Tag Archives: writing blogs

What Writing Blogs Do You Read?

freelance-zone com business cards side one (10)

by Catherine L. Tully

Here’s the chance to promote a writing blog that you love, one that you write–or one that you have just recently discovered. I’m putting a call out here for people to check in and list some of the writing blogs that they keep up with. What are your faves?

Blogs about freelance writing, fiction, non-fiction and any others that deal with writing are welcome. From time-to-time I like to go out there and try and find something new on the web. Some writer’s blog that I haven’t seen yet. And I’m hoping you can help direct me to some of them…

So with that in mind, let’s start a big list here in the comments section, shall we? Who are you reading these days? What sites do you find offer the most helpful advice about writing as a career? There are so many out there–I know I haven’t come across them all! Here are a few that I check in with on a regular basis: Continue reading What Writing Blogs Do You Read?

Traffic Boosting Experiments For Your Freelance Writing Blog

top ten excuses not to go fulltime freelance

by Joe Wallace

Over last week we tried a few experimental posts designed to boost traffic to Freelance-Zone. A couple of them were squarely designed to appeal to people’s basic desire to save (and earn) a buck. You might have noticed a few random Freelancer Freebies posts–that was one of our experiments.

Results? About what we expected. More people are interested in freelance jobs and resources directly related to freelancing. Fewer people thought free Cold Stone ice cream was cooler than freelance jobs. Everybody loves free ice cream–why didn’t we expect that to perform?

It’s all about the power of highly targeted niche blogging. Take a mass-appeal idea and try adding it to the mix on your blog without tilting it directly towards your target audience. That idea gets a lukewarm reception unless you can address the “Who cares?” factor.

Freebies WORK as a blog topic. They also work as a traffic-driving gimmick, but unless you target your gimmick directly to your existing audience, it won’t give you the results you want.

Over the weekend I stumbled across a variety of sites gamely trying to attract viewers via Google by using a practice I call keyword stuffing. They take popular search terms from Google Trends and try to stuff them into their new blog posts. Sometimes the stuffing worked–one blogger tried to tie in her blogging work with the fictional writer in Sex In The City. It was a stretch, but it wasn’t too far out.

One blog I saw was literally dictated by specific trends, spending a few months dedicated to one topic, ditching the idea when it didn’t go viral and switching to a new topic for a few months, dumping that, and trying yet a third and fourth unrelated topic. None of them ever had a chance to gain traction. The blog shed its skin and tried to survive with a brand new identity over and over. None of the identities took off.

To make any blog work you need a good topic you actually know something about, time, and the dedication to pull it off.  It’s crucial that you use your expertise to give authority to the site, put in the required online PR work and allow your site to attract long-tail traffic. Anything less will result in your blog going dark in, say, six to nine months.

In case you’re wondering, we definitely ARE doing the freelance jobs feature–that wasn’t something we just dangled out there to see how you’d react. Stay tuned.

10 Ways to Market Your Blog

So you took my advice from last time; you added transparent and honest content, are working one feature at a time until they shine, did some cross-linking with your fellow freelancer sites and have something to say. What’s the next step in making your blog an attention-getter?

Try these ten steps to promote your blog, make yourself more visible on the web and get yourself some exposure. As always, there are plenty of blogs who break these rules, disregard the advice or just plain don’t follow the pack. The successful blogs obviously found something that works. Until you locate your own magic bullet, these tactics will help you enormously:

10. USE KEYWORDS. Folks, if you aren’t optimizing your headlines, inserting freelance-friendly keywords as tags and giving Google every possible chance to latch on to your blog posts, you’re cheating yourself out of some traffic. No, you might not be indexed by Google very quickly in the beginning, but Google-friendly headlines, tags and blog content will help you get there.

9. SUBMIT YOUR BLOG. There are plenty of web directories, local blog link lists and search engine submission forms. Use them all.

8. INVITE GUEST BLOGGERS. Anyone you have on as a guest blogger will (or SHOULD) direct their own readers to check out the post on your blog. Guest blogging is a great way to increase visibility. Most bloggers spend time trying to get on other people’s blogs as a guest…but the reverse is an effective tool, too.

7. LINK LOVE. Tell the world about your favorite and most helpful blog reading, and drop the creators of those blogs to let them know you’ve blogged about them. Spread the love, but spread the NEWS about it, too. Continue reading 10 Ways to Market Your Blog

Writer In Progress

Beth Morrow’s Writer In Progress blog tagline makes it clear she has the same attitude as Freelance-Zone, but Beth is MUCH nicer about it. I can’t remember if we’ve covered Beth’s work before and I’m too busy to search through the archives (read: too lazy). Regardless, I am really enjoying the site. Especially the links section as I am constantly on the prowl for new writer sites to look at. My favorite part of a list of links as extensive as Beth’s is rediscovering sites I looked at earlier in the year, then forgot all about as looming deadlines obscure all else.

One aspect of Writer In Progress that caught my eye is a little widget on her page from Feedjit. This displays the activity of visitors to her site in real time. I know I’m too busy to keep up with all the improvements and new developments in blogging tech, but that one surprised me enough to think I should keep more regular tabs on the geekier side of blogging so I can add a few new bells & whistles of my own. Cheers to Beth for prodding me to take a more active interest in page design.

Writer In Progress is definitely worth a look. Drop by and stay a while..