How to make the most of your freelance blog
How Blogging Can Bring New People to Your Work
As freelancers, one of the most important things we can do to get regular work and gain exposure is to maintain a healthy flow of unique visitors to our personal sites or online profiles. Anywhere that showcases your work should be seen regularly by as many people, ideally new ones, as possible.
Writing for a blog, whether it be your own or in collaboration with others is one of the best ways to attract people to your sphere of influence on the Internet.
If you link your work to the blog you write for, the next thing is for you to attract visitors to your blog over the long term, so that a proportion of blog visitors coming to your own site will see what you can do.
These are some of the ways you can bring more new visitors to your blog, and ultimately to your site:
1. Linking to and from influential blogs in your niche
Use forums in your niche, blog searches, directories and search engines to find influential blogs in your niche.
A great site to find similar sites to ones you search for is similarsites.com.
Write to the writers of those blogs, introducing your blog and get to an agreement whereby you swap links, placing their link in your blogroll and they placing yours on their blog. Make sure these contacts are done tactfully and that a certain level of rapport is built into your email correspondence.
2. Running a competition
This is a good way of creating a real buzz on your blog, bringing higher than average levels of new people to your site, if done well. Competitions are useful for keeping readers attached to your blog as well, owing to people checking up on how they are doing with regards to the competition.
Having a clear, useful, fun and interesting list is often a good way of attracting people to your blog. They can be straightforward and easy on the eye.
Good lists will often be promoted virally by people who find it useful through social media sites, for example. Use magazines and other sites as inspiration.
Interviewing key people in your area, celebrities and other popular people will often attract interested people to your site and add credibility to your blog. You’ll be surprised how often popular and talented people will be happy to answer a few questions for your blog, particularly if it brings a bit of exposure their way too.
Put together a post filled with useful resources and references centered on a particular topic. This often doesn’t require huge amounts of research if you look in the right places and mix things up a bit. People will come back to these lists and bookmark your site if it is a good one.
6. Commenting and trackbacking
Join in with the discussions and giving feedback on other related blogs, and make sure you leave your URL with each comment, either to your personal site, or your blog.
Link to plenty of external posts within your blog by leaving a trackback with those sites. Many people will do the same in return, bringing traffic to your blog.
Giving away something of value on your blog will get noticed and will attract people to your site. It’s also a great way to help people join your mailing list if you have one.
Creating a useful, newsworthy, fun or simply cool tool will bring traffic and ideally viral traffic back to your blog.
An example is maybe a colour chooser tool that sits on your blog. If you’re a bit of a geek with code or designing apps, you could make something really attractive for your site.
9. Submission to blog directories
Submit your blog to directories like Technorati, Blogcatalog and Blogged for extra exposure. People can favourite your blog and find your blog through a search using those directories. Links to your blogs also benefit your search engine ranking.
After writing each post, make sure you register for and submit your blog to blog and ping services like Technorati, Ping-o-Matic and Pingler. Also make sure you submit your blog to various RSS feeds using Feed Burner or FeedAgg.
Another good place to submit your posts to is to a blog carnival. These are where people find blog posts related to a topic, which are posted altogether under one heading for people to read all at once. The place to go for this is blogcarnival.com.
Hosting a quiz, survey, or personality test on your blog tend to be very popular with web users and will get people talking about your site.
For more methods and ideas on online self-promotion for freelancers, head over to the Red Lemon Club.