How to Get Freelance Writing Leads From Your Personal Blog

Editor

Ever wonder if writing on your personal blog (for free) is worth your time?

Years ago, I found myself in a never-ending cycle when it came to freelance writing work. I would send tons of pitches for new writing jobs, and slowly but steadily, the work would come rolling in.

But then I found myself so busy with client work that I would stop pitching altogether. Eventually, I would finish all the work for my current clients, and find that my pipeline for the next month was pretty dry.

It’s a classic mistake. Sound familiar?

Then about eight months ago, I decided to start blogging once a week. I wanted to have a creative outlet and saw my personal blog as a fun hobby.

I didn’t think my blog would land me new freelance writing clients, but much to my surprise, it did. Increasingly, I started having potential clients find my blog, and then reach out to me about writing for them.

Now instead of always having to look for new work, I have freelance writing leads coming to me, which is the ideal scenario for any writer.

Want to learn how to use your personal blog to get freelance writing leads and clients? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Choose a niche for your blog

If you want to gain traction from your personal blog to find freelance work, then you need to have a specific niche. Having a niche gives you credibility, and it will make it easier for you to build an audience. 

And ideally, your personal blog niche will fit in with your freelance writing niche, but it doesn’t have to.

  • For instance, my freelance writing niche is finance, and the theme of my blog is freelance writing. 

The important thing is that when clients come to your personal blog, they see that you’re a professional and that you understand how to write for an audience. 

2. Optimize your blog posts for SEO

Whenever someone contacts me through my blog, I always ask how they found me. And more often than not, I learn that my leads found me from Google search. 

(Editor’s Note: It’s actually how we found Jamie Johnson after another writer backed out of this specific guest post assignment.)

That’s not a happy accident — it was intentional. My blog ranks for specific keywords because I spent some time doing keyword research before I ever wrote my first blog post.

Optimizing your blog posts for SEO

It can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. I never spent money on expensive SEO tools and instead, used UberSuggest, which is a free keyword planner from Neil Patel. 

UberSuggest helped me:

  • Identify current issues with my website
  • Discover pages with low word counts
  • Flag pages that were taking too long to load
  • Find keywords that had high search traffic, but were easy to rank for.

(And when you’re a new blogger, even a couple of hundred hits a month is considered “high search traffic!”)

Honestly, none of this work took very long, and my efforts started to pay off pretty quickly. About six months after I started blogging, I was ranking on the first page of Google for multiple keywords. 

3. Write a new blog post once a week

Confession: I have tried (and failed) to start a personal blog many times. In the past, I never stuck with blogging, because I would try to commit to posting a new blog post multiple times every week.

Been there, done that?

In the beginning, I would always start off strong.

But after about a month, life would start to get in the way. I would have a week where I was busy with client work, and I wouldn’t be able to justify writing unpaid posts for my personal blog.

Not. Any. More.

Today, I only write a new personal blog post once per week. And to make it easier on myself to come up with new ideas, I have a Google spreadsheet full of topic ideas based on my keyword research.

Grab a copy and create your own. Click the link > File > Make a copy.

The only way you’ll be successful with your blog is if you stick with it consistently. So be realistic and choose a posting schedule that works for you. I think once a week is the ideal posting frequency for the purpose of generating inbound leads.

4. Share your blog posts on social media

It takes time to get your blog to a point where it’s ranking in Google.

So in the meantime, make sure you’re sharing your new blog post on social media, like.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

I also like to share blog posts in Facebook groups that allow promotional threads. I’ll share a link to my blog post with a brief description, and almost every time, at least one person will share it on Twitter or save it to Pinterest.

Remember, other bloggers are looking for things to post about on social media, too. So why not let them share your content for you? 

Bottom line: If you don’t have a personal blog, then it’s time to start one

If you don’t currently have a personal blog, it’s time to start one! Blogging can be a great way to make a name for yourself and bring in a steady stream of freelance writing leads.

But you have to be strategic about it. Writing about rainbows and unicorns on your personal blog isn’t going to help you much. And a personal blog isn’t going to replace other types of marketing overnight.

You will most definitely still have to put yourself out there and continue pitching your services. But once you’ve used your personal blog to brand yourself as an expert, then even that will become easier over time.

Need help with your personal blog to generate freelance leads?  Let’s discuss in the comment section below.

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about personal finance and small business.

Recession-Proof-Freelance Writing - MAKEALIVINGWRITING.COm

15 Comments

  1. Angela Holmes-Abrams

    Thanks so much, Carol!
    Your recent weekly blog posts have been phenomenally informative & inspiring!💖

    I just finished a huge project and I PROMISED to get my half-finished blog site up & running.

    Like you, I’m aiming for both a creative outlet and a revenue generator. Your testimonial is extra proof to get this thing done.

    Many blessings!

    Reply
  2. Willi Morris

    I’ve considered combining some of my personal blog posts (which ended up getting published) and my business posts. I haven’t written in ages and I was only doing monthly! Thanks for this. I may just go back to doing two separate blogs.

    Reply
  3. Felix Abur

    Would you also recommend guest-posting once a week to link back to the blog posts on your site?

    Reply
    • Jamie Johnson

      Personally, I am only just now starting to focus on guest posting. I like to focus on one strategy at a time – I mastered writing weekly SEO-optimized blog posts, and now I’m moving on to guest posting and getting backlinks.

      Reply
  4. Empish

    Thanks for this post. I have been blogging professionally since 2013 but just this year launched my personal blog. Your words have encouraged me to keep going. I also appreciate the SEO tool and will sign up to use that. sounds like a great resource for keywords and rankings on internet searching.

    Reply
  5. Jeremy K. Delancy

    An inspiring post. I’ve been messing around with a vanity blog for years and only started using Yoast SEO four months ago.
    Do you have any other blogging tools that might be useful?

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I really don’t use too many. I like Canva for graphics and Deposit Photos for stock photos but that’s really it!

      Reply
  6. Sasha Kildare

    Excellent article. I really appreciate your suggestions on SEO. It is daunting. I have been blogging for years, but mainly about writing narrative non-fiction and fiction and creativity and depression. I was laid off in June and could end up freelancing more than the occasional journalism piece. I am taking an excellent copywriting course and know I need an entirely new copywriting website. I was a corporate copywriter but from there went back to teaching high school and didn’t save anything.

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I’m sorry to hear you were laid off! I think most people make SEO seem more complicated than it actually is.

      I think what’s helped me is focusing on consistency over doing things perfectly. And once I had an audience, paying attention to what they want to read about.

      Reply
  7. Dafna Breines

    Thank you so much for this post.
    I have been fiddling around with writing a personal blog for I don’t know how long. This has given me the motivation to just go for it.
    I do have a couple of questions and I’d be really grateful if you (or someone else out there) could answer them:
    1) What is the best and easiest platform to use? I’ve heard lots about WordPress and Medium but have no idea which is better and what the differences are.
    2) If using WP, is BlueHost really the best option?
    3) My passion is geopolitics and current events and that’s what I would want to blog about, but it has nothing to do with the kind of jobs I usually get. Is that an issue if I’m a content creator?
    Thanks so much!
    Dafna Breines

    Reply
    • Angie Mansfield

      Hi, Dafna –

      We like to steer people away from platforms where you don’t really have full ownership of your content – for example, if Medium disappears a year from now (as many platforms have in the past), you have to start over from scratch somewhere else. But if you go with self-hosted WordPress, you have full control over how long your website exists and what you do with the content on it. Which host you choose is up to you, but BlueHost gets good reviews as an inexpensive, WordPress-friendly option.

      As for your topic…there are a couple of ways to look at it. But first: your personal blog does not have to be on the same topic or in the same niche as the freelance work you do. It still serves as a sample of how you write and how well you’re able to keep up with a regular posting schedule (important if you’re trying to attract blogging clients). As for topic – anything political is very contentious these days (unless you’re doing a just-the-facts reporting style). So you can either write what you want on your personal blog and work with the clients who will agree with your views (and potentially alienate the ones who don’t agree), or choose a topic more client-friendly and keep your passion topic separate. Personally, I don’t mind not working with people who are completely opposed to my values – that’s just a calculation you’ll have to make for yourself.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  8. Kimberly Roberts

    Oh how much I love this site! It is always jam-packed with goodies like your article Jamie! I literally have Carol’s site tab pinned as a constant daily resource.

    Your article really nailed what I know has been missing, the connection between my personal blog and my freelance niche. I’m honestly struggling with this.

    I like to write about my passions in equality (socially, culturally and economically), social justice, social entrepreneurship, Egypt, being the change for a better world for all, being kind, and seeing the good, the humanity that unites us.

    In my professional freelance works, however, I focus on the hospitality, travel/tour, coaching and consulting spaces and ghostwriting for influencers and thought leaders.

    If it were you facing this task, how would you revamp and/or tie in the personal blog to the professional works moving forward?

    Thanks again for a truly informative and winspirational article!

    Reply
    • Jamie

      Hi, Kimberly! I agree, Carol’s site is the best! Glad this post helped you.

      If I were you, I would start by thinking about your audience and asking yourself what THEY want to read about. Then from there, you can come up with a content calendar and do some basic keyword research.

      Always bringing it back to your audience will help you stay focused and avoid going down rabbit holes. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Mr. KingsHOK

    Thanks a lot for this guide on how to attract leads with blog posts. I am in another niche while my freelancing niche is different too.

    Reply

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