If you've followed along with the marketing bootcamp series for freelance writers over the last week or so, you should now have a fully-functioning professional website. Congratulations! But now that you have one, how do you get potential clients to see it? That's what we'll start with today with some simple initial link building / networking.
The goal today is a simple one -- let your existing network know about your new business website. These are the places where you've already spent time getting to know colleagues and members of your target market. Unfortunately these networks won't lead to gigs if no one knows exactly what you offer. It's time to help them find out!
- You have one easy exercise today. You're going to add a link to your professional website to at least TEN existing networking sites. That does not mean leaving your link as a comment on someone else's blog, in directories, or in sites owned and managed by someone else. You should have some level of control over the links and what's associated with them. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Forum signatures (don't spam forums by starting threads or making posts just to link to your site)
- Your social networking profiles (LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, or niche networks)
- Your Twitter account (announce that your new site was just launched and link to it)
- A niche blog you already run
- A niche Squidoo lens or similar kind of page you set up
Find 10 places where you can add your link (ideally on a permanent basis and where it will get some actual relevant views). If you don't have any of these networking options available, now is the time to create some profiles -- but by all means do not waste your time creating one on every site you can. Be choosey about it, because they'll all take time investments. It's a great time to goin targeted niche communities where your potential buyers might hang out though. Tomorrow we'll talk about using blog comments and blog posts to get the attention of your target market.
If you chose to include a blog with your professional site, you have another (long-running) exercise. Aim for at least three blog posts every week. It's not so much that that's the "right" number of posts, but rather that you need to get into the regular habit of posting and you need to get some content built up in your archives if you want to get the most benefit out of search engine traffic (and we'll be talking about basic SEO for your blog and site later this week).
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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