Freelance writers are positioned to build powerful brands online because a huge part of brand building online is based in creating content that people want to read and share. Part 3 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series explains why creating content online matters (you can read Parts 1 and 2 by following the links at the end of this post).
It all comes down to Google.
What do you do when you need to find information about a product or business? The vast majority of people answer that question with a single word, “Google.”
That’s because search engines (with Google being the most popular search engine by far) have become the number one way for people to do most kinds of research. Traditional publishing and traditional marketing have both fallen victim to the power of the Internet. How can a small business owner or a freelancer compete against the deep pockets of large companies and agencies that already own space in the online world?
Again, the answer is simple — Google.
Thanks to the social web, the world of online competition has become flatter than ever. You don’t have to invest millions of dollar on ad campaigns and search engine optimization consulting services. You can do it yourself as long as you’re willing to write, communicate, and follow the three steps of branding described in Part 1 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series – consistency, persistence and restraint.
Let me explain how it works.
The more content you create online using your brand name (including blog posts, articles, forum comments, blog post comments, videos, podcasts, and so on), the more chances there are for Google and other search engines to find that content and send traffic to it via keyword searches (which is particularly important when it comes to your own branded online destinations, such as your blog or website) thereby helping you build your branded online platform.
I refer to this process as the compounding effect of blogging when I explain it to small business owners who are wondering how a business blog can help them, but it applies to freelancers, too. In fact, everything you do online where you can use your brand name adds to the compounding effect of blogging by increasing Google search results for your brand and driving traffic to your branded destinations as described above.
The following steps further explain how the compounding effect of blogging works to increase traffic to your freelance website, but don’t forget that all of your social media activities can add to the compounding effect of blogging:
- You have a freelance business website that includes 10 pages. That’s 10 entry points to your business website for Google to find, index, and deliver in relevant keyword searches.
- You add a blog to your website, and you publish a blog post everyday for a year. Now you have 365+10=375 entry points to your website for Google to find, index, and deliver in relevant keyword searches.
- You publish posts on your blog and those posts offer interesting, useful, helpful or entertaining content that your audience finds value in. In other words, those posts are shareworthy.
- People find your blog content and realize it’s interesting and shareworthy. They share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. with links back to your blog. They blog about it on their own blogs with links back to your blog. Now, the number of entry points to your website (via your blog) has increased exponentially. Your Google search traffic increases as all of these additional incoming links to your blog and website boost your Google search rankings, and traffic to your site from referrers across the Web increases, too!
- Your website went from a static destination with 10 standard entry points to an interactive, engaging site with hundreds or thousands (or more) of entry points and an increase in traffic from search engines and referrers! You can’t buy that kind of exposure!
The compounding effect of blogging really is that simple. It’s about creating shareworthy content and entry points, and it’s a form of marketing that freelance writers would be crazy not to use!
Bottom-line, what’s the first thing potential clients do when they get your pitch, resume, or query? They Google your name. You can use the online content you create to show how prominent your brand is online and to ensure the search results they find for your name are good ones.
Stay tuned to learn more about manipulating search results and responding to negativity about your brand online in Part 4 of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series.