Using Social Media to Find Freelance Writing Opportunities

You can read hundreds of articles online listing the latest and greatest websites to find freelance writing opportunities. These can be a great client resource pool, but often you will find clients expecting to pay less and expect more. Using social media to find freelance writing opportunities is a great alternative to these sites.

For example, I maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account with over 350 followers, as well as this blog! One example of a client that I have now is Hipmunk. Thanks to my social media presence and passion for travel, I have been writing for their #HipmunkCityLove campaign for a few months, and love every post! To find great opportunities like Hipmunk, here are few social media tactics you need to start using.

Use the Same Professional Headshot

headshot1

You want your headshot to be the same on all your social profiles. This is a branding move so you are instantly recognizable. Don’t use any old photo from a family gathering or a night out. Invest in a professional photographer to take a decent headshot.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Proudly proclaim you are a freelance writer in your title, and summarize your experience and how long you have been a writer in your summary. I recommend putting your contact information and all of your social profiles in the summary section as well.

Complete your work history, but make it more freelance-geared. If you had a past job that influences your freelance career, feel free to put it in. However, I want you to focus on freelancing clients, provided you have not signed a non-disclosure agreement. List the major clients you have worked for and what exactly you did for them. A huge client list on LinkedIn is impre

Get Active on Twitter

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

LinkedIn is known as the job recruiting social platform, but I have found some of my biggest clients from Twitter. Other clients have been so impressed with my presence on Twitter that they have hired me from it! The key is to be active. Post at least two times a day. Half of your Tweets should be your thoughts or opinions on the freelance industry or a subject you commonly write about. The other half should be a combination of talking to industry professionals and fellow freelance writers, as well as sharing your content. More on that later.

Write to Self-Promote

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Start writing blogs and LinkedIn Pulse articles about the freelance industry, business advice based on your experience, tips for focusing when working from home, work-life balance, or whatever else pertains to the life of a freelancer. Even though you are not getting paid to write these articles, they showcase your knowledge and who you are. Often, you will receive clients based on your posts!

Share Your Publications

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Not only should you share any blogs or LinkedIn Pulse articles you write, but you should also share every publication with your name in the byline. Showing that clients have hired you to write for them is a big recommendation for your services.

Once you know how to master social media, you can get away from those low-paying freelance sites and start finding better clients.

Advertisements

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Welcome to the Rebranded, Revamped HS Writing Blog!

Hello followers!

Pink Sherbert Photography 7

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

I am so sorry for my long, long absence. I gained a client that took up my entire time, which caused me to abandon the blog in the first place, then budget cuts left me with scrambling to find new clients. Currently, I am playing the waiting game for multiple clients and projects to see where I land – a very exciting (and nervewracking!) time for me!

This afternoon, I made time for my blog and came up with this! The rebrand, as you can see, is much simpler than the previous design and name. The main focus of the blog will still be social media marketing (hence the presence of my Twitter banner I am very proud of creating), but I am also branching out to talk about the tips, tricks, and trials of being a freelance writer. Expect a post tomorrow about the world of freelance. I am excited to include this topic since I have never written about it before!

I want to hear what you think of the new blog and want your suggestions on post topics. Now my blog is more accessible for a variety of topics. I am no longer restricted to certain topics to post on certain days, so anything you want to know about I will write for you!

Don’t forget to check out my Contribution Page on my blog! If you want to write a post for the blog, I will include your name and give you full rights to show it off to clients, friends, family, your dog, whoever! I also offer sponsored posts if you want to promote a product, app, software, website, etc.

3 MORE Ways to Engage Readers in Your Business Blog

Creating a business blog can be a huge asset to your marketing plan. Business blogging provides readers with informational content that establishes your brand as an industry leader. Sometimes when you make a blog it is not successful at first. There are six ways to change that and get ultimate reader engagement. This will help promote your business and create a loyal customer base.

Via Flickr by See-ming Lee

Via Flickr by See-ming Lee

  1. Ask questions. To make engaging with the blog easier for your readers, you should include questions at the end of the post. Do not ask anything like, “What is your favorite color?” The question needs to relate to the blog post topic, be thoughtful and dynamic, and inspire readers to participate in discussion in the comments.

    In order to have these dynamic questions, you need to have a very interesting blog post that discusses the similarities and differences on something, or that pose a discussion on a prevailing train of thought. Get creative with your post content and the questions that you can ask readers will activate more discussion in the comments. Make sure to reply to comments with great answers to questions.

  2. Share on social media. Not only do you want your readers to share your blog posts, but you should also share it on your own social media accounts. Each reader has a different way they like to interact with content on the web, so you need to post your blog to all of these sites in order to reach all potential readers. Many people do not want to comment on the actual blog and instead will share their thoughts on a social media site.

    Make sure to respond to these alternative comments and even consider featuring them on your next blog post for further discussion. The business should have the basic four: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. If your business is large or sells high-end products or services, you do not necessarily need a Facebook page.

  3. Get to know your readers. This is the most important rule. Interaction with your readers is the key way to engage them. Get to know those who follow and comment on your blog and respond to any questions or great comments. Even respond to negative ones in a kind and professional way – absolutely do not start a flame war. By responding to readers, they feel valued and it shows others in your blog community that their responses are viewed.

3 Ways to Engage Readers in Your Business Blog

Creating a business blog can be a huge asset to your marketing plan. Business blogging provides readers with informational content that establishes your brand as an industry leader. Sometimes when you make a blog it is not successful at first. There are six ways to change that and get ultimate reader engagement. This will help promote your business and create a loyal customer base.

Via Flickr by laffy4k

Via Flickr by laffy4k

  1. Use a conversational tone. Whenever you use a technical or professional tone in writing, people do not feel connected with what is being said. In order to maximize reader engagement, you need to craft your blog posts in a more conversational way. This also means avoiding making constant sales pitches for your product or service. Posts should be completely separate from your specific products or services and instead promote information related to your market niche.Imagine questions friends would ask you about your industry, and write blog posts as if you are answering their questions over dinner one night. Use words and phrases from everyday life and avoid industry terms, like market niche. Short sentences are more attractive for readers.

    Since it is a blog post, it is okay to start off sentences with and, or, but, etcetera. Address the reader directly by using “you” frequently throughout the post, and same goes for using “I.” Cut down on adjectives and adverbs to make it more conversational. It should not sound like a press release.

  2. Write metaphors. Metaphors do wonderful things for your blog. They make complex ideas simpler to understand, allow content to be vivid and engaging, and use imagery in order to make your readers experience what you are writing.The more specific your metaphors are, the more effective they will be at getting readers’ attention and keeping them coming back for future posts. Incorporate sensory in order to fully engage readers. Metaphors are more effective when the writer of the blogs draws on personal experience or hobbies to create metaphors. This will give the company more personality.
  3. Tell readers to engage. This does not mean forcing your readers to enjoy your content. At the end of the blog post, say, “If you like what you have read, please share it on:” and include links or buttons to popular social media sites. Some of the best ways for people to share your posts is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Providing this call to action will influence more people to share the content.Getting your blog posts shared on many different media forms will increase the visibility of your business and make the blog more successful. Plus, you get to see how engaged your readers are when seeing how much of your content is shared. For example, if you have 100 readers and only one or two share your posts, then you need to do something different to engage them.

Tagged on Twitter – Liebster Award!

I know, I am completely cheating. This is not a Twitter marketing advice post, but when you get tagged with the honor of a Liebster Award, how can you turn down a post all about it? Besides, I learned I was tagged on Twitter, so it kind of makes it a Twitter Tuesday post. Right? Right.

A Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers they follow or admire. It shows a blogger how much you appreciate their hard work and content and gives that blogger a chance to pass the love onto others in the community. I was nominated by Jess Wooldridge at 913 to 619. You should absolutely check out her excellent blog and follow her on Twitter for great links and discussion on social media marketing.

LiebsterAward

Rules

  1. You must link back to the person(s) who nominated you
  2. You must answer the questions given to you
  3. You must pick other bloggers to be nominated for the award
  4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  5. You must notify the nominees
  6. You must provide 11 random facts about yourself

My Answers

  1. Why did you get into blogging?
    I have always tried to start a blog to no avail. When I started to learn more about social media marketing, I learned A LOT about what I was going wrong blogging. I decided to use my knowledge to help others in a strictly social media marketing blog. And here we are!
  2. Coffee or Tea?
    Coffee all the way. At home, I add French Vanilla creamer. When I work at Starbucks, it is either a Cinnamon Dulce Latte or (if it’s the season!) a Pumpkin Spice Latte. When I am working all day, I get a green tea at Starbucks later.
  3. If you found $100 would you spend it or save it?
    Spend it! I am dying for a little shopping spree.
  4. What’s your favorite blog you follow?
    It is a tie between Erica Rocco’s blog and Jessica Wooldridge’s blog. Proof that both WordPress and Blogger are excellent platforms!
  5. If you could change anything about your blog, what would it be?
    I would make it a WordPress.org blog instead. To be honest, I just could not figure out how to set it up. WordPress.com was a whole lot easier. Yet when I work on other client’s WordPress.org blogs, there are so many more amazing SEO options that I wish I had.
  6. What’s your favorite social media site?
    Why would you ask a social media marketer that question?! For personal use, it is a three-way tie between Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. For clients, Pinterest. For my own self-marketing, Twitter.
  7. What’s your dream job?
    Being a novelist. Close to my job now but a lot more creative and fun! However, I wouldn’t get to interact with all my lovely social media gurus on Twitter as often!
  8. What’s the best hashtag you’ve ever seen?
    That is way, way too hard. Probably some fun one-hit-wonder hashtag from years ago.
  9. Where would you travel on your dream vaca?
    Hawaii with my husband! I went on my own, but I really want him to go with me.
  10. Share a random fact about yourself
    On top of the eleven random facts I have to do at the bottom? Here is one: I am not good at finding fun random things about myself.

My Questions

  1. How did you get into your current occupation?
  2. What do you love most about your job?
  3. What do you hate most about your job?
  4. If there was one thing you could change about your life, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite smell in the world?
  6. Where is your favorite place you traveled to?
  7. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
  8. What is your favorite all-time movie?
  9. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  10. The old fashioned desert island question – what are the three items you would take with you and why? Don’t choose survival items like water or lighter or inflatable raft. Pretend you have everything you need to survive.

unnamed

And I Choose…

  • Jess Leeman at All Things Social Media to get her back on the blogging track! I have missed her social media posts.
  • Alicia Rades at The Writing Realm because she gives excellent freelance writing advice and has published blog posts about client management just because I asked for her opinion! She is awesome. You can see an author interview she did with me about my wedding planning eBook on her website here.
  • Purely Social. They are an amazing social media resource and I want to know about the insanely smart writers behind their blog.
  • Sally Ulianich at Sally U: Business, Marketing, Tech, and Social Media. I love reading her posts and want to know more about her!
  • Erica Rocco at Simply Erica R even though she was already tagged once!
  • Jessica Wooldridge at 913 to 619 because I want to see how she answers my questions (you can just comment your answers if you don’t want to write another blog post!)

So get blogging and don’t forget to Tweet me @HS_Writing when you finish your blog post! Oh, I almost forgot…

11 Random Facts About Myself

Blah this one is hard. But here it is:

  1. I am really bad at coming up with questions to ask other bloggers.
  2. I am terrified of snakes, but live in an area where I see two or three in my backyard often.
  3. I am so in love with dogs that I can’t watch commercials, cartoons, or movies with hurt or dead doggies. It breaks my heart. My own dog Charley is my child.
  4. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.
  5. I can bake but not cook very well.
  6. I have been writing since I was 4 and wrote a story about a big fish I caught with my dad. I wonder if there is any symbolism there 😉
  7. I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction about the Marauder Era. Even though I don’t advertise I did that, I deeply think it helped my writing improve and recommend it to young aspiring writers.
  8. I collect pennies in a plastic “bottle” of Coke that goes up to my hip. I have been collecting my whole life and only have two inches filled. But one day it will be full!
  9. I still buy Lego sets and build them.
  10. My husband and I are very geeky and had a partly Star Wars themed wedding. Our cake toppers were Princess Leia and Han Solo action figured we got from Comic Con. Instead of a Dollar Dance, Darth Vader kidnapped me and help me for ransom. We also entered the reception hall to the Cantina Band song playing.
  11. My freelance writing specialty topics include social media marketing, digital and print marketing, infertility/fertility, weddings, dental offices, and more. Yes, they are a weird spread.

What is Holding You Back from Making Money Online?

Many people dream of a living where they can stay home and earn money online. Some want to do this because they think it is easy, but it is not. It takes a lot of work to make money online from home. This difficulty is what is holding you back, but there are ways you can overcome it.

Via Flickr Kiran Foster

Via Flickr Kiran Foster

Have self-confidence

When you talk about possibly starting a career working from home, everyone is going to talk you out of it or devalue it. They say it is a silly dream and it is too risky. No one is going to give you permission to start this career. You need to have the confidence to throw yourself into it and make it work. Then you can show everyone who doubted you how making money online is possible. It is going to take a lot of work.

Via Flickr Abhijit Bhaduri

Via Flickr Abhijit Bhaduri

Be able to sell yourself

This means a number of things. First, charge what your skills are worth. This means you need to have confidence that you can pull off a project for a client. Do not charge a lower amount to try to get more clients. It is better to charge what you are actually worth so you can work with clients who respect your talents. You also need to be able to ask for the sale, even if you risk upsetting some clients. Act like an authority on the subjects you know about. Do not sell yourself short.

Via Flickr clive darra

Via Flickr clive darra

Make a plan every day

When you go to work at a 9-5 job, you usually have a set of tasks that are assigned to you each day. At home, there is usually a mass amount of work from different clients you have to get done. It takes a lot of organization. At the beginning of the work week, plan out everything you need to do by Friday. Also make sure to leave room in case last minute assignments come up.

Also at the end of every day when your work is done, make a To-Do list for the next day. You can break it down by morning and afternoon to make goal setting easier to achieve, or just set a list of tasks for the day. Know where your priorities are and always complete everything on your list.

Via Flickr Mark Hunter

Via Flickr Mark Hunter

Focus

In order to work from home, you need to have the ability to focus. There will be a lot of distractions, such as chores you need to do, family members trying to disrupt you, and pets clawing for attention. There will also be an abundance of social media calling your name as you do research or work online, along with email and other distracting things on your computer.

You need to ignore all of these distractions and focus on the work at hand. Make it clear to your family that you are “not home” from this hour to this hour. Consider going to a public place to work that has free Wi-Fi. This will pull you away from many distractions at home, like chores and family. If social media severely distracts you, consider getting a social media blocking software, like Anti-Social. It will prohibit you from accessing these sites while at work.

Via Flickr Joe Loong

Via Flickr Joe Loong

Take your new career seriously

Working online to make money is not a hobby. It takes a lot of dedication, networking, sales skills, and overtime hours. This is not a hobby and do not let anyone tell you it is. Just because you are working from home does not mean that you are sitting around watching TV and playing video games. You are going to work longer hours than full time career people since you need to get your work done by the deadlines. Realize there is a lot you are going to sacrifice, but it is worth it to do your dream job of working online.

Infographic Week! Blogging Stats and Facts

For this week, I am going to give you some great infographics about every weekly subject that you can share with clients, coworkers, or just learn from yourself! The first one is about blogging stats and facts. For more amazing information, visit the article the infographic appeared on at Social Media Today!

The-blogconomy-infographic-640x5604

How to Start a Successful Business Blog

Many companies want to know how to start a business blog because of the importance it plays in a marketing scheme. When you learn how to make a successful blog for your business, you can reap all huge benefits by increasing your brand awareness. Successful blogs are also a great source of revenue that can finance future marketing efforts.

Businesses who start a blog produce content on a regular basis, increasing their SEO rankings and spreading brand awareness. They also set up the business as an industry leader who is knowledgeable and genuine. As you are implementing a blog, make sure to keep certain tactics in mind.

Via Flickr photosteve101

Via Flickr photosteve101

  • Stick to your market niche. If your business is in retail, keep all blog topics on retail. However, you do not want to make the blogs just general retail topics. While it does give you more ideas for content, there are hundreds of blogs about retail on the internet.

    Focus on a specific aspect of your market niche, such as writing only about young men’s fashion. This topic is not general retail, but it is also not so specific that half of an audience does not find the information they need.

  • Make content entertaining and easily readable. First and foremost, content needs to be conversational. Even if you write for a tech blog, write the posts using I, you, and we. Make jokes throughout, especially insider technology jokes that your readers will love. The posts you write need to be entertaining and personable with content that solves a problem for the reader or educates them.

    Break up lengthy paragraphs with line breaks and make sure to divide the blog content up with subheadings, italics, bullet points, and photos. This diversity in content will make the blogs easy to read and appreciated by followers. Following these steps when you are crafting posts will help you build a loyal readership in no time.

  • Focus on Google search rankings. This means utilizing correct SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This requires correct keyword placement and research in order to see higher search engine rankings. There are many internet guides and books available to help you develop the best SEO practices, but there are a few easy things you can implement to get started.

    Make page titles unique, accurate, and brief. They need to catch the attention of the reader so they click on it, but be short as well. A description meta tag should be used. Keep URLs short and easy to spell and remember. Use relevant and descriptive text for the anchor link. For example, instead of saying, “Click here,” type “learn about carpet installation” with the appropriate link. There needs to be an alt description for photos and the blog needs to be easy to navigate as well.

  • Be social. Even when you have customized your blog and content to be Google-friendly, you cannot rely on just that to get readers. Share your posts through all of your social media accounts and interact with any responses to shares. You also have to be social and join in the blogging community. This can be accomplished many ways.

    Link to your sources for the articles, and other blogs, throughout your post. Comment on these blogs saying you linked them in your post. Follow similar blogs in order to get noticed. Engage with commenters on your blog in order to keep them as loyal readers. Get to know them so they feel valued. Guest blog for others and invite people to guest blog for you.

  • Keep length, consistency, and traffic in mind. Surprisingly, detailed blog posts are worth more on Google search rankings than shorter posts. On the first page of Google search results, each page has at least 2,000 words of content. However, do not fill up posts with fluff words to hit the 2,000 mark. All content needs to be useful and authentic.

Make sure to post new blogs consistently. If you start blogging three times a week, then you need to always blog three times a week and on the same days. The more you blog, the more your content will be viewed. It is very easy to get new traffic to your blog, but hard to keep people invested in visiting. This can be changed by building a community of followers. Respond to all emails and comments and get people involved by having them take surveys about what content they would like to see.