How to Build a Freelance Writing Portfolio

How to Build a Freelance Writing Portfolio by Krissi Driver

When you’re looking for freelance writing opportunities, most potential clients will ask to see at least one writing sample before deciding to work with you. For newer freelancers, this can be a huge obstacle. After all, how do you build a freelance writing portfolio before you’ve actually gotten any writing assignments?

Luckily, you have a few different options when it comes to putting together a portfolio of writing samples. Here are 4 different ways you can assemble a freelance writing portfolio without a lot of experience.

 

1. Do some work for free.

While I’m a huge advocate for writers knowing their worth and getting paid for the work they do, when you’re brand-new to the freelance world, it’s not always a bad idea to do a little work for free. A business or website is much more likely to take a chance on publishing your work if they don’t have anything to lose by doing so. 

A great way to do this is to pitch your services to small or local businesses that are looking to expand their online presence. You can offer to write blog posts or web content for them in exchange for being able to use that work in your portfolio later on. 

If you’re having a hard time finding anyone in need of free blog posts or web content, feel free to take the lead! Conduct some research and write a few articles in your chosen niche to have on hand. You don’t have to pitch them to anyone; you just need to make sure they’re well-written and properly edited. 

While some potential clients will ask for links to published writing samples, many just want to see an example of your work to evaluate your skill level and writing voice before they hire you. You can find plenty of freelance work just by showing you’re capable of producing quality writing. 

 

2. Take some low-paying gigs to get your feet wet. 

An alternative to working for free is to accept a few low-paying gigs in order to fill out your portfolio. Upwork is a great place to look for these types of jobs. Upwork is a job board that allows you to create an account and apply for multiple jobs at once. It’s great for newer writers because it provides some security in terms of ensuring you get paid when the work is done. 

 

How to Build a Freelance Writing Portfolio at KrissiDriver.com

 

While you can make a bit of money on Upwork with some skill and practice, most of the jobs you’ll find there are pretty entry-level, low-paying, and in high demand. That said, if you write a killer cover letter, you can beat out the competition and snag these gigs even without a portfolio already in place. 

You can also check websites like Craigslist or job boards like All Freelance Writing, ProBlogger, and BloggingPro for low-paying or beginner-level writing work. As you apply for gigs and start communicating with potential clients, use your best judgment and try to target reputable people. 

Remember that if something sounds fishy or seems too good to be true, it probably is. Protect yourself by doing the smart thing and walk away if something doesn’t feel right.

 

3. Write for an agency.

Another option is to find an opportunity to write for a digital marketing agency. Many agencies specifically hire newer writers because they want to keep their prices low and less experienced writers can be paid a cheaper rate. 

While you won’t make as much money writing for an agency as if you were pitching clients on your own, it’s a great way to gain a lot of writing experience in a hurry. Agencies usually have clients across a variety of industries, so you can work on your research skills while putting together a diverse portfolio. In the meantime, you’ll be getting paid consistently for your work.

 

4. Guest post on other blogs and publications. 

Finally, you might want to look into guest posting on other blogs or online publications, especially if you have a blog for your freelance writing business that you’d like to advertise. Guest blogging not only gives you examples of published works to add to your portfolio, but also allows you an opportunity to link back to your own website and get your name out there. 

Seek out bloggers in a niche you feel comfortable writing about, then send a personalized email asking if they’d be interested in a collaboration. Mention why you feel that your writing would be a good fit for their website, and include some ideas for what you’d like to write about. 

In the case of online publications, look on business-targeted websites (for example, Business Insider or Entrepreneur Magazine) for instructions on how to pitch to the company’s editorial team and follow the instructions to a “T.” 

With both of these options, the more you can show you did your research, the more likely a blogger or editor will be to give you a chance.

 

While working to build a freelance writing portfolio might be a bit of an investment up-front, it’s worthwhile to spend some time assembling work you can be proud of. Not only will these writing samples help you gain experience as a writer, but they’ll also help you land higher-paying writing gigs as you grow in your career. 

 

Can I Make Money as a Freelance Writer in This Economy?

Can I Make Money as a Freelance Writer in This Economy? post graphic by Krissi Driver

With all of the chaos happening in the world at any given time, it’s understandable for people to wonder about their job security. Fortunately, freelance writing is a career that can be done remotely from anywhere in the world, so it’s a business model that has withstood a lot of the turbulence that many industries are facing.

However, with such a saturated job market and so many businesses closing their doors due to Covid-19, is it even possible to make money as a freelance writer in the current economy? 

The answer is yes, and here are 5 reasons why. 

 

1. People are still buying things and spending money. 

Although many businesses are struggling right now, life hasn’t come to a complete halt. People are still shopping, whether for necessities or just for fun! Online shopping is at an all-time high and many online retailers are seeing boosts in their business now that people are staying home.

In addition, the US has been sending stimulus checks to help restart the economy, giving many people the opportunity to invest that money back into their favorite businesses. Because of this, many companies are looking to increase their online presence, and they need freelancers to do it. 

 

2. The demand for online content is higher than ever. 

The internet is now the face of all businesses. Any business without a website in 2020 and beyond doesn’t stand much of a chance for long-term survival with very few exceptions. People are spending more time online than ever before in history: for work, shopping, and everything in between. This has greatly increased the need for solid copy written by talented freelance writers.

Many businesses that could have gotten by without a website in the past are now scrambling to develop their digital footprint and most of them don’t have the budget to hire in-house copywriters to do the job. Freelancers are still the most popular choice for many businesses looking for copywriters, social media managers, bloggers, and more. 

 

3. Many businesses are either unaffected by the economic climate or thriving because of it.

There are certain types of businesses, such as law offices or medical suppliers, whose goods and services are more in-demand now than ever. While many small businesses are suffering due to the current state of the economy, there are other industries that are evergreen due to the necessary services they provide. 

A few examples include:

  • Repair services
  • Law
  • Public works
  • Many types of retailers
  • Information technology
  • Healthcare

While individual companies within these spheres might be feeling the effects of the current crisis, these industries as a whole are a great place to look if you want to find stable freelance work, regardless of the global climate. 

 

Can I Make Money as a Freelance Writer in This Economy? post graphic by Krissi Driver

 

4. There's a need for highly specialized writing. 

With people spending more time online, there's a higher need for writers who specialize in specific forms of writing. This could mean developing a focus on one type of content, such as landing pages, product descriptions, social media captions, or long-form blog posts. 

It can also mean narrowing your focus to a specific niche industry, such as asphalt paving or industrial automation. While it’s hard to break into an entirely new niche, it can be worthwhile to have a specialty that you can consider yourself an expert in – it could be the difference that helps you consistently make money as a freelance writer.

 

5. There is always a need for good freelance writers. 

There are lots of people out there who fancy themselves writers, but they simply don't have the talent for it. Worse, there are people trying to write who have terrible habits – their work is full of grammatical errors, incorrect punctuation, or other mistakes. 

If you’re a detail-oriented freelancer with great time management and communication skills, there are businesses out there who would love to work with you. Good talent is hard to find in any economy, but especially now that more people than ever are looking to make a living online. Set yourself apart by being a joy to work with and you’ll be surprised how far you can go and how much money you can make as a freelancer. 

 

Getting Started and Make Money as a Freelance Writer

If you’re considering a career as a freelance writer, now is a great time to start. You’ll need to have writing samples prepared when you apply to freelance jobs, so be sure to have some on hand that are relevant to your chosen niche. 

It helps to create a website in order to organize your portfolio and show clients you know your stuff. I have a whole blog post about how to make your own blog or website

Not sure where to start or even how to be a freelance writer? Check out my Start Freelance Writing self-study course. I’ll teach you how to get started and at the end of 6 weeks, you’ll be ready to sprout your own wings and fly off into the freelancing sunset.

 

Overall, freelance writing is a great way to build a skill set that you can utilize from anywhere in the world, whether you’re writing for a local business or a client halfway across the globe. No matter how the economy shifts, you’ll have an adaptable career that can grow and change along with you. 

 

5 (Free) Ways to Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer

5 (Free) Ways to Market Yourself as a Writer with Krissi Driver

This article contains several affiliate links to brands I know, use, and trust. I receive a small commission when you purchase services through these links.

As a business owner, you have to market yourself as a freelance writer and be your own advocate if you want to see success. With so many qualified professionals across a variety of industries, the best way to find new clients is to put yourself out there and stand out from the crowd. 

It can be intimidating to market yourself when you have no budget, but it can be done! Here are 5 great ways to promote your writing and secure new clients – and best of all, they’re all completely free. 

 

1. Have a Professional Email Signature

Whether you’re pitching articles or corresponding with contacts in your industry, the life of a writer involves a lot of emails. Having a professional email signature is a low-stakes way to boost your image and promote your online presence. 

Whether you want to link to your social media profiles, plug your website, or add a line advertising your skills, taking the time to craft an attractive signature will show that you know what you’re doing and that you’re serious about your services. 

Make a point to include your picture, too, to further personalize your message. People like being able to put a face with a name.

 

2. Create a Website 

A website is the best way to showcase your work, tell potential clients a little about yourself, and boost your search engine optimization through site content and blog posts. A professional-looking website builds trust between you and your client and gives them a taste of what you can do. 

(I wrote a bit about why you should have a personal website here if you still need convincing.) 

While a custom domain and hosting services cost money, there are plenty of free website builders out there to help you get started no matter your skill level. That said, I recommend you set up shop with WordPress.com as a beginner. While there is a free option, I recommend purchasing your own domain for $18 USD annually (this looks more professional than the free option which includes “.wordpress.com” in your URL) and choosing one of the paid packages, either the Personal or Professional options. 

 

Get Fancier

While WordPress.com is a great place for beginners, your capabilities are very limited. For example, you can’t add “plugins” (apps that give you more robust functions like collecting email addresses or checking your SEO strength) unless you pay for WordPress’s Business option, which is quite expensive.

What does it take to be a freelance writer? post graphic by krissi driverIf you’re looking for more functionality, I recommend hosting a WordPress website with SiteGround and creating your site with the very user-friendly Divi Theme from Elegant Themes. Divi is a drag-and-drop theme that is incredibly versatile and easy to use. You don’t need any experience building websites or need to know any code. There are lots of informative video tutorials to help you learn the system and make the different templates your own.

You’ll also want to create a portfolio, whether it lives on your site or on an external platform like Contently. Clients almost always want to see an example of your writing before they agree to work with you, so make sure this space is organized and easy to find. 

All that said, if you do choose to start out with WordPress.com, once you start seeing more success as a writer, I do recommend that you make the switch and pay for your own domain and hosting. At that point, you might even want to invest in a custom logo or web design to help curate your client’s experience. For your very first website, however, a site with WordPress.com is more than enough to make a difference. 

I teach newbie freelance writers how to set up their own websites – both on WordPress and via SiteGround hosting with the Divi Theme – in my Start Freelance Writing course. If you’re feeling apprehensive about getting started, sign up to get help and support. 

 

3. Get Published on Other Sites

Guest posting for high-traffic websites is a great way to get your name out there and help build your reputation. You can pitch guest post ideas to big names in your niche or offer to swap posts with another writer to put your work in front of new eyes. 

If you don’t yet have any connections in your niche of choice, no worries! Websites like Medium allow writers to post blogs and maintain an author profile while occasionally promoting articles within the platform, potentially netting a lot of views. 

LinkedIn is another great place to market yourself as a freelance writer and posting your content. If the right person shares your post, you could be looking at a significant boost in views. Not to mention, LinkedIn makes it easier than ever to network with other writers and potential clients. 

 

4. Be Present on Social Media 

Social media is one of the best marketing tools to have in your arsenal. A consistent social media presence is free to maintain and allows you to meet potential clients and other writers alike. You never know what social media friendships will turn into business opportunities later down the line.

When it comes to social media success, there are two things to remember: Consistency and engagement. You need to post regularly in order to stay relevant in the eyes of the social media algorithms and you need to interact with other users in order to forge meaningful connections. 

Most people can tell when someone is only on social media to promote their own agenda and it’s not interesting to follow someone who only talks about themselves. By making your posts meaningful, liking and commenting on other profiles, and delivering consistent, relevant content, you’ll have a social media presence that others will want to keep up with. 

 

5. Nail Your Pitch

As a writer, your pitch is often your first impression with a potential client. You might have the best website out there but no one will visit it if your pitch letter is underwhelming. 

If you have writer friends, ask them to look over your pitch letter before sending it out. Look at examples of real pitch letters online that have seen success. Plenty of writers are willing to share what worked for them in order to help others in their industry. 

 

Trying to market yourself as a freelance writer can feel scary, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to find new clients. By using these free tips, you’ll be well on your way to reaching new heights in your freelance writing career. 

 

What Does It Take to Be a Freelance Writer?

be a freelance writer with krissi driver

This article contains affiliate links to brands I know, use, and trust. I receive a small commission when you purchase services through these links.

Deciding to be a freelance writer is a dream for many people. The ability to work from anywhere and make your own schedule is pretty appealing, especially now, when it’s more common than ever to work remotely due to the novel coronavirus. 

But not everyone is cut out for freelance life. Whether you’re looking to write full-time or just as a side gig, there are a few key traits that any good freelancer should have. Here are the most important qualities to develop if you want to pursue a writing career. 

 

1. Organization

Freelance writing can easily get kind of chaotic, especially if you have multiple clients. A good freelancer knows how to keep their deadlines straight, whether that involves keeping a meticulous paper planner or using a project management software like Asana, ClickUp, or Trello

Personally, I use ClickUp – which I only just started using recently. I like their paid version better than Trello (with whom I had an account for years and used it only sporadically) because I can switch between the board and list views. 

Since working on my Start Freelance Writing course, ClickUp has been a game-changer. It’s helped me keep track of what I need to get done every week for the course as well as ensure I’m keeping tabs on all my work for my own freelance writing clients.

I also use my Google calendar and set up daily reminder emails to keep track of my own content as well as my clients’ content. Between these two systems, I keep my freelance writing business on track.

 

2. Discipline

When it comes to freelance work, there’s no manager checking in to make sure you’re writing at any given time. It’s easy to get distracted by other tasks you want or need to get done (hello, Netflix and all the books I’m trying to read!), but you need to have the discipline to work – even though it’s always easier (and tempting!) to nap or watch TV! 

A freelancer should have solid time management skills, especially if you’re writing as a side hustle. It’s hard to maintain a work-life balance when you work from home, so you’ll need to make sure you can get your work done on time while juggling all of your other responsibilities. 

It’s not always easy, but setting up consistent routines can help you get into the groove. I’ve found that having specific days where I focus on certain clients or projects really helps me to not only stay organized but know what’s coming up every week. I use my ClickUp and Google calendars religiously. 

 

3. Detail-Orientation 

Often, writers who write for agencies or big companies will have an editor to look over their work before it goes live. When freelancing, however, you have to be your own editor. It’s important to have a good eye for detail so you don’t send over work that’s riddled with mistakes. What does it take to be a freelance writer? post graphic by krissi driver

Not everyone is a natural perfectionist, though, and that’s okay. Thanks to spell check, the burden on you is significantly reduced. Of course, spell check alone isn’t enough to guarantee a perfect article. Read everything over several times before you send it to a client to detect any grammar or syntax mistakes that spell check might have missed. 

My biggest tip is to read your work aloud. It makes you feel a bit stupid, but it works like a charm. Sounding out your sentences gives you a better idea of how they flow and grammatical errors can be more jarring when you hear them than when you read them. 

If you really want to get fancy and be extra-sure of your work, try reading paragraph-by-paragraph from the end and read in a pattern of 3 to 4 words at a time. Each sentence takes on a new cadence and, believe it or not, you’ll spot things that feel or sound awkward (or straight up don’t make sense) better than you will if you’re just reading straight through from beginning to end.

Once you’ve read “backwards” and have made changes, start again from the beginning and read it aloud naturally to ensure everything still makes sense.

If all else fails, try giving yourself some time between finishing your piece and sending it to the client so you can look it over with fresh eyes before submission. Sometimes being too close to the work can blind us to otherwise obvious mistakes. 

 

4. Professionalism

While some people might think freelancers sit at home in their pajamas all day, freelance writing is a job like any other. You have to take your own work seriously if you want your clients to treat you right. 

Be on time if not early. Never send work late – I live by this rule: “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” Sending work after the deadline you’ve agreed on is a no-no.

Be courteous and respectful in emails and conduct yourself the same way you would if you had a boss looking over your shoulder. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Your clients will respect you more if you stick to your rates and take pride in the work you do.  

 

5. Resourcefulness

Freelance work ebbs and flows. One month your calendar might be booked solid, while the next… crickets. Factors like holidays, time of year, or current events can all affect the number of freelance jobs available at any given time. 

That said, there is always a need for freelance writers. There is a place for every story and plentiful opportunities across the internet. Sometimes you have to hit the virtual pavement to find new gigs, but it’s doable. 

If you want to rely on freelance work as a source of income, you’ll have to be resourceful and manage your workload so you’re never left with no (or not enough) money coming in. Sometimes this involves spacing out client work so you’re not overwhelmed all at once, but other times all you can do is make sure to have a savings cushion to get you through the lean times. 

 

6. Great Writing Skills

Last but not least, the obvious answer: In order to succeed as a freelance writer, you have to have strong writing skills. 

The good news is this can be learned! Writing for the web is different from creative writing or journalism. The flow is very conversational and as long as you have a solid grasp of spelling and grammar, you should be able to learn the rhythm with a little practice. 

If you want to improve your writing, there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn. Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare are three big-name online education platforms with plenty of writing courses. Hubspot Academy is another great website to learn about writing for the web. 

 

While not everyone is cut out to be a freelance writer, it’s possible to learn if you have the drive. With a little dedication, you can master these skills and start earning money while living the freelance dream. 

 

5 Ways to Build an Audience

5 Ways to Build an Audience Online

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur selling a physical product or service, a blogger, or hoping to become an internet influencer sensation, you’ve got to build an audience. 

There’s no question that it takes time to develop an engaged following and there’s more than one way to do it, but the fact remains: it’s a crucial part of earning money online.

Without followers, no one will buy from you because you have no one to sell to. 

It’s that simple. Seems simple, right?

In theory, it is. But building an audience online takes a lot of work and consistency. The beginning stages are oftentimes the hardest because you may not see much return for all the elbow grease you’re putting into the work. But with time and dedication, you’ll soon have your systems running practically on autopilot and bringing in more and more fans to your audience.

So, how do you do it? 

 

5 Ways to Build an Audience

Like I said, there’s more than one way to build an audience. If you want to maximize your reach, your best bet is to utilize a mix of social media, email newsletters, and online content.

No matter how you go about it, you’ll have to do a little research to see what will get your people to engage with you. This might mean testing a few things at once (not everything at once!) or trying one thing at a time for a few weeks to see what works well and what doesn’t.

The main ingredient here is to determine who your ideal audience actually is and where they spend the most time online. If you can figure that out, then you’ll know where you focus your efforts.

Here are the X main areas to focus on when building your audience.

 

1. The Social Media “Big 4”: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Social media is a huge, HUGE part of building an audience – there’s no doubt about it. As of 2019, people around the globe spend an average of nearly 2.5 hours scrolling through their social feeds every day. That’s a lot of social time.

It makes sense that every business and brand wants to have a strong social media presence. But, like everything else, it doesn’t make sense for every brand to have a profile on every platform available. 

Sure, massive companies like Nike, Apple, Starbucks, and others probably have social media accounts and followers on every conceivable platform out there, but they also have massive staff and advertising budgets that allow them to give multiple people the responsibility of keeping those profiles updated consistently.

As a solopreneur (meaning you’re doing everything yourself, girl!), you don’t have that luxury. Instead, you need to focus on where your ideal buyers are spending the most time. 

The safest bets are Facebook, Instagram, and maybe Twitter.

 

Facebook 

Facebook is a no-brainer. Since its debut all the way back in 2004, it’s remained the largest social media platform on the internet. Everyone who is anyone (ahem, all the peoples) spend at least some time on Facebook every week if not every day.

Facebook has created some great ways to communicate with your followers. While Facebook pages have lost their luster over the years, Facebook groups are a fantastic way to offer value to your fans and build trust so they’ll eventually buy from you.  

Build your Facebook audience by engaging in other groups, inviting friends from your personal circle of relationships and acquaintances, and talking up your page or group when you’re engaging with new people both on and off the internet.

 

Instagram

Instagram isn’t technically in the “top 3” most popular social media sites, but when we hear the term “social media,” tell me Instagram isn’t one of the main platforms you think of. (It ranks in your head with Facebook, doesn’t it?)

Instagram is, obviously, image-driven. Increasingly, videos are becoming more popular on the platform, too, but it remains a mostly still image site. It’s harder to share links here (you can only do that well in your profile bio) and there’s no such thing as “Instagram groups,” but as humans, we love looking at pretty, interesting photos. 

Instagram isn’t the best place to focus for everyone and it can be tougher to engage with your audience on this platform. On the flip side, it’s a great place to be for many entrepreneurs. 

Build an Instagram following by researching hashtags that correlate to what you do or who you’re trying to reach. Start small here – look for hashtags that have 1,000 or fewer images linked to them. It’s easier to be found with these by new followers who are also searching the same hashtags; it’s a lot harder to be found as a newbie entrepreneur with a still-small following using hashtags that have hundreds of thousands of images linked to them.

 

Twitter

Twitter, in my personal opinion, is a dying breed. Yes, the US president likes to air his grievances there at all hours of the day and night and yes, there are plenty of celebs that have great Twitter accounts that are very entertaining… but it’s a hard place to gather a following that will buy from you.

Twitter can, however, be a good place to interact with fans. In that sense, it’s not fair to completely shut it out of the “social media for business” running. After all, if we look at some big brands like Wendy’s (a US-based fast food restaurant) or Netflix, it’s clear that a dash of humor can go a long way in attracting an audience and engaging with them.

Build your Twitter following by following like-minded and -centered brands and influencers, big and small. Search for and use relevant hashtags in your tweets. Engage with others who have similar interests by commenting or retweeting their tweets. To make the most of Twitter, you’ll need to spend a significantly larger amount of time there than you might on Facebook or Instagram – you should be tweeting an average of 7-10 times in a single day.

 

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is different than the other social platforms because it’s specifically a place for professional social relationships. It’s not a “bad” place, per se, for Twitter-like funny quips every now and then, but the tone is quite different than all the other social platforms. 

This is a better place to be if you’re selling a “professional” product or service. In fact, professional services do the best here. LinkedIn gives its users some special tools, like groups, that are reminiscent of Facebook, but it also has some extra tricks up its sleeve. 

LinkedIn is a great place to show the world you’re an expert at what you do because you can create a sort of mini-blog there. Writing and publishing articles on topics of interest to your ideal audience is a great way to help yourself stand out from the crowd and gain a following or potential customers or clients.

Build your LinkedIn audience by seeking out others in your field or similarly-aligned fields and connect with them. Search and use hashtags like you would on Instagram or Twitter and engage with folks often on their posts. Write articles to publish on your LinkedIn account that are native only to LinkedIn and not on your website.

 

Other Social Platforms to Consider

While the “big 4” should be on your radar, there are a few others you might not want to ignore.

For example, TikTok has become all the rage in the last year or so. In my mind, it’s the new Snapchat. Both of these platforms are places where a mostly younger crowd spends time. In essence, unless your ideal audience or client is under the age of 25, it’s likely not worth worrying about these platforms.

That said, if you enjoy them and think they may be beneficial to your business, by all means, use them!

 

2. YouTube

Technically, YouTube could be classified as both a social media platform and a search engine. 

As videos are open to consumption for anyone surfing the web (assuming the account owner has left them open), viewers can leave comments and interact with the person who uploaded the videos. This makes the platform social. YouTube also gives channels with large subscriber followings the option to do “stories,” something that originated on Facebook and Instagram.

As it’s owned and operated by Google, the search engine side of it makes a lot of sense. Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you type a search question into Google that the results will come back with a few video options on YouTube? It’s pretty cool, right?

YouTube is a powerful tool and if you’re comfortable being in front of the camera, it can be an awesome place to build a following.

Build your YouTube following by using a few strategic keywords in your video titles. Also, make a point to comment on your own video and ask questions to engage viewers to respond. Make sure to invite viewers to subscribe to your channel often.

 

3. Your Blog

Your blog is a major place for you to build a following for a few reasons: 

  • It plays a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.
  • It gives you a place to demonstrate and showcase your expertise.
  • It shows your audience that your business is alive and kicking.
  • It offers a place for your audience to gain free value and ultimately helps you build trust with your followers.

Personally, as a content creator and marketer, I think every business should have a blog. I’m not kidding. Every. Freaking. Business. Needs a blog.

To make the most of your blog and grow your following, you need to write articles that

A) Are on topics that your audience finds interesting or answers frequent questions they may have, and 

B) Are consistently offering value.

Here’s the thing, buttercup: No one wants to read a blog article about how you added a new team member to your company. Or about how you’ve gained a new customer. Or spotlighting something that’s about only you or your company.

 

Blog Content Strategy Planning Spreadsheet from KrissiDriver.com

 

People will come to your blog because you have something of value to offer them – information, tutorials, tips and suggestions, and so on. Don’t make it about you because ain’t nobody care about you. We’re all selfish (and that’s okay sometimes!), so make it a point to keep your topics focused on your followers’ interest.

 

4. Online Advertisements

You certainly can “pay to play” on social media or search engines and drive traffic to your website. While I don’t recommend this for entrepreneurs just starting to build an audience and are still getting the swing of things, paid advertising can be a powerful tool.

If this is something you want to start considering, I would recommend beginning with Facebook/Instagram or LinkedIn advertising. All of these platforms are very affordable and have robust options to set up ads that, with research and practice, are fairly easy to use.

I would also recommend that you drive traffic to a landing page to download a free tool or product, like an ebook or Trello board or spreadsheet you’ve designed. This way, you can add those folks to your email list, which brings us to my last point…

 

5. Email Newsletters

Unlike social media, email newsletters are the only guaranteed way you have to connect with your audience. Why?

Because you don’t own your social profiles, social media platforms do. You could get locked out of your Facebook or LinkedIn group at any time and if you don’t have a backup list of all those people in your group (because let’s face it, who does that?!), then you’re screwed. How are you going to connect with your people?

Also, none of us have control over social media algorithms. We simply can’t compete and “organic reach” – meaning the number of people who see your posts in their news feeds without you paying advertising dollars to get your posts front and center – isn’t what it used to be.

By sending consistent email newsletters, though, we can be certain all our followers have an opportunity to hear what we have to say. Sure, we can’t guarantee that all those people will open our emails, but we can be sure it lands in their inbox and they at least see it there.

Build your email list by offering freebies like I mentioned above – ebooks, spreadsheets or worksheets you create, Trello boards, or other tools you can develop or set up and share. Set up shop with an email service provider like Mailerlite to keep everything under one proverbial roof and stay organized.

 

Building an audience takes work, yes. But it can also be a ton of fun and as time wears on, it’s well worth the effort you put in. If you’re hoping to make money online in any capacity, you need a flock of fans who are excited about what you have to offer. 

 

Pin It on Pinterest