There’s no doubt about it — most freelance writers recognize the benefits of blogging to help build a platform and elevate their online status. This is substantiated by the fact that there are over 33,000,000 “writers blogs,” according to the results of a recent Google search.
If You’re Not Branding, You’re Leaving Money On the Table — Guaranteed
But, here’s where the “blog fog” typically sets in. Once created, many freelance writers fail to optimize their efforts through properly branding their sites.
It can cost you big — in clients, possible ad sales, affiliate sales (if you monetize your site), ebook sales, and so much more. In short, without branding, you’re not maximizing all that time and energy you’re putting into blogging. You’re leaving money on the table. Why waste energy like this, when branding is so easy.
Once it’s done, it works effortlessly to land clients, and possibly add other revenue streams (eg, selling ads on your site). You see, branding is to your blog (and your freelance business) what T.V. commercials are to popular household products you enjoy each day. Translated?
It serves to familiarize the public with how your service or product can enhance their lives or solve their problems, and separate you from the competition. This is done through skillful brand messaging; which is repeated multiple times a day, multiple times a week.
“It’s not just what you do, but how you do it.”
Businesses and manufacturers spend millions of dollars yearly to get the word out about their offerings. Thankfully, bloggers and writers can educate their audiences for a fraction of the cost, and in less time.
3 Blog Branding Strategies You Can Implement Now
1. Guest Posting
Guest posting allows you to put your work and your blog before new and diverse readerships. It helps to establish your reputation and your expertise, and if done well, to cultivate a bigger fan base. Make it a part of your monthly marketing routine. There’s great truth to the expression: “Repetition reinforces.”
2. Adding a Signature Line to Your Outgoing Emails
Most of us send dozens of E-mails each week, in addition to the dozens that we respond to. Capitalize on this common exchange.
In your signature line, attach a link to your site and perhaps a few lines of your services or title. Here’s one that I sometimes send out at the close of my messages:
Jennifer Brown Banks, Creator of Pen and Prosper, Recognized as a “Top Writing Blog” 2013-2016.
Get the idea here?
3. Entering Contests
Creative contests are a great way to “strut your stuff,” demonstrate your skills, and garner social proof in the process. As they say: “Everybody loves a winner.” For monthly competitions and opportunities, check out Fanstory.com.
Now that we’ve explored ways to brand more bodaciously, let’s look at why branding is beneficial to writers of all levels and genres.
4 Benefits of a Well-Branded Blog
Now that you know what branding is and how to start doing it, following are some benefits you’ll derive from your efforts.
1. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Here’s an example. Years ago, I was approached by a publisher in Arizona, to place an ad on my site, without any marketing on my part. She simply learned about my site and services as a result of a huge contest that I was chosen as a finalist for.
She was impressed by my work and my following. After a few emails, we closed the deal. It was my first paid ad; it was for $50. The rest, as they say, is history. This success has been duplicated many times since then.
2. Cement Online (and Offline) Reputation
This strengthens your platform and helps to create an indelible impression. I call it the “velcro effect.”
3. Become a Recognized Thought Leader/Influencer in Your Niche
This adds to your visibility and credibility … and your bottom line.
4. Save Time & Money
Instead of you having to do a great deal of pitching, pleading and connecting via social media, people will often approach YOU for projects, requests and assignments. Remember, “time is money.” You win twice – by having money coming in without having to actively solicit it.
Creating and maintaining a blog is no easy task. By learning to “work smarter, not harder,” you’ll reap a greater ROI (return on investment) for your sweat equity.
And the successful key to it all? Branding.
Is Your Freelance Writing Blog Branded?
If so, how did you do it? Did you use any of the ideas mentioned here? If not, have you ever given any real thought to it? Why/why not? Please share in the comments section below.
About the Author: JENNIFER BROWN BANKS is a veteran freelance writer, content creator, ghost writer and award-winning blogger. She helps writers and businesses increase their fan base and their bottom lines. She teaches online classes at Coffeehouseforwriters.com and operates a popular blog at Penandprosper.blogspot.com.
P.S.: FREE Writing Tournament — Finally Get Your Book Done!
Inkwell Editorial’s second freelance writing tournament starts this Wednesday. Did you register yet? Get full details and sign up. Last time I held one, 9 participants finished books (some even finished two!) and three made sales the first day their book was published.