Entries Tagged as 'Blogging'
Should freelancers blog?
In my opinion, this shouldn’t even be a question. There are so many business benefits to blogging that it only makes sense for most web designers and other freelancers to take part. The benefits of blogging far outweigh the disadvantages.
Yet, it seems like every so often someone influential makes the statement that they think blogging is dead. They claim blogging is no longer a good idea for small business. It’s a waste of time, they say. Social media is all the exposure you need, they go on to say.
Never mind that such well-known blogging experts like Demian Farnworth explain clearly that social media will never replace blogging, as he does in this post on Copyblogger, 8 Reasons You Should Never Quit Your Blog for Google+. There are still those who will proclaim blogging to be a waste of time for freelancers.
In this post, I’ll explore why blogging has fallen out of favor with some freelancing. I’ll also list over 24 ways that your design business can still benefit from blogging.
There are many sites out there that provide venues for graphic designers to obtain freelance projects. However, due to fierce competition, many graphic designers lack the opportunities to get new projects consistently. If you are one of these unfortunate designers, what is your best possible move to land more work?
One of the best methods I’ve found is to utilize a blog. By writing about the subject area you are most passionate about, you are much more likely to be noticed by potential clients.
Bloggers typically dedicate a lot of thought and effort into topics that should be covered with their upcoming posts, and rightfully so, but older posts are often quickly forgotten both by the blogger and by readers. As a blog continues to publish new content the archives will grow larger and larger, and for many blogs the archives include a wealth of information and content that is not being maximized.
For most blogs, posts from the archives can continue to be useful for years to come (of course, this depends on the specific content of the post) if they are actually seen by visitors. The archives can be helpful for a number of different purposes, including attracting new subscribers, building a newsletter list, selling products, promoting your own services, promoting affiliate products, selling advertising, and more.
If your blog has been around for a while, chances are you have archives that could be doing more for you, and helping more readers at the same time. If you’re looking to get more out of your archives there are two things that you need to know first:
1. What posts from the archives are already attracting visitors? You probably have some specific posts that attract search engine traffic on a consistent basis, or maybe a popular website or blog linked to one of your posts and it results in a consistent flow of referral traffic.
2. What posts from your archives would you like to get more exposure? Maybe these are you best quality posts that would showcase your expertise, or maybe they would be good for promoting a related product or service.
Tips for Improving Posts That Already Attract Visitors
So you’ve done some analytics research and you know that a few of your posts attract a decent number of pageviews each month without any effort from you. Most likely they get a steady flow of traffic from search engines, but it could be other sources as well. The typical situation is that you probably created a quality blog post, it attracted some links, you haven’t paid any attention to it since then, but it still gets a steady flow of traffic. The traffic is great, but it could be much more valuable to you if that traffic is converted into something specific. That “something specific” will depend on your blog, the subject and content of the particular post, and the approach you want to take with your blog.
Here are some tips for getting more out of these types of blog posts.
Anyone who has maintained a blog for even a few months or more knows that there are frustrating times in the life of a blogger where growth seems to come to a complete standstill. The nature of blogging involves adding new content to the site and continually picking up new readers through that content. However, there are times when common measurements like visitors, pageviews, subscribers, and even income are extremely difficult to improve upon.
These blogging plateaus typically lead to frustration. In this post we’ll look at some things that you can do when you’re on one of those plateaus to help make that push and get things moving forward again.
1. Focus on Actions Instead of Results
A lot of bloggers incorporate goals into their daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly routines. Goals can be highly effective because most bloggers are working on their own, and there’s no boss or anyone else to keep them motivated. In this type of situation, goals can help by encouraging the blogger despite that lack of accountability to others.
Typical goals for a blogger might include:
Draw X,000 visitors in a month
Attract X,000 search engine visitors in a month
Make $X,000 in a month
While these goals can serve as motivation they don’t show you what you need to do in order to achieve them. If you’ve hit a plateau one of the best things you can do is forget about statistics and results and focus instead on actions. Actions will be more relevant to you in this situation because if you set up good action goals they can show you exactly what you need to do in order to get better results, removing the mystery of where to focus your efforts.
For example, here is a set of action goals that you could use:
Create a list of 100 possible post topics, and then chose the top 10 ideas.
Write and publish 2 news posts each week.
Write guest posts for 2 different blogs in the niche.
Introduce yourself to 10 other bloggers in the niche.
Submit 1 post per week to 5 different social media sites.
While it may be things like number of visitors and number of subscribers that you are having trouble improving, by focusing on these specific actions you’re likely to improve your blog, which will result in better numbers that help to get you off of that plateau.
There is no shortage of content available on the topic of blogging, but many who are interested in the subject still have misconceptions about making money through a blog. This is in part due to the fact that so many people are publishing content about blogging and a lot of those people have different views and opinions. Also, it’s often difficult to determine how much credibility should be given to the source.
In this article I’d like to present 8 myths that are commonly associated with blogging. If you have blogging experience of your own you’ve probably already disproved several of these myths. If you don’t have experience blogging, maybe this information will be helpful to see things in a different light.
Myth #1: It’s Easy to Make Money Blogging
Many people see articles or hear stories of others making money through blogging and they assume that it’s easy to do. They assume that within a matter of a few months they should be able to earn a significant income and then it is just smooth sailing from there. The vast majority of people who have believed this myth and have decided to start their own blog as a result have quickly realized that it is in fact just a myth.
The truth is that making money from a blog involves a lot of work, just like having any other type of job or running another type of business. There are plenty of success stories out there, and some of the bloggers who have managed to do very well with their blogs are able to work fewer hours than they would with another type of job. However, for every person like this there are hundreds who have tried and given up without success.
The most significant challenge that bloggers face is attracting visitors. For new bloggers nothing can be more frustrating than trying to figure out how to get people to see the content that you’ve spent time preparing.
Getting visitors to your blog is possible and quite realistic if you’re willing to put in some effort to get the exposure that you need. If you’re spending hours on blog posts and you feel like that work is being wasted because not enough people are seeing the posts, we’ll take a look at some things that you can do to get the right exposure.
Here are some things that you can do to get your blog posts in front of more people and to get more impact from each post.
There are many different challenges that bloggers face. Continually growing, adapting, and improving your blog is a significant on-going challenge. While all blogs attempt to provide useful content and to connect with readers, sometimes there is a desire and a need to go further. The motivation could be to provide more for readers, to help standout from other blogs in the industry, to bring in more money, or simply for a new learning experience.
In this post we’ll look at 10 different things you can do to extend your blog. Of course, you won’t want to attempt all of them with your blog, but see which ones fit best with your goals and with your audience.
1. Email Newsletters
Blogging and email newsletters have a lot in common. In both cases you’re providing content on a consistent basis to subscribers, and trying to increase your reach by offering content that is interesting and helpful for those reading. It may seem like having an email newsletter is overkill if you’re already blogging, but building a newsletter list can be a great way to extend your blog.
The newsletter will give you another method of staying in touch with your audience and you’ll be able to include content that you want to be accessible only to your subscribers. If you already have the traffic coming to your blog and an established reputation with your audience, building a newsletter list can be much easier than it would be without the blog.
We recently started our own newsletter, and so far it has been a great way for us to reach those who read our blog and want more, and we’re able to include brief announcements, news, and links that we aren’t able to post on our blog each week.
For managing a mailing list we use and recommend MailChimp. It includes all the necessary features (and more) and it’s free for lists with less than 2,000 subscribers. AWeber, Get Response, and iContact are other popular options.
In terms of monetization possibilities, email newsletter present many of the same opportunities as blogs, including selling ad space, promoting affiliate products, and selling your own products.
Blogging provides anyone with the opportunity to publish content and the potential to make money. Because of this, there are hundreds or thousands of new blogs launched every day. Unfortunately, there are some significant challenges that most new bloggers face, and in many cases the challenges are significant enough to lead the blogger to give up.
In this post we’ll look at five problems that many bloggers face, especially in the early days of their blog, and we’ll also look at some ways that these problems can be overcome.
1. No Comments from Visitors/Readers
It can be very frustrating to dedicate time creating a blog post, only to sit and wait for comments that never come. The interactive aspect of blogging is what draws many people to get started with their own blog, but in reality many new blogs have trouble attracting comments. If you find that your blog posts don’t usually get the attention or feedback that you had hoped for, you’re not alone.
Here are a few tips to get the comments flowing.
With the number of blogs online growing every day, it is increasingly difficult to stand out and achieve success with your blog. In the end, many bloggers that start out with high hopes and expectations wind up deciding that blogging really isn’t worth their time. Those who have some patience and a plan to achieve specific goals with their blog will have a much greater likelihood of long-term success.
In this post we’ll look at 7 things that you should be doing to set yourself up for success and to avoid common pitfalls. The topics covered here should prove to be helpful for bloggers who are just getting started or for those who have been feeling like their efforts haven’t been producing enough results. Here are 7 things that all bloggers should be doing.
Maintaining an active blog has been one of the best decisions I ever made in terms of my career. I feel that every designer could greatly benefit from running a blog if they have the desire to share their thoughts with others. Here is my list of 10 reasons for designers to blog.
1. Increased Exposure
Vandelay Website Design gets far more exposure as a result of this blog than it would from any other method, outside of spending a ton of money on advertisements. Without the blog, 99% of those who have heard of us probably never would have. There’s obviously no shortage of designers and design firms out there, so we all need to stand out in one way or another. In my opinion, a blog is as good a way as any.