By Bamidele Onibalusi
Having a blog can be the smartest decision you can make as a writer — not only because it shows potential clients a live sample of your writing, but also because it can be a client magnet.
In fact, there was a recent study that showed that blogging has proved more effective than Superbowl ads for client generation.
Unfortunately, while blogging can be very effective for sending an endless stream of clients your way, that doesnâ€™t mean getting clients is as simple as just putting up a â€œhire meâ€ page. Believe me, Iâ€™ve tried that. And it isnâ€™t that simple.
I have learned a few things by tweaking my blog to increase the number of clients I get for my freelance writing services. Here are my proven tips on how to use your blog to attract decent clients:
Scare People Off with Your ‘Hire Me’ Page. When it comes to marketing your services and getting clients, the idea is that there is value in numbers. After all, wouldnâ€™t it be better to get a lot of clients and then weed through them to determine which ones to work for? Unfortunately, it doesnâ€™t work like that!
That was the approach I was following with my Hire Me page for a while, and I was getting around 5 client requests in a week. While that sounds like a good thing, the frustrating thing about it is that all of the people contacting me were people that wanted to pay peanuts for my work. I even got contacted by someone that wanted me to write an entire Kindle book for less than $500.
I was frustrated, so I decided to make changes to my hire me page to scare the cheapskates off. I decided to put a P.S. below my Hire Me form with the following message:
â€œIâ€™m pretty selective about who I work with, so only contact me if you want results from your business. If youâ€™re on a very low budget, or are looking for ways to manage your budget, Iâ€™m probably not the best fit for you.â€
The result was that the number of people wanting to hire me reduced significantly, but I started getting better offers from every single person that contacted me thereafter.
The reality is you donâ€™t need 20 clients. You only need five clients willing to pay you what youâ€™re worth.
Donâ€™t try to make your Hire Me page appeal to everyone — instead, use it to scare away those people you donâ€™t want to work with. This approach might sound a little bit harsh, but the results will surprise you.
Publish Tutorials and Posts with Your Experience. Getting clients via your Hire Me page isnâ€™t just about putting up the page, but about using your existing content to drive business your way.
There are two main types of content you can use to get people to hire you, and the first one is to publish tutorials sharing your experience on how to solve a particular problem.
A lot of people will benefit from your tutorial and then share it with their friends, but not everybody will follow the tutorial. Some people wonâ€™t follow because they donâ€™t have the time, and some wonâ€™t follow because they think you will be a better person to help them with the problem. These are your ideal clients.
Make sure you publish regular tutorial posts in your area of expertise, while at the same time including links back to your Hire Me page. IfÂ people just finished reading your tips, they will be in the right frame of mind to hire you.
Hereâ€™s a great example of a tutorial post on my blog that still sends clients today, even though it was published a year ago.
You might be wondering why it should be tutorial posts instead of other kinds of posts, but here are two reasons why they always work:
– Tutorial posts showcase your expertise: Only someone with a deep insight into a subject can write a tutorial on it, and thatâ€™s exactly your message whenever you publish a tutorial. People read and enjoy it, and they see that you have great experience with it.
Most tutorials are too comprehensive to be read in a sitting. But they still communicate your expertise, thereby leading to someone who wants a quick and better solution: to hire you.
– Tutorial posts get ranked well in the search engines: Tutorials are often very heavy with points, tips, and graphics. This often makes them the ultimate guide on a subject due to how detailed and comprehensive they are, and as a result brings about quality links, social media shares, and a lot of comments. These are signals that influence search engine rankings, and they usually accompany a lot of tutorial posts.
If any of your posts get ranked well in the search engines, it means it will get traffic for years to come. This also will lead to more prospective clients seeing the post and wanting to hire you.
Publish Regular Case Studies to Show Your Expertise: Nothing demonstrates your expertise better than case studies.
Things are so complicated online these days that people no longer know who to believe. They have good reasons for this, considering the number of websites and blogs online.
Real businesses want results; they care about nothing else. Publishing case studies on how your skills are helping your business or your clientsâ€™ businesses grow will go a long way to prove that you know your stuff.
Good case studies show how you got a particular result from a particular approach, what it took to get that result, and why the approach is effective. This is just like getting a solid testimonial for your service, and doing this will help allay all the fears potential clients may have about the effectiveness of your services.
Focus on SEO Traffic: The majority of the clients I have today found me through the search engines, mostly by discovering my tutorials, case studies, or my Hire Me page in the search engine results.
A great example is my guest blogging article I linked to earlier as an example in the tutorial section; I wrote the post specifically with SEO in mind, I optimized the title with SEO in mind, and Iâ€™ve built dozens of links to it till date via guest blogging.
The result: It now ranks #3 for the keyword â€œguest blogging,â€ making it the highest ranking blog post for the keyword. The post also pulls in around 2,000 visitors monthly, 80 percent of which comes directly from various guest blogging related keywords.
Google is currently the number-one website online today, and also the number-one traffic referrer to most websites online. Ignoring it can be dangerous to your business.
The good news about SEO is that it isnâ€™t as complicated or technical as most people would like you to believe, and it often involves doing the same thing you already do.
SEO is mostly about writing good content and getting quality backlinks. Writing shouldnâ€™t be a problem for you, and you can get quality backlinks by writing for other blogs.
As you can see from the tips above, getting quality clients from your blog isnâ€™t as complicated as most people will have you believe. Youâ€™re probably familiar with some of my tips above, and Iâ€™d like to believe they are as practical as they can be; start implementing them today and letâ€™s know how they impact your business!
Bamidele Onibalusi is a young blogger, writer, and founder of YoungPrePro.com; a blog that teaches people how to write for traffic and money. If you want to supercharge your writing today, make sure you check out his free report, The Writerâ€™s Handbook: How to Write for Traffic and Money.