Freelancing is increasingly a digital profession, especially when it comes to marketing your services.
From writers to designers to coders, most of us spend our lives sitting behind a computer screen with a constant connection to the net.
Even if what you do is rooted in the real world, such as gardening, home help, or construction work, getting clients for your business means engaging online.
One of the best ways to get potential clients to check out your services is having a high search ranking on Google.
Around two thirds of online searches are conducted through Google. That means if you want potential clients to find you easily, your business must show up in Google’s search results. Being on the first page of search results is essential. Research by online advertising network Chitika in 2010 found 94% of traffic from Google comes from being ranked on the first page.
Because of this, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge industry in online marketing. Until recently, this was often a sleazy “dark art” involving keyword stuffing, backlink building and automated content. Changes to how Google ranks web pages in search results have fortunately put these techiques on the shelf.
That said, there’s still an art to showing up on Google’s front page. Ranking high on Google is now all about producing quality content that’s useful, entertaining or inspiring to your readers. It’s also, increasingly, about engaging socially, and Google Plus is the most important social network in this respect, because it’s the network owned by the search provider.
SEO is no longer a system you can game with cheap tricks. Rather, it’s about being authentic, engaged and socially active.
That’s great news for you, as a freelancer, because it means you can spin search results in your favor without using any high-risk or high-cost SEO tactics.
Let’s take a look at some of the top ways you can use Google Plus to boost your search rankings as a freelancer. Continue Reading
Back in the bad old days, many people would maintain email lists by hand: they would have a text file saved somewhere, with a list of email addresses. Then, whenever they were ready to send out a newsletter, they’d copy all those addresses into the ‘to:’ field of an email. There was no way to easily deal with bounced emails, unsubscribes or anything else that came up.
The right software can make a world of difference in managing your email newsletter. It can automate most of your responsibilities, letting you focus on coming up with great content that will bring in readers.
Deciding between the many options out there for running your newsletter can be a difficult prospect, but if you consider some key points, you can narrow down the field quickly. This will help you choose the best email newsletter software for your freelance business. Continue Reading
This is a tale of what happens when an enterprising freelancer becomes a mother.
Ever tried to teach a toddler how to read? Holding the little one’s attention long enough to get him familiar with the alphabet is quite a task.
Julie starts Syver Rustad out with alphabetical flash cards. She’s disappointed to find that Syver’s flash cards show images of narwhals, unicorns, and other creatures one doesn’t encounter in Arizona. So, she puts her artistic skills to work and makes flash cards that feature native wildlife. Continue Reading
One of the most common struggles in freelancing is making sure that you get paid enough for your time and effort for every project. Determining the right price for the job can be a difficult assessment to make. As a result, we freelancers have to be stingy in offering discount prices.
In fact, you may be wondering why you would ever want to offer discount pricing, and you may be right.
If you are backed up for months on projects to complete, then you probably do not need to offer a price discount. And sometimes being too quick to take up a project for a lower price can hurt the perceived quality of your work. Some clients would rather go with a higher priced freelancer than a lower priced one simply because they believe the quality of work to be better.
Yet, there are times when you may need to turn to discounts to bring in more work. When you do offer discounts, you want to make sure your approach benefits your freelance business. Continue Reading
Your freelance business is doing something great—no, colossal—and you want to share the news with the world! Before you start emailing your press release and calling every newspaper, magazine, blogger, radio and TV station in the tri-state area, take a deep breath and make a plan.
As the editor of two glossy magazines, I know a thing or two about how to pitch someone like me. There is a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. You don’t want to alienate the people who have the power to give you press, so here are some suggestions on how to make a great first impression: Continue Reading
That means posting links, text updates, videos and pictures to your Google Plus page.
In this article, we look at whether it’s really worth posting to Google Plus (spoiler: it is for most freelancers), how to approach sharing on Google Plus, and the types of updates that best engage potential clients.
I’ll also show you how to format your updates, and who you should engage with.
Let’s get started! Continue Reading
How long have you been freelancing? Even if it’s just been a handful of years, you’ve probably noticed how quickly your industry changes.
Just look at the freelance news journalist, who initially delivered his craft in long form, typewritten prose; then transitioned to faster, shorter digital copy; and now is looked upon for instant, informative updates, delivered in micro-blurbs.
Every profession is impacted by advances in technology and social media, and to remain fresh and marketable, you’ve got to accommodate those changes. But you don’t have to invest large amounts of time or money to do so; here are 6 tips to help any type of freelancer evolve with the changing times. Continue Reading
It can be difficult to write enough content to fill a newsletter on a regular basis — especially if your newsletter is doing its job and bringing you plenty of work.
But there are ways to minimize the amount of time you need to spend on producing each newsletter. The earlier you can think about these options in the process of establishing your newsletter, the better. You’ll have more opportunities to set up your newsletter so it runs smoothly that way.
Lots of freelancers want to promote their services by starting a blog that their prospective clients might read. But soon, most of them sputter out.
It’s not easy keeping up a freelancer blog. You need a lot of ideas for posts! Meanwhile, you’re trying to get your work done for your current client.
It’s tempting to write a thinly disguised (or baldly overt) plea that you be hired.
That doesn’t go over well in the world of blogging and social media, though. It’s likely to backfire and drive away your prospects instead of getting you gigs.
Blogging is not a hard-sell environment. Readers expect to get useful information in posts, not pitches to hire you.
So what can you write about? Quick tip: Provide useful or interesting information your prospects can use, and your readers will keep coming back — and some may end up becoming your clients.
Here are 40 specific ideas for quick-and-easy blog topics that will attract quality prospects and then keep them interested: Continue Reading
Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients. The job board is hand-moderated by dedicated staff and volunteers from the freelance community.
Each week, we’ll feature a selection of the best job opportunities posted for the week. This week, we’re featuring jobs in WordPress Design, Mobile Ecommerce, Email Design and more!