1/15/10

Getting Your Freelance Blog Found By the Right People

When I first began this blog, I took some time to research ways to increase the readership and popularity. While there are no freelance writing samples of my work on this particular site, it can still give my clients a clear insight into how seriously I take my writing business.

Therefore, the following things were important to me:

- that my site ranked well in the search engines for freelance related keywords, to be sure my clients could see I had SEO skills within my own primary niche

- that it was written with professionality in mind, to reflect my dedication to my freelance work

- that my readers found it useful, so they'd want to keep returning, which makes the blog busier by default.

These goals were quite simple to achieve. Here are some things I did to boost popularity of my blog, and, by default, boost awareness of me as a freelance writer to the world at large.

1. Clear Primary Topic

When you want to attract a specific audience, you need to choose your primary topic and stick to it like bug-guts on a windshield. Smear your topic's keywords around the place. Write posts that are pertinent to that topic and get them out there. Think outside the square a little and look for things that other people interested in that topic might find appealing. Don't change topics or add things you think might make a few quick bucks. This will damage your efforts.

2. Search Engine Ranking

There are plenty of tutorials and informational articles on how to increase search engine ranking for sites and/or blogs, so I won't go into a lot of detail here. Suffice to say, I chose to use white-hat techniques to be sure my blog wasn't penalized in any results. Always be ethical in your SEO efforts and you won't face consequences later.

3. Spread the Word

People can't find out about your services as a freelance writer or find out about your blog if they don't know it exists. Post articles about your chosen topic on a few article directories and leave your link in the author bio box. Link to each new post on social networking sites, like Facebook or Twitter. Submit your posts to RSS feeds. Get out there.

4. Back Linking

Chances are, many people who read this blog didn't find it via search engines. Think about how you ended up here. Did you follow a link from another site? Did a friend recommend you to come and take a look? Did you find one of my tips posted on someone else's site and followed that link?

Regardless, those backlinks have more than one function. Not only can they help direct visitors to your blog, but they are also seen and read by the search engine spiders. When they appear on sites/blogs revolving around a similar topic to your own, they're considered useful and can help your ranking.

For example, if you own a blog about freelancing and you leave your link in a comment on my blog, you have created a valid back link that will help your SEO. (I encourage you to leave a link - if you have a site related to writing, that is)

However, when you spam every blog you can find just to try and create a backlink, even if the topic has nothing to do with your own, this is called link-spamming. It doesn't increase your popularity. It doesn't help your ranking. It ruins the ranking of the blog you're spamming.

And it annoys blog-owners like me when idiots constantly keep posting useless links on my blog that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the topic at hand just to try and get a few cheap backlinks.

If you find link-spam like this on your own blog, check the link first. When the topic relates to your topic, it helps you both. When it doesn't relate at all and is clearly just spam - DELETE IT and ban that IP address from posting again. (I added this because someone has been spamming with blog for a few months with a completely unrelated site. So annoying).


These are the primary things I did to make sure my freelance blog was visible to the people I wanted to attract. While I've found each of you, my treasured readers, I've also found several clients who have come looking for writers directly.

So if you're still wondering how to get your name and your writing services known, take action, be ethical in your efforts and persist. It will happen.

:)

12 comments:

Lindsey Rainwater said...

Good advice, Bianca. I'm trying to work my blogs into my schedule again, and I'll be sure to use some of this advice. :)

Caerol said...

Thanks for the information.

I hope you'll post more tips about blogging.
As a newbie blogger, I'm always on the look out for useful tips to
improve my blog. You're right about the fact that I didn't find your blog through a search engine, but I forgot how I've come to know about
your blog. It must be the combination of serendipity and as you've mentioned--building link.

I've read one of your posts about get paid to write websites (article,
novels, etc). Can you write similar post but focusing more about
getting paid to blog? By this I mean contributing for a particular
blog as a writer instead of advertising something.

Thanks and may you continue what you've started.

RANISHA k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

Nice warning against putting links in all the wrong places. I can figure out the benefit to someone trying to put meaningless garbage links into my comments. I just ban them.

I came here from a link in a Master Dayton blog post - so yes linking drives traffic.

Chelsei Rae said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. It has helped me immensely. While I am still struggling to find a quality gig that pays more than $2, this site keeps me motivated. Thanks!

Chelsei Rae
chelseiraefreelancing.com

Jim said...

Hi Bianca,
I'm going to say right here and now that this post isn't about freelancing as it is about writing, so I hope you don't delete it. I'm writing to tell you that 1) You inspired me to get going with my blog, and 2) I love this post. I probably have done some wrong things out of just not knowing what to do, so I'm grateful for having run into this blog.

By the way, it looks like I'm in the manority. I found you through Google. I'm trying to get the confidence to do some freelancing, so I typed a few keywords and you came up.

If you have any suggestions about how to narrow down my blog, please tell me. I'm going to follow the advice in this post. I'm really jazzed about doing a better job, since this advice is so clear and actionable.

Thanks again for taking the time to set it down.

Jim

p.s. Oh, and I put your blog as the first one I'm following.

suewrite said...

Hi Bianca,

I always find something useful whenever I visit your blog although I am not so good at getting my blog

chris bennett said...

Good article. Got paid for a few articles awhile ago and I am now starting to get back into freelance writing.
I've kept you blog Link as a resource as part of my research.

Regards
Chris Bennett

Jenny said...

What a great post, with so much useful information! I am just getting started and I am so happy I found your blog!

Chris Petersen said...

Hi Bianca, being a newbie to blogging, it is very refreshing to read your posts as I embark on my research on what to do and what to not, when it comes to how present and conduct myself as a blogger. It is encouraging to read that ethics counts for something in this day and age. Having been labelled as being atavistic by a former staff member, I find it difficult fitting in to this dog eat dog world where standards have fallen to the point where none is considered a high achievement. I will continue to visit and read your posts as they have emboldened me to participate where I have been reluctant to do so in the past.

parsibagan said...

Hi Bianca, I love your blogs more than I love you, but I feel sad to observe that it has zero PR. Could you please try to improve that? Cheers.

P.S.: I do not adore your blog, but I do adore you, my friend from down under. :)

Bianca Raven said...

oh what a shame!! zero PR? I thought I'd gotten it up to a 1 PR earlier this year :(

I shall endeavor to work harder on that right away. Thanks Parsibagan :)