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.