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Old 08-24-2013, 08:33 AM
jonrpatrick's Avatar
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Good morning!

Okay, I've talked myself around in circles on this, so I'd love y'alls thoughts!

Recently, I've had a bolt of inspiration hit me.... if I spend so much time writing why not get paid for it!
Thus, I'm launching my freelancing career!


I've got experience as a blogger, so I know how to put together a blog, the basics of SEO, and can write on a wide variety of topics.

I've purchased a 'getting started' course, and one thing that's come up in it, and on multiple other sites where I've seen recommended to start your own blog. That clients will come to you, and a showcase for your work, and the site and articles you can use in your submissions as examples.

My question is this, for those that this has worked for... what is the overall 'topic' of your blog. How do you approach this from the mentality of future clients?

Right now I'm considering a 'freelancing life' theme, with articles not only on technology, autos, health, etc. but the step-by-steps I'm going through and successes and failures.

On the one hand, this feels far too dilute to have an impact in the search engines, but from a clients POV, this would be exactly what I'd want to see.

I'm humbly asking for any feedback from successful freelancers who've started their own blog to attract clients. Am I pointed in the right direction or off base here in how to proceed?

Thanks in advance, and I hope you have a great weekend!
Jon Patrick
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:05 AM
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Hmmmm...I think you should have done a little forum search before posting your question.

Either way, I suggest you do one now. Your questions will surely be answered.

Just some food for thought - there are more than 31 million bloggers in the U.S. alone and over 190 million blogs in the world - the same www world in which all bloggers (and website owners in general) share and compete for ratings.

The only place I've ever really heard of bloggers 'being discovered' - aka - clients coming to you - is via social media sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, and even at that, it's a rarity.

Nothing is impossible, however, again I highly suggest you do some reality research. The search bar inside this forum is an excellent place to begin.

I just did a quick search using 'freelance writer' and 'freelancing life' (your words).

Google search findings:

freelance writer - About 38,600,000 results (0.27 seconds)
freelancing life - About 3,940,000 results (0.18 seconds)
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrpatrick View Post
I've purchased a 'getting started' course, and one thing that's come up in it, and on multiple other sites where I've seen recommended to start your own blog. That clients will come to you, and a showcase for your work, and the site and articles you can use in your submissions as examples.

My question is this, for those that this has worked for... what is the overall 'topic' of your blog. How do you approach this from the mentality of future clients?

Right now I'm considering a 'freelancing life' theme, with articles not only on technology, autos, health, etc. but the step-by-steps I'm going through and successes and failures.
It is absolutely a good idea and clients find me through my blog ALL THE TIME! My main blog is about freelance writing and blogging. But, if I had it to do differently, I would have gone niche. I would have picked a particular topic that I am really good at writing about and branded myself as a specialist. Specialists make more money than generalists and although it might take a bit longer to see results, you can also make more money from a niche type of blog and by writing about blogging and writing. Writers are the main readers on my blog and to be honest, they don't click on ads very often so I make very little. And the blogging niche is totally oversaturated so it will be hard to establish yourself as an expert there.

Do you have an education? Educational credits go a long way in being an expert or a specialist in something.

Besides your blog you will want to get published posts on other sites, too. Look for sites in your niche where you can guest post and get links in your author box and have a byline. These are very good for your samples area.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:13 PM
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You're absolutely spot on about the niche site dmcgaw. It certainly is the best idea for new bloggers and you're also right about the market being over saturated with niche bloggers. Oh, if only we had all 'gotten in' earlier and knew then what we know now.

Education credits are becoming the only way to get a good paying gig these days, with a reputable company as a specialist, that is...so yes, will be helpful there too. Good points.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:55 PM
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Personally, I think you can start a blog in virtually any niche you enjoy writing about, and use it as a sample to give to your clients. I also offer clients a discount on my price if they publish the work under my name (and a further discount if it includes a bio with link to my site). This way I can refer people to a site where I have written, which is in the same topic they are interested in.

For example, many clients want me to write about Internet Marketing & make money online. I can refer them to a site where I've been writing for over a year, so they can see not only that I have the chops as a writer, but also that I'm an 'authority' in that niche. I make quite a bit less per article writing for that site than I normally would, but it has helped me to get many great clients, because everything is published in my name.

At first, however, you'll need to go out looking for clients rather than hoping that they come to you. There are many ways to do that including eLance, oDesk, Fiverr and others.

Good luck!

Michael
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:43 PM
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I have to agree with Micheal on this one. I have several blogs in various niches. My clients find me through the niche that they are networked in. If you enjoy what you write and enjoy the blogging you offer, then the clients in that niche will find you. In my experience, the worst thing you can do is try to narrow down a niche based on where you think the clients will be. Don't do that. You will only pigeon hole yourself into a topic that drives you nuts after a time and then you will be stuck with a client that may pay well, but the topic isn't a fit for you. Take it from my experience. It's not a place you want to be in.

Figure out the niches YOU enjoy. Find clients and network with people in those niches. The clients will find you. Do keep in mind though, and I'm sure you already know this, you need to bring the clients as much as have them come to you on their own. Network, comment on blogs, comment on social media, make your presence known. Dangle the carrot so to speak and bring them to you while getting your name out there.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:52 AM
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You also have to be ready to roll with the changes. I am a huge fan of Supertaster Daily and after years of doing videos that often had my family and I laughing, it was announced at the end of the week that Chow.com dropped him, at a time when he was nearing his 3 millionth view. So he lost the funding for that long-running video blog in one shot. He has other projects, but with a new baby, I'm sure that loss of income was a huge shock.

I've had similar things happen to me. I have my own blogs, I have private clients, and I rely on mills if something happens, but that's just it, I have the back-up plan in place. Make sure you don't overlook that aspect of freelance writing.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:37 PM
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Be willing also to put some "non-writing" eggs in your basket. I used to rate for Leapforce and now do crowdsource rating for ABH. You'd be surprised how many writers and bloggers have different sources of income for backup. Once upon a time when I first started and work was slow, I worked for a guy who had 75 websites with forums posting comments and participating in forum topics. It was actually pretty interesting, and I stayed on some of the forums even after he stopped paying.
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