As with many subject matter experts and writers these days, my freelance career started with a blog. At first, random projects would come to me or I’d look through endless job boards. This was before I really understood the power of online marketing and blogging when landing clients.
Over time, my blog hasn’t just gotten me writing gigs, it’s also led to coaching, brand ambassador work, affiliate relationships and an Amazon best-selling book. However, I still primarily use it as a way to land clients. Here are # ways to use a blog to land freelance gigs.
Get your own website.
When I say “use a blog” I don’t mean a free one. You need more control than what a free WordPress blog can offer you – especially if you eventually want to monetize it.
Simply find an affordable web host, buy your own domain and get started with a content management system like WordPress. (Note: In this case it’s WordPress.org not WordPress.com)
Make sure you have the important pages.
A very important aspect of how to use a blog to land freelance gigs is to have the essential pages. Here are the main ones you should worry about:
About Page – Who are you? What is your area of expertise? This is the place to tell people who you are and what your work is about.
Hire Me Page – No one is going to know you’re available for work unless you tell them. Use a “Hire Me” page to let people know what services you offer. In my case I offer writing, coaching and sponsorship opportunities.
Contact Page – You must make it easy for people to contact you, otherwise there’s no way for them to get a hold of you. Additionally, they probably won’t go out of their way to find you, so it’s your job to tell them how to contact you from the beginning. On the contact page, make it clear that people can contact you for the different services you offer as well as the solitations you don’t want. You’ll also want to put your email address, a phone number and a contact form.
Portfolio – I have a page on my blog that shows my writing clips. It’s the page I send to potential clients as well as a page anyone can access from the “Hire Me” page.
Use your blog to become a subject matter expert.
The key to using a blog to land freelance gigs is to use it as a tool for positioning yourself a subject matter expert. Here are some of the ways to do that:
Define your audience – Who are you talking to? What is their issue? For example, I write about finance and business for millennials. It targets clients (financial blogs and millennials interested in coaching) and serves as a portfolio where I show my skills.
Publish spectacular content regularly – It used to be that you could write muliple short posts and get a lot of attention. Now people are looking for in-depth content like reviews and how-to articles.
Create a community – One of the things that has made it easier for me to get more business opportunities is the fact that I’ve created a community of thousands through my blog. Granted, this didn’t happen over night. I had to learn online marketing (like creating a free opt-in) and learn how to leverage it.
ProBlogger and CopyBlogger have excellent content to help you do all of the things mentioned above.
I wouldn’t be where I am in my career had it not been for the fact that I started blogging about millennials and money back in 2010. Many of my colleagues will tell you the same thing – having their own blogs has helped boost their brand and land freelance clients. While it takes time, it is well worth the investment.