Having a blog is a great way to keep your clients and the world at large updated on what you’re working on and any offers or promotions you may be running, as well as sharing your experiences and any industry news. Get it right and could even generate new business leads. The only problem is that it seems to take a lot of effort to keep the blog going and often a freelancer’s blog can end up as a bit of a wasteland, with large gaps between posts.
Here are some tips on how to keep your blog interesting while helping to generate new business for you.
Choose your topic wisely
Choosing a topic for your blog is crucial, it will have to be something you truly understand and enjoy talking and reading about, otherwise the blog will fall flat and you’ll be able to tell that the passion isn’t there through the writing.
Try a topic related to your work, offering tips and advice to others within your industry and keep it topical with news updates from the industry too. Any possible clients who discover your blog will see that you are active within the industry and the fact you offer help and advice to others should create a very good first impression.
Another option is to choose something entirely unrelated to your business that you have a passion for. It may seem that a blog unrelated to your industry is frivolous and unlikely to generate the readership you need to generate new business. In fact, you’re much more likely to generate a readership and word of mouth recommendations by writing about something you have a passion for than you are something you have little interest in, or by starting a blog that you struggle to keep up to date. If you’re not interested in what you write about, there’s a good chance no-one is going to be interested in what you write. Think of a blog as a self-marketing tool. If it generates interest, it will generate business too.
If you specialise in a particular industry a blog providing a service to your clients and prospects is a great angle to take. You can demonstrate you knowledge and expertise in the area by offering tips and advice which is sure to appeal to prospective clients. You can teach them a little about your own industry so they can pick up some skills themselves and better understand the processes you follow when contracting for them. This is a simple blog to maintain as you won’t struggle for relevant content.
Drive lead generation
Although it’s not recommended to turn your blog into an extended catalogue of services there are multiple ways in which it can help freelancers or contractors to create business leads. Simply inserting a ‘hire me’ button on your blog homepage will give prospective clients an easy way to see you are available for hire and give them quick access to your contact details. Creating a subscribe button will not only make sure your readers receive an email when your latest post goes live, it will also give you access to their email addresses so you’ll know who they are, often where they work and then design any marketing campaigns based on the information you collect.
Make sure that your blog is updated regularly, this can be a difficult discipline to maintain but a dormant or sporadic blog is frustrating for your loyal readers and they’ll soon find something else to read and stop recommending your page to their peers. Make your blog entry a part of your routine. Ideally post a minimum of once per week.
Finally, make post headlines strong for SEO purposes and make sure the content is relevant to the title, as well as delivering interesting and useful information. Another important aspect is blog engagement, if prospects can see comments and your responses on blog posts and any social sharing it will be much more likely to generate new, regular readers. Encourage commenting and sharing whenever possible without being spammy.
Most importantly, never begin a blog for the sake of it. If it’s something you feel you have to do, rather than want to do, it’s probably not for you. A blog should reflect your enthusiasm and knowledge for the topic, not feel like a chore to write, or read for that matter.