable information
- A social media share of something your clients will find useful
- Timeless content is usually best for freelancing businesses
- Samples of your best work
Even humor can sometimes be helpful on a freelancer’s site, but be careful. Remember, humor is in the eye of the beholder. If it could be offensive to some, it’s probably best not to use it for your freelancing business.
Also, update your sites regularly. You don’t have publish new content every day, but it’s been proven that sites with recently updated content rank higher in the search engines. A higher search engine ranking means prospective clients can find you more easily.
Once you’ve created your content, don’t forget to tell people about it. Share it through social media. Tell customers about it. Include your URL on business cards and stationery.
Now that we’ve looked at what type of content you should be sharing, it’s time to discuss online reputation.
Content and Your Online Reputation
No discussion of content would be complete without mentioning online reputation.
Your online reputation is a crucial part of your freelancing brand. Like it or not, the content that you publish online becomes a part of that brand. So be very careful about the content that you create or share.
Negative content never really goes away. Even if it is deleted, your past content can be hiding on someone’s machine somewhere just waiting for them to republish it. That’s why it’s best to be as careful as you can about what you put online.
Want to Learn More?
Are you interested in learning more about online content? These four posts share more valuable information about content:
- 5 Strategies for Creating Magnetic Online Content from Frank Marquardt on Mashable
- Content Marketing Defined from Donna Papacosta on Business 2 Community
- 10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing from Sonia Simone on Copyblogger
- Develop Irresistible Content with this 4-Point Formula from Neil Patel on Problogger
Do you have a freelancing blog or website? How has sharing content online helped your freelancing business?
Share your answers in the comments.
Image by Search Engine People Blog