If you’ve gone through Zac’s free, but hugely valuable, blogging course (if you haven’t, sign-up from the sidebar) I’m sure you understand the huge earning potential that full-time blogging offers.
But reaching that stage requires time, effort and a lot of sweat. Almost every successful blogger has years of hard work behind him.
One smart way to keep the cash flowing while you build a full-time blogging career is to start offering services as a freelancer.
Depending on your skillset, you can offer services like article writing, web design, logo design etc. You can even get clients for services that you can’t personally offer, but can outsource them to other freelancers.
However, since there are hundreds of thousands of freelancers competing for clients on different platforms, the only way to acquire really high paying clients is to build a strong brand image that elevates you above ordinary freelancers.
Not sure how to do it? Here are a few tips you can start using straight away.
1. Don’t Call Yourself a Freelancer
Because doing so will immediately reduce your perceived value. The prospect will think of you as one of the thousands of freelancers that offer cheap services on freelancing portals.
As Seth Godin often says, calling yourself a freelancer will make you appear as just another cog in the system that has nothing unique to offer.
So start differentiating by not labeling yourself as a freelancer.
There are plenty of other catchy titles you can use.
For example, instead of calling yourself a freelance graphic designer, use the title “Creative Artist” or “Creative Media Consultant”.
If you’re a freelance copywriter, call yourself a “Creative Storyteller” or a “Corporate Wordsmith”
This immediately separates you from the crowd and makes potential clients think about you.
2. Adopt a Professional Outlook in All Business Operations
What’s the general perception about freelancers?
- They’re unreliable
- They’re lazy
- They’re not professional
I’m a freelancer myself, so I obviously hate the stereotype.
But it exists.
To counter this, and appear reliable, you need to adopt a professional outlook in all your business operations.
This starts from having a really professional website that has details of your services, your professional background, your portfolio, client testimonials and other details.
For example, Neil Patel, a six-figure content marketing and SEO consultant, started off as a freelance SEO. But look how he brands himself on his website now.
You can set up an attractive and responsive site using a WordPress theme or any other leading website builder.
Similarly, your email communication with the clients, the way you submit projects and how you send invoices, all these things represent your brand and have an impact on the client.
Always use a professional email address hosted on your domain name. Similarly, instead of creating plain invoices in MS Excel, without any branding, use invoicing tools like WorkFlowMax to create stunningly beautiful invoices that make an immediate impression on the client. It gives you several pre-designed templates that you can use to create professional invoices within minutes.
These seemingly small changes can help you establish a strong reputation with your clients and prospects, and help you grow your business in future.
3. Target a Specific Niche And Build Your Image as an Expert
If you’re branding yourself as a freelance writer or designer who can serve any clients from any industry in any part of the world, you’re setting yourself up for failure and mediocrity.
You’ll have a MUCH better chance of landing high-paying clients on a regular basis if you establish yourself as an expert in a very specific niche or a specific region.
This is the same approach that Glen Alsop (ViperChill) used last year to generate more than $1.4 million in 2015. He and his partner, just two people, created niche specific digital marketing agencies and acquired several clients in excess of $50,000.
For example, instead of branding yourself as just a freelance copywriter, you can brand yourself as a specialist real estate copywriter.
Or you can take the alternate route and focus on a specific region. For example, this web design agency even mentions its target region in the URL, Webdeveloper.Sydney
The third approach is to target both, a specific region and niche.
When you brand your services for specific regions or industries, you immediately increase your brand’s perceived value. This gives you a better chance of landing high-paying clients because you’re perceived as a specialist.
4. Create High-Quality Niche Specific Content
There’s no better way to build your authority in a niche than high quality and actionable content marketing.
According to HubSpot, content marketing produces 3 times more leads for every dollar spent, as compared to outbound marketing.
Creating high-quality content not only puts you ahead of other freelancers but also helps you generate traffic and leads for your business.
However, to make your content effective, especially blog content, you need to have the right strategy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Identify high performing and proven content ideas in your industry, using BuzzSumo or Ahrefs, and model your content accordingly.
- Perform comprehensive keyword research before creating content.
- Create eye-catching and attention grabbing headlines. Websites like Viral Nova and Wellness Nova have become million dollar businesses just because of their content headlines.
- Use high-quality images in your content.
- Use frequent data references and stats in your content.
- Link to other influential bloggers and content marketers.
And most importantly, spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% time promoting it on social media and other channels.
That’s the key.
5. Build Your Credibility With Guest Blogging and Self-Publishing
Guest blogging might not be the ideal way to generate traffic to a new site, but it’s certainly effective when it comes to branding and networking.
When you’re featured on the best blogs in your industry, your credibility immediately skyrockets. You can use this as a differentiation point while negotiating with prospects.
Similarly, if you’ve authored a book on any subject related to your core services, it immediately makes you look like an authority figure in your industry.
And self-publishing isn’t a big problem these days thanks to Amazon. You just need to write a decent enough book and publish it on Amazon so that you can call yourself a published author.
Your prospects would rarely buy your book to see what’s inside, but it’ll make a strong impression on them.
Freelancing is multi-billion dollar industry and there’s a lot of money to be made in it. But to really stand out from the crowd, and acquire high paying clients, you need to work on building your brand image and differentiating yourself from the thousands of other freelancers who’re offering similar services for pennies.
4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog
If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.
From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.
4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast
Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.
Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.
Research your audience in great detail
To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.
The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.
The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.
Get more influential persons involved
Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.
A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media. The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.
However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.
Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.
However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.
Post engaging graphics
Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.
Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.
Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018
Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.
Understanding Search Engine Marketing
Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.
As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:
- Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
- Do more research than competitor sites have done.
- Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template.
- Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.
One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.
In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.
Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.
Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.
Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.
What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?
10:15 PM on a Sunday night.
After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.
I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.
Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.
I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.
I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.
My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.
Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.
A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:
Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.
He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.
Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence
I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.
If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.
Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.
Check out his Instagram account.
His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.
Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.
Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.
You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.
Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.
Go the extra blogging mile.
Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.
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