Content marketing is one of the fastest growing online industries at the moment. Not only has it effectively replaced SEO as the primary form of online marketing, but it has also forced major shifts in the branding, marketing and client acquisition strategies of most businesses.
All of this is very positive news for you, if you’re a freelance writer and blogger. Your demand is on a steep rise right now and, by the look of things, it is only going to increase as more businesses realize the value of your services.
But I’m sure you’ve heard all this before from many other bloggers as well. I’m also sure that every time you read such statements, you immediately wonder what all the hype is about.
In your world, the content marketing boom doesn’t seem to be making any waves.
Because it’s still the same old story for you – lots of unanswered job applications along with a few low paying gigs.
But that doesn’t mean other bloggers are not taking advantage of the ever expanding online content needs.
Differentiate Your Blogging Profile – The Only Way to Move Forward
The content marketing industry is going through massive expansion right now. There’s an ever growing need for high value content that can create brand loyalty for businesses and attract new customers by establishing credibility.
But here lies the challenge.
The objective of content, in general, and blogging, in particular, has completely changed. Businesses are not looking for cheap backlinks from average quality articles.
That doesn’t help anymore.
Instead, the focus is completely on delivering industry knowledge and solutions that can help readers in solving their problems.
And to do that, they’re looking for accomplished and credible bloggers who not only know how to write for online audiences, but also have the required industry knowledge to develop actionable content.
As a freelance blogger, your challenge is to build a profile that stands out from the crowd and portrays you as a dependable solution for the particular needs of your clients.
That’s the only way you can benefit from the growing online content demand.
The Strategy that Worked for Me
In the last 5-6 months, I have been able to go from occasional freelance blogging clients to dozens of regular projects. My rates have also improved drastically. Above all, attracting high paying clients is not the challenge that it once used to be.
In fact, every time I apply for a blogging job, I almost always get a positive response.
The reason is quite simple – I identified my target clients and built my profile according to their needs.
Let me break up the whole process for you
1. Create Content for Your Target Audience
You’ll need to narrow down your focus if you want to attract high paying clients. Select your niche carefully and then stick to it. You can’t target internet marketing and dating niches at the same time.
Start your own blog and develop the kind of content that your clients would like to create for their blogs. Every time you start writing a post, ask yourself if it’s something your clients would like to publish as well.
I got this advice from my friend Bamidele Onibalusi, and it literally changed the way I viewed my blog. As freelancers, we don’t need a huge following on our blogs to attract clients. Our only need is to create a blog that could be used as a sample for our future clients.
2. Get the Big Names on Your Profile
High quality content on your own blog will demonstrate your writing skills. But it won’t alone be enough to get you high paying clients. Your content will need the approval and recommendation of the top names of your industry to really make an impact.
This is where guest blogging comes in.
When you get published on a leading blog of your niche, it acts as a vote of confidence for your content from that blog. It shows your clients that your work is good enough to feature on the most widely followed blogs of their niche.
This will differentiate you from the rest of the crowd and build your brand image that can be used to attract high paying clients.
Personally, I’m all against guest blogging for the sake of backlinks only – at least for freelancers.
Branding and image building should be your primary reasons for guest blogging. And you don’t need to feature on a million blogs to achieve that.
High quality guest posts on 4-5 top blogs of your niche are enough to build your credibility.
Read this to learn more about guest blogging on popular blogs.
3. Aggressively Reach Out to Your Target Customers
High quality content on your own blog and a few solid samples on top niche blogs are enough to get you ready for action.
Now you only need to add the samples to your online profiles and then aggressively hunt for your potential customers.
Start by displaying the logos of the top niche blogs, where you’ve been featured, on your own blog (I’ve done that as well). Also list your best guest posts on your Hire Me page
Look for your potential customers on freelance blogging job portals (learn more), industry forums and their company websites.
Show them your best samples and highlight the blogs that you’ve been published on.
I can say with complete confidence that the response rate on your job applications will increase to almost 100% once you add solid samples to your application email.
This happened with me as well.
The day I added guest blogging samples from Problogger, Hongkiat, theWriteLife, JeffBullas etc. to my job application emails, I started getting positive responses.
In many cases, the client agreed to pay more than double the rate mentioned in their job advertisement, just because I had great samples.
As a freelance blogger, you need to think from your client’s perspective. Understand their challenge, which is to identify the best bloggers out of hundreds of options. Make their job easier by building your brand image through smart guest blogging and aggressive marketing. I’m absolutely certain that you’ll get the high paying clients that you currently only dream of.