What is one thing that every freelancer, solopreneur and small business owner needs?
Bucket loads of?
Specifically, online content.
And where would this content live exactly?
Well – on your blog, of course. You need to create loads of content - on your blog.
That being said, I do not favour going ahead and creating content for no specific reason.
Remember, all content must be created for one of these TWO reasons.
1. It meets a business objective
2. It satisfies user needs.
For example, let’ say you are a freelance writer specializing in high end fashion. You could write about all the latest trends and happenings in the world of fashion – things your prospects would be interested in.
You could also write about fashion generally; things your an average fashion lover would love. Fashion lovers who could become leads if they get on to your list and might eventually buy from you in the future.
Even if you are a non-writer, you can still run a blog successfully if you write about your subject in an interesting, exciting and compelling manner. You don’t need to be an excellent writer, all you have to do is communicate effectively.
But why do you need this content anyway? Allow me.
Create Reader Loyalty
Whenever I discover a great, new blog on the topics I am interested in, I can’t help but feel as if I have found a $50.00 bill in my pants’ pocket. Or, a piece of candy that I stashed away, long time ago.
I sign up immediately to receive updates. (A free report or an ebook as an opt-in is just an icing on the cake for me, it’s not a deal breaker).
As long as I am interested in the content, as long as I find it useful, I stay subscribed. And more often than not, I end up buying at least one of their products or services.
Would I have bought it on the first encounter? Maybe not. But once I am subscribed, I am open to hearing their offers.
Wouldn’t you want that for your blog?
Wouldn’t you want to start building of list – of all those people who are really interested in what you have to say? Well, you can build that list when you regularly publish high quality, relevant content on your blog.
Strengthen Your Personal Brand
When you are writing on your blog, you are constantly making your brand stronger. Every piece of content you produce, be it a blog post, a video, or a podcast; you are spelling out your values - your mission statement. You are telling people what you stand for and why it matters.
The essence of your brand is conveyed through your writing. Your voice comes across and you essentially put yourself in front of everyone, by being true to yourself. People who admire you for your qualities will be drawn to you. And these are the kind of people you want around, anyway.
Bring Targeted Traffic
Everybody wants traffic, right? It is number 1 on the wish list of the big news websites and major bloggers. They need it because they display advertising on their blogs and can only make money if their sites get millions of hits.
As a freelancer or soloprofessional, your goals are a bit different to these mega sites. You are not only after traffic, but highly targeted traffic. You want to attract people who can either buy from you, or learn from you (and help share your content with relevant audiences).
Relax, you are after quality traffic, not quantity. Even if they stumbled upon your site somehow, you would not be able to make them stay. And this is a good thing, believe me.
Position Yourself as an Expert
The more you write, the more people start seeing you as their go-to person. At the top of my head, I can refer you to Carol Tice’s blog if you are a new freelancer, or to Stanford Smith’s if a blogger. I can recommend Nick Usborne’s if you are a web writer or Ed Gandia’s if you are looking to establish your micro business. And not to forget Danny Iny’s blog, for all your marketing needs.
I did not know these people before I start reading their blogs. And now I am happy to report that not only do I follow them religiously, I have also bought several training and coaching packages off them
Such is the power of written content.
Act like a Lead Generation Machine
As soon as you have somebody signed up, you have successfully moved them from a reader into a lead. Congrats! That is indeed huge.
Research tells us that it takes 5-7 exposures to you and your message, before anyone would consider buying from you. Now, isn’t that a good thing to have people on your list so you could potentially reach them as often as you like.
Don’t make it too often though. Unless you want to risk people jumping ship.
Function Like a Low-cost Marketing Dept.
When you blog, you start developing relationships with other freelancers who also blog. (Unless, you are a hermit like me, then it might take you a while).
You put yourself in front of other people and stay on their radar. Furthermore, you market to your list.
Create Multiple Income Streams
It’s common to have a feast or famine cycle when you are a freelancer. Some days, the dough keeps rolling in and the rest? Things can be a tad slow.
It is not a bad idea to think about developing channels to generate some passive income; earn some money while you are sleeping.
If your list is substantial, you can look into affiliate marketing and make money without lifting a finger.
You can dip deep into your archives, compile and tweak the already published content and perhaps create an e-book. Aside from an ebook, you can also create an electronic book and sell it on Amazon, or print it on demand using services available online. Or, you could start offering coaching or consulting services, as well.
A sneaky side benefit of running a blog is that your constantly work on improving your craft and your knowledge base.
Think about it, when you are writing for a living, you might not be inspired to write or research when you are not supposed to. Starting a blog should hopefully make you accountable and push you to write anyway.
Tell me, how does blogging work for you? Does it help to meet any goal in particular?
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