"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How I Turned Guest Posting Into Freelancing Gold!




How many times have you been told that you should never write for free? That doing so diminishes our collective worth and cheapens you.
Not true. Not always.
This one-size-fits-all approach can not only stunt your creative growth, but also compromise your future earnings. Be forewarned.

As with many things in life, it’s not just what you do, but how you do it that counts.
Strategy matters.
Here’s how, over the years, I’ve leveraged free work to work my plan and get paid!
And you can too.

LET’S REWIND HERE FOR GREATER CLARITY…
About a month ago, I accessed my early-morning email to prioritize my day.
I found one message in particular that caught my barely-opened eyes.

The subject line read: “Interested in hiring you for writing services.”
At first I thought it was a scam: like the frequent ones I get about winning the Nigerian Lottery. Upon further scrutiny, I discovered that a guest post I actually wrote and published about six years ago (at Pro Blogger), impressed a business executive so much, he sought me out.

From six years ago, I remind you. That’s the power of effective guest posting. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! To make a long story short here, over the course of just a few days, and a couple of instructional emails, I landed a 50.00 an hour monthly gig. This without any pitching, pleading or social media madness.

This recent example is just one of several that I’ve used to help clients “FIND ME” and make more money with less stress and less marketing.

HERE’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM DOZENS OF GUEST POSTS AT
TOP- TIER SITES, THAT CAN SHORTEN YOUR LEARNING CURVE:

1. IT STARTS WITH A PLAN

Back in 2011, I made it my personal goal to change my guest blogging system. Instead of just randomly posting at any site with a shingle that read: “Write for us,” I became more selective. I targeted top-dog blogs like Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Daily Blog Tips and Tiny Buddha. And all my pieces were successfully published. It made a huge difference in my career. For example, the post that was accepted at Pro Blogger garnered hundreds of Tweets, a boat load of comments, and several serious requests for my writing services. (Manifesting within just 72 hours of posting). That post at Pro Blogger alone has paid off more than all the posts I had made years before it. The moral of the story here? Don’t just blog. Blog with specific, deliberate, realistic goals. Would you like to “win friends and influence people?” Sell stuff? Connect with potential clients? Increase awareness of an important social cause? The clearer you are here, the more likely you will discover the path to success with fewer detours.

2. ALL GUEST POSTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY
Through trial and error I discovered that all experiences in the blogging community are not created equally. Some blogs have a high level of interaction and comments from readers. Some are great places to sell products. While others can increase your traffic levels, help build an impressive portfolio and your self-esteem.

Think of it this way. Remember college? Though all classes typically carried some value, those that met more frequently, or for longer periods of time, or that carried a “lab” component, helped you accumulate more credits and meet graduation requirements faster.
Aim high. You’ll advance quicker. Ideally a blog with a Google Page Rank of 3 or above should be your target for optimal results.

You can check a blog’s GPR here:
https://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php
It should also be noted that some blogs are starting to pay monetarily now.

3. SOMETIMES EXPOSURE CAN BE JUST AS REWARDING AS PAY
Compensation may not always be immediate, or with money, but posts landed at uber-popular sites, (Pro Blogger, Tiny Buddha, Men With Pens, Write to Done) will definitely enhance your career and your earnings over the long run. Think futuristically.

4. LIMITING YOUR GUEST POSTS TO BLOGS IN YOUR
NICHE AREA CAN BE LIMITING
Widen your net. Diversify. Just notice how singers that have “cross-over appeal” tend to have a larger fan base, greater longevity and bigger sales. Though my main blog is on writing and marketing, I have also published periodic guest posts on education, relationships, shopping, and career blogs. You never know where your next client or customer will be. Doing so can also expand your network of online friends and supporters. And you can never have too many, darling.

5. HAVE A SYSTEM AND WORK IT
You’ll be a lot more successful and effective in your guest posting efforts, (and less frustrated) if you have some sort of system. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that you create on your computer with the name of a targeted guest post site, a tentative post title, a date for submission, and status. Where do you begin? Start with your favorites-- the sites that you read frequently and admire. Or choose from the popular “Top 100” listing recently released from The Write Life:

https://thewritelife.com/100-best-websites-for-writers-2017/

TO SUM THINGS UP HERE…
Follow these five principles and practices to take the “guess work” out of guest posting, and to leverage free work to build a more profitable career.

Image credit: https://Pixabay.com/


8 comments:

  1. Thank you for breaking down and clarifying this, Jen. It does indeed reduce the learning curve. Much appreciated!

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  2. Karen,
    It was my pleasure. Thank you. :-)

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  3. Hi Jennifer - what you've said makes perfect sense - good for you for going after your goal and being successful ... cheers Hilary

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  4. Hi Hilary,

    How are you? Thanks so much for weighing in today. Always a pleasure to hear from you. :-)

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  5. As I've said before, I always garner great information when I click on your blog posts. Thanks.

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  6. As I've said before, I really value having you as a part of my blog family. :-) Thanks, Lin.

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