How to Attract Quality Freelance Writing Clients With Your Blog - Make a Living Writing

How to Attract Quality Freelance Writing Clients With Your Blog

Carol Tice | 23 Comments

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 doesn’t mean getting clients is as simple as just putting up a “hire me” page. Believe me, I’ve tried that. And it isn’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, wouldn’t it be better to get a lot of clients and then weed through them to determine which ones to work for? Unfortunately, it doesn’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:

I’m pretty selective about who I work with, so only contact me if you want results from your business. If you’re on a very low budget, or are looking for ways to manage your budget, I’m probably not the best fit for you.

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 don’t need 20 clients. You only need five clients willing to pay you what you’re worth.

Don’t try to make your Hire Me page appeal to everyone — instead, use it to scare away those people you don’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 isn’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 won’t follow because they don’t have the time, and some won’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. If  people just finished reading your tips, they will be in the right frame of mind to hire you.

Here’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 that’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 clients’ 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 I’ve built dozens of links to it till date via guest blogging.

The result: It now ranks #3 for the keyword “guest blogging,” 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 isn’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 shouldn’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 isn’t as complicated as most people will have you believe. You’re probably familiar with some of my tips above, and I’d like to believe they are as practical as they can be; start implementing them today and let’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 Writer’s Handbook: How to Write for Traffic and Money.

23 comments on “How to Attract Quality Freelance Writing Clients With Your Blog

  1. Therese Kay on

    This is great information as I am working on my own Hire Me page! As a former trainer, instructional designer, and technical writer, I do have samples. However, many of my samples are branded for the company for which I created them and potentially their intellectual property. Also, they are samples which include content that I would likely be incorporating into writing future tipsheets and such. So, that said, how do I put up samples without giving away valuable content? I want to give a taste of milk, not the entire cow! Do you have any suggestions?

    • Carol Tice on

      Therese, most of us don’t plagiarize past client work — wouldn’t you be rewriting or doing new topics for new clients? Every client is so different.

      Hopefully you can get permission from your client to use your samples in your portfolio — many of us have branded copywriting pieces, but we do use them in our portfolios.

      • Therese Kay on

        Hi Carol,
        Thank you for responding! I think I worded my question poorly. What I’ve written a lot of is software processes. For example, how to recover a Word document or how to change your email signature, etc. The process itself doesn’t change, unless the software has. So, by posting those samples, I’m also giving away the content. I picked extremely simple examples. The types of things I’ve written are actually more complex and multi-stepped. There are times that these processes would be highly customized to the client’s work flow and other times not. Sometimes steps 1-5 are steps 1-5 no matter what the surrounding workflow is. I hope that clarifies what I was trying to ask.

  2. Jamie on

    For anyone who hasn’t seen Bamidele’s blog – get yourself over there NOW!
    The content he writes is pure value and he is the master of guest blogging.

    Bamidele – you are as inspiring as Carol – perhaps more so because of the obstacle’s you have overcome to get where you are now. I’ll also say that your method of guest posting for traffic and using your blog as a client magnet is the one I want to employ.

    BTW – your blog has a very cool design too – stands out from the crowd

  3. Michael on

    Excellent post! I find myself at times struggling to find a good direction for a blog as so many people seem to have every topic covered.

    For every one of my interests, I can find at least a dozen high-quality blogs that would render mine obsolete from the get-go. I’m sure I’m not the only one facing this challenge.

    • Carol Tice on

      It’s a good thing I don’t have your mindset, Michael, or I’d have never started this blog!

      There were certainly plenty of established sites about freelance writing with way bigger audiences, that had been around for years.

      There’s always room for a fresh take on a topic if you have valuable info to impart and a unique point of view.

    • Karen on

      I had the same “fear” (for lack of a better word) when I started my blog. But in the end, I figured I’d give it a go, write about what I want to (for now) and the direction would come to me. Slowly it has. I find I like writing “how-tos” and reviews.

      As for topics being covered to death on other sites, I think we all bring our own perspective to topics. My latest post is on tailoring your job application to make your job hunt successful. There are millions of articles/posts on the same topic. But I felt I brought a fresh perspective to it because recently, I’ve been on both sides of the job hunt (applicant and recruiter).

      I say go for it! Write your blog and get comfortable with it. Eventually you’ll hit your stride!

  4. Kristi Hines on

    Great tips! I should probably get more specific with my hire me page. It’s pretty open right now which means I get those inquiries from people who think it’s OK to try to negotiate a rate that is only 10% of what I quoted. I never really get that… you wouldn’t go to a retail store and tell someone you’ll pay $10 for a $100 item. So why would you do that to a freelancer or other service provider?

    • Carol Tice on

      I’ve actually taken my ‘hire me’ page out of navigation at this point because I’m not really looking for new clients right now…but I’ve left mine wide open. I never got that many flakey reach-outs from it, but I think if you are getting a lot of flakes it probably pays to do what Oni did and put some language to send them away, as dealing with nibbles from lowballers can be a real time-waster.

  5. J. Delancy on

    I have a hire me page on my blog and it gets looked at from time to time but no one has ever contacted me after reading it. I’ll take that as a sign that the “Hire Me” page is lousy or I’m attracting the wrong clientele.

    Nice work Bamidele.

    • pragya on

      Hi J,

      I am an amateur copywriter and out of curiosity, I checked out your “Hire Me” page.

      There is scope for improvement but I have a small tip right now. Please highlight your contact/ email address. It is kind of lost among other sentences.

  6. Anabelle on

    This is a post I read with some attention this morning, but it also depends what kind of blog you have.

    I’m still working on my writer’s site, which is apart from my blog.

    What would you suggest to someone whose blog isn’t necessarily a show of her expertise?

  7. Amandah on

    I too have redesigned my “Hire Me” page to scare off low paying clients. I also added a FAQs page.

    I like the idea of writing more tutorial blog posts. I’m a contributing author on a book about media and publicity and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate excerpts from the chapters I wrote onto my website. I’ll write a couple of tutorial blog posts and pull out information from the book. Thanks for the tip!

    • Bamidele Onibalusi on

      I checked out your hire me page Amandah, and I only have one comment: it ROCKs!

      Seriously, your hire me page puts everything in perspective for prospective clients; especially with the FAQs included on the page, and how it actively qualifies the clients you want.

  8. Thomas on

    Great post.

    I am learning that my blog itself is successfully scaring off…well, everyone.

    Porblem is, I’m having too much fun keeping it stocked with posts.

    Again, this was a very good post.

  9. Damien on

    I always thought a personal case study would be a bit self indulgent, but I can see your point – especially if it’s helpful for others in employing the same methods for their business. I also love the idea of doing some tutorials – something a bit more in depth than the standard generalised blog content. Thanks Onibalusi, you’ve given me some real food for thought 🙂

    • Bamidele Onibalusi on

      I can feel you there, Damien!

      I used to think the same; in fact, when it comes to writing articles that are personal, or have something to do with me or my results, I try to avoid it…until I published my first personal post that was my story and a huge success; it took a reader of mine a lot of effort to persuade me to write that post, but hundreds of comments and thousands of views later and I can call it a success.

      There’s so much advice floating out there that people don’t know who to trust, and you can easily position yourself as someone who can be trusted by giving them an inside look – not only into your results but into how you’re doing it.

      Case studies work great for my blog since people can relate to them and I plan to do a lot more of those very soon.

    • Carol Tice on

      The tutorials were the ‘aha’ moment for me! I’m writing some of those for Freelance Switch these days…but obviously should write some for my own blog, too.

Comments are closed.