Horkey HandBook Blog

How I Use My Blog to Land High-Paying Clients

Here at Horkey Handbook, we’re big fans of using blogging as a tool to build up one’s freelance business. 

In fact, this past February Gina shared the results she’s seen in her traffic (and her business) after one year of active blogging. (If you haven’t read that post yet, you might want to – we’ll wait.)

So when Corinne told us that she was having major success using her blog to get new clients, we asked if she wanted to share her experience too. And Corinne more than delivered – what follows is a post full of practical advice on how to leverage your blog to get clients. Thanks girl!

If you’ve read anything Gina has written, you know that pitching is where it’s at when it comes to starting or growing a freelance career.

And she’s completely right. It is the #1 way to fast-track your business and land high-paying clients.

But I want to talk to you about my #2 way.

Because if I’m perfectly honest, I’ve never been a confident pitcher. Even after five years of freelance writing, I still turn to posts to help me get better at pitching, and even look for templates (by the way, if you need help with your pitching, those links are FANTASTIC!) to continually work on my pitching skills.

So this month, I decided to take a break.

Not from working on my business, but from sending out cold pitches and from scouring the job boards.

But I still managed to land two new high-paying gigs, and have a prominent blogger ask my rate because he often gets asked to refer.

How did I do it?

Through promoting my blog.

Now you probably know that having a blog is essential for a freelance writer. It showcases your writing ability and helps attract people to your site.

But if you market your blog right, it can do so much more than that.

Promoting your blog isn’t about SEO and keywords. It’s about connecting with other bloggers to get your name and your writing out there. In fact, through connecting with other bloggers, you can position yourself as an expert in your niche, get more traffic to your site, gain referrals from your network and get your writing in front of more potential clients than you ever thought possible.

Here’s how you can land high-paying gigs by promoting your blog.

How I Used My Blog to Land High-Paying Clients1. Write Epic Content

Okay, you’re a writer… so of course your blog content should be good. But it’s important to write blog posts that do more than just show you know your way around grammar and sentence structure.

Your blog should consist of posts that offer high-value — meaty posts that are full of actionable advice.

Why is this so important?

Well, there are two main reasons. More and more businesses are realizing how important it is to offer content that teaches something, and they are looking for much more than just content that simply fills the pages.

Writing high-value posts on your own blog shows you know your stuff.

And the second reason is that it’s going to be hard to get other bloggers to link to you or share your posts if you posts aren’t, well, great. The more your blog has to offer, the more others will want to share it with their own audiences, bringing you more attention and more traffic.

Don’t yet have a blog, but you’ve been thinking of setting one up? Check out our free website tutorial, 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success (link in the sidebar).

2. Guest Post on Other Sites

Posting on other sites is a great way to get your name out there.

Why? Because it puts your name and your writing in front a whole new audience.

You know those two gigs I got this month? Both were from guest posts I wrote. The clients liked my posts, read my bio and checked out my website to contact me.

So let’s talk a little about how to land guest post spots.

Start by targeting blogs in the industries you want to write for. Make sure they have a decent amount of traffic – the whole point is to get people to actually see your writing.

Some websites will tell you if they are accepting guest posts, and what steps to take.

Look for pages or links that say Write for Us, Guest Post Guidelines or similar. If they don’t specify, check their recent posts. If the author name is different from the blogger’s, or there is an author bio at the bottom, it’s a big clue that they do accept guest posts.

Next, reach out to the website owner through email.

Here’s an example:

Subject: Guest Post

Message:

Hey, quick question: how would you feel about me sending you some ideas for a guest post at [blog name]? I’ve been studying your popular posts, and I have some topics I think would be perfect. Do you have time to take a quick look?

Thanks,

[your name]

Short, simple, and you’re not asking them to do anything at this point.

Once they agree to see your ideas, send them a follow-up email right away. Here’s an example:

Okay, great! Here’s what I was thinking:

I was looking through the popular posts, and I noticed there are [number] different posts about [topic], but no one has talk about about [related subtopic], which is another [problem/solution/worry/interest] [audience group] has.

I was thinking about writing a post titled [your headline]. It would talk about [explain your post a little].

Does that sound like it’s on target? I’d be happy to write a draft of the post if you’d like, and then you can decide from there. If that doesn’t work, I can also come up with some other ideas.

Alternatively, you can send a few ideas. Gina wrote a great post with an email example here.

Once your pitch (that word still comes up, doesn’t it?) is accepted, flesh out your post idea.

Pay attention to the style and format of the blog when you write your own post.

While you don’t want to steer completely away from the way you write, you do want to write something that the blog’s established audience will connect to.

3. Connect with Other Bloggers

Making connections with other bloggers is very important.

Yes, they may be your competition for a writing job, but they could also be your greatest allies. In fact, most of my work last year came from referrals. Through meeting a few key people on social media, I did just a few ghost written posts for them, but gained even more.

To this day they refer me whenever they know a blogger who needs help with their own blog.

Here are my best tips to connecting with other bloggers and building a relationship that will help promote your blog and your career.

Connect on social media

Social media is so great because it asks for nothing.

You can connect and start to get noticed by simply following someone. You can directly tweet them in response to something they post to help yourself stand out even more.

(We’re talking about connecting for now. If you want tips on how to directly land gigs with Twitter, check out this post.)

Comment on their blog posts

So now that you are following them on social media, bloggers are probably starting to recognize your name. Now let’s bring yourself even more attention, and show off the fact that you know your stuff.

You’re going to start leaving comments on the blog posts of these bloggers, but not any comment will do.

Your comments must add some sort of value and be a more substantial than simply writing “Great post” or “Thanks for sharing this.”

Point out something you enjoyed in the post to show the blogger you actually read it. Expand on that point, or even refute it (politely!). As long as your comment adds value, it will get the attention of the blogger.

Bonus point: it gets the attention of other commenters. Others will read your comments and see you know your way around your niche, and be compelled to find out more about you.

Mention them in your blog posts

Mention the blogger and link back to their blog. You can then send them a short email to let them know how much you admire them, and that you mentioned them in your post.

Write expert roundup posts

You’ve seen them before. Where a bunch of industry experts all answer the same question, rounded up into one epic post. These are great because they help you get on the radar of these experts, and they bring you tons of traffic when each of your participants shares the post with their own audience.

Pick just one question to ask all your participants, and send them an email.

Here’s the template I use:

Subject: Request for contribution to expert roundup post

Message:

Hello ,

I’m planning on doing a roundup post later this month and I was wondering if you would participate.

Just one question: What is your #1 way to get traffic to your site?

I just need your answer by the 23rd. I can link to your site and use your Twitter image. If you have another image you’d like me to use, or another link, just let me know.

Thank you either way!

[your name]

And for people I don’t know, I send this:

Hello ,

I am doing a roundup post later this month for my blog and Corinne Kerston suggested I ask you. I was wondering (let’s be honest, I’d be honored) if you would participate.

Just one question: What is your #1 way to get traffic to your site?

I just need your answer by the 23rd. I can link to your site and use your Twitter image. If you have another image you’d like me to use, or another link, just let me know.

Thank you either way!

[your name]

Oh yeah, I totally name drop.

That’s it. Put the post together, link to everyone’s website and social profiles and make sure you email them when the post goes live.

Through roundup posts, I’ve connected with tons of bloggers I would never have connected with before. It’s brought me guest post opportunities, where bloggers actually ask me if I’d write a post for their blog. It’s also led to one blogger asking me my rates so he can refer me. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s nice to know I’m on his list.

In Conclusion

While I do believe it’s important to hit it hard though pitching your services to those who need it, I’ve been having a lot of fun lately promoting my blog AND landing gigs with it.

How about you? What do you think of using your own blog to connect and land writing gigs?

Corinne KerstonCaffeine addict, yoga lover, blogger. Corinne Kerston is a freelance writer and blogger who helps others find their way online. Connect with Corinne on her website or Twitter

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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