You've probably read articles from freelancers around the internet telling you that blogging has transformed their lives and businesses. But how? Yes, blogging must be amazing for your business if you have an audience of thousands. But surely blogging isn't as effective if you only have a tiny audience? That's not the case, and in this article I'm going to stop you thinking that way and show you how I used my blog to:
- Establish my business
- Get my first paying clients
- Establish myself as an expert in my industry
- Start making recurring income
How I established my business through blogging
I started my first blog six years ago for fun, not for business. My first blog was called The Button Owl and was built on Tumblr. It was about lots of stuff- fashion, personal style, craft, lifestyle... I had this blog for about a year and totally loved it. I then switched to Blogger and created a fashion blog called Flower Child. I made friends in the blogging world, I realized I wanted to blog about personal style instead of all the other stuff, and I really found my voice. But the most important factor here was that creating my blog was my first real stepping-stone towards building my own design business and booking paid clients, something I didn't know I wanted to do at the time.
I loved experimenting with my blog design and creating new logos. When my blog started to grow, I started receiving design requests. I couldn't believe that just by doing something fun- blogging- I was able to attract paying clients. It was easier than I thought, and with a little social media marketing I soon discovered that I could earn more than I did at my day job. That's when the cogs in my brain started turning and I decided to quit my job and give freelancing a shot.
Do you need lots of blog readers to start turning some of them into clients?
No. Remember the old saying, quality over quantity? I firmly believe that a quality blog audience is more valuable than having an audience of lots of readers who barely interact with you.
If you don't have time to blog every day or three times a week, then don't. Blogging so much isn't the only way to achieve success with your blog. Try blogging once a week. One in-depth, quality blog post is all you need to kick off your blogging.
Look at it this way: you could receive 1000 visits to one blog post by promoting it thoroughly, or you could post 5 times a week and get 200 visits to each post. That's the same number of visits each week. The first option doesn't require much time writing, just a bit more marketing. The second option requires LOTS of time writing, and then time marketing each blog post. Why add so much work to your load? I know which option I prefer.
How to attract potential clients to your blog
- Write quality content. Clients will be impressed by articles that are deep and show your expertise.
- Create pinnable blog post graphics. Graphics that get the most pins on Pinterest are vertical and the text on them is big. These images will catch peoples attention on Pinterest- hopefully your potential clients. One of my recent inquiries came from a woman who found me through Pinterest so never underestimate it!
- Pin one of your articles every day. Pinterest is my highest source of blog traffic and lots of my clients find me through it, so it's important to pin every day.
- Share your blog posts on social media every day. There are hundreds of potential clients on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Make sure you're sharing your work and blog posts with them every day. The more you share on social media, the more potential clients will come your way.
- Share your work on your blog. If you design websites then share your work on your blog. Sometimes, people read your blog but have no idea what you do. If you share your work with them on your blog it could spur them to inquire about your services.
Other ways your blog helps you get clients
Even if your clients haven't found you through your blog, your blog will help them decide whether they want to hire you.
Here's a scenario:
One designer, Sarah, is a hard worker and extremely talented. She doesn't have a blog but she has a portfolio website that showcases her work and her contact details.
Another designer, Amy, is also very talented. She has a portfolio site that showcases her work and her details, but she also has a blog filled with behind-the-scenes info on her processes, articles that show off her expertise, and a tribe of people who comment and show their love for her.
Which designer seems more appealing to a client? And which designer would you pay more? It would usually be the second designer because she gained your trust by showcasing her expertise on her blog.
I've noticed that a lot of my clients subscribe to my email list before getting in touch, and they sometimes comment on blog posts. One of my clients told me last year that my blog helped her decide to hire me because my articles proved that I knew what I was doing.
All of this shows that if you don't have a blog, you should really start one.
One way my blog has earned me money
The bigger you build your blog tribe, the more people you can sell to. You can sell eBooks, courses, digital goods, consult calls.... anything! There's a community of loyal readers just waiting for your help. And if you're smart and you love them enough, you'll provide it.
I created this club and only marketed it to my blog readers and newsletter subscribers. I didn't do any outside marketing- no Facebook ads, no blog ads, no affiliates. Every person who subscribed to this club did it through my blog or newsletter. I currently have 70 subscribers to this club. That's $700 per month just from blog readers who value my content enough that they're willing to pay for a higher level of content. (Gotta have love for you guys, because I am reeeeeally enjoying sharing this exclusive content with you, and I'm LOVING getting to know you all in our private Facebook group!)
In short, if you want to attract clients and make money through your blog, you need to:
- Post quality content regularly, even if it's just once a week.
- Share your content on social media every day.
- Interact with your readers.
- Showcase your expertise on your blog.
- Post about topics your ideal clients are interested in. (You can do this by going through the questions your clients ask you often and making blog posts that answer them!)
- Take blogging seriously.
If you put your heart into blogging and you provide your readers with content they actually need (instead of just posting about your cat or your vacation) then I promise you'll attract clients and start making money from it.