You're doing a good job so far -- more than a third of the way through our marketing bootcamp series for freelance writers. So a big congratulations on that front! Just don't think for a moment that we'll be slowing down. We still have three days to market yourself before our next weekend series break, and we're going to keep bringing attention to your site. Today we'll continue with the focus on blogs and how you can use them to increase visibility, traffic, and leads by promoting your professional website.
We've already talked about some of the ways blogs can be valuable promotional tools, whether they're your own or someone else's in the niche. Today you're going to keep focusing on other people's blogs, but you're not going to be commenting. No, today you've got quite a bit of writing to do. You'll need between one and two hours of time. You're going to start putting guest posts to work for you.
- Go back to that blog list you created yesterday (blogs that are either run by or read by members of your target market). Browse those blogs and see if any of them have a history of accepting guest posts. Make a list of a minimum of three that you'd like to be published on for exposure. However, five would really be ideal. That way you can get the hosts to agree to publish Monday - Friday, one at a time, and you can promote it as a virtual blog tour on your own site. If you want more information on choosing hosts for a virtual blog tour, I have a short free report on the topic available here on this blog for registered members (just login and then visit this link to download Build Blog Buzz: How to Identify Bloggers for Your Blogger Outreach).
- Come up with a list of potential post ideas for these guest posts, based on the topics covered by each blogger.
- Start writing. Write your posts now. Don't wait for those "yes" responses. If the blogger isn't interested, the posts will never go to waste. Either someone else will publish it, you'll have pre-written content for your own blog, or you can submit it to article directories for links back (a last resort). Also don't kill yourself over these posts. It's okay if they're short. Just make sure they're interesting and not simply rehashing what each of those blogs' readers already knows or sees on that blog. Bring a new perspective to an issue.
- Submit those post ideas to the bloggers (simplify things by sending the draft immediately if you want, or just send the idea and ask if they want to review the post for consideration).
- If you don't hear back from them within a week, followup once. After that, pitch the posts to someone else or put them to use elsewhere.
Note: In most cases you will not get paid for guest posts. And you shouldn't! After all you're not being hired to freelance by that blogger. You're blatantly using them for a link back included in your guest post. You're pursuing them. If they actively recruit guest bloggers then they're not really looking for guests so much as occasional freelance submissions -- those bloggers do often pay. Just remember that your primary focus right now is marketing and not landing a gig. The more effectively you market yourself now, the more gigs you'll land in the long run.
Be forewarned. Tomorrow we'll be starting your next "big" project in our bootcamp series that will take us through the end of this week and into early next week. So stretch those fingers -- you'll be keeping them busy!
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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